The German Pinscher is the picture of an athletic dog, even if he or she is not in active training. They have a natural muscular appearance without appearing cobby or awkward and this appearance is definitely enhanced by their ease of movement and their springy and free flowing gait. They just seem to be natural athletes, which they are without a doubt.
Although German Pinschers have only been in the United States for a very short period of time and the German Pinscher Club of America has only been in the American Kennel Club since 2002, the breed is off to a terrific start in achieving high honors in several AKC sponsored events. The German Pinscher can be found in such diverse competitive events as tracking, obedience, agility and a relatively new type of event known as rally.
Each of these events and competitions allows the German Pinscher to really show his or her athletic ability but also highlights the breed's working dog heritage as well as their intelligence and connection to their human handlers.
General descriptions of the various events that German Pinschers excel in are:
Obedience in these types of events the German Pinscher competes with other dogs in various categories ranging from novice to open and utility. There are also two additional competitive categories that include obedience trial champion and utility excellence which are for high level competitive obedience dogs. The German Pinscher is entered into different categories of classes based on experience and overall level of performance. Each dog and handler completes over the same course with a preset pattern of behaviors expected throughout the course. The dog is judged by his or her ability to respond to the handler and complete the course without faults or refusals.
This is often a crowd pleasing event as there is lots of action and excitement. In this event the dog, with the handler in the ring, complete an obstacle course type layout that is preset. Some of the obstacles include a tire jump; an A-frame the dog has to run up, over and down, an open and closed tunnel the dog has to go through, a pause table that the dog has to jump up on and stay, plus a set of poles that the dog has to weave through. Both times to complete the course as well as overall performance of the dog are important in judging.
The rally competition is a bit of a mix of the agility and obedience with the handler and the dog completing to complete an agility/obedience type of course that is not known ahead of the competition. Each station has instructions as to what the dog is to do at the station, and the scoring is based on the dog's performance. Many German Pinscher owners use rally as a stepping off point from obedience into agility.
The German Pinscher can also be used for tracking and even the very demanding schutzhund training that is a true challenge to both dog and trainer.