The German Pinscher is a dog that is spirited, courageous, bold, loyal, and playful. These dogs have a good natured disposition, and are alert and watchful, as well as determined and protective, which makes them very good watchdogs. Some German Pinschers can be very strong willed and even manipulative, and this makes the breed better suited to those with some experience of dog ownership. These dogs have plenty of energy, and will love taking part in a variety of activities, as well as enjoying play and exercise with his family. The high intelligence and quick learning abilities of the German Pinscher can aid training, but this can be offset by his willful and strong minded streak, so owners have to ensure that they are confident and assertive.
The German Pinscher does love attention from his owners, so this is a not a dog for those that have little time to commit to a pet. German Pinschers have a tendency to bark a lot, and can also be very possessive of belongings. These dogs will get along okay with children that are older and considerate, but early socialization is important. When raised with other dogs, the German Pinscher should be okay, although he can be very dominant, but beware around smaller animals that tend to run, as he does have a high prey drive. This is a very protective breed, and in most cases the German Pinscher will be very wary around strangers, and is a very territorial animal.
German Pinscher Temperament
The German Pinscher has a dense, smooth, and close fitting coat, and the coloring of the coat can vary and includes red, blue and rust, red and black, fawn, and black and rust. When cropped, the ear stand erect on the head, and these dogs have an alert and slightly inquisitive expression. The weight of the German Pinscher is 25-35 pounds, and the height is around 17-20 inches. These are medium sized dogs with a sturdy and athletic build, power, and agility.
The grooming requirements for the German Pinscher are not excessive, which is ideal for those that do not have the time to commit to too much grooming. An occasional brushing of the coat should help to keep it in good condition. This is also a low shedding breed, and this makes these dogs ideal for those with allergies.
The German Pinscher can be traced back to the late 1700's and was officially recognized as a breed in its homeland in 1879. The first German Pinschers were recognized by the combination German Pinscher Schnauzer Club as the breed was used in the development of the Schnauzer as well as the Doberman and Miniature Pinscher. In the development of the Schnauzer and the German Pinscher it was not uncommon for litters to have the smooth haired Pinschers and the rough coated puppies, which would later become the Schnauzer breed. Once there was a clear distinction between the two breeds the German Pinscher Schnauzer Club required at least three generations of smooth coated dogs in a line to be considered a true Pinscher. The breed standard was then developed in 1959 and originally included two additional colors, a pure black and a black and silver. During the years of World War l and ll, the German Pinscher almost became extinct, however one dedicated breeder, Werner Jung, was able to smuggle out a dog and breed him with other Pinscher breed females to retain the standard. It was during this recovery period that the solid black and black and silver (silberpinsch) colors were lost from the genetic lines.
The German Pinscher was originally bred by the farming families of Germany to work as a larger, heavier ratter and protector for the farms. The dog's intelligence, natural athletic ability and their compact size made them ideally suited to hunt in barns and around the farms. They were also historically used as herding dogs and guardians for livestock.
German Pinschers were not brought to America until the early 1970's and the German Pinscher Club of America was not formally established until 1985. The breed was not formally recognized by the American Kennel Club until 2003.
The German Pinscher is a very intelligent dog that will have an almost uncanny ability to sense what owners are going to do and ask. These dogs are ideally suited for obedience training as well as agility events, however they do need to be properly socialized and trained. Training the German Pinscher requires a good understanding of working with dominant dog breeds as the German Pinscher has to learn that he or she is not in charge. They need consistency and a firm trainer, but do best with positive training methods that focus on what the dog is doing right and not using any type of punishment based training. Correction is done by a firm tone of voice and withholding of attention or rewards until the dog performs as per the command.
A key component of the German Pinscher training needs to be socialization with other dogs, people and animals. Without proper socialization the German Pinscher will become very dog aggressive and may also become possessive of their toys, food and area, even with people they know. Working with the dog and completing obedience work and routine socialization will prevent any potential problems. When socialized these are wonderful companion dogs that need little if any training to be watchdogs and with some training can be very effective guard dogs.
The German Pinscher can also be taught to herd and hunt. In obedience classes and other competitive events the breed does exceptionally well as their natural ability and intelligence is highlighted.
The German Pinscher is a healthy and robust breed and has fewer health problems than many other breeds. Some of the health issues relating to the German Pinscher are HD and eye problems. The life expectancy of the German Pinscher is around 12-14 years.