Not Doberman Pinschers At All

The term “Miniature Doberman Pinscher” is used often to refer to the Miniature Pinscher, a dog unrelated to the Doberman Pinscher beyond both breed’s land of origin, Germany. While the Doberman’s history is traced to its creator, Karl Dobermann in late 1900, the Miniature Pinscher has a history dating back as far as the 1600’s. The Miniature Pinscher is also called the ‘Min-Pin,’ to the chagrin of its German fanciers who prefer Zwergpinscher (dwarfed-pinscher).

The Miniature Pinscher is classified as a toy breed Terrier, although most experts on the breed will acknowledge that this is no lap dog and would be better listed under the working group as it is a highly effective vermin killer with a long history of brave service to man. It is small; under 12 1/2 inches tall, and has a fearless, independent, and feisty temperament for the job it was originally bred for, killing rats.

When the Miniature Pinscher was first introduced into the United States, its greeting at the show ring was less than warm. Listed under the miscellaneous category, it was simply referred to as ‘The Pinscher.’ After being noted by the AKC that “the dog will appear as a Doberman in miniature,” the name Miniature Doberman stayed in popular reference even today, often causing confusion as to the breed’s origins and leading some to assume the Miniature Pinscher somehow comes from the Doberman Pinscher, which it of course does not.

The ears of the Miniature Pinscher often will stand on their own, like other toy breeds such as the Chihuahua. However, some Miniature Pinscher parents have their dog’s ears cropped, a popular practice with many of the German Terrier breeds. The ear crop not only produces what many feel is a more attractive or aggressive look, it also protects these dogs from injury in their dangerous work by removing easily damageable excess ear membrane and returning natural function to the ear.

Another breed that looks like a “Miniature” Doberman Pinscher is the German Pinscher. The German Pinscher in this context could best be described as a Doberman scaled down to half the size.

However, like the Miniature Pinscher, the German Pinscher predates and is a separate and distinct breed from the Doberman Pinscher. It also originated in Germany and was created from the German Schnauzer by selectively breeding for the smooth coat. The German Pinscher has a similar temperament to the Doberman and may have been on of the breeds used to produce the original Doberman Pinscher lines.

The German Pinscher, like the Doberman Pinscher, has ears that lay long and floppy. To produce the forward standing ear, an ear crop is necessary.

For an individual interested in the gorgeous look of the Doberman Pinscher, but who lacks the space or ability to allow the Doberman his required and intense exercise, the German Pinscher or Miniature Pinscher would not be more suiting.

As the Doberman was bred to put in a full day of intense work, the German Pinscher and Miniature Pinscher were bred to keep a whole farm free of vermin. Even on a small farm, this would include quite a bit of running and dashing around. A prospective owner of either the German Pinscher or Miniature Pinscher must be prepared to provide a similar environment in order to keep his dog’s mind and body strong and healthy.