The fact that they have a common name and are similar in looks has many wondering if the Miniature Pinscher and Doberman are actually related. Not to mention the Mini Pinscher comes off as a very good guard dog, presenting a brave front in the face of danger. It is easy to see how one would presume the two are related; however, the two breeds were actually developed decades apart, with the Mini Pinscher coming first. In fact, the Pinscher name was eventually dropped from Doberman because so many other breeds were used to create it; the general feeling was that it did not wholly describe or fit the breed.
Despite the debate, it is widely accepted that the Mini Pinscher is of German origin and was at first referred to as Reh Pinscher. A Reh was a type of deer found in Germany that the Mini Pinscher was said to greatly resemble. Descended from the Dachshund and Italian Greyhound breeds, the Mini Pinscher was developed for the purpose of chasing after and eradicating rats and other vermin. The Doberman that emerged in the late 1800's was bred by Louis Dobermann to only resemble a larger version of the Miniature Pinscher. However, his dogs were created with an exceptional guarding ability to offer their owners protection.
The Miniature Pinscher, or Min Pin as they are commonly referred to, stands at ten to twelve inches high. As ratters, their inherent traits give them tons of energy and they are always looking for something to stay busy with. When properly socialized, Min Pins are welcoming and gregarious. Although ready to give a good bark at the doorbell, they are not prepared to do much else. Unlike the Doberman that was bred for protection, the Min Pin is not really made for outdoor life and spends more time indoors than out. Dobermans typically watch for what approaches, while Min Pins can get into trouble, following their curious natures.
With so many different dogs used in the development of the Doberman and none of the ratios documented, it is likely that its relation to the Min Pin will always remain debatable. Though Herr Dobermann did succeed in creating what looks like a large Reh Pinscher, the two were obviously bred at different times for different purposes. The need for ratters may have all but disappeared in this day and age, but this simply means getting to discover and enjoy the many benefits of the Min Pin as a companion. Interestingly, work has also been put into overhauling the Doberman's guard dog reputation. Min Pin enthusiasts often agree their favorite breed may be small but their heart and their character is the same size if not bigger than that of their distant Doberman cousin.