German Pinscher – Powerful Family Protector

German Pinscher – Powerful Family Protector

German Pinscher (Deutsche Pinscher) is a powerful, agile, and graceful working breed. This muscular, medium-sized dog that originated in Germany is not the right choice for novices and families with small children.

For the right owner, it will be an affectionate family pet. The breed was bred as a hunter, so you should avoid keeping it with cats and other small animals this intelligent dog will consider prey. Since it is still not common in the US, its price is relatively high.

Everything You Need To Know About The German Pinscher:

1. History

Do you know what does pinscher mean? It is a German word meaning – to seize. It perfectly fits the breed created to kill rats. German Pinscher is one of the oldest breeds in its homeland and direct descendent of Rattenfanger (Rat Catcher, Great Ratter), a breed that extinct in the early 1800s.

Even though it is closer to the Standard Schnauzer, it is confirmed that this dog is one of the progenitors of more popular Doberman Pinscher and lovely Miniature Pinscher.

The first records of the breed date from the 1700s, while the first painting showing this dog dates from a portrait made in 1780. That was the first visible proof of the breed’s existence. This dog was mentioned for the first time in 1884 as Smooth-Haired Pinscher, and the first standard was established. It was officially recognized as a breed in 1895.

German Pinscher history

The last litter was noted in West Germany’s studbook in 1949. After nine years without new litter, the breed came close to extinction. West German breeder Werner Jung revitalized the breed after smuggling one black and red female from Eastern Germany in 1958.

He mated it to four oversize Miniature Pinscher males, and their offspring increased slowly. Almost all modern German Pinschers descend from those animals. Unfortunately, two breed color variations, salt-and-pepper and pure black, died out forever.

German Pinschers were imported to American soil in the late 1970s for the first time. The American Kennel formally recognized the new breed in 2003. Unfortunately, these dedicated family guardians and ultimate watchdogs are still relatively rare nowadays.

2. Personality

This bold dog with guarding tendencies requires an experienced, consistent, patient, and active owner capable of socializing and training it adequately. It is a stubborn, manipulative, and strong-willed animal that will tend to take over a home if you miss establishing firm rules while it is young.

German Pinscher personality

Once the dog recognizes you as an alpha male after testing your boundaries and you gain its respect, you will get a dedicated and faithful buddy. This breed is intelligent and highly territorial, so you can expect this alert and protective watchdog to keep your home safe.

It will adapt to both city or country life conditions as long as you provide it with enough physical activity. Since this dog is active and adores running and playing, a home with a fenced backyard is an ideal option for this beauty.

3. Temperament

German Pinscher temperament depends on heredity, early socialization, and adequate training. You want to bring home a curious and playful puppy willing to approach people without fear and restraint. Start with training the first day it steps into the home. An eighth weeks old puppy is capable of learning everything you teach it. You should pay particular attention to its tendency to jump on people when greeting them and tear up toys. Teach your puppy that it is not acceptable behavior from the very beginning.

German Pinscher temperament

Even though this dog is excellent with children, you should avoid this breed if you have a kid younger than nine years. It will never hurt any family member, but its high energy and enthusiasm can unintentionally put a child in danger.

If you want your dog to accept other pets, you should introduce them at an early age. Since it is a hunter by its nature, keep it away from small pets like rabbits, hamsters, and guinea pigs. German Pinscher is a social creature that enjoys all family activities, but you shouldn’t expect it to be kind toward strangers. It is also an excellent therapy dog for patients suffering from mental health disorders and those who recover from an illness.

4. Size And Look

The German Pinscher size is quite the same for both females and males. It is approximately 17 to 20 inches (43 – 51 cm) tall at shoulders, while an average German Pinscher weight is around 25 to 45 pounds (11 – 20.5 kg). However, it is not unusual to see these medium-sized dogs larger or smaller than average.

German Pinscher
Height17 to 20 inches (43 – 51 cm)17 to 20 inches (43 – 51 cm)
Weight25 to 45 pounds (11 – 20.5 kg)25 to 45 pounds (11 – 20.5 kg)
German Pinscher size and look

There are a few German Pinscher colors, so you can usually find:

  • Blue German Pinscher
  • Red German Pinscher
  • Fawn German Pinscher

It seems that German Pinscher brown and black types are the most common, but some combinations are also not rare, including:

  • Black and tan
  • Blue and tan
  • Red and tan

It is a strong, muscular, and elegant dog with a short, smooth, and dense coat. Cropped erect ears are still desired characteristics.

Many German dog lovers want to know the difference between German Pinscher and Doberman Pinscher. Basically, German Pinscher is an older but smaller breed, with a wider coat color palette than its compatriot.

5. Grooming

German Pinscher shedding is a huge problem. Its shiny, smooth, short coat is dense but generally requires minimal grooming. It will be enough to brush it once a week to remove excess dead hair. Avoid bathing your buddy too often. It will be enough to do that with a mild shampoo two to four times a year.

Checking the dog’s ears is vital in infection prevention. Wipe its outer ears with a cotton ball and pH-balanced ear cleaner, but never put anything into the ear canal. Regular trimming of its nails will prevent painful cracks.

6. Exercising

German Pinscher is a working dog, and you will often find that GP basic profile includes high activity needs. Without adequate mental stimulation and regular exercise, this dog will quickly jump into destructive behavior and hyperactivity, which will make you a serious problem.

German Pinscher exercising

It is active and requires daily walking, jogging, and enough exercise. Always keep an eye on your furry friend while enjoying the outdoor activities to prevent unwanted chasing anything it considers a prey. Leaving this dog without proper training and exercising will result in a bored animal prone to destruction. If you don’t enjoy a high workout level, it is definitely not a breed for you.

7. Training

German Pinscher is an intelligent creature that thinks for itself. It will resist commands that don’t fit its mood. Never intimidate it since harsh training tactics will cause discord between you and your dog. Be careful and patient and encourage its tendency to learn new things, and you will get a perfectly trained guardian.

One more thing! It is crucial to provide crate training on time to help your buddy accept it when necessary. Keep in mind that it is only training, and you shouldn’t leave it alone in a crate throughout the day.

8. Diet And Nutrition

The daily amount of food for each dog primarily depends on its age, metabolism level, gender, and physical activity during the day. Additionally, the food quality is crucial, so you will need to offer less food to your buddy if it is more nutritious.

Avoid leaving food at the dog’s disposal to prevent overweight. The better option is to provide two meals a day, preferably in the morning and evening.

9. Possible Health Problems

German Pinscher is a healthy dog breed, but it can suffer from a few hereditary diseases and some common health conditions, especially when it gets old.

General Predisposition

According to official records, this breed is sensitive to several health problems, including:

  • Cardiovascular problems
  • Respiratory infections
  • Urogenital disorders
  • Muscular issues
  • Dental problems
  • Delayed post-vaccine complications

Genetic Predispositions

Hip dysplasia – This painful inherited condition means that the thighbone can’t fit appropriately into the hip joint. In most cases, it is followed by lameness on the rear legs.

Von Willebrand’s disease – This blood disorder prevents the regular clotting process. As a result, the dog will suffer from bleeding gums, nosebleeds, and blood in the stool.

Cataracts – The occurrence of cloudy eyes in old age.

German Pinscher health

Necessary Tests

The National Breed Club recommendation is that Each German Pinscher needs to pass tests and get:

  • The Orthopedic Foundation for Animals’ CHIC certification for hip evaluation
  • Evaluation for von Willebrand disease (DNA Test)
  • The Canine Eye Registry Foundation confirmation for eye clearance
  • A cardiac exam is not required but is recommended

All test results need to be published in the CHIC database.

Despite to reduced gene pool and health issues connected with this, the average life expectancy for this breed dog is 12 to 14 years.


This brave, agile, intelligent, and strong-willed working dog is an excellent companion for an experienced owner prone to physical activities. The best option is to provide a well-fenced backyard for your buddy.

However, your dog can live in an apartment if you can take it for a walk at least twice a day. Since German standard Pinscher is suspicious of strangers by nature, it is the best option if you look for a guard dog.