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German Pinscher


German Pinscher



Regarded as a rare breed, the German Pinscher today is a highly intelligent, compact, robust dog of medium size which was originally bred for ratting and guarding the horse stables and farms of Germany. The Pinscher is the German equivalent of the terrier (Pinscher actually means terrier in German) and was popular amongst farmers who used them to guard and drove livestock as well as being the farm watchdog.  Regarded as the forebear to the miniature Pinscher and contributed to the development of the Doberman, this dog is also closely related to the Standard Schnauzer.  The Pinscher was recognized as a separate breed in 1879 and even though popular it eventually declined whilst the Schnauzer's increased and may have been due to the Pinscher's short coat not being so well suited to the cold winters.  During the early 1900s numbers were further diminished during the Second World War and a concerted breeding program was recommenced in 1958 to rekindle the breed and probably relied on miniature Pinschers and Schnauzers.  



The high-spirited German Pinscher is very alert and watchful and has been bred with strong guarding instincts, is very sight and sound orientated and has the characteristics of always being 'on the job'.  Although fearless, they can be wary of strangers without displaying aggressive tendencies and it is essentially recommended to obedience train as young dogs.  Early exposure to other dogs is advised due to the breed's dominant nature and they are not recommended for small children.  These dogs are exceptionally loyal to their owners and can become very attached to members of the family and separation anxiety is known to occur if the dog is not provided with sufficient alternate stimulation.



Height:  41-48cm  (16-19in)

Weight:  11-16kg  (25-35lb)

The breed looks very similar to a scaled-down Doberman and has an athletic, sleek and well muscled appearance, displaying a very strong and compact physique.  The smooth, short, glossy dense single coat of the German Pinscher comes in colours ranging from stag red (intermingled black hairs through the red coat), black and tan (as with the Doberman) and red.



Requiring very minimal grooming the German Pinscher is a low maintenance dog.  These dogs don’t really have the usual “doggie” smell and their coat can be cleaned with a rub down of a damp cloth, brushed weekly, bathed occasionally and require their ears to be cleaned and nails need to be clipped.   


Life Expectancy

10-15 Years


Health Concerns

Generally a healthy breed the German Pinscher has no significant health issues other than occasional reports of patella luxation, or slipping kneecaps, which can cause arthritis.



Apartment life is suitable if exercised daily and they are known to become easily overweight if overfed. The intelligent German Pinscher is a relatively “no fuss” dog which only really requires around half an hour exercise per day however to prevent these dogs from becoming skittish they do require mental and physical stimulation such as dog agility or obedience training.  Not recommended for first time dog owners, as training and education of these dogs can prove to be quite arduous.  This breed loves the company of families, although should always be supervised with youngsters. If you live alone, these feisty little terriers make a great companion and watch dog.

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Most Rescue Centres neuter dogs before releasing them and a vet will examine the dog and inoculate it against canine diseases before it is even presented for re-homing.


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