The word “pinscher” in German means terrier. The word “pincer” in French means “biter”. Either of these terms is an appropriate definition of the original functions of the German Pinscher, for it is as tenacious as a terrier, skillful and effective as a ratter and equally effective as a family watch dog that will aggressively attack any perceived threat.
The German Pinscher is a breed which is a bit taller than the average terrier and this length of leg prevents it from going to ground. The swiftness and determination of the dog makes up for this deficiency and it is a proficient rodent killer. A good ratter and naturally instinctive killer of varmints, the dog has proven itself to be useful on farms and in urban households. Besides its propensity to give chase to small animals, it is also an effective guarding dog with a noisy bark when strangers appear.
It will not hesitate to attack if it feels that its human family is threatened and it is large enough to do considerable damage. Through the centuries the temperament of this dog has always been a blend of terrier and working aptitudes and in the end it has been classified as a Working dog both within the F.C.I. and the American Kennel Club, while in the Kennel Club of Great Britain and the United Kennel Club of the United States it is classified as a member of the Terrier groups.
During and after the World Wars its population was very nearly decimated to the point of extinction. For eleven years, from 1949 to 1958, there were no litters registered by the F.C.I. In 1959 a fancier by the name of Werner Jung became interested in the preservation of the breed and began an extensive search for possible specimens. He found 4 overly large Miniature Pinschers and some typical Pinschers of the day and began a systematic breeding to reproduce the original Pinscher. It is because of his efforts that the original breed is still in existence today.
The German PInscher is a moderately sized dog, standing at 16-19 inches tall at the withers. The weight should not be more than 25-35 pounds. It has a very short and smooth coat which is commonly black with tan points similar to the Doberman but can also be fawn or red or dark brown. Cream color is disallowed in the standard.
The German Pinscher is an elegant dog but surprisingly never gained the popularity of its larger cousin, the Doberman, nor its smaller cousin the Miniature PInscher. This is a dog that fits well into an urban or farm environment, with an easy care coat and a generally good disposition when brought up with good socialization and early training.
- Courageous, Intelligent, Vivacious
- AKC Breed Popularity: Ranks 134 of 191
- Height: 17-20 inches
- Weight: 25-45 pounds
- Life Expectancy: 12-14 years
- Group: Working Group