Harlequin Pinscher

Breed Rating

family friendly:
Dog friendly:
Watch/guard dog:
Affection / Dependance:
Exercise needed:
Space needed:
Tendency to bark:
Grooming Requirements:
Tendency to bark:
Grooming Requirements:

Breed Attributes


Breed group:     Type: Pure Breed    Talent:


Size: Small     Weight: 22-26 lbs     Fur length: Short    Ears: Pointy    Fur type: Straight    Fur Color: 3 Colors, Merle / Spotted / Brindle / Speckled


Life Expectancy: 10-14 years    Rarity: Uncommon    Availability: Hard to find    Climate: Not good for cold climate.

Breed Details


The Harlequin Pinscher (also known as Merle Miniature Pinscher, Merle/Piebald Miniature Pinscher, Piebald Miniature Pinscher, and/or Brindle Miniature Pinscher) is a small dog originating in Germany. The dog is in fact a Miniature Pinscher with a unique colouring. These dogs first came onto the scene in the late 19th century after the Miniature Pinscher were recognized as a separate breed in 1880 and first breed standard was established in 1895. The standard described the dog should have Red/Yellow, Gray-Yellow, blue/tan, Black, Gray like iron or Silver Gray, either one color or with yellow-brow or light red marking at the eyes, muzzle and legs. Of one color, blond, or dirty gray-white or white with black spots.

The Harlequin Pinscher (also known as was a piebald, Merle piebald, piebald variety of Miniature Pinscher. It is believed that these unique coloured dogs were the result of cross breeding of Miniature Pinscher with either some breed of merle hound or Merle herding dog but its exact ancestors are still unknown. These unique dogs not only differed in colouring with traditional Miniature Pinschers but also had different, more laid back kind of temperament. In 1920, the Harlequin colouring was declared a disqualification for Miniature Pinscher and removed from the German Breed Standards and was forced to start a new breed which became known as "Harlequin Pinscher". The Original Harlequin Pinscher breed standard established in 1923 called for it to be 12-14 inches tall being 22-26 pounds in weight. The color variations were Harlequin on a white, gray or black background having a black or self-colored nose according to coat. It has broad skull that tapers to the rather long muzzle. Eyes are brown, black, blue, green or bi coloured. Nose is black, brown or blue. This rare dog stands between 12-14 inches and weighs between 22-26 lbs.Due to lack of knowledge on breeders part, genetic defects caused a decline in the breed numbers.

This breed is very rare and efforts are underway to revive this unique colouring dog. Breeders are crossing standard Mini Pins with breeding stock with dominant merle gene to produce a more healthy Harlequin Pinscher. Currently, the Harlequin Pinscher is NOT recognized by AKC or any other major club.


The Harlequin Pinscher comes in Merle, brindle, piebald or combination pattern.


This dog comes in short, smooth and close-fitting coat that is easy to maintain.


This dog is loyal, fearless and have great temperament to be a family companion dog. This breed will bond itself readily with its family and owner while being equally sociable with other people. Intelligent and obedient, the Harlequin Pinscher is an easy to train dog. The dog is known to be energetic though not as much as Min Pins. It can adapt to any setting provided it is given necessary exercise. The Harlequin Pinscher makes a unique and great family pet with its amiable and loving nature.


Short coat of this dog is easy to maintain. Weekly brushing will be enough to keep the coat clean and healthy.


It is a very trainable dog with its intelligence and willingness to learn. However, the owner should display proper leadership skills from the beginning. As with any other dog, the Harlequin Pinscher should never be allowed to acquire alpha role in the family otherwise this dog will become stubborn and willful.


Daily brisk walk should satisfy this breeds' exercising requirements and primal need to walk. It is a playful dog that will fulfill most of exercise requirements during indoor play but the dog should be taken on daily walks to keep it happy and fit.

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