Did you know?
The Dog Collar Museum is located in Leeds Castle, Great Britain and features over 100 historic and fascinating dog collars, some dating back to the 15th century.
No man can be condemned for owning a dog. As long as he has a dog, he has a friend; and the poorer he gets, the better friend he has. – Will Rogers
Although he looks much like a miniature Doberman Pinscher, this breed, the Miniature Pinscher or Min Pin as he is sometimes known, actually pre-dates the Doberman by many years. In fact the Doberman was not created until 1890 and was the result of efforts to create a giant version of the existing Miniature Pinscher. It is believed that the Miniature Pinscher was developed in Germany by breeding the German smoothed-haired Pinscher with other smaller breeds such as the Italian Greyhound and the Smooth Dachshund.
The Min Pin is a member of the German pinscher family which also includes the Affenpinscher and the Schnauzers. “Pinscher” is a descriptive word like “setter” or “retriever” and describes the dog’s method of working rather than being his surname. The word “Pinscher” actually refers to the dog’s practice of jumping on and fiercely biting his prey. He was bred to be an efficient and hard-working barnyard ratter for at least 300 years.
In Germany, the solid red Min Pin is sometimes called the Reh Pinscher because he is said to closely resemble the red Roe Deer of the region.
Photos displayed courtesy of Denise Brandsma, Tyramara Perm Reg’d, Saskatchewan
The Miniature Pinscher stands 10 to 12.5 inches (25-32 cm) high at the shoulder, the ideal height being 11 to 11.5 inches (28-29 cm). His sleek and glossy coat is most commonly seen as solid red. It may also be black with tan or rust-red markings or brown or chocolate with rust or yellow markings. The coat is short and smooth, requiring minimal grooming. In colder climates, care must be taken to ensure the Min Pin does not suffer unduly from the weather.
The Min Pin is born with floppy ears and a full tail. Often these dogs have their ears cropped so that they stand upright. They may also have their tails docked. These modifications to the dog’s appearance are for appearance only, not health reasons. It should be noted that the breed standard allows for both natural and cropped ears in the show ring.
One of his most endearing and charming natural characteristics is his unusual high-stepping gait. Similar to the gait of a hackney pony, the Min Pin appears to be prancing when walking. He lifts his knees high as he trots. His proud walk and bearing once earned him the nickname, “King of Toys”.
The Miniature Pinscher’s true age remains a mystery as record keeping began less than 200 years ago. However, he is seen in many paintings and depicted in sculpture indicating that he is quite an old breed.
Today the Min Pin is principally bred to be a companion. As such, he is very devoted and possessive of his loved ones. Alert and clever, the Min Pin makes a good family watchdog as he is wary of strangers. However, he is best in a household with older children, as he is not built for the roughhousing of younger children at play.
The Miniature Pinscher is an assertive, outgoing, active, and independent breed. In fact he is fearless and behaves as if he believes he is a much larger dog! As such, he may respond best to experienced dog owners.
He is a sturdy, vigorous, and compact little dog. With a fun-loving, vivacious and perky nature, he is energetic and always on the go, and needs regular exercise. A fenced in yard is best as he is a great escape artist! The Min Pin will retain his playfulness well into his senior years and does well in agility.