Welcome to the world of the 'King of Toys'. Here is a little of the background and history of the Min Pin to help you to decide if they're the dogs for you.
MINIATURE PINSCHER HISTORY
Pinscher is a German word for "terrier." Although it is known that the Miniature Pinscher was developed in Germany, the breed's origins are unclear. The first recorded hint of it appears in a 17th-century painting, which shows a cat-sized red dog resembling the modern animal. Not a relative of the famed Doberman Pinscher, the Miniature Pinscher is, in fact, the older breed. Consensus holds that the Miniature Pinscher results from crosses between the German Pinscher, the Daschund and the Italian Greyhound. Originally a ratter, the Miniature Pinscher has vitality to spare: from the German Pinscher, it has feistiness; from the Daschund, it has fearlessness; from the Italian Greyhound, it has playful speed and grace. Some people consider the Miniature Pinscher to be the world's liveliest breed of dog. By the early 19th century, it was developed into a distinct breed named the Reh Pinscher because it was reminiscent of a little red German roe (reh) deer. In the late 1800s, breeders became so focused on reducing the dog's size that they produced deformed and unattractive animals. By 1900, however, this misstep was recovered. Healthy and elegant once more, the Miniature Pinscher became a popular competitor in German dog shows. Following World War I, its popularity fell in Germany but rose in America. The AKC recognized the Miniature Pinscher in 1929. Today in America, the Mini Pin, nicknamed "the king of toys," is a highly popular toy breed.
Typical Health Problems:
Leg injuries: Because these are small dogs, it is very important to watch children around them. The Min Pin loves to run and play with kids. This easily could result in a broken leg for the dog if the child falls on it.
Patellar Luxation is a dislocation of the kneecap (patella): The kneecap may dislocate toward the inside (medial) or outside (lateral) of the leg, or may move in both directions. It may result from injury or congenital (present at birth) deformities. Both legs may be affected. The crippling effects of patellar luxation are related to the severity and duration of the luxation. The milder forms, especially in small breeds, show little or no signs, and only minimal treatment is required. Severe cases cause more intense pain, with limping. Treatment ranges from rest (decreasing your pet's activity for 1-2 weeks) to surgical reconstruction of the knee joint.
Legg's Perthes Disease: A condition often confused with congenital hip dysplasia. Although the final result is the same, a hip joint with arthritic and osteoporotic changes, the primary lesion is different. Legg's Perthes disease is due to the aseptic death of the head of the femur. This causes wearing and promotes arthritic changes. Thus, after the condition has progressed for some time it is difficult to diagnose whether the resulting degenerated joint is a manifestation of hip dysplasia or Legg's Perthes. This condition is congenital and has no known cure. The accompanying pain and arthritic changes can be controlled with cortisone compounds. Restricted exercise while under treatment, or during an attack of pain, is helpful. An operation for the removal of the head of the femur, thus leaving a muscle joint in the area, has proved successful for prolonging the useful life of your pet.
This proud little dog is often referred to as "The King of Toys". The Miniature Pinscher is an assertive, outgoing, active and independent breed. Fearless animation, complete self-possession, and spirited presence describe the Miniature Pinscher to a T.
Correct Miniature Pinschers measure only 10" to 12.5" at the shoulder, but pack quite a bit of energy into a small package! They can be incredible escape artists, hard to housebreak and obedience train, but in the right home, with the proper training, they can be the best companion dog you have ever owned. Loving, affectionate and playful, the Miniature Pinscher makes its own rules, but will bend to yours if treated with affection and care.
Miniature Pinschers do well on a farm or in the city. As long as they are given plenty of walks, they are happy anywhere their owners are. Although this is a toy breed, they are far from a sissy breed! On a farm the Pin will try to chase rats, mice and small varmint. Be very careful with your Min Pin. If they are off lead, they will chase anything that runs, or just run for the fun of it. You will find the Min Pin to be fearless, animated, and intensely curious and always full of vim and vigor. Because of their high energy levels and inquisitiveness, the Min Pin bears close watching. They need to investigate everything and will go to great lengths to do so, which includes being "escape artists". You should find dynamite in a small package or something is wrong. Rarely does anyone own "just one", as they seem to grow on you and accumulate. Plan to spend many a night when you turn off the TV because your Min Pins are putting on a much better, and funnier, show.
A Miniature Pincher who is well cared for and properly socialized is a delight to own and will live well into its teens. This is a very long-term commitment that can be consummately rewarding if the decision is informed and well thought out.
Min Pins love to snuggle with their people. They will burrow under covers to go to sleep. They are great for active adult homes. Older Pins love to be lap warmers for elderly folks. They thrive on human interaction: obedience, lap sitting, agility, walks, anything that keeps them near their people. Min Pins are not dogs that do well left alone for long periods of time. Hopefully the information provided here will enable you to decide if the "King of Toys" is meant to "Rule" in your home, and act as the resident "Court Jester" more often than not.
Is this breed good with children?
Children and dogs should never be left alone and unattended, even for a moment. Young children do not have proper dog etiquette, and dogs do not understand a child's behavior. This can result in tragedy with any breed of dog. Like children, each dog is different in personality, energy and patience levels. So, each dog and child relationship should be considered individually.
Some Miniature Pinchers can be good with children, if the children are mature enough to be good with dogs! While this is a Toy breed, they are not toys. While Miniature Pinchers will tolerate a certain amount of attention from a child, grabbing, pinching, sudden moves and aggressiveness will be met with defensive reactions. If the Miniature Pincher is raised around children who treat them in a gentle way and are taught responsible dog ownership, they will adore children. However, if children are allowed to grab at them, hit them or treat them roughly in any way, the Min Pin will run from or bite a child. It is important to realize that even as a full grown adult, the Miniature Pincher is a very small dog. The wrong type of play and handling can easily result in broken bones and worse. Even though the Min Pin is a bundle of energy and will bounce from sofa to chair to floor to bed...dropping one from that same sofa can easily result in unnecessary injury. Always let the Min Pin approach the child, not the other way around and you should have a wonderful companion. Patience, love and good old common sense make a great recipe for raising a Miniature Pinscher with children or adults.
Is this breed good with other dogs in general?
The Miniature Pinscher if socialized and trained properly can be great with other dogs. Although they tend to be dominant breed type. You need to watch them around large dogs. Besides the fact that the large dog could hurt them by stepping on them, you need to make sure your little 10 pound dog doesn't try to put a 50 pound dog in its place! Pack position is important and will affect and vary each dog's acceptance of other dogs.
How easy is training and house training with this breed?
This breed is very stubborn, but wants to please. Once they learn something(good or bad), it is in their mind forever. They make great obedience dogs and agility dogs. Because of their high energy, they do not get worn out like some other Toy breeds. A lot of Toy breed owners choose to pee/potty pad train their small dogs. This saves the owner going outside at 2 AM or in the snow. Because of the natural tendency of the Miniature Pinscher to investigate everything, it is absolutely essential that protective measures be taken in several areas. First, do not leave small objects laying on tabletops where your Min Pin can get to them. This includes paper clips, coins, lipstick, pens, etc. Be scrupulously careful to never leave any medication out and be sure to retrieve any pill or capsule you may ever drop on the floor. Otherwise you may quickly find yourself in the emergency room of your veterinarian, with your Min Pin who found it first. Secondly, you must go over every inch of any yard or outdoor space your Min Pin will have access to. If you find any hole or opening big enough to put your hand through, your Min Pin will find a way to fit through also. Fix it immediately. Additionally, make sure that any doors or windows in your home which open onto an area other than your secured yard have an extra screen, beyond what you normally have. Nothing is sadder than losing a Min Pin because he or she slipped out under your legs while you were signing for a package. Every breeder knows of this inherent danger and will gladly show you how to install special screens on doors and windows to prevent this from happening.
Socializing this breed:
Socializing this breed is very important. Like most dogs, the Miniature Pinscher should be exposed to a wide variety of fun outing experiences while safely on lead. You do need watch this little "King of Toys" carefully around other dogs. They think they are big dogs and they can get themselves into trouble. Once the Min Pin is socialized it loves to play with other dogs! Small breed dogs should be carried up out of harms way when your out around unknown large dogs to prevent injury. If socialized properly, they should have a very outgoing, playful personality. Take your dog out in public as often as you can. Pet stores are great for this. If your dog is fearful, take a pocket full of your dog's favorite treats. Let the public give your dog a treat. The more you take your dog out and let them meet new people, the better dog you will have. The "Little King of the Toy" is always looking for willing new subjects to love and adore it.