Chihuahua vs Min Pin: What Are 8 Key Differences?

Written by Jennifer Gaeng
Updated: October 25, 2023
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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.

What Kind of Dog is a Min Pin and Chihuahua?

miniature pinscher laying on grass

Chipins may resemble their miniature pinscher parent, shown above, and match their energy as well.


Sometimes when looking to adopt a dog, you don’t know which one to choose. There are so many beautiful breeds to choose from and you may have it narrowed down to a Chihuahua and a min-pin but aren’t quite sure which one is for you. But you may not have to choose either one or the other – you can simply choose the Chipin! They may also go by the names Pinhuahua and Minchi.

The Chipin is a cross between the Min Pin and a Chihuahua and while it may have existed naturally throughout the years, it is believed to have been “invented” in the early 2000s. This small cross-breed is between eight and ten inches tall and can weigh between five and 15 pounds. Their coats are typically short and can come in a variety of colors, ranging from tan to black to chocolate. This mix is thought to be very intelligent, as well as fast learners, and as they tend to be territorial, they should be socialized at a young age.

The photo featured at the top of this post is © Dora Zett/

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About the Author

Jennifer Gaeng is a writer at A-Z-Animals focused on animals, lakes, and fishing. With over 15 years of collective experience in writing and researching, Jennifer has honed her skills in various niches, including nature, animals, family care, and self-care. Hailing from Missouri, Jennifer finds inspiration in spending quality time with her loved ones. Her creative spirit extends beyond her writing endeavors, as she finds joy in the art of drawing and immersing herself in the beauty of nature.

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