By Amber Webster, Pet Naturals® Graphic Designer
What has four legs, a tail, bat ears, a jellybean nose, beady eyes, and a high-pitched bark that could wake the heaviest of sleepers? If you guessed Miniature Pinscher, you’d be right. If you guessed rat, or Chihuahua, shame on you (just kidding). My husband and I adopted our now six-year-old Miniature Pinscher – or Min Pin – Dora, when we were nineteen. We had absolutely no idea what we were getting ourselves into. Not only had we never had a puppy before; we were distinctly unprepared for the amount of work involved in raising a Min Pin. If you are considering getting a Miniature Pinscher, read this month’s Breed Breakdown!
Don’t get me wrong, Min Pins are fantastic, loyal, loving dogs. But most people aren’t aware that a twelve-pound dog can be a guarding breed. Normally, when someone says “guarding breed,” they are talking about a German Shepard, Rottweiler, or Doberman. But Min Pins are very, very protective of “their people” and “their space.” They need to be extremely socialized as puppies so that they can get used to strangers. Even with all the socializing we gave Dora as a puppy (we were moving between our two households weekly), she is still incredibly wary of strangers. For this reason, Min Pins should not go outside off-leash.
Because Dora is so sensitive to whom and what she perceives as an intruder, she will bark at the smallest noise or movement outside the house. This is something anyone considering owning a Min Pin should be aware of. They are nervous dogs who sleep with one eye open, and even with the most rigorous training regimen, they still bark at visitors. It will be loud, and it will startle you, even if you’re used to it.
High-energy Min Pins require a lot of exercise and have a very strong chew level. Dora is constantly chewing on durable toys and deer antlers to satisfy her need. Soft, low impact toys will be destroyed in a matter of minutes. So unless you plan on being completely engulfed in plumes of stuffing, remember to purchase non-plush toys.
Like many in her breed, Dora is incredibly stubborn and intelligent. She is food-driven and will strategically find ways onto our tabletops and counters, even though she is only a foot tall. As a puppy, she discovered a way to break out of her puppy crate, and as an adult, takes calculated measures to get into places she is not allowed.
Despite the many challenges associated with owning a Miniature Pinscher, I wouldn’t trade Dora for the world. She is incredibly loyal, and loves to cuddle. I depend on doggy snuggles every night, and she is the perfect size to fit in my lap. If you’re looking for a dog who will love you unconditionally, stick by your side every day, and sleep under the blankets with you at night, a Min Pin may be the right dog for you. If you commit to her as much as she commits to you, every moment spent with your furry pal will be worth it.
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