/* CSS+ Rules */ /*-=:m_primary_sub_bgcolor_css:=-*/.menu-primary .wvrx-menu ul li a,.menu-primary .wvrx-menu ul.mega-menu li {border-radius:5px;border:3px solid #CCC299 !important;margin:5px;}/*-:m_primary_sub_bgcolor_css:-*/ /*-=:m_primary_link_bgcolor_css:=-*/.menu-primary .wvrx-menu > li > a {border-radius:5px;border:3px solid #CCC299 !important;margin:5px;}/*-:m_primary_link_bgcolor_css:-*/ /*-=:m_primary_sub_hover_bgcolor_css:=-*/.menu-primary .wvrx-menu ul li a:hover {border-radius:5px;border:3px solid #CCC299 !important;margin:5px;}/*-:m_primary_sub_hover_bgcolor_css:-*/ /*-=:site_title_bgcolor_css:=-*/.wrapper #site-title a,.wrapper .site-title a {text-shadow: 2px 1px #9C9C9C;}/*-:site_title_bgcolor_css:-*/ /*-=:tagline_bgcolor_css:=-*/#site-tagline > span,.site-tagline > span {text-shadow: 2px 1px #9C9C9C;}/*-:tagline_bgcolor_css:-*/ /*-=:page_title_bgcolor_css:=-*/.page-title {display:none;}/*-:page_title_bgcolor_css:-*/

Brief History of the Harlequin Pinscher

To read the full story of the Harlequin Pinscher visit: http://www.harlequinpinscherassociation.com

The Harlequin Pinscher is one of the original patterns that the Germans had, bred and registered as Miniature Pinschers.  As it goes with most clubs when somebody gets in the position of authority and power and decides they don’t like something they change it irregardless of what the eventual outcome will be and the same holds true for the Harlequin Pinscher.

The Harlequin Pinschers history  does run hand in hand with that of the Miniature Pinscher.  The early breeders of the patterned Pinscher however were unaware of the genetic makeup of the Merle gene.  Over a period of years the dogs became decreasing in number due to hereditary defects and eventually went extinct.

A group of ladies here in the US decided to reintroduce the merle pattern to the Miniature Pinscher using contributions from the Rat Terrier.  Along with the merle gene also came the brindle and piebald patterns to form the breed we know today as the Harlequin Pinscher.

A Merle x Merle breeding is considered unethical.

Breed Standards

Other Names:       Merle Miniature Pinscher
Merle/Piebald Miniature Pinscher
Piebald Miniature Pinscher
Brindle Miniature Pinscher
Fancy Min-Pin

Height:  Toy variety – 6-12″         Miniature Variety – 13-18″          Standard Variety – 19-24″

 Group:                Terrier

Weight:     Toy  4-12#                  Miniature 13-18#                       Standard 19-26#

 Coat:     Short, Flat, Smooth, And Tight To The Body


Colors:  Black, Brown, Blue or Fawn with Tan, Rust or Crème points (*ie Black/Tan)
Red, Blue-Fawn or Tan (*solid no points)


 Solid, Bi, Tri, Tuxedo, MERLE, Merle/Piebald or Piebald pattern.   Brindle pattern (*added in 2009)
Combination patterns acceptable.   Additional Tweed pattern possible in association with Merle pattern.


Deer like in appearance being smooth-coated, alert, spirited and structurally well balanced and                     square bodied to slightly leggy.


Quick, yet well balanced & graceful.


 Loyal, and willing to please.  Happy.  Ready to defend family if necessary but eager to make friends.


Companion – Ratting & Hunting



Skull:    Elongated, and broad.  Appears flat and tapers forward toward the muzzle.
Eyes:     Dark, Blue or Green/Gold, bi is acceptable.
Ears:    Cropped, Not cropped, tipped or natural erect.  If cropped must be cropped in proportion to head at 12-16 weeks of age.
Muzzle: Medium and tapering to an unexaggerated point.
Nose:     Black on Black and Red base coated dogs.  Red dogs may also have self colored brown nose.  Brown on Brown and Fawn.  Blue on Blue.  Blue on Blue/Fawn.  Brown on Tan (*added 2009)
Bite:      Scissor
Teeth:   Clean, of correct number, shape and position.


Broad at shoulders, slightly arched.

Topline: Level or slightly slopping toward the hind quarters.
Chest:   Very deep, slightly barrel shaped, well formed with no exaggeration.
Body:    Well muscled, square in form measuring within 1 inch of height from ground to point of wither as from bend of neck to bend of tail.
Legs:     Perfectly straight forelegs.  Length being justifiable to length of body to give a square visual appearance.

​Hind legs are angulated.

Toy: 4-10 inches from ground to point of elbow.  4-12 inches from ground to point of wither.
Miniature:  11-16 inches from ground to point of elbow.  13-18 inches from ground to point of wither.
Standard:  17-24 inches from ground to point of elbow.  19-26 inches from ground to point of wither.


Compact, arched toes, dewclaws removed on both front and back feet.


Docked to be 1 to 2 inches long at maturity, set high.   Undocked tails are acceptable but not preferred and will be placed below same quality dog with properly docked tail in class.

Natural Bobtail is acceptable.

Proportional Appearance:

 Perfect being 1 pound of body weight per inch of dog in height.
Ears cut in proportion to head.
Skull width and nose length in correct proportion for an overall gathered appearance.
Gait: Deer like

Any deviation from the breed standard such as but not limited to height/weight ratio, tail length, dewclaws, improper chest formation, unsocial, overly shy, timid.  Dirty teeth heavily penalized.

Double Merle


Not within height standard.
Not within weight standard.
Exaggerated difference in height/weight ratio.
Coat being anything other than short, flat, smooth and tight to body.
Any color, pattern or markings not listed in breed standard.
Ears not of same set.  Ears that are not cut in proportion to head – Too short or too long.
Any over-exaggeration of confirmation as stated by breed standard.
Dewclaws on any legs.
Bad Teeth, improperly aligned teeth.
Tail docked to short.

Coat Colors & Pattern

There are 3 Primary Colors in dogs being  Black, Red and Brown.  All other colors are dilutions or modifications to these 3 colors.  There are a variety of coat colors and patterns in the Harlequin and Miniature Pinschers.

Main Coat Colors:

1.  Black – Dominant in nature.  Only requires 1 black gene to be black.
2.  Red – Red is dominant over all colors and dominant in nature.  Often referred to as Sable.  Only          requires 1 red gene to be Red.
3.  Brown – Recessive in nature.  Requires 2 brown genes to be brown.

*** Note:  Some people/registries call the brown coat color Chocolate.  Here we will refer to it as brown as that is the proper genetic term.***


To be breed standard  ALL Blacks of  the Min-Pins and Harlequin Pinchers MUST have tan points, ​Black noses, Black eyelids and Black paw pads.  None of these breeds have solid blacks.


Comes in varying shades from light blonde color to a deep dark mahogany.  Red is the lighter genetic type with NO black tipping on hair.  Stag Red is the darker genetic type with black tips on hairs.  ​Nose can be Black or Brown.  Brown nosed Red is the Red dog expressing they carry the brown gene.