German Pinscher Dog Breed Information Guide


The German Pinscher has been well known in Germany for centuries as a ratter, watchdog and companion. Since the standard has been established in 1884, the German Pinscher has narrowly escaped wartime extinction to become a beloved member of the American Kennel Club’s Working Group. The German Pinscher is a tireless entertainer, watchdog and an affectionate companion dog.

Today the German Pinscher is a well recognised breed who is sometimes mistaken for the Doberman Pinscher or the Miniature Pinscher. In fact, these are three distinct breeds with similar German Heritage.

German Pinscher Facts

The German Pinscher is a medium-sized breed of dog, a Pinscher type that originated in Germany. The breed is included in the origins of the Dobermann, the Rottweiler, the Miniature Pinscher, the Affenpinscher, the Standard Schnauzer.

Hypoallergenic: No
Life span: 12 – 14 years
Height: 43 – 51 cm
Mass: 14 – 20 kg
Temperament: Lively, Spirited, Even Tempered, Familial, Intelligent, Loving
Colors: Black, Red, Fawn, Blue, Brown
German Pinscher History
Non Shedding: No
Good With Small Children: No

Although The German Pinscher is recent entry into the AKC’s Working Group, their lineage dates back to the seventh century and to an ancient breed called the German Bibarhund. Several hundred years later, the Tanner and the Black and Tan Terrier were introduced. These later breeds produced the early Pinscher called the Rattenfanger and for centuries, this working dog earned his keep as a ratter an watchdog. It would be several hundred years before the name German Pinscher was established.

By the 1800’s dog shows came into fashion but the Pincher’s lacklustre appearance and utilitarian role precluded him from entry. But, by the late 1800’s, a few fanciers of this breed established a standard. Still, the Pinscher earned only minimal attention and the dismal fate of the German Pinscher was compounded by the World Wars. So sparse was the interest in the Pinscher that between 1949 and 1958 not a single German Pinscher was registered in West Germany. In those grim times, the German Pinscher neared extinction and needed to rely on the Miniature Pinscher for its survival.

Sometime around 1959, the Pinscher-Schnauzer Klub was established in West Germany with four, oversized male Miniature Pinschers awaiting a female. Somehow, a female Pinscher was smuggled across the border from East Germany and was bred with the awaiting males. The offspring evolved into the modern day German Pinscher, and the name was formally recognized in the 1970’s. In 2003, the German Pinscher became a bonafide member of the AKC Working Group.

German Pinscher Appearance

The German Pinscher is sleek and muscular with a short, wash and wear coat. The German Pinscher appears alert and intelligent with ears that sit erect atop his head. The German Pinscher has flat, black eyes and a narrow, wedge-shaped skull. The senses of the German Pinscher are most astute, particularly his keen sense of hearing. This sensitivity is matched only by the German Pinscher’s surefooted agility and grace.

German Pinscher Temperament

The German Pinscher is vivacious, courageous and a bit of a busy-body. He will busy himself in any supervisory capacity he deems necessary. Expect your German Pinscher to oversee housework, direct gardening and to preside over the general functioning of the household – he will always be in the thick of things.

The German Pinscher is not an especially vocal dog and will not frivolously yip. However, your German Pinscher will tenaciously alert his owner to the approach of strangers and he will put forth strong encouragement for the stranger to leave at once. It should be noted that the German Pinscher has a rather broad definition of stranger and it may include people he sees daily – the paperboy, the mailman and your mother-in-law. You really should discourage this response through early training, but then again, I don’t know your mother-in-law.

With children, the German Pinscher is a gentle and obedient companion. Again, he may be a tad bossy and children should be trained to treat all dogs with respect. And, if your children have a rodent of any form in their menagerie, prepare the children for the untimely but certain death of this pet.

German Pinscher Exercise Info

The German needs both mental and physical exercise lest he become bored, and nothing good will come of that. You should expect daily walks in the region of five to eight kilometres with plenty of yard play to follow. The thing to remember about your German Pinscher is that he is a high-energy breed and will find an outlet for this energy. It is far better and cost effective for you to direct your German Pinscher’s energy rather than for him to invent ways to play.

German Pinscher Grooming Info

The German Pinscher’s coat is the crew-cut of dogdom. Few other breeds have such pret-a-porter maintenance regime and still fewer unencumbered by skin irritations. The German Pincher needs only occasional brushing (but you will not likely see any difference) and a bath bi-annually. Even the least groomer-savvy owner can manage these simple demands.

But like most things of ease in life, there is one caveat. What the German Pinscher may lack in physical upkeep, he compensates in mental upkeep. If he is bored or disinterested destruction is quick to follow.

German Pinscher Training Info

Your German Pinscher will need early training to ensure proper behaviour in your home. Those sweet German Pinscher puppies can quickly transform into unruly and unmanageable adult dogs so responsible owners will take heed.

Experts claim that there are several keys to training success. First, use a tasty treat like liver bits as reward that has been specially reserved for training and train before mealtime when treats are especially enticing. Be sure to rewards your German Pinscher immediately following an obeyed command. Keep the session short – ten minutes will do and end each session before your German Pinscher shows signs of disinterest.

Begin training your German Pinscher puppy in a familiar place with few distractions. Make sure the television and radio are off and there are no other people in the area. Next, you can try training in a different room or with some minimal distractions. Soon, your German Pinscher will obey commands on busy streets with lots of pedestrians. This goal is not only achievable, but a necessity for your German Pinscher to live comfortably in society.

If, despite your best efforts, you are meeting with resistance from your German Pinscher, responsible owners will seek professional trainers. It is far better to admit defeat and to open your wallet than it is to have an unruly, overly suspicious, aggressive dog.

German Pinscher Health Info

The German Pinscher is an exceeding healthy breed. No major, minor nor occasional maladies are common in this breed. Some vets recommend to have your German Pinscher tested for hip and eye trouble, but ailments are still most infrequent.

German Pinscher Right Breed Info

When trained and properly socialized, the German Pinscher makes an excellent pet. The German Pinscher is playful, affectionate and will protect you unfailingly. City dwellers with fenced yards will enjoy the German Pinscher’s cheerful disposition and trainability. Rural folks, especially farmers, will enjoy the German Pinscher’s commitment to rat-free farms! On the whole, the German Pinscher makes a lovely pet and he will quickly endear himself into any loving family.

When purchasing your German Pinscher, resist the urge to purchase a dog inexpensively from a pet store or from an advertisement in a newspaper. You may unwittingly buy a mal-adjusted, sick, puppy mill dog. This is to be avoided at all costs.

More Information about the German Pinscher Dog Breed

German Pinscher on Wikipedia