A solid fawn (Isabella) to a darker red color, stag red (red with black hairs mixed throughout) black or blue with tan to red markings. No other colors are allowed and no white markings are permissible.
Males 17-20 inches (41-49 cm)
Males and Females 25-35 pounds (11-16 kg)
Females 17-20 inches (41-49 cm)
Females 25-35 pounds (11-16 kg)
House or apartment, needs to be indoors in cold climates and requires a very secure, well fenced yard when outdoors.
The German Pinscher is a sleek, athletic and very balanced looking dog. While smaller in size than the Doberman Pinscher, they do bear more than a slight resemblance to the breed. The German Pinscher may have the same black and tan color as the Doberman, but may also be red, fawn to yellow or blue with tan or red markings.
The head of the German Pinscher is very finely chiseled, bluntly wedge shaped, and very proportional to the neck and body. The skull is flat on the top between the ears and is not domed or rounded. The ears, if left natural, are V-shaped with a fold, and if cropped are carried very erect and towards the center of the skull. The eyes are slightly oval in shape and moderately large and well set, not bulging or protruding from the skull. They are usually a dark brown color, but in the lighter colors some variations can occur. The muzzle is equal in length to the top part of the skull and ends in a blunt wedge shape.
The neck is long and carried very high over the chest with a gentle arch that adds elegance to the dog's carriage and appearance. The chest is deep and low and blends into well developed shoulders and well sprung ribs. The topline or back of the German Pinscher is short and slopes slightly from the tips of the shoulders to the hips, but the dog does not appear to be crouching on the hindquarters. The legs are strong, straight and well boned with visible muscling but not a cobby or bulky appearance. The tail, if left natural, is long and tapers to a fine point. Both docked and natural tails are carried at a level above a horizontal line drawn from the hips.
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 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 German Pinscher can be traced back to the late 1700's and was officially recognized as a breed in its homeland in 1879. The first German Pinschers were recognized by the combination German Pinscher Schnauzer Club as the breed was used in the development of the Schnauzer as well as the Doberman and Miniature Pinscher. In the development of the Schnauzer and the German Pinscher it was not uncommon for litters to have the smooth haired Pinschers and the rough coated puppies, which would later become the Schnauzer breed. Once there was a clear distinction between the two breeds the German Pinscher Schnauzer Club required at least three generations of smooth coated dogs in a line to be considered a true Pinscher. The breed standard was then developed in 1959 and originally included two additional colors, a pure black and a black and silver. During the years of World War l and ll, the German Pinscher almost became extinct, however one dedicated breeder, Werner Jung, was able to smuggle out a dog and breed him with other Pinscher breed females to retain the standard. It was during this recovery period that the solid black and black and silver (silberpinsch) colors were lost from the genetic lines.
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.
German Pinschers were not brought to America until the early 1970's and the German Pinscher Club of America was not formally established until 1985. The breed was not formally recognized by the American Kennel Club until 2003.
The German Pinscher is a loyal, lovable and playful dog that truly enjoys being with the family. They are a great dog with older children but due to their smaller size and terrier temperament they are not recommended for houses with very small kids that may tease or play rough with the dog.
Despite being a terrier and a natural hunter and ratter, the German Pinscher is much more people oriented than most terriers. They are calm and sedate in the house and love to be in the center of the action without being hyperactive or demanding of attention. The German Pinscher has a natural playful streak that makes them and ideal family dog and companion. Highly intelligent, they are generally easy to train but may be somewhat stubborn and strong willed at times.
Like most Pinschers, the German Pinscher is a natural watchdog and a good guard dog even though they are small in physical size. They have a tendency to bark at strangers and will protect what they deem to be their own space and property. Some German Pinschers may become very possessive of their food and toys, so training must start with regards to establishing the human as the "alpha dog" from a young age. The German Pinscher can be dominant with other dogs but with early socialization is a great companion dog for other canines and even cats. Since they are a ratter by nature, they are not suited to homes with small rodent pets.
The German Pinscher has been carefully bred and is not prone to many of the genetic conditions that are found in many of the terrier and Pinscher breeds. hip dysplasia is one of the more common Health Problems found in the German Pinscher and any males or females should be certified as clear from the condition before being bred.
Like with hip dysplasia, testing the eyes for Cataracts should be done before Breeding. Cataract problems are inherited, just like hip dysplasia, and any dog with the condition should be spayed or neutered as soon as possible. Like hip dysplasia, there are surgical and medical treatments to manage and treat the condition and it is not life threatening. Even dogs that gradually lose their eyesight will adjust and can continue to live happy lives with a little care and attention from owners.
Since the German Pinscher is a relatively uncommon breed, it is important to check with the breeders and ensure there are no Health conditions in the bloodlines. The breeder can provide a complete medical history of the mother and father, ideally try to go back three to five generations and check for any Health Problems.
Grooming the German Pinscher is very easy but does require a routine to remove old, dead hair from the coat. A grooming glove or a soft bristle brush is ideal to remove the hair and keep the coat shiny and healthy. Only bathe the dog when necessary and use specially formulated dog shampoo and conditioner. Over bathing can result in a dry, brittle coat and may lead to skin problems such as hot spots and irritated patches of skin. Grooming should also include checking the nails and clipping as necessary. The eyes, ears and teeth should also be cleaned and checked on a regular basis.
The German Pinscher is a playful and energetic dog that does require moderate amounts of time outside in a fenced yard or longer, brisk walks at least once and ideally two or three times a day. They will be rather sedate in the house however they can resort to chewing and destructive behaviors if kept confined or isolated in small spaces for too long.
The German Pinscher is naturally very athletic and makes an excellent jogging or hiking companion. They love to get out and run, but due to their terrier nature they will often chase and not return on command, so a high, secure fence or a long lead is highly recommended. These dogs can jump as well as climb and they love a challenge when it comes to physical activity.
The German Pinscher will excel at dog sports such as Frisbee, Flyball and fetch as well as games such as hide and seek. Since they do have a tendency to be somewhat dominant games of strength such as tug of war or rough play is not recommended, especially when younger children are involved simply because the dog may respond more aggressively than normal in these types of situations.
The German Pinscher is a very intelligent dog that will have an almost uncanny ability to sense what owners are going to do and ask. These dogs are ideally suited for obedience training as well as agility events, however they do need to be properly socialized and trained. Training the German Pinscher requires a good understanding of working with dominant dog breeds as the German Pinscher has to learn that he or she is not in charge. They need consistency and a firm trainer, but do best with positive training methods that focus on what the dog is doing right and not using any type of punishment based training. Correction is done by a firm tone of voice and withholding of attention or rewards until the dog performs as per the command.
A key component of the German Pinscher training needs to be socialization with other dogs, people and animals. Without proper socialization the German Pinscher will become very dog aggressive and may also become possessive of their toys, food and area, even with people they know. Working with the dog and completing obedience work and routine socialization will prevent any potential problems. When socialized these are wonderful companion dogs that need little if any training to be watchdogs and with some training can be very effective guard dogs.
The German Pinscher can also be taught to herd and hunt. In obedience classes and other competitive events the breed does exceptionally well as their natural ability and intelligence is highlighted.