Miniature Pinschers

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Breed: Miniature Pinscher
Temperament: strong-willed, alert
Lifespan: 12-15 years
Maintenance: low
Recommended for: families, older adults

Looking like a pint-sized Dobermann with a fun-loving attitude, the Miniature Pinscher may be one of our most underrated small dogs. Mins Pins, as they are called, actually have a heritage which beats the Dobermann 200 years!


A smooth-coated dog, weighing 3.5-4.5kg (8-10lb) and only reaching 30cm (12in.) is not a dwarf (ie: normal body on short legs) but as the name suggests, a miniature breed. They come in black, chocolate or blue with tan markings, or solid red. Their ears are large and erect. They are small enough to be nursed by children or older adults

Temperament & training

Like many small breeds, the Min Pin has self-confidence that outstrips its actual size and many make good watchdogs. Individuals can become overexcited and yappy if permitted, but most are alert and respond positively to training.

Dr. Rob Zammit says some Miniature Pinschers have temperament problems – they are shy, timid and can become fear biters. He suggests overcoming this by socialising the puppy early by introducing it to people and other dogs.


Luxating patellas (slipping kneecap) and entropion (rolled-in eyelid) found occasionally; Fine leather of ears can crack and bleed in cold weather, or with fly bites in summer; Sensitive to cold.


Dr. Rob Zammit warns potential owners against overfeeding Miniature Pinschers. If the dogs become fat their small bones can’t carry excess weight.


Litters usually 3-4 pups, with caesareans required occasionally.

Space & exercise

Their small neat size makes them well suited to life indoors, however, the excitable nature sometimes found could demand extra training to avoid accidents with ornaments! While mostly self-exercising, a regular walk could burn off some of the excess energy.

Ideal owner

A great dog for families with school-age children, as breeders say they are hardier than they look and will join in the rough and tumble without danger of injury or retaliation. Older adults also find them a great companion, being small, cheap to feed, amenable to life indoors and a good watchdog.


The short, sleek coat is simple to maintain with a weekly wipe over. Some owners warn against bathing too frequently as the skin can dry out and become irritated.


The breed originated in Germany where it was used to hunt rats and vermin. The word ‘pinsch’ is German for grab or snatch. Some still retain this instinct!

National contacts

To find up-to-date contacts for breeders, contact the following organisations.

Dogs NSW
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 1300 728 022 (NSW only) or (02) 9834 3022
Fax: (02) 9834 3872

Dogs Victoria
Email: [email protected]
Phone: (03) 9788 2500
Fax: (03) 9788 2599

Dogs ACT
Email: [email protected]
Phone: (02) 6241 4404 – Fax: (02) 6241 1129.

Dogs West
Email: [email protected]
Phone: (08) 9455 1188
Fax: (08) 9455 1190

Dogs SA
Phone: (08) 8349 4797

Canine Control Council of Queensland
Email: [email protected]
Phone: (07) 3252 2661
Fax: (07) 3252 3864

Tasmanian Canine Association
Email: [email protected]
Phone: (03) 6272 9443
Fax: (03) 6273 0844

Dogs NT
Email: [email protected]
Phone: (08) 8984 3570
Fax: (08) 8984 3409