AKC Dog Breeds: German Pinscher

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Working Group
Height:17-20 inches   Weight: 25-35 pounds  Color: fawn, red, black & blue with red/tan markings

The German Pinscher said to be Germany's "Best Kept Secret". The German Pinscher can be an ideal companion dog. This rare breed has a sense of humor, is brave, not squeamish, sober, and have considerable stamina. It is lively but docile, quite versatile, and a vocal guard dog. Energetic, watchful, alert, agile, fearless, determined, intelligent and loyal, the German Pinscher has the prerequisites to be an excellent watchdog and companion. As the name indicated, the German Pinscher originates from Germany, and has been recognized there since the late 1880s. 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.

General Appearance
The German Pinscher, also called the Standard Pinscher, is a medium-sized, tall terrier with a strong, smooth, glossy coat that comes in red fawn, black & tan, and dark brown with yellow markings. Black with tan markings is the most common. The coat is very sleek and short and is uniform over the entire body. Each hair is very flat against the body and may be soft to harsh to the touch. The coat should have a natural gleam and sheen and there should be no bald patches on the coat. The alert expressive ears have a natural fold when they are uncropped. Cropped ears are high set. Its long muzzle is bluntly tipped with a medium-sized, black nose. The body is robust and well muscled, like a Schnauzer's. Although well balanced with elegant lines, the breed isn't as sleek and taut as the Doberman. The dog's back is straight and the tail is customarily docked. These are medium sized dogs with a sturdy and athletic build, power, and agility. The gait of the German Pinscher is one of grace and power, with a smooth and fluid movement. The feet do not cross over each other in the gait and remain parallel when standing or in motion. The toes are compact and short, arching somewhat in the center like the feet of a cat.

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.

The strong, smooth, glossy coat of the German Pinscher requires little grooming. An occasional brushing to remove dead hair is all that is needed. This breed is an average shedder.

Health Problems and Life Expectancy

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.

Activity Level

The German Pinscher requires a lot of exercise. They will enjoy running alongside you when you bicycle, playing in the yard, or a walk around the block. Walks per day should also be sufficient. This eager little breed is sure to keep your on your toes.


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