German Pinscher

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Breed: German Pinscher
Temperament:
protective, energetic
Lifespan:
10 – 15 years
Maintenance:
low
Recommended for:
active families, those who need an alert companion

History

The Pinscher is the German equivalent of the terrier (Pinscher actually means terrier in German). Well suited to catching vermin, the German Pinscher became popular amongst farmers and was also used to guard and drove livestock as well as farm watchdog. The German Pinscher is regarded as the forebear to the miniature Pinscher and contributed to the development of the Dobermann. It is also closely related to the Standard Schnauzer and prior to standardising the breeds both smooth haired (Pinscher) and wire haired (Schnauzer) types were not uncommon sightings side by side in litters. In 1879, the Pinscher was recognised as a separate breed though its popularity eventually declined whilst the Schnauzer’s increased. This may have been due to the Pinscher’s short coat not being so well suited to the cold winters. The small numbers that remained during the early 1900s were further diminished during the Second World War. In an effort to bolster the breed, a concerted breeding program was recommenced in 1958 and probably relied on miniature Pinschers and Schnauzers. In recent years, Schnauzers were again used in Finland in order to increase the gene pool. The German Pinscher is still regarded as a rare breed today. The breed was first introduced into Australia in 1986 and approximately 200 dogs are registered in Australia.

Appearance

The single coat is smooth and shiny. Coat colours are stag red (intermingled black hairs through the red coat), black and tan (as with the Dobermann) and red. Fawn and blue are also accepted though not bred in Australia. The dog stands 43-48cm (17-19″) tall at the wither, just slightly shorter than an Australian Cattle dog. The breed looks very similar to a scaled- down Dobermann and has an athletic, sleek and well muscled appearance, displaying a very strong and compact physique.

Temperament

A high spirited animal, very alert and watchful. The breed has strong guarding instincts, is very sight and sound orientated and has the characteristics of always being ‘on the job’. This disposition and the appearance of some snappy dogs has however contributed to a reputation for being aggressive. Breeders maintain that selection for a stable temperament remains an important issue within the German Pinscher Clubs, and prospective owners should consult a club rather than independent breeders. Although the breed can be fearless, breeders say that it should at worst be wary of strangers without aggressive tendencies. Obedience training of young dogs is also essential. It is a strong-willed breed and early exposure to other dogs is advised due to the breed’s dominant nature.

German Pinschers can become very attached to members of the family and separation anxiety is known to occur if the dog is not provided with sufficient alternate stimulation.

Health and lifespan

There are no significant health issues for the breed in Australia other than occasional reports of patella luxation, or slipping kneecaps, which can cause arthritis. A veterinary surgeon will be able to tell you if your pup is prone to this problem. German Pinschers will live between 10 and 15 years.

Breeding and cost

German Pinschers have no particular breeding problems. Litter size is between five and eight pups and bitches can be very protective of their litter for around the first three days.

Space and exercise

German Pinschers don’t need excessive exercise; about a half hour per day. They are a pretty intelligent dog and mental stimulation is equally as important. This will help prevent the dog from becoming skittish. Dog agility is recommended by breeders. Despite its intelligence, the dog does have a short attention span. Training sessions should be short and direct with plenty of praise and reward.

Maintenance and feeding

The German Pinscher is a low maintenance dog requiring very little grooming other than cleaning ears and clipping nails. The coat can be cleaned by a rub down with a damp cloth. This breed is known to become easily overweight if overfed.

Recommended for

German Pinschers are not recommenced for first time dog owners as training and education can be arduous. This breed especially enjoys the company of families, although the dog should always be supervised with youngsters as its strength belies its size. If you live alone, these feisty little terriers make a great companion and watch dog. To ensure that you purchase an even tempered dog, the German Pinscher should only be purchased from affiliated club members or those breeders recommended by the club.

National contacts

To find up-to-date contacts for breeders, contact the following organisations.

The Australian National Kennel Council (ANKC)
www.ankc.org.au

Dogs NSW
http://www.dogsnsw.org.au/breeders-directory
Email: info@dogsnsw.org.au
Phone: 1300 728 022 (NSW only) or (02) 9834 3022
Fax: (02) 9834 3872

Dogs Victoria
http://www.vca.org.au
Email: office@dogsvictoria.org.au
Phone: (03) 9788 2500
Fax: (03) 9788 2599

Dogs ACT
http://www.actca.asn.au
Email: info@dogsact.org.au
Phone: (02) 6241 4404 – Fax: (02) 6241 1129.

Dogs West
http://www.cawa.asn.au
Email: k9@dogswest.com
Phone: (08) 9455 1188
Fax: (08) 9455 1190

Dogs SA
http://dogssa.com.au
Phone: (08) 8349 4797

Canine Control Council of Queensland
http://www.cccq.org.au
Email: dogsqld@powerup.com.au
Phone: (07) 3252 2661
Fax: (07) 3252 3864

Tasmanian Canine Association
http://www.tasdogs.com
Email: tca@iprimus.com.au
Phone: (03) 6272 9443
Fax: (03) 6273 0844

Dogs NT
http://www.territorydogworld.com
Email: naca3@bigpond.com
Phone: (08) 8984 3570
Fax: (08) 8984 3409
The Australian National Kennel Council (ANKC)
www.ankc.org.au

Dogs NSW
http://www.dogsnsw.org.au/breeders-directory
Email: info@dogsnsw.org.au
Phone: 1300 728 022 (NSW only) or (02) 9834 3022
Fax: (02) 9834 3872

Dogs Victoria
http://www.vca.org.au
Email: office@dogsvictoria.org.au
Phone: (03) 9788 2500
Fax: (03) 9788 2599

Dogs ACT
http://www.actca.asn.au
Email: info@dogsact.org.au
Phone: (02) 6241 4404 – Fax: (02) 6241 1129.

Dogs West
http://www.cawa.asn.au
Email: k9@dogswest.com
Phone: (08) 9455 1188
Fax: (08) 9455 1190

Dogs SA
http://dogssa.com.au
Phone: (08) 8349 4797

Canine Control Council of Queensland
http://www.cccq.org.au
Email: dogsqld@powerup.com.au
Phone: (07) 3252 2661
Fax: (07) 3252 3864

Tasmanian Canine Association
http://www.tasdogs.com
Email: tca@iprimus.com.au
Phone: (03) 6272 9443
Fax: (03) 6273 0844

Dogs NT
http://www.territorydogworld.com
Email: naca3@bigpond.com
Phone: (08) 8984 3570
Fax: (08) 8984 3409