Group: Non-Sporting Group
Height: 17 to 20 inches (43-51cm)
Also Known As: Deutscher Pinscher
The German Pinscher’s ancestry dates back to the Middle Ages in southern Germany where he was bred to hunt beaver, badger and otter. By the 15th century, a breed known as the Rattler had evolved and was renowned for his hunting of vermin and protector of the home. There were two varieties of the Rattler: the smooth and rough, and it is believed that the German Pinscher is the descendant of the smooth Rattler. The Standard Schnauzer is believed to be closely related and was originally referred to as the Wire Haired Pinscher. Often mistaken as a small Doberman Pinscher, it was the German Pinscher, however, who came first and inspired the creation of the larger version of the breed. The German Pinscher was also used in the development of the Miniature Pinscher and other Pinscher types.
The German Pinscher is well known for his loyalty, devotion and protectiveness toward his family. He is always alert and vigilant and, if threatened, he will display fearless courage. These traits make him a remarkable companion and wonderful watchdog. He also has excellent natural hunting abilities which gives him a keen sense of prey, drive and determination.
The German Pinscher is a very active, high energy dog and requires daily exercise. He is a dog who loves to have a job to do and the breed excels in several areas, including: Obedience, Tracking, Agility, Service and Show Dogs.
The German Pinscher is a medium sized dog with an elegant appearance. He has a strong square build, is muscular and powerful. His coat is short and dense with a healthy gloss. His colour may range from fawn to stag red, and black with tan markings.
Like all breeds of dogs, the German Pinscher is susceptible to certain health problems, including:
- Hip Dysplasia
- Eye Problems, including Cataracts
- Von Willebrand’s disease (vWD)
- Heart Disease
If you are considering the adoption of a German Pinscher puppy, or any breed, it is very important to be selective in choosing a responsible and reputable breeder. Ensure that the prospective puppy’s parents have all health clearances. Based on the German Pinscher Club of America’s (GPCA) Code of Ethics, health clearances for the German Pinscher should include OFA or PennHip certification for Hip Dysplasia and CERF for eye problems. The GPCA also recommends vWD DNA testing and Thyroid function testing for both the sire and dam. Breeding of any dog should not be done until after they have been proven to be free of evidence of significant hereditary diseases. (For more information on selecting a breeder, see the articles on the General Information page.)
Additional Health Resources:
- Health and Nutrition — Growing section of the Canada’s Guide to Dogs website which includes information on several health and nutrition related issues.
- Canine Health Information Center (CHIC) — Providing a source of health information for owners, breeders, and scientists that will assist in breeding healthy dogs. CHIC is a centralized canine health database jointly sponsored by the AKC/Canine Health Foundation (AKC/CHF) and the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA).
- AKC Canine Health Foundation — Working towards developing scientific advances in canine health.
- OFA – Companion Animal Eye Registry (CAER)
- Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA)
- Ontario Veterinary College (OVC)
- University of Pennsylvania Hip Improvement Program (PennHip)
- HealthGene — HealthGene Corporation is the leading provider of veterinary DNA diagnostic services in Canada.
- Labgenvet — Laboratory of Veterinary Genetics is a Canadian diagnostic laboratory that offers a comprehensive service of DNA tests for veterinary genetic diseases.
- Grooming — This section of the Canada’s Guide to Dogs website includes tips, articles and information covering all aspects of dog grooming along with a listing of Groomers from across Canada.
The German Pinscher is very intelligent, strong willed and determined. With these characteristics, he can be stubborn and manipulative if he wants his own way. He is, however, eager to learn and makes a wonderful companion who enjoys having a job to do. Due to his protective nature, early socialization is a must and overall training should be done in a firm but gentle, consistent and patient manner.
- Training — For training information, see this growing section of the Canada’s Guide to Dogs website for tips, articles, as well as listings of training centres across Canada.
- Clubs, Sports & Activities — For information on the many sports and activities you can get involved in with your dog.
- Working Dogs — The Working Dogs section of the Canada’s Guide to Dogs website provides information and listings of organizations that are involved in various dog jobs, such as Guide Dogs, Therapy Dogs, Police Dogs, Protection Dogs, and much more.
*NOTE 1: CHIC – The Canine Health Information Center “is a database of consolidated health screening results from multiple sources. Co-sponsored by the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) and the American Kennel Club (AKC) Canine Health Foundation, CHIC works with parent clubs to identify health screening protocols appropriate for individual breeds. Dogs tested in accordance with the parent club established requirements, that have their results registered and made available in the public domain are issued CHIC numbers.” To learn more, visit: www.caninehealthinfo.org
*NOTE 2: The Fédération Cynologique International (FCI) is the World Canine Organization, which includes 91 members and contract partners (one member per country) that each issue their own pedigrees and train their own judges. The FCI recognizes 344 breeds, with each being the “property” of a specific country. The “owner” countries write the standards of these breeds in co-operation with the Standards and Scientific Commissions of the FCI, and the translation and updating are carried out by the FCI. The FCI is not a breed registry nor does it issue pedigrees.