How to Know if Your Miniature Doberman Is Real

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Determining whether or not a dog is a purebred Miniature Pinscher is simple.
Determining whether or not a dog is a purebred Miniature Pinscher is simple. (Image: Apple Tree House/Lifesize/Getty Images)

Miniature Pinschers, also called Zwergpinscher or Min Pins, are not actually miniature Doberman Pinschers. They are a separate breed of dog that predates Doberman Pinschers by about 200 years. The American Kennel Club (AKC) lists the Miniature Pinscher in the Toy Group. Unlike other toy breeds, which are primarily lap dogs, Min Pins are working dogs that need as much exercise as a Greyhound.

Examine the dog's legs and body. Miniature Pinschers have long legs and small bodies. Their legs are straight and parallel with well-muscled thighs and stifles. Their hocks are short and set well apart. Their feet are small and catlike with strong, close knit, well-arched toes and deep pads. The toenails are thick and blunt.

Measure the dog. The Miniature Pinscher breed standard dog should be 10 to 12 1/2 inches at the shoulder. It should weigh about 1 lb. per inch when full grown.

Inspect the dog's coat. The coat should be short and smooth, resembling a Dachshund's coat. Coat colors include stag-red, black, chocolate, blue, fawn and red and may have tan or rust markings. Some may have a small patch of white on the breast or neck.

Observe the dog's ears, tail and movement. Most Miniature Pinschers have cropped ears and a docked tail, though AKC does not require cropped ears in show dogs. The dog should have a quick, prancing gait and tend to be an independent and curious animal.

Tips & Warnings

  • If purchase a Miniature Pinscher from a breeder, then the breeder should provide AKC papers for the dog's parents (dam and sire), indicating the parents' purebred status. Dogs purchased from pet stores or non-AKC registered breeders may provide paperwork regarding the purchased dog, but only AKC certification ensures the dog you buy is an actually a Miniature Pinscher.

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