Although he's called the miniature pinscher, that doesn't mean he's a Doberman in a little dog's body. He is, however, a tiny but tough dog, who'll do his best to protect you. Those who don't like small dogs might call him "yappy," but he's your miniature watch dog.
Full-grown, mini pins weigh 10 pounds or less and stand about a foot tall at the shoulder. They're known as King of the Toys, referring to their breed size. This member of canine royalty struts proudly, taking deference as his due. His coat requires little grooming and his exercise needs can be met with daily walks. That makes him a good choice for apartment or city living. If you live in a cold climate, he'll need a coat in the wintertime because he has so little hair. Perhaps an ermine robe suits His Majesty?
The min pin is the classic example of a big dog in a little canine's body. An alert and active guy, he's also very protective. Nothing fazes him, including dogs 10 times his size. You might have to protect him from his own misguided instincts. He's smart, confident and curious, which also makes him a lot of fun for the right owner. Pinscher is the German word for terrier, so keep that in mind. Like terriers, your min pin likes to dig and climb as well as chase prey, so if you have a fenced-in yard for him check it regularly for possible escape routes.
As Vetstreet.com points out, the min pin is prone to nuisance barking. That's especially a problem if you frequently leave him alone. On the plus side, no one gets near your home without your knowing it, because your min pin announces anyone's presence loudly and clearly. However, he also announces loudly the presence of any squirrels in the yard, leaves blowing, birds at the feeder ... you get the idea. It's important to train him so that his barking and other behaviors don't get out of control.
With consistent training, you can temper the constant barking and other naughty behaviors. It's important not to spoil your little prince, because if you don't set the rules and limits, he thinks he runs the household. Start by taking him to puppy kindergarten class, continuing through at least basic obedience. Small dogs are often hard to housebreak, and the min pin is no exception. The American Kennel Club advises treating your min pin like a standard size dog rather than a toy. In his mind, that's what he is.
Jane Meggitt has been a writer for more than 20 years. In addition to reporting for a major newspaper chain, she has been published in "Horse News," "Suburban Classic," "Hoof Beats," "Equine Journal" and other publications. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English from New York University and an Associate of Arts from the American Academy of Dramatics Arts, New York City.