The Miniature Pinscher is structurally a well balanced, sturdy, compact, short-coupled, smooth-coated dog. They are naturally well groomed, vigorous and alert. Characteristic traits are his hackney-like action, fearless animation, complete self-possession, and his spirited presence. Legs should be straight with no bending in or out. The Miniature Pinscher frequently has a docked tail and cropped ears, though the AKC no longer requires ear cropping for shows.
Grooming is easy, as the smooth, short-haired coat requires little attention, needing only occasional brushing and shampooing. Care must be taken in cold weather. Sweaters or baby blankets for a Miniature Pinscher keep it from getting too cold. Miniature Pinschers are an active breed and need access to a fenced yard, or be given a daily walk.
The coat is short and smooth, with no undercoat. Available colors include solid red, stag red, blue stag red, chocolate stag red, fawn stag red, as well as black, chocolate, blue, and fawn with tan points or rust points. For showing in the United States, AKC disqualifies all colors but the solid or stag red and the black or chocolate with rust points. The Pinscher-Schnauzer Club, which maintains the standard for showing in Germany, has the same restrictions. In the UK, blue with rust points is allowed in the show ring. White spots larger than half an inch or black spots on the points are disqualifications for showing in most countries. Merle is not an accepted coloring of the breed.
Miniature Pinschers are for experienced dog owners. The Miniature Pinscher is an assertive, outgoing, active and independent breed. Miniature pinschers are energetic and need a fenced in yard to run in; they make great agility dogs. They are great escape artists and some recommend having a kennel with a lid on it for them to run around in. They are good watch dogs, as they are alert and wary of strangers. It is recommended that adults and teenagers, rather than young children, play with a Miniature Pinscher as younger children play rough.
This is a strong and healthy breed. Eye problems and Patella luxation may occur.