The Miniature Pinscher Aficionado's
A-Z Manual to a Wonderful Companion(TM)

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Miniature Pinscher Tail & Ears


Health and natural beauty should come before artificial beauty.


Every type of animal has a set of looks that most expect them to go by.  The style of hair, the shape of their body, and the way their ears and tail look all determine whether the dog is in good shape or not.  If you have a miniature pinscher, you may be familiar with some of the expectations for your dog.  If you are considering the standards to be set for your Min Pin, you also may want to know when to follow the expectations and when to let your dog go with an “all natural” look. 


For miniature pinschers, the expectations begin with the ears.  Often times, the ears will be longer than expected, making them flop over.  Some dog owners want this to be changed so the ears on their Min Pin will stand straight up.  The first thing you should know about this particular attribute for Min Pins is that it is a cosmetic preference, and doesn’t make a difference in how the Min Pins hear or live.  Usually, cropping of the ears needs to take place when the Min Pins are about fourteen weeks of age.  If it is done any later, it will cause health problems, as cartilage can be cut off causing pain and a possibility for the ears to flop over more than they would have otherwise.


I’m glad to see more Miniature Pinschers without their ears cropped. Mine came that way and I didn’t see the need for doggie plastic surgery.  Some owners who rush to get body parts chopped off will miss out on how expressive the long ears are, and how much more character the long ears add to their little companions.  The breeding standard in the United States calls for cropped ears.  In Australia and the UK, however, you can show a Miniature Pinscher with natural (i.e., un-cropped) ears.


If you have a Min Pin whose ears haven’t been cropped, and if your dog’s ears stand up like ours, you might find a lot of people confuse your dog with a Chihuahua. Several years back, it wasn’t uncommon for me to hear one person or another say “hey! Yo quiero Taco Bell! Look, it’s a Chihuahua!”  On the subject of whether or not to crop the ears, my position is that unless you’re required to do this, for example, to “show” your dog in certain countries, don’t do it—it’s just cosmetic surgery for dogs. You Min Pin will be perfectly fine with uncropped ears.


The second expectation for Miniature Pinschers is with their tails.  Often times, the Min Pins will be born with longer tails than expected.  Standards have been set to make the tails shorter by docking them, which means to cut off circulation to the tail so that it can fall off.  If this hasn’t been done by the time the Min Pin is two days old, it shouldn’t be done.  This is because at two days of age, the Min Pin has not yet developed enough bone to feel you cutting off the tail.  After this period of time, the procedure will be painful to your dog and can cause complications.  It is also purely cosmetic, meaning that it is not necessary to have a good and healthy pet. 


Deciding to make changes for the ears and tails of your puppy Min Pin will be a determination made by your expectations for the puppy.  If you want to show the Miniature Pinscher, you will have to apply the cosmetic rules.  For most United States shows, it is a requirement that is made.  This is mainly so the ears and tail will stay completely erect in a competition, allowing the judges to see the way that the Min Pin is shaped. 


If you only plan on having your Min Pin as a companion, you should keep some other things in mind.  The major point to consider is the pain that the dog will be going through.  It has been stated that docking a tail and cropping ears is much like amputating a limb on a human.  The dogs will be uncomfortable and in pain for a long period of time.  You should also keep in mind that if something goes wrong, it can cause infections or other complications with your dog.  If you are considering cutting the tail, you should also consider that this is one of the most important parts of communication for a Min Pin.  When their tale is shorter, it makes it difficult for them to find the same levels of communication with you.

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