The Miniature Pinscher, "Min Pin" for short, resembles a miniature Doberman, even though the two breeds aren't related. Instead, Miniature Pinschers derive from several breeds, including the Dachshund and Italian Greyhound. Min Pins originally bred as rodent exterminators in Germany, so they are very high energy and need a lot of mental stimulation. Teaching your Pinscher tricks can help them remain active so they keep out of trouble.
Miniature Pinschers love to bark, so teaching them to bark on command not only gives you a tough guard dog, but also teaches them when to stop barking! Say, "speak" and entice your dog to bark with play. Then, say "no bark." When your dog stops, reward with a treat or praise. Alternate commands until your dog can recognize both.
You don't want your dog to always appear vicious, so teach it a cute trick that will make it appealing to guests and children. Put your fist right in front of your dog's nose with a treat in it. When the dog lifts its paw, say "good" and offer it the reward. After a few repetitions, start grabbing the hand for a quick shake. Then, start saying "shake" before you grab the paw. Build up to cuing without a treat in the fist.
Miniature Pinschers are small and agile, so they can learn many tricks that larger dogs can't, such as beg and dance. To teach your Min Pin to dance, hold a treat up in the air so it has to get on its back legs and say "dance." Move the treat around so that it will spin and move. Build up to only using your finger and rewarding with a treat hidden in your pocket. Don't teach this to a young puppy as it may cause problems with joints.
Miniature Pinschers have an abundance of energy, which could turn into destructive behavior if not harnessed properly. Use this to your advantage by teaching your Min Pin to pick up its toys. First, teach your dog to pick up a toy on command with "get it" and "drop." Make this into a game with rewards and praise. Then, teach your dog to "get it" and lead it to a toy box. Say a command such as "pick up your toys." Say, "drop" once you reach the toy box. Reward with a treat. Repeat the game until your dog knows where to put the toys!
- Miniature Pinscher image by Jessica Triplet from Fotolia.com