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You are here: myPetSmart.com > Breeds > German Pinscher

German Pinscher

Origin: Germany

AKC Group: Working

Height: 17 inches (Male)

Weight: 31 pounds (Male)

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Male height: 
17 inches
Male weight: 
31 pounds
Short, dense, smooth, shiny, close-lying.
All solid colors from fawn to stag red in various shades, black and blue with reddish-tan markings.

The German Pinscher's history goes back centuries. He was a farmer's terrier, used for home protection and vermin control. Although too large to go to ground, he could hold his own against anything aboveground. This breed certainly factors in the lineage of the Miniature Pinscher and Doberman Pinscher and is closely related to the Standard Schnauzer - they are both believed to be descended from the now-extinct Rat Pinscher. As a result of World Wars I and II, the breed nearly became extinct. It was through the efforts of one man, Herr Werner Jung, that it was rescued from oblivion. He searched German farms for good representatives of the pinscher type, and today's German Pinschers can be traced back to Jung's breeding program.

The multitalented and intense German Pinscher has always been valued most for the job that he does, which requires a dog who is highly alert, capable of independent thinking, deliberate and wary of strangers. Intelligent and assertive, he has highly developed senses and is always "on." If his family is threatened, he proves fearless and tenacious. He must have strong leadership or will run the house "his way." He retains a puppy-like playfulness well into adulthood.
At home: 
Ideally the German Pinscher enjoys living in a space that allows him access to the outdoors and room to move. However, he can do well in an apartment, provided he is given the appropriate amount of exercise - at least two sessions of vigorous activity a day. A fenced-in yard is great because it allows him to work off some excess energy. This is not a dog who can be ignored or left alone for long periods; he has a deep desire to be near his family. Make sure to provide him with plenty of toys - he especially loves the squeaky kind that he can "attack."
With energy to spare, the German Pinscher needs a job to provide him with the physical and mental stimulation to keep him satisfied. If he doesn't get it, he will find ways to express himself, and they will probably be less than desirable. His work should include being the family watchdog, securing the homestead from vermin, and participating in all activities - especially games, walks, outings and sports.
The active German Pinscher requires a high-quality diet to keep his body healthy and his sleek coat shiny.
The German Pinscher is quite intelligent and can be trained to do almost anything. He needs a firm and fair trainer to handle him, however, because he learns quickly and becomes bored easily. Channeling his energy is a primary factor in training. Because he is naturally wary and guarded with strangers, he should be socialized from puppyhood.
The German Pinscher is protective of his family, including children. However, this intelligent and sometimes domineering dog is not recommended for families with very young children. They generally get along well with other pets, especially if raised with them, but can sometimes be territorial with other dogs.
The average life span of the German Pinscher is 12 to 14 years. Breed health concerns may include cataracts; hip dysplasia; and von Willebrand disease.
Fun fact: 

The German Pinscher was officially recognized in Germany in 1879.

Grooming blurb: 
The breed has a dense but short coat that stays neat and clean with occasional brushing. Use a glove or soft bristle brush to keep him looking good.
Copyright by T.F.H. Publications, Inc. This document has been published with the intent to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter within. While every reasonable precaution has been taken in preparation of this document, the author and publisher expressly disclaim responsibility for any errors, omissions, or adverse effects arising from the use or application of the information contained herein. The techniques and suggestions are used at the reader's discretion.