The German Pinscher dog breed which originated in Germany was earlier known as Deutsher Pinscher. This breed is closely related to many other German breeds such as Miniature Pinscher, Dobermann and Affenpinscher. These loyal and affectionate dogs are becoming increasingly popular as family dogs and watchdogs. They are good companions for active people.
The German Pinscher dog breed originated sometime in the 1600s from other dog breeds such as the 14th century Tanner and the German Bibarhund. A working breed Ratterfanger was developed from Black and Tan Terriers in the 1600s to be used as watchdogs and ratters. This breed is considered the ancestor of the German Pinscher breed.
These dogs were excellent at catching rats and other rodents around the stables, and were greatly valued as working dogs. They were hunters of other small mammals too. They became very popular, and eventually earned the attention of canine enthusiasts in the 19th century. Even though the breed standards were documented in 1884, the breed did not take off as expected. There were few German Pinschers known in the first half of the 20th century as they were among the many breeds negatively affected by the World Wars. They had become nearly extinct during this period.
The German Pinscher dog breed owes its comeback to a miniature Pinscher breed that had descended from it. There were a few German Pinscher survivors in the East Germany. One such female Pinscher was smuggled into West Germany and was crossed with four male miniature Pinschers that were larger than normal. The German Pinschers of today all descended from these dogs.
The breed was introduced into the United States in the 1970s. However, it got the official recognition of AKC as a working Group breed only in 2003.
This medium sized breed typically measures about 20 inches at the withers and weighs up to 45 pounds. The dogs have a square-shaped, muscular body. Their short coat is usually shades of red, fawn, rust, or tan, in combination with black or blue, but according to strict breed standards, only either solid red coat or black and rust is allowed. Since they were working dogs, cropped ears and docked tail were the norm, and this practice is still followed in countries where it is not illegal.
The German Pinscher dog breed is known for its tenacity and courage. Even though they are affectionate and playful towards the members of their family, they remain suspicious and reserved with strangers, both human and canine. There are extremely alert to the surroundings and quick at responding to intruders. This makes them excellent watchdogs.
However, they are known to be stubborn and difficult to train. But these intelligent dogs learn quickly, even though they do not appreciate repetitive drills. When trained well and consistently from an early age, these dogs are generally trustworthy.
German Pinschers normally have an even temperament, and rarely bark. They make excellent outdoor companions for their owners, put they are wary of water, and very reluctant to get wet.
Grooming and exercise
Grooming German Pinschers is quite easy as their short coat only needs a light brushing every now and then to dislodge dead hair.
Being a high energy dog breed, German Pinschers need plenty of exercise and other mentally and physically stimulating activities to stay healthy and happy. They have to be controlled by a firm and consistent person as they have a tendency to become dominant and overbearing.
Even though they can live outdoors, these dogs prefer human company and love being with the family members. They easily get frustrated if left alone in a kennel as they hate to be left out of all the action. Free access to a fenced-in yard during the day would be appreciated, though.
Common health issues of German Pinscher dog breed
The German Pinscher dog breed is a very healthy and long-lived breed. The dogs have no major breed-related disorders, but cardiac problems, clotting disorders and hereditary cataracts may occur. They are occasionally affected by common canine health issues such as hip dysplasia, and thyroid disorders too. The average life expectancy is 13 years, but, with reasonable care, many dogs live for 15 to 16 years.