Miniature Pinscher

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Miniature Pinschers: Characteristics of the breed and how to live with a Miniature Pinscher
The Miniature Pinscher is a unique looking dog with great appeal. They originally emerged in Germany, hence the unusual and hard-to-say name! This is sometimes shortened to Min Pin to make it quicker and easier to say. This guide aims to set out the key information any prospective owner will need.
Physical characteristics of a Miniature Pinscher
These are really compact little dogs, measuring no more than 30cm (just 1 foot) tall in most cases. They also rarely weigh any more than 5kg. The females tend to be slightly smaller than the males. They will typically live for between 10 to 14 years so will make good long term companions. This small size means they are easy to carry, and won’t eat much food.
They come in a variety of colours, many of which combine two colours with some attractive marking. These include red, chocolate and rust, the commonly seen black and tan, and other combinations. They tend to have the darker colour on their bodies, with a lighter muzzle and underbody. Grooming is almost as easy as it gets – they require brushing a couple of times a week as a base treatment. They are not good candidates for regular bathing as this can dry out their skin, but it can be done in extremes (if they roll around in something that smells bad, for example). A common trick is to get a warm, wet cloth and rub them down, paying particular attention to the face. This will help them stay sleek and clean.
Despite their size, these are elegant dogs. They have long necks relative to their bodies. The bodies themselves are well muscled and help to give them surprising power. Indeed, these are vigorous and active dogs. They are likely to dart after anything they see, and can often get into trouble in the process! Their surprising energy levels combines with their personality to make them a bundle of energy.
Personality of a Miniature Pinscher
Many dogs were originally bred with a specific purpose in mind. Nowadays people are rarely concerned with this purpose, but it is still worth bearing in mind as it can affect the personality of your dog. The Miniature Pinscher was primarily bred to hunt vermin, and this can still be seen in their behaviour today. They will love to chase things and are also fearless, which is remarkable given their tiny size.
The Miniature Pinscher has a reputation as being quite bossy and difficult. You will certainly find that they like to rule the roost. They are often known as the ‘King of Toys’ as most people keep them as toy dogs only (they don’t put them to work) but then find that they get bossed about by their dog! It is definitely the case that you must lay down the authority in your household, as a strong but kind pack leader. All dogs need to know where they stand in the pecking order, and it is never good to have the dog making the decisions rather than their owners.
Because of their fearlessness and alert nature, they will make great watchdogs. However, they are prone to chasing after anything small or large, and possibly trying to eat it! With the right socialisation and training they can certainly get along with other dogs and household pets, but it is necessary to be cautious.
Training is best when started early and given persistently. A consistent and gentle approach will usually yield the best results, as these dogs will not respond well to harsh treatment. They might well play up when asked to follow commands, but they will bend to your will eventually.
How to live with a Miniature Pinscher
The environment that you place a Miniature Pinscher in is key. This should be appropriate for a small yet lively dog. They love to play but can be easily injured by inappropriate roughhousing. It is best to be sure that any humans that the dog comes into contact with will know how to deal with a dog of this size and handle them gently. This makes this particular type of dog unsuited to being in a household with young children (say under the age of 10) who may not be calm and steady enough themselves to be safe around the dog. If your dog has bad experiences being grab or pushed around by children he will soon learn to fear them.
Another area to watch out for is temperature. These dogs are actually very sensitive to cold, so if you are going to take them out in cold weather be sure to put a coat on them!
Unless you have a very safe environment to keep them in, your Miniature Pinscher will require constant supervision so they don’t get in trouble. They might, for example, try to bite a small object that can break up and cause them a choking hazard. To avoid any unfortunate mishaps when you can’t supervise them, it is best to have a dog crate to put them out of harm’s way. You will still need to provide a safe home environment for when you are around and they are out of the crate. Think of it the same way as you might when ‘baby-proofing’ your house. Small objects like keys and coins could potentially get eaten and cause big problems, so keep these in a safe place. Medication can also be a big problem, because they may well eat any pills that drop on the floor.
In the yard, you will need to make sure that your gates and fences are very secure. If they aren’t, your Miniature Pinscher will likely run off at the first sign of interest. They can fit through a hole about the size of their heads, so be meticulous in your search for possible escape routes!
To ensure you get a dog you are happy with, the best place to start is with the parents. It is usually the mother who is available, so spend some time with her to see if you are comfortable with her personality. As always, use a reputable breeder and make sure all health checks have been carried out.

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