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Vicky

none Adult Female

Papaya

none Adult Female

Belle

Italian Greyhound Adult Female

Newman

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Miniature Pinscher

Tags: toy, Small-sized, High energy level, Adaptable to apartment life, Kid-friendly, Protective guardian, Challenging for first-time owners, Requires firm, dedicated training

Hardly a Doberman downsized for hard times, the "toy" dog known today as the Miniature Pinscher (Zwergpinscher in German) actually predates the Dobie by 200 years. My ancestors in Germany included the Italian Greyhound, the Dachshund, and the short-haired German Pinscher. A tenacious barnyard ratter (then) and a loyal family pet (today), my high-stepping gait belies my diminutive (10-12 inches at the shoulder) size. The Miniature Pinscher was admitted to the AKC's Toy Group in 1925.

Rave review

  • Adaptable to apartment life
  • Affectionate, devoted family friend
  • Agile and active
  • Always alert
  • Busy is better than bored
  • Confident and self-assured
  • Courageous canine
  • Energizer doggie

Report card

  • High strung
  • Independent thinker
  • Intelligent and ready to learn
  • Loves kids and vice versa
  • Novice owners might be challenged with this breed
  • Outgoing extrovert
  • Perfect protector
  • Playful pal
  • Ready to romp
  • Socialization and training must start early
  • Spirited
  • Stubborn streak
  • Training must be firm, patient, consistent
  • Willing watchdog

What to expect

I'll let you in on the Mini Pin secret: we don't know we're little dogs and we have no intention of acting accordingly. We have all the energy, passion, work ethic and loyalty-to-family of a full-size dog -- packed to bursting into a "toy." Okay, just go on about your business and I'll continue to surprise.

Watch for

Possible patellar luxation, Legg-Calve-Perthes disease, epilepsy, thyroid disorders, heart defects, and eye problems.

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