Chihuahua vs Min Pin: What Are 8 Key Differences?

Written by Jennifer Gaeng
Published: April 2, 2022
© Dora Zett/
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Miniature Pinschers and Chihuahuas are both very small dogs that share many traits. It’s no wonder most people mix up these two dog breeds. But don’t be fooled, these two differ greatly. In this post, we will compare the Chihuahua with Miniature Pinscher (Min Pin) in terms of looks, traits, and health.

Chihuahua vs Min Pin: A Comparison 

dog food for Chihuahuas
The Chihuahua is the world’s tiniest dog, standing between 6 to 9 inches.


Key DifferencesChihuahuaMiniature Pinscher (Min Pin)
Height6 – 9 inches10 – 12 inches
Weight2 to 6 lbs.8 to 10 lbs.
Coat typeFineRough
ColorsChocolate, Fawn, Tan, Cream, Red, BlackRust, Chocolate, Red, Tan, Black
TemperamentAlert, Devoted, Lively, QuickClever, Playful, Energetic, Outgoing
Energy LevelsAverageAbove Average
Life Expectancy14 to 18 Years12 to 15 Years
Health ProblemsCollapsed Trachea, Heart Murmurs, ShiveringEpilepsy, Hypothyroidism, PRA

Key Differences Between Chihuahua vs Min Pin

Miniature pinscher - isolated
Miniature pinscher – stands between 10 to 12 inches tall.

©Dora Zett/

Because they are both little canines, the Miniature Pinscher and Chihuahua can look alike. But they are different very breeds. For example, Min Pin’s head is elongated, and their bodies are square. The Chihuahua can have varying head shapes such as Deer Heads or Appleheads. Let’s touch more on their appearance.


Chihuahua Puppy
Tiny, curious, and devoted, the Chihuahua is a very charismatic breed.


Chihuahua vs Min Pin: Height

Chihuahuas are known as the world’s tiniest dogs. They can be anywhere from 6 to 9 inches tall. Male and female Min Pins range in height from 10 to 12.5 inches. The Min Pin is commonly referred to as the King of Toys, despite their diminutive stature.

Chihuahua vs Min Pin: Weight

Chihuahuas weigh between 2 and 6 pounds on average. Min Pins are between 8 and 11 pounds in weight.

Chihuahua vs Min Pin: Coat Type

A miniature pinscher’s coat is wiry, short, and stiff. Despite its low shedding, you should expect your min-pin to shed from time to time. As it turns out, it’s very easy to keep this under control.

The Chihuahua has two coat types: short-haired and long-haired. The sleek, straight coat of the Chihuahua sits close to his body. It’s not thin, nor is it thick – it’s in the middle. The long coat is longer than other little dogs’ coats, but it doesn’t fall to the floor. The ears, mane, underbelly, and tail are thicker. Longer coats shed as much as short-haired Chihuahuas.

Chihuahua vs Min Pin: Colors

Chihuahuas are one of the world’s most colorful dog breeds. It’s easy to see why kennel clubs only accept a few. However, the AKC says “any color: solid, marked, or splashed” is permissible for Chihuahuas. Common colors include chocolate, fawn, tan, cream, red, and black.

Among the Min Pin colors are solid red, stag red, blue stag red, chocolate stag red, and fawn stag red with tan or rust points. The AKC disqualifies all colors except solid red, black, or chocolate with rust points.


Miniature pinscher - sitting on rock in water
Miniature pinscher – an alert, watchful dog, is also sensitive and loving.


Chihuahua vs Min Pin: Temperament

The Min Pin is a self-assured pup. These dogs are fearless, vigilant, and inquisitive. They are good watchdogs since they are naturally curious and alert. Miniature pinschers enjoy being the center of attention and separation anxiety occurs when they are left alone for too long. They get along with children, however, they are very possessive of their food and toys, even against children. Most Miniature Pinschers are dominant or aggressive towards other dogs as well.

Chihuahuas are inherently territorial and protective of their owners. They show their teeth, snarl, bark, and bite when they are scared and need to defend themselves. This breed’s alertness and wariness of strangers make them great watchdogs. They are also loving but sensitive. They are reserved among outsiders and typically bond with one family member. However, Chihuahuas can be pleasant and accepting of others if well socialized early on.

Chihuahua vs Min Pin: Energy Levels

Despite their small stature, both the Chihuahua and the Miniature Pinscher are active and need regular exercise. Chihuahuas love to play and will do so for as long as you let them. They enjoy fetching toys, touring the neighborhood, and playing in the backyard.

Min Pins have a lot of energy. As a result, they are best suited for people who are physically active and love a good challenge. Miniature pinschers are a high-energy breed that needs a lot of space to play. Both types enjoy playing outside, but they should be kept indoors because they are vulnerable to larger dogs, hawks, and other predators.

Health Factors

Royal Canin Chihuahua
Chihuahuas are the longest living dog breed, living up to 20 years.

©Chaisit Rattanachusri/

Chihuahua vs Min Pin: Life Expectancy

The average lifespan of a Miniature Pinscher is 12 to 15 years; however, these pups have been known to survive up to 16 years. Many factors, including your dog’s nutrition and exercise routine, might influence their life expectancy. The Chihuahua is a healthy breed that lives for 14-18 years on average. Some even live as long as 20 years! They are one of the longest-living dog breeds.

Chihuahua vs Min Pin: Health Problems

Chihuahuas can contract parvo, rabies, and distemper, all of which are bacterial and viral disorders. Many of these ailments can be prevented by vaccination, especially as they age. It is possible for the Miniature Pinscher to suffer from Legg-Perthes disease, patellar luxation, hypothyroidism, and cardiac problems. They are also known to suffer from PRA, a disorder known as “progressive retinal atrophy” which refers to the slow degeneration of the retina.

Wrapping Up Chihuahua vs Min Pin

Miniature pinscher - red min-pin portrait
Miniature pinscher – this dog can live between 12 to 15 years.


There is no such thing as a better or worse dog breed. What matters is that the breed you choose best suits your interests and lifestyle. Both the Min Pin and the Chihuahua are known to be ideal family dogs. They are smart, but the Miniature Pinscher is more independent and difficult to govern than Chihuahuas. Both may live anywhere as long as they get to spend lots of time with their owners.

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The Featured Image

Miniature pinscher - isolated
Miniature pinscher - isolated
© Dora Zett/

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About the Author

A substantial part of my life has been spent as a writer and artist, with great respect to observing nature with an analytical and metaphysical eye. Upon close investigation, the natural world exposes truths far beyond the obvious. For me, the source of all that we are is embodied in our planet; and the process of writing and creating art around this topic is an attempt to communicate its wonders.

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