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Top 5 Miniature Pinscher Temperament Traits You Must Know

People may often call him a “MinPin,” but there’s nothing small about the Miniature Pinscher temperament. These spirited little dogs originated in Germany and are descendants of the Italian greyhound, the German Pinscher, and the Dachshund.

Girl with Miniature Pinscher

Another nickname for the Miniature Pinscher is the “King of the Toys,” in reference to the Toy Breeds of dogs.

If you are considering bringing a MinPin into your family, there are a few things you should know about the Miniature Pinscher temperament and behavior first.

1. He’s Called “the King of Toys” for a Reason

It’s not just only the royal way in which the MinPin carries himself but also the confidence he exudes that earns him his regal nickname.

He likes to strut his stuff both on and off the leash. The self-assured Miniature Pinscher temperament is easy to recognize.

Part of this is his temperament, but part of it is actually his Hackney Gait, which is his naturally high-stepping gait. It is purely a joy just to watch this little dog walk.

2. MinPins Are Smart

On the list of intelligent dog breeds, these little dogs come in above average. In fact, experts consider MinPins to be smarter than the Dalmatian and the Rat Terrier.

These higher-than-average smarts can make it more difficult to keep your Miniature Pischer entertained and out of trouble.

One of the best things you can do is schedule daily training sessions that will not only keep his keen mind active but that will also create a deeper bond between the two of you.

3. They are Sweet-Natured

Girl with Miniature Pinscher

Though protective, the Miniature Pinscher is generally considered a sweet and gentle little dog. Just, whatever you do, don’t let him develop Small Dog Syndrome!

Basically, what this means is that you should treat your toy dog like a dog, not a toy!

We’ve all met those ill-mannered little dogs who think they rule the roost, but this sort of bad behavior is more the owner’s fault than the dog’s.

If you want your pet to be a good companion who is easy to get along with, set boundaries for him and stick to them. It is imperative that your little dog knows his place in the family pack before he gets too big for his britches.

4. Miniature Pischers Make Great Watch Dogs

I can practically hear you laughing at the screen right now while reading this, but it’s true!

MinPins are very alert, and they have a protective streak. This combination means that he will not be one of those Toy Breeds who runs and hides when a stranger tries to sneak into his backyard. He’s going to let that intruder know that he’s not wanted here!

Because of the protective Miniature Pinscher temperament, you must socialize your little dog at an early age. Being alert is good, but thinking every new person he meets deserves to be yelled at is not.

Correct these behavior problems early on, and you won’t have to deal with an adult dog with negative traits later.

5. They are High-Energy Dogs

The good news is that the MinPin’s diminutive size makes it easy for him to blow off steam both inside and outside.

As with most dogs, getting enough exercise can make all the difference in their behavior.

A quick walk around the block once a day is usually enough to keep the MinPin’s wiggles at bay. But it’s also a good idea to find a place where your pup can romp off-leash several times a week.

These dogs tend to like to run off in search of adventure, so make sure that off-leash time is in a fenced area or dog park.

Of course, this doesn’t mean you should just let him go free and then focus on your phone or a book for an hour. He can still get into trouble with other dogs while in the park or end up underfoot by accident. Always be sure to supervise him while he’s satisfying his “zoomies.”

To spice things up a little, you can take him for a few walks throughout the day. He won’t mind curling up with you on the couch once in a while, but he will get the urge to throw the ball around a few times a day.

A Brief History of the Miniature Pinscher Breed

Experts believe the MinPin is a rather old breed. However, records on the breed only date back about 200 years. This leaves a lot of open space and unanswered questions in the MinPin’s history.

Perhaps the earliest reference we have to the MinPin is a drawing created in 1888 by Jean Bungartz. In the drawing, Bungartz compares the MinPin to the German Pinscher. Experts believe the German Pinscher may be one of the MinPin’s ancestors.

Many believe that the Miniature Pinscher is a miniature Doberman Pinscher, but this is actually not true. This misconception occurred because breeders brought the Doberman Pinscher to the U.S. from Germany before the Miniature Pinscher.

When breeders brought the MinPin to dog shows, the AKC referred to him as just “Pinscher.” And so, the idea persisted that the dog is a miniature Doberman, when he actually is not.

Miniature Pinscher Mix

Some folks can’t resist the idea of a MinPin mix. Here are just a few of the many possible MinPin mixes that are out there:

Manchester Terrier vs. Miniature Pinscher

While the Manchester Terrier and Miniature Pinscher may look a lot alike, their similarities end with their appearances and similar hunting ability. Both dogs can give good chase – both of potential prey, and of the neighbor’s dog!

If you’re torn between the two breeds, their temperaments are what is going to help you make your final decision. For one thing, the Manchester Terrier loves being outside and will gladly join you for your daily jog. He requires substantially more exercise than does the MinPin.

However, the MinPin is more of a troublemaker. You must keep him distracted because he tends to get bored easily. He’s also more of a chewer than the Manchester Terrier, and you have to make sure he’s not getting into something he could choke on.


If you find your MinPin is too headstrong for you to train, it’s in both of your best interests to sign him up for obedience classes. These folks have a great deal of experience training dogs whom their owners otherwise thought were untrainable.

As mentioned earlier, he is a crazy-smart dog, and he loves and wants to please you. But he also loves a challenge just as much, and he sometimes can’t get out of his own way.

Helpful Dog Training Resource:

For help with training your MinPin dog take a look at The Online Dog Trainer by Doggy Dan. Doggy Dan is an expert Dog Trainer based in New Zealand. His online resource contains Hundreds of Excellent Dog Training Videos that will take you step-by-step through the process of developing a healthy, happy well-behaved dog.


It is super easy to groom the MinPin, thanks to his short, hard coat. Brush him once a week to keep him looking clean and shiny.

You will also need to trim his nails regularly, as it becomes uncomfortable for him to walk when his nails are too long.

As far as Miniature Pinscher colors go, he comes in quite a few of them:

  • Stag Red
  • Black and Tan
  • Chocolate and Tan
  • Chocolate and Rust
  • Black and Rust
  • Red

Miniature Pinscher Health Concerns

As for a healthy MinPin’s average height, he comes in at only between 10 and 12 inches. And if you think that’s a small size, the Teacup Miniature Pinscher is even smaller at less than 10 inches tall!

Miniature Pinscher dog on the couch with Santa Claus hat

While MinPins are generally healthy and live a long time (up to 17 years!), there are several health issues that you should still be aware of:

  • Cataracts – Along with several other eye-related problems, MinPins tend to be especially susceptible to cataracts. What may start out as minor “cloudiness” in one or both eyes, usually develops into full-blown blindness.
  • Diabetes – Just as with humans, diabetes in dogs results from either an inability to produce enough insulin, or the inability to utilize  the insulin the body produces in order to metabolize sugar. Symptoms of diabetes can include being thirsty all the time and having excessive urination, along with unexplained weight loss
  • Hip dysplasia – This degenerative disease of the hip joint is very common in many breeds of dogs and can be quite painful. While this ailment is hereditary, you can help slow down its effects by keeping your little dog at a healthy weight. For the MinPin, that would be between 7.7 and 8.8 lbs. for a female, and between 8.8 and 11 lbs. for a male.

Note: if you agree that your health and your MinPin's health should be a top priority then get a copy of The Ultimate Guide to Dog Health. He will love you even more for do that. This guide will help save you money, time and most of all help you keep your dog healthy.

Finding the Perfect Miniature Pinscher

Do you think you’ll be able to make room for the Miniature Pinscher in your home and life? If so, then congratulations! Now you’re probably wondering where to go from here…

Your options are that you can find a Miniature Pinscher for sale from a breeder, or you can adopt one through your local rescue agency.

Miniature Pinscher Puppies for Sale

The average Miniature Pinscher price is, on average, between $400 and $600.

A lot of different factors can change the price of a dog. For one thing, adopting a dog is always cheaper than buying one from a breeder. And if the dog comes from a “show” bloodline, then the breeder is going to charge more for him.

Miniature Pinscher Adoption and Rescue

If you want to adopt a Miniature Pinscher puppy, you can find one through a local rescue organization or adoption center.

An adoption is a great idea if you hate the idea of training a puppy not to chew your stuff and pee all over the house. Adoptable dogs have received training either from their former owners or from the shelter itself.

Plus, it’s a good idea to adopt because there are so many dogs waiting in shelters for the right family to come along and adopt them. You may not be able to find a purebred MinPin up for adoption, at least not right away, so perhaps consider one of the many mixed MinPins out there.

Miniature Pinscher Breeders

If you want to buy a puppy, and you’re not sure where to start, check out the Miniature Pinscher Club of America. They offer a list of breeders that can help you start your search.

Once you settle on a few breeders who are local to your area, pop their names in Google and see what comes up. Great reviews are all well and good, but negative reviews can sometimes tell you much more.

Even if you find a breeder with five stars all around, keep an open mind when you go to visit them. Keep your eyes open for signs that the breeder is not raising his or her dogs in a clean, safe environment. If the pups are dirty or uncomfortable, then the breeder is only in it for the cash, and you may end up paying hundreds of dollars for a sick dog.

Should You Choose A Miniature Pinscher?

There are a lot of reasons why this dog is a good choice including the inquisitive and energetic Miniature Pinscher temperament.

With his bright little eyes and feisty attitude, it might seem like the Miniature Pinscher temperament makes him the perfect dog for you.

And this may be true, so long as you can take charge from the get-go and not let this little dog with a big heart take over your household.