The Min Pin, nicknamed the "King of Toys" for its bold and alert attitude and the "Court Jester" for its lively, animated presence, which originated as a ratter in Germany back in 1836. The dogs, most likely related to the German Pinscher family, were a cross between the Dachshund and the Italian Greyhound.
Despite the uninformed notion that Miniature Pinschers, like many other mini breeds, are merely "honey I shrunk the ..." versions of the Doberman Pincsher, they are not related. As a matter of fact, the Min Pin boasts an older heritage than that Doberman. The first Doberman was bred in 1890 by Louis Doberman in an attempt to breed a huge terrier that would look like the little Reh Pinscher. The little Reh Pinscher, originally dubbed such due to their rusty red coat, is what Miniature Pinschers were originally called. So, not only is the Min Pin not a "honey I shrunk the ..." version of the Doberman, the Doberman was in fact bred to be a "honey I blew up the Reh Pinscher" instead!
The original Min Pins, back when dogs had to earn their keep more than today's pets, were little farm hands. Thanks to their small size and with the assistance of their curious nature, they were able to get into tight places and rid barns of vermin.
The breed made its American debut in the 1920's and they were originally shown in the Terrier Group. The MPCA was founded in 1929, wrote its first set of standards in 1935. The standards were revised several times over the years with the latest revision being in 1980.
Although there are four recognized colors for the Min Pin, the reds are usually the ones that take the shows. Personally I prefer the masked black and rust, but the powers that be seem to think their skulls were too round and their muzzles to sharp. Thanks to the MPCA breed historian Janis Mercer, she and her husband started working to breed better quality black and rusts in the 1970's. While the black and rust version has improved over the years, the reds still seem to come out ahead in the show ring.