German Pinscher Dog Breed

German Pinschers live very well with people and are excellent watchdogs.
By: PawCulture Editors
German Pinscher Dog Breed

About the German Pinscher Dog Breed

The German Pinscher originated in Germany around the 18th century. Bred from Doberman Pinschers and Miniature Pinschers, they were used as vermin hunters and guard dogs.

German Pinscher Physical Characteristics

German Pinschers have a small to medium build. The head is long and the ears, in their natural state, are dropped “v” shaped. The ears are commonly cropped (surgically shortened) to stand erect. They have a high tucked abdomen and the natural tail is long and skinny, but is usually docked short.


This German Pinscher breed is most commonly seen in black and tan, fawn, blue, or solid red.


The coat of the German Pinscher is short.

German Pinscher Personality and Temperament

Activity Level



The German Pinscher lives very well with people and is protective over them, making an excellent watch dog.  It is especially fond of playing with toys and is very intelligent and takes to training well. As a highly active breed, the German Pinscher makes for a great exercise partner.

Things to Consider

German Pinschers need to be exercised every day to avoid potential behavior problems. This breed will do better with older children rather than young children and will chase small animals (such as cats.)

*Note: This is not a good breed for the first time dog owner.

German Pinscher Care

Ideal Living Conditions

German Pinschers do best in the country or suburbs, with a large, enclosed yard to run in.

Special Requirements

This breed needs daily exercise and would benefit best if they have a job to perform or are being taught new skills on a regular basis.

German Pinscher Health

The following conditions are commonly seen in German Pinschers:


German Pinscher History and Background

The German Pinscher, one of the most reputed of the Pinscher breeds, originated as the result of the crossbreeding of two older breeds: the German Bibarhund (from the 1200s) and the Tanner (from the 1300s). These strains were crossed with Black and Tan Terriers in the 1600s to produce the Rattenfanger, a good watchdog and versatile working ratter. This new breed then became the Pinscher, remaining a hard-working breed for many centuries and held in high regard for its ability to catch rodents.

The late 1800s saw the advent of dog shows and the growing popularity of the Pinscher. In 1884, the breed standard for the Pinscher was detailed for the first time. The breed did gain popularity for a time, but the World Wars hindered efforts to register, count, and exhibit Pinschers – as the wars did to many breeds at the time.

By the end of World War II the breed was nearly extinct, with not a single Pinscher litter registered in West Germany between 1949 and 1958.

In order to survive, Pinscher breeders had to depend on the Miniature Pinscher, its descendent. In 1958, the Pinscher-Schnauzer Klub of West Germany chose and registered four oversized Miniature Pinschers. Three separate “MinPin” males were bred with a Pinscher female that was secretly smuggled from a place in East Germany, where Pinschers could still be found. Nearly all present-day German Pinschers are descended from these dogs.

In the late 1970s, German Pinschers were introduced to the United States. The American Kennel Club first placed the breed in the Miscellaneous Class in 2001; two years later the German Pinscher was placed in the Working Group.