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Min Pin Myths

Hey, nice Mini-Doberman!

Nope, not a Mini-Doberman. Not only are the Min Pin and the Doberman completely different breeds, but the Min Pin is considerably older.Min Pins may have existed as early as the 1600s. Dobermans were developed in the 1890s. Both breeds boast German heritage, but though there are some surface similarities, they are as different in temperament and heritage as they are in size. The Min Pin is very much a small, smooth terrier with much of his vermin-hunting instinct intact. The Doberman is not a terrier at all, but descends more from the molossus breeds, though he may have a bit of Min Pin in him.

What nasty, yappy little dogs

They can be, but they don't have to be. Like all dogs, Min Pins will take shameless advantage of their owners if given a chance. Min Pins that bite often have not been told that's not acceptable behavior. Toy dogs are so small and so seemingly fragile that owners are tempted to treat them like glass. They're easy to spoil and can become little monsters—but only if you allow it. Ask for the behavior you expect and enforce it with kindness, fairness, and some humor thrown in.

That's a funny color!

Min Pins come in six main colors (see the color genetics chart). Of those, blues and fawns are not allowed in the U.S. showring, though they can be registered. Blues are allowed in the UK. I seem to see more pet-quality black and tan dogs and more show-quality reds and stags. I think that's in part because poor breeders cater to the "Mini Doberman" market. Beware any breeder purpose-breeding just for color, especially just for blues/fawns. Blue and fawn dogs can get a skin condition called Color Dilution Alopecia (CDA) though there's dispute in the Min Pin world over how common it is.

I have a Teacup Min Pin!

No you don't. You have an abnormally small dog who may well be plagued by health issues. Why we humans have such a taste for the bizarre and rare is beyond me, but only bad breeders cater to "teacup" sizes (and to "fancy, rare" colors, see above).

Min Pins aren't good performance dogs

Tell that to any Min Pin owner who works one. Min Pins have a love of drive and energy. They're smart, energetic little dogs. Most have high food and toy drive, making positive training easy and fun. They are easily distracted and can lose focus, but get them vested in what you're doing and you'll have a dynamite working partner for anything you want. Min Pins are not seen as often as they should be in agility and obedience, but that's because owners aren't training them, not because they can't be trained.

You can't housebreak a Min Pin

Yes you can. Just like with many Toy breeds, it can be a bit of a challenge, but it can be done. Contrary to what your Min Pin will try to tell you, he can indeed go outside to potty. Yes, even in the rain and the snow. No, he won't die. Many Min Pins aren't fully housebroken because it does take some time, effort, and dedication on the owner's part—much more than it takes for the average large breed. So whether your Min Pin can be fully housebroken depends on whether or not you want him to be and how hard you want to work at it. Read the Housebreaking article.

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