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Meet the breed: Miniature Pinscher


Choosing to add a furry friend to your growing household is a long-term commitment, and picking a breed that fits your lifestyle presents the key to a happy home. With over 160 American Kennel Club-recognized breeds, that decision can seem overwhelming. We’re here to help you meet the breed that’s right for you. If you’re looking for an active small dog breed that is suited well for apartment life, learn everything you need to know about the Miniature Pinscher.


  • Clever
  • Playful
  • Strong
  • Quick
  • Suited for apartment life


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Originating in Germany, the Miniature Pinscher was bred as a way to control the rodent population in stables. Developed from the Italian Greyhound and Dachshund, the Miniature Pinscher is small but fast. Often referred to as the “king of toys,” the breed enjoys living a very active life that is stimulating both physically and mentally.

Breed standards

  • AKC group: Toy
  • UKC group: Terrier
  • Average lifespan: 14 – 15 years
  • Average size: 8 – 12 pounds
  • Coat appearance: Smooth, short-haired
  • Coloration: Black and rust, red, stag red, chocolate and tan
  • Hypoallergenic: No
  • Other identifiers: Compact, small, squarish body, with head proportional to the body; dark black eyes; scissor-bite teeth; strong, straight legs, cat-like feet, and cropped tail
  • Possible alterations: Tail may not be cropped and dewclaws may be removed.

Is this breed right for you?

Although suited for apartment life due to his small size, the Miniature Pinscher requires a lot of activity to satisfy him. He enjoys running, playing and needs a daily walk to fulfill his physical needs. The Miniature Pinscher will partake of regular romps in the yard, but will require a large fence to avoid attempting an escape. In need of proper training, the dog can easily develop behavioral problems if allowed to form small-dog syndrome. OK with older children, it’s advised that they are taught how to behave around dogs, as he may nip or bite. In addition, he doesn’t care too much for strangers and may bark or attack them unless taught otherwise.

A dream day in the life of a Miniature Pinscher

It’s likely that your Miniature Pinscher will wake at the crack of dawn, before his owners. Ensuring the home is safe, he’ll make his way outside to sniff out any vermin and engage in games by himself. Once he hears the family awaken, he’ll greet you in the kitchen, patiently awaiting his meal. After a quick walk, he may have a quick nap, but will then spend the day guarding his home and playing with his toys. Not keen on too much affection, he’ll end the day with a quick pat on the head for his excellent behavior.

Other breeds you might like

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