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History of the Minpin

Many people who are unfamiliar with the Miniature Pinscher, or Minpin, as it is affectionately known, are under the impression that this breed is a scaled down version of the Doberman Pinscher. The Minpin does resemble the full size breed in color, body shape, and build, but that's about where the similarity ends. Although the ideal Minpin should resemble the Doberman, it is not bred down from that breed. Both breeds were developed in Germany during the latter part of the nineteenth century and both are believed to have a significant portion of the English Black-and-Tan Terrier in their ancestry. However, the Doberman and Minpin are separate and distinct breeds.

Although small dogs, similar to the Minpin, had been know to exist in Germany and in Scandinavian countries for several centuries, the breed was not standardized until 1895 when the Pinscher Klub was formed in Germany. The Pinscher Klub set up standards and stud records for the breed. Because of this, the Minpin has gained so much popularity since the early 1900's that it has even threatened the Dachshund's status as Germany's favorite dog. World War I temporarily slowed the development of the breed, but around 1920, fanciers in several countries, including the United States, began importing stud stock and began breeding Minpins.

In the beginning, Minpins were shown in the 'Miscellaneous" class at dog shows. The breed gradually gained in numbers and popularity, and in 1929, the Miniature Pinscher Club of America was formed as the parent club of the breed in the United States. Since then, the breed has shown a steady growth both as a pet and a show dog. In recent years, many American bred Minpins have won top honors in many leading dog shows.

Many of the most desirable traits of the Minpin are because it was "manufactured" to meet the specification. The liveliness, boldness, alertness, the neat and clean appearance, faithfulness, and affection of this breed is due to many generations of careful breeding. Although there have been dogs similar to the Minpin for many years, the present breed is a tribute to the thoroughness of the German breeders.

Around 1870, Louis Dobermann of Thuringia, Germany, decided he wanted a large dog, built on the Terrier line with the Terrier's grace and agility, but with the strength of a working shepherd dog. He then began the selective breeding that eventually produced the Doberman Pinscher. At about the same time, other German breeders were working to develop other breeds like the Boxer, German Shepherd, and Giant Schnauzer. Soon after the Doberman was established as a breed that produced young of its own type, breeders of smaller dogs began working towards a similar breed, but in the 5 to 10 pound range. They were so successful that the Miniature Pinscher appeared as a dog that would run true to type even before the Doberman itself received official recognition as a distinct breed.

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