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ABOUT THE BOOK Miniature Pinschers are a unique, sassy breed with broad appeal. The Miniature Pinscher has been bred over time to handle the specific demands and requirements of farmers, so these dogs have a high-energy personality that does not waver much between individuals. How did Miniature Pinschers make it into the hearts and homes of millions? We can only answer this question by looking back at their history. The Miniature Pinscher originates in Germany, and is surprisingly unrelated to Doberman Pinschers. This breed's closest ancestors are the Italian Greyhound and the Dachshund, both of whom also have sleek, sporty frames. Miniature Pinschers were originally bred to be a hunting breed; they were not house pets, but working dogs often left to their own devices. Their characteristic cropped ears and tail, as outlined in the American Kennel Club's (AKC) guidelines, trace back to the breed's history as a hunter, as ears and tails were often cropped short to minimize the risk of damage and infection from rodent bites or errant horse hooves. EXCERPT FROM THE BOOK Treat your dog with a flea and tick preventative in the spring and summertime. Fleas, ticks, and other insects carry parasites and other illnesses, making them a risk as well as a nuisance. If your dog spends any time outdoors, he should have a flea and tick preventative to ward off any intruders. This keeps your home and indoor pets safe from pests as well. Your veterinarian will likely have recommendations for safe preventatives, so be sure to ask during your annual visit if you are at all uncertain. Miniature Pinschers are fairly healthy dogs, but they are prone to a few breed-specific conditions. First and foremost, Miniature Pinschers' skinny legs are prone to injuries. If you have children, special care must be taken to ensure all play is safe. On a similar note, Miniature Pinschers are prone to kneecap displacement.