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The miniature pinscher (zwergpinscher, min pin) is a small breed of dog, originating from Germany. The breed's earliest ancestors may have included the German Pinscher mixed with Italian greyhounds and dachshunds. The international kennel club, the Fédération Cynologique Internationale, lists the miniature pinscher in Group 2, Section 1.1 Pinscher, along with the Dobermann, the German Pinscher, the Austrian Pinscher, and the other toy pinscher, the affenpinscher. Other kennel clubs list the miniature pinscher in the Toy Group or Companion Group. The miniature pinscher is colloquially known as the "King of the Toys". Any group of three or more miniature pinscher dogs together are considered a "gang".
The misconception that the miniature pinscher is a "miniature Doberman" occurred because the Doberman Pinscher (a breed developed by Karl Friedrich Louis Dobermann around 1890) was introduced to the US before the miniature pinscher. In 1919 the miniature pinscher was introduced to the AKC show ring. At the time, not knowing that it was referred to officially in Germany as the zwergpinscher (little biter), the AKC referred to the breed as simply "pinscher" and listed it in the miscellaneous category. When the Miniature Pinscher Club of America (MPCA) was created in 1929 (the year of the breed's official introduction into the AKC), they petitioned for miniature pinschers to be placed in the Toy group. The AKC's description, that the dog "must appear as a Doberman in miniature", led to the misconception common today that this breed is a "miniature Doberman pinscher". The original name for this breed in the US was "pinscher" until 1972 when the name was officially changed to miniature pinscher.
Historical artifacts and paintings indicate that the "min pin" is a very old breed, but factual documentation begins less than 200 years ago, which leaves the breed's actual origins open to debate. There is a drawing by Jean Bungartz, published in 1888 comparing the Miniature Pinscher to the German Pinscher.