When getting a German Pinscher is it critical to keep in mind that most dogs will adjust very well to any type of home environment provided they are correctly and consistently trained and very well socialized. With that in mind, there are some ideal situations for German Pinschers and some possible combinations of kids, pets and German Pinschers that may be less that ideal for both the family and the dog.
Generally the German Pinscher is a wonderful dog with older children. They are high energy, very playful well into their senior years and ever loving of their family members. The German Pinscher responds well to children's commands providing the children are consistent and do not tease or taunt the dog. Most kids, while not trying to be cruel or mean to the dog, will engage in some teasing sort of behaviors, especially in play. For this reason the German Pinscher is recommended for families with children over the age of six or seven that are used to dogs and understand how to correctly play and interact with the dog. Sometimes, especially with younger children, the German Pinscher may become possessive of his or her space or toys, especially if there has been some teasing in play. This can lead to the dog snapping or starting to growl or use other types of dominant behavior towards the kids.
German Pinschers are naturally protective of their home and yard, so visiting children may be seen as potential strangers to be wary of. Kids need to be taught how to introduce their friends to their pet, plus the dog must be well socialized to prevent any potential programs. Early socialization with lots of kids and new people is very important with this breed, both on and off of your own property. Do not isolate the German Pinscher every time that company comes over, this can actually result in a more protective dog rather than a more social dog. Obedience training can greatly assist in any socialization concerns that owners may have. Generally a well socialized and obedience trained German Pinscher is a delight to be around and will quickly adjust to new people and welcome them into the home and yard with a happy wag of the tail.
As with kids, German Pinschers can be good companion dogs with other dogs and even cats when properly socialized and especially when raised together from puppies or puppies and kittens. It is interesting to note that often the German Pinscher will be great friends with the family cat, but will chase and injure other cats that might wander or stray onto the property. Generally the German Pinscher is good with larger livestock and may even have some natural herding and guarding ability. The breed is not recommended for homes with rabbits, hamsters or other rodent pets. Since they do have a high prey drive and are natural ratters this is not a good combination, even if the dog is socialized with the other pets