Chihuahua vs Miniature Pinscher

Breed Snapshot

Life Expectancy:
14 to 16 years
Size:

Extra Small

Maintenance Level:

Medium

Shed Level:

Low

Best For

Chihuahuas are best for households with no small children or other dominant pets, and retirees or work-from-home parents who can provide lots of attention.

Chihuahua Temperament

Chihuahuas are charming little scamps with an eye for mischief and a sense of bravery that outsizes their physicality. They’re playful pups who enjoy a good romp or game, even though it may not last long (depending on their energy level). And they love to snooze on laps an...

Chihuahuas are charming little scamps with an eye for mischief and a sense of bravery that outsizes their physicality. They’re playful pups who enjoy a good romp or game, even though it may not last long (depending on their energy level). And they love to snooze on laps and cuddle—that is, after all, what they’re bred to do.

They like a lot of attention and are quite portable. But even though they’re easily carried, they do still need to learn how to walk on their own and be able to engage in normal dog behaviors, like sniffing, exploring and playing. In other words, don’t pop them in a purse or a stroller and tote them everywhere—unless, of course, it’s somewhere risky with lots of feet that could hurt a tiny paw, like an airport or street festival.

The Chihuahua dog breed is said to resemble a terrier with their demeanor and can become quite feisty, especially if they feel threatened. Some sites report that the Chihuahua bite force is 3,900 pounds per square inch (psi), but those so-called Chihuahua facts are wildly inaccurate, when a lion is only at 600 psi. (In truth, they usually inflict no more than a Level 1-3 bite, with no puncture deeper than half the length of one of their canine teeth.)

To help your Chihuahua puppy overcome a nipping or protective tendency, socialize them by safely and slowly introducing them to new people and places from the get-go and start training when they are young. Early training will also help this smallest of dog breeds become wonderfully friendly and receptive to all members of the family, including other pets.

Chihuahua Traits

Friendliness
Exercise Needs
Health Issues
Barking Tendencies
Grooming Needs
Shedding Level
Training Needs
Good With Kids
Good With Cats
Good As A Service Dog
Good For Apartments & Small Homes
Biting Tendencies
Energy Level
Good With Other Dogs
Playfulness
Sensitive to Cold Weather
Sensitive to Warm Weather
Good For First Time Pet Parents

Breed Snapshot

Life Expectancy:
12 to 16 years
Size:

Extra Small

Maintenance Level:

Low

Shed Level:

Low

Best For

Miniature Pinschers are best for homes of all sizes, including apartments, so long as they get plenty of exercise and have pet parents who can keep up with their appetite for playtime.

Miniature Pinscher Temperament

With their larger-than-life personalities, Miniature Pinschers are very playful and eager to learn—and show off—new tricks. They’re motivated to explore uncharted territory, whether a hidden corner at home or a path you haven’t walked yet. Extremely loyal to their families, they can be headstrong and a b...

With their larger-than-life personalities, Miniature Pinschers are very playful and eager to learn—and show off—new tricks. They’re motivated to explore uncharted territory, whether a hidden corner at home or a path you haven’t walked yet. Extremely loyal to their families, they can be headstrong and a bit demanding if they don’t get the attention they yearn for.

When you don’t have their attention, Min Pins are strong-willed and have a mind of their own. More often than not, they’re comfortable being independent and prefer to play with their own breed. They do tend to be friendly and make great companions but be cautious of them around strangers and other dogs. Sometimes they can be standoffish with other breeds unless they have a closely matching personality. Generally, Min Pins do better with older kids who will handle them with more care—as puppies, their thin limbs can be easily injured.

Since these small dogs were bred to kill small rodents in the home, it should come as no surprise that they love to work and have a penchant for chasing and capturing small critters. They’re known to pinch prey aggressively when they catch them. In fact, they’re determined to go after birds and small rodents whenever possible.

Despite their small size, this toy breed tends to be highly protective of their pet parents, especially when other dogs are in the mix. They also try to one-up other dogs to make themselves look bigger. Since Min Pins can be feisty, nippy and possessive of resources like food and toys, they may take some time to adjust to households with multiple animals, including cats. Kids shouldn’t snatch food or toys away from Min Pins as your pup may interpret that as a threat. Early socialization from puppyhood is important and will help them be well-behaved members of the family.

Miniature Pinscher Traits

Friendliness
Exercise Needs
Health Issues
Barking Tendencies
Grooming Needs
Shedding Level
Training Needs
Good With Kids
Good With Cats
Good As A Service Dog
Good For Apartments & Small Homes
Biting Tendencies
Energy Level
Good With Other Dogs
Playfulness
Sensitive to Cold Weather
Sensitive to Warm Weather
Good For First Time Pet Parents
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