Miniature Pinscher

  • Overview

    Miniature Pinschers are actually not tinier versions of German or Doberman Pinschers. In fact, Pinscher is the German word for dog, so in their native country, they're simply known as a very small dog whose history predates the Doberman's. Miniature Pinschers walk with an unusual, high-stepping gait that makes them look as if they're marching in line and earns plenty of chuckles in the show ring.

    Although the Min-pin's small size and short coat may make him seem like a carefree pet, he's really a high-energy, uber-active little whirlwind who will expect to make a big impact on your life. Plan to spend quite a bit of time teaching these dogs proper manners and showering them with attention.

  • Personality

    These tiny dogs are very lively and spirited. Min-pins prance with a pride befitting of a breed known as the "King of the Toys." They are tiny bundles of energy who love to scurry busily about their homes, investigating everything. They have a tendency to poke their tiny noses into all sorts of trouble, so their tendencies to snoop leave many owners with no choice but to keep things out of their reach. It is also important to teach these little dogs some firm boundaries when they are puppies. Let them know where they are and are not allowed and teach them polite, social behavior before they turn into tiny tyrants. Because they are confident, self-assured dogs, they can become a little too cocky. Min-pins can be aggressive with other dogs, but because don't weigh more than 10 pounds, they should be taught to socialize in a polite way that is more fitting of their small size.

    With firm training, the intelligent and amusing Min-pin can be an entertaining and involved companion. They're incredibly active, but they can get most of their exercise running around the house or going on a long walk each day. Owners find that it is helpful to "baby proof" their house so that the overly-curious Min-pin doesn't get into too much trouble.

  • Coat Care

    The short coat is hard and glossy. It can be seen in tan, red, black or brown with tan markings. Because these tiny dogs have a short coat, they will thank you for covering them up with a little sweater during chilly outdoor trips. These dogs do not have demanding grooming needs, and they don't need to be washed frequently, so you can spend all the time you might allot toward grooming on training, socialization and quality hang out time to help your little Min-pin stay social, well-behaved and active.

Brushing

Brush the Min-pin's short coat with a small rubber brush or hound glove occasionally to help new hair grow and keep his skin healthy.

Bathing

With preparation, perseverance and a positive attitude, bathing can become a fun and fulfilling part of the regular grooming cycle, while helping your dog avoid many diseases and infections.

Smooth coated breeds adhere to the general rule of dog bathing: about once every three months. The coat should end up fresh smelling, shiny, with no loose or shedding hair. First give the dog a good brushing to remove dead hair and mats. Place a rubber mat in the tub to provide secure footing and fill the tub with three to four inches of lukewarm water. Use a spray hose, pitcher or unbreakable cup to wet the dog, taking caution to avoid getting water in the eyes, ears and nose. Massage in pet shampoo, saving the head for last. Immediately rinse thoroughly, starting with the head to prevent soap from dripping into the eyes. Towel dry. Wipe wrinkled breeds with a soft cloth and make sure they are totally dry after bathing.

Hair Clipping

Clipping or trimming your dog’s coat is far easier than you would ever imagine. With the right clipper, trimmer and scissors, giving your dog a haircut is easy on your wallet and your schedule.

Dogs with smooth coats generally only require trims and tidying up in areas of excessive hair growth using a trimmer or blunt scissors. It's always wise to take a dog for a short walk or exercise to calm them down before trimming. Remember to brush the coat first to remove any tangles and mats. Don't forget to trim around the paws, pads, tail, chest and sanitary areas, as needed. The coat should lay flat and smooth against the body when finished.

Nails

Many dog owners are apprehensive about trimming their dog’s nails because they are nervous about cutting into the quick. But with the right conditioning and careful cutting, nail clipping can be a simple, stress-free activity for you and your dog.

Provide your dog with plenty of positive reinforcement and even treats to help associate nail clipping with a positive experience.  As you start to clip, gently press on your dog’s paws to help him become accustomed to the feeling of having his nails clipped. Then, work gradually, shaving down just a thin portion of the nail at first to make sure you don’t reach the quick. Clip one nail, reward your dog with a treat, and stop to give him some positive reinforcement before moving on. Gradually increase the number of nails you clip in one sitting to help your dog get used to the process. Never trim extremely long nails down to a short nail in one sitting, because this is an excellent way to accidently quick the dog’s nail. Instead, work gradually, shaving small portions of your dog’s nails off each time.

You can tell if you’re getting close to the quick by the texture of your dog’s nail. The nail is hard closer to the surface and becomes softer as you get closer to the quick. If your dog’s nail starts to feel softer, that’s a good indication that you’re getting close to the quick.

Eyes / Ears

Not all breeds and coat styles require routine trimming in and around the eyes and ears but all should undergo regular inspection and cleaning around these sensitive areas. Doing so will help prevent the development of infections that could seriously damage these amazing organs.

It is always important to routinely clean your dog's eyes and ears, and examine for potential infections. Some smooth-coated dogs, like Basenjis and Boxers, and dogs with large ears, like Weimaraners and Great Danes, have sensitive ears that should be checked  weekly for infection and cleaned with a cotton ball. Gently wipe a cotton ball moistened with mineral oil, olive oil or witch hazel in your dog's ear, being careful to avoid the ear canal. Never use a Q-Tip, which could cause damage to the inner ear if your dog suddenly shakes or jerks his head. Bushy hair growth within the ear can be thinned with tweezers or blunt scissors. Use a small trimmer to trim excess hair around the eyes, ears and face. If you have a small dog, like an Italian Greyhound, take special care to  clean around their eyes with a cotton ball or soft cloth and use a small trimmer to trim excess hair around their eyes to make sure they are comfortable. Dogs with facial wrinkles, like French Bulldogs and Boston Terriers, should have their faces wiped down at least weekly to prevent infection.

Teeth

Many owners do not realize how important it is to brush your pet’s teeth on a regular basis. Some dogs are prone to dental problems and sensitive teeth, especially small dogs with tiny teeth and dogs with special diets. These problems can be easily combatted with frequent brushing.

Cavities are rare with dogs but gum disease caused by tartar buildup is not, which is why they require regular brushing with toothpaste and a toothbrush formulated specifically for dogs. While daily brushing is ideal, doing so on a weekly basis will be a big help in avoiding the need to bring your dog to a veterinarian for a cleaning, which usually has to be done under sedation.