The "king of toys" is quite a dog: loyal, energetic and fun-loving. The family who lives with a miniature pinscher learns that in this case, dynamite really does come in a small package. Whether you're looking for a puppy or an adult, there are several options for finding a great miniature pinscher.
AKC for A-OK
Buying from a breeder offers several advantages, including the ability to select a puppy of a specific color and gender and a reasonable expectation that you're getting a strong, healthy dog. The Internet and classified ads are filled with potential breeders, but purchasing your min pin from an unknown breeder carries the risk you're supporting a puppy mill or buying a dog who may not be in good physical condition. Look for a breeder that is registered with the American Kennel Club, which ensures your puppy is coming from a breeder that's been inspected for proper care, humane conditions and correct record keeping.
Perhaps you aren't up for the challenges a puppy brings, or maybe you want to help a min pin who's looking for a new home. The Internet Miniature Pinscher Service, or IMPS, helps you find a min pin to add to your family. IMPS provides foster care throughout the U.S. for miniature pinschers. While in foster care, an IMPS min pin is evaluated for temperament, spayed or neutered and receives any necessary veterinary treatment. The foster caregiver can fill you in on your potential pal's behavior and personality traits, as well as special training needs -- something that's hard to predict with a puppy. Adoption fees vary according to the dog's veterinary care during his stay in foster care, but the organization offers financial incentives for adopting a miniature pinscher who is at least 10 years old.
Give Me Shelter
Your local animal shelter might help when you're on the hunt for your miniature pinscher. Though it can be a needle in a haystack, you could come across the perfect min pin at the pound. About 25 percent of all dogs in animal shelters are purebred, so you're more likely to find a miniature pinscher mix instead of a pure min pin at the pound. If you decide a little bit of min pin is enough, you can feel good knowing you helped a homeless dog in need -- and maybe even saved his life.
Doing Your Homework
All dogs, whether purebred or a mixed breed, have health risks, though purebreds can have specific health problems. A purebred miniature pinscher is vulnerable to unstable knee caps and a hip disease known as Legg-Calve-Perthese disease, for example. When you choose your min pin, look for indicators of good health, including clear and bright eyes, a shiny coat, a proper energy level and good gait. If he's going to be a family dog, make sure he's good with children and not possessive of toys and food. If he'll be living with other dogs or cats, try to find out how he responds to sharing space and attention with other pets. Whether you're getting your pup from a breeder, rescue organization or shelter, ask questions about his disposition and training, and take time to see how he interacts with you and other family members.
- American Kennel Club: Get to Know the Miniature Pinscher
- Internet Miniature Pinscher Service: Home
- Miniature Pinscher Club of America: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about a Miniature Pinscher But Were Afraid to Ask
- Animal Planet: How to Choose a Dog
- WebMD: How to Choose a Healthy Pure-Bred Puppy
- American Kennel Club: The Right Dog for You
- ASPCA.org: Adopting a Shelter Dog
- ASPCA: Choosing a Puppy from a Litter
- VetStreet: Miniature Pinscher
- Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images