German Pinscher Guide

Working Dog Breeds

The German Pinscher is a medium-sized dog with a muscular, square build. It is light enough to be extremely agile and solid enough to be strong. It can hunt all day, aided by extremely sensitive senses. If it turns up a rodent, it can catch and dispatch it. If it turns up an unwelcome human, it can sound the alert and adamantly encourage the person to leave. The German Pinscher has found a new niche as a companion and watchdog of ideal size and loyal temperament.

Vivacious, tenacious, and courageous, the German Pinscher is a lively self-appointed property patroller. Ever watchful, the German Pinscher does not bark frivolously, but does sound the alert to intruders. A quick learner, the German Pinscher is nonetheless not inclined to obey unless there's a good reason to do so. The breed is playful and affectionate, and good with considerate children. It can be wary of strangers. German Pinschers may argue over which of them gets to be boss, and they may not be good with small pets -- especially rodents!


FAMILY Pinscher




TODAY'S FUNCTION Watchdog, companionship

AVERAGE SIZE OF MALE Height: 17 - 20 Weight: 25 - 35

AVERAGE SIZE OF FEMALE Height: 17 - 20 Weight: 25 - 35


Energy level High energy

Exercise needs Medium

Playfullness Very playful

Affection level Very affectionate

Friendliness toward other dogs Shy

Friendliness toward other pets Shy

Friendliness toward strangers Shy

Ease of training Moderately easy to train

Watchdog ability High

Protection ability Moderately protective

Grooming needs Low maintenance

Cold tolerance Low tolerance

Heat tolerance High tolerance

German Pinschers like to be in the thick of things and do not appreciate being left outside alone or relegated to a kennel. They are devoted to their family, and ensist on accompanying family members to bed, supervising their housework, directing their gardening, and providing the evening's entertainment. This is a high-energy dog that is easily bored and frustrated if not given a way to stimulate its mind and exercise its body. Grooming is wash and wear; only occasional brushing is required.
• Major concerns: none
• Minor concerns: none
• Occasionally seen: none
• Suggested tests: hip, eye
• Life span: 12 - 15 years
The progenitor of better-known Pinscher breeds, the German Pinscher is an old breed that can trace back its lineage to the German Bibarhund of the seventh century and the Tanner of the 14th century. In the 1600s, dogs with this ancestry or type were mixed with Black and Tan Terriers, creating the Rattenfanger, a versatile working ratter and watchdog. The Rattenfanger became the Pinscher, and it remained a hardworking dog for several centuries, especially valued for its rodent-catching ability around the stables. With the advent of dog shows in the late 1800s, interest in the Pinscher grew. The first Pinscher breed standard was drawn up in 1884. The breed didn't garner immediate favor with dog fanciers and numbers fell. An effort to count, register, and exhibit Pinschers was thwarted by the world wars. After World War II the breed was on the verge of extinction. Between 1949 and 1958 not a single Pinscher litter was registered in West Germany. Now the Pinscher had to rely on its descendant, the Miniature Pinscher, for survival. Four oversize Miniature Pinschers were selected and registered in 1958 by the Pinscher-Schnauzer Klub in West Germany. A Pinscher female was smuggled from East Germany, where Pinschers still existed, and bred to three different MinPin males. Almost all current German Pinschers descend from these five dogs. German Pinschers began their presence in America in the late 1970s. In 2001, the AKC admitted the German Pinscher into its Miscellaneous class, and, in 2003, it became a bonafide member of the Working Group.