In this photo you have the Doberman Pinscher (the largest one), the German Pinscher (the medium one) and the Miniature Pinscher (the little one). Although they all look alike except for size...they are not alike. Pinscher is German for "biter".
The Doberman Pinscher was only developed about 110 or so years ago by a German, Karl Doberman. Being a tax collector he needed a protection dog that was fierce but loyal. The breed is believed to have been created from several different breeds of dogs that had the characteristics that Dobermann was looking for, including the German Pinscher, the Great Dane, the Rottweiler, the Thuringian Shepherd Dog, the Beauceron, a black Greyhound, the Weimaraner, the German Shorthaired Pointer, the Manchester Terrier and the German Shepherd Dog. The exact ratios of mixing, and even the exact breeds that were used, remains uncertain to this day, although many experts believe that the Doberman Pinscher is a combination of at least four of these breeds. The single exception is the documented cross with the black Greyhound.
The German Pinscher was bred in Germany and descended from early European herding and guardian breeds. The source of the German Pinscher can be followed back until 1836. Pinschers were used as guard dogs for coaches and their horses. Nobody bothered a coach when a German Pinscher took care of it. They lived in homesteads where they were used to kill rats on their own.
But the Miniature Pinscher is not a "Miniature Doberman". Rather, the breed is much older. The Miniature Pinscher appeared in paintings and sculptures several centuries ago. Developed in Germany from terrier breeds, including the German Pinscher, the Miniature Pinscher's original use was in hunting rats to keep the population down in the stables that it frequented.
Italian Greyhound blood may have been added to produce such a tiny, high stepping-dog. It is NOT related to the Manchester Terrier which looks so similar that the uninitiated would not know the difference. The Manchester Terrier is slightly larger, has a more funnelled face and it's tail i sleft natural. It was developed in England while the Min Pin was developed in Germany. Here is a photo of the Manchester Terrier. There are 2 sizes of them...the standard (larger one) and the toy. A Manchester has close set, almond shaped eyes. Notice the difference in the profile of the head. The Min Pin has a definite stop at the eyes with a finer and shorter nose. The Manchester has a slight tapering with very little stop. The head just funnels right to the nose. The Manchester is one of the oldest terrier breeds going back before 1570 when it was written about. It was developed as a ratter and, later, for fox hunting. Smaller Manchesters were carried in specially designed leather pouches suspended from the rider's belt, (earning the title of "Groom's Pocket Piece"). With their smaller stature these dogs obviously could not keep up with the hounds, but when the hounds ran the fox into dense thickets they were not able to penetrate, the little Manchester Terrier was released. Nicknamed the "Gentleman's Terrier" this breed was never a "sissy."
The Min Pin is a demanding, headstrong, willful, proud, spirited, courageous little dog. They are very self aware and are known as the King or Queen of Toys because of their regal bearing. They are intelligent and high energy little dogs. They are not a dependent toy dog but an independent toy dog. They love their people but they love to have their own way even better. They can be little tyrants. They are as alert as any terrier breed and can be curious to a fault. They need a fenced in yard and to always be on a leash as they will ignore their master and run off on their own when loose. They think it's all a big game and let's have fun running from the desperate owner. And they can run right into danger without realizing it. They are barkers and make good watchdogs.
This photo looks exactly like my Spunky Monkey except he doesn't have cropped ears. He is handicapped so he can't do show stands like this but he is same color and same beauty and same size.
Miniature Pinschers should have a straight or slightly sloping (to the rear) back. They should have a square look, compact and sturdy. They should be 10-12" in height and 9-12 lbs. You will find smaller or larger Min Pins but this is not the breed standard. They can have natural ears or cropped ears. If natural, the ears should be standing. Many Min Pins have folding ears but this is not preferred. The tail should be docked for showing although some owners may leave the tails natural. They have a drop to their muzzle, called a stop. It's not too pronounced but much more so than a Manchester Terrier. Their nose is black except for the chocolate Min Pin which has a chocolate nose.
These puppies show a blondish red, a blue & brown and chocolate & rust.
There are black & tans, reds, chocolate and blue Min Pins. Various shades of red run from a stag red (red with black hairs intermingling) to a blondish red but a rich, vibrant medium to dark red is preferred. The chocolate should have rust red markings. Blues are a charcoal grey with brown markings. Blues aren't considered breed standard but they are pretty. No white markings that exceed 1/2" is allowed in showing. Black & tans should have specific markings. They should have a bowtie on the chest, thumb marks over the eyes, a clown smile around the mouth, rust on the chest and down the lower parts of the legs, inside the hind legs and around their bottoms. Most of them have twin cowlicks on either side of their bottom. They should have black pencil marks over each toe. In the show ring, reds are the color that seems to get anywhere.
Their feet should be small and catlike and have good muscling on the thighs. They do tend to jump and hop a lot. They have a prance like a horse. A hackney like movement.
This baby is ready to go to work with his Daddy! What a cute tie on a cutie pie! Great markings on this black & tan and you can see what a beautiful head he has with his high, alert ears!
Don't overfeed these dogs. They don't know when to stop and can eat themselves sick and can put on too much weight. A fat dog can put too much stress on legs, knees, heart. They don't know when to stop so it is up to you, as the human being with a brain, to feed them quality dog food and measure it out. Keep the dog food and any other food out of reach of the Min Pin. Do not feed dogs human food unless you know what you are doing. There is human food that is poisonous to dogs and other food that can cause them to develop colitis, pancreatitis, bowel obstructions and obesity. These are costly conditions. You will pay for them in the pain of your dog, your inconvenience (taking them back and forth to the vet and medicating and picking up diarrhea and vomit), and beaucoup $dollars$. Do some research before you give anything to your dogs to eat. And don't feed any dog a cheap, grocery store brand of dog food. This is like feeding your children nothing but Twinkies. Your dog will suffer because of the malnourishment. Do some research online and talk to your Vet to find some of the good brands of dog food such as Diamond, Iams, Nutro, Royal Canine, etc. Then try a small bag at a time to see how your dog does with it. Measure it out according to the bag's instructions. No more or no less. It should not cause them to vomit, or have diarrhea, it should not cause them to poop too much or too often (that means it's going straight through them with little value). Make sure their coat stays shiny. Not dull and dusty looking. Make sure their toenails are growing well and are strong. Pay attention to your dog's weight. If it's gaining too much weight, pull back on the amounts. If it's showing ribs then increase it to put some healthy weight back on. These are all signs as to whether or not a dog food is working. You would be amazed at how many conditions, especially skin conditions, can be eradicated with a good dog food. Feed the dogs every day, and, if possible, twice a day. If the bag says 1 cup of food per day then give it half a cup in the morning and half a cup at night.
These dogs are cold intolerant. They are not outdoor dogs. They need to be inside and keep a coat or shirt on them almost all the time. In the summer, mine wear bibs with a piece of elastic around the belly to keep them warm enough in the air conditioning. In the winter they wear fleece coats. They require very little grooming. With good dog food they will have a glossy coat with short fur and bathe very occasionally. I use a wet washcloth if they come in a little dirty. This cleans their feet and between their toes. If they get in mud or roll around in yuck, then a bath is in order, but otherwise they are good to go. Just keep their teeth in good condition and trim their toenails. No brushing, detangling, etc.
They need some exercise everyday but, being a small dog, they can get that in a small fenced in backyard (we have about 1/4 of an acre fenced for them) or some fun chases around in the house (we have a 2,40o sq ft house). They do better with a fellow Min Pin or similar small dog as this gives them a buddy and they exercise each other. It also helps keep them from getting bored. They need some training since they are so headstrong and potty training may not always be easy with a Min Pin. My little girl took 2 years to be 100% potty trained but my little handicapped boy took no time to learn to use the pee pads although he still has an accident once per day (I haven't a clue as to why!?!).
Being bred ratters you will notice that they like to play with small stuffed animals. They will grab it's neck and shake it (like breaking a rat's neck) and then begin to disembowel it. This is their nature. They will tend to grab socks or underwear or even clothes off the floor and take it to their "den" and begin to chew it up. So, as the human with the brain, it's up to you to protect your clothes by keeping them off the floor. These dogs don't know any better, it's their nature. You do know better. And remember, it's not just the cost of a chewed up sock...it could be the cost of a vet bill. Fibers, chewed pieces of plastic, chewed shoes, etc can cause them to choke or get bowel obstructions. This can be deadly and can cost you a lot of money or the death of your beloved pet. So keep stuff like this out of their way. Use the brain God gave you.