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German Pinscher

German-Pinscher

An Elegant & Valiant Friend

Energetic, bold, fearless

German Pinschers are alert, curious, and vivacious medium-sized dogs. This courageous breed is a bit reserved with strangers, but gets along great with children and large pets. They enjoy companionship and don’t do well being left alone for long periods of time. German Pinschers make great pets for families with older children, experienced dog handlers, and those who enjoy the outdoors. They get bored easily, so daily exercise and stimulation, both mental and physical, is crucial.

Understanding their unique needs will help keep them healthy and create a strong bond between the two of you. Explore this page to learn more about the breed’s history, health concerns, characteristics, and care needs.

Breed Details

Height:17-20 in. Weight:25-35 lb Lifespan:12-14 years

Size
3

1=small 5=large

Grooming requirements
1

1 = little grooming - 5 = much grooming

Energy level
4

1 = low energy - 5 = high energy

Ease of training
3

1 = difficult - 5 = easy

Affection toward owners
4

1 = independent - 5 = very affectionate

Friendliness toward strangers
2

1 = shy - 5 = very friendly

Routine Care: German Pinschers have a high prey drive, so they need to be leash walked, and a fenced yard is a must. They are well suited to apartment life as long as they are given daily walks and short play sessions. Due to their strong and assertive nature, they are not recommended for homes with small children.

Grooming: They have low grooming needs. Brush their coat as needed, at least weekly. 

Dental: German Pinschers generally have good teeth, and you can keep them perfect by brushing them at least twice a week!

Ear Care: Clean their ears weekly, even as a puppy. Don’t worry—your veterinarian can show you how!

 


German Pinschers are devoted protectors of family and home. They require frequent attention, but you will be rewarded with a constant companion.

Positive Traits:

  • Alert, curious, and busy 

  • Energetic and playful 

  • Protective of family; good watch dog 

  • Compact - does well in small living quarters 

  • Bold, steady, and fearless 

  • Loving and loyal to their owners

     

Negative Traits:

  • Easily bored if not given something to do, which leads to barking and chewing 

  • Can be rambunctious and rowdy, especially as a younger dog 

  • Strong prey drive—will chase and grab things that run, including cats and children 

  • Can be possessive of toys and food, tending to show dominance 

  • Independent and headstrong 

  • Suspicious of and aggressive toward strangers and other dogs if not socialized properly


Whether you are considering adding a new German Pinscher to your family or you already have one as a companion, it is important for you to know about the genetically linked diseases known to occur more often in this breed. Of course not every German Pinscher will have these problems, but research shows your pal is more at risk than other breeds. 

By exploring the health concerns specific to the German Pinscher you will become a knowledgeable and confident pet parent. Be sure to speak with your veterinarian about breed risks every time you visit and educate yourself on the most important signs to watch for at home. They are counting on you to be their health expert.

Some health issues a German Pinscher could encounter:

The German Pinscher, also known as the Standard Pinscher, is an ancient breed that originated in Germany and bred to hunt mice and rats. They make excellent watchdogs and family companions. The German Pincher is a valiant breed; brave, intelligent, active, and agile. German Pinchers can be territorial and overprotective, so early training and socialization are recommended. They are willing learners, devoted to their family, and are not excessive barkers. The German Pinscher is a generally healthy breed with an average lifespan of 12-14 years.

Consult with your veterinarian if your German Pinscher shows sings of the following:

  • Blinking, redness, pain or itchiness around the eyes 
  • Cloudiness to eye lens 
  • General reluctance to run or play 
  • Coughing, especially at night or upon rising after sleeping, rapid breathing at rest 
  • Shortness of breath, cough, or fainting 
  • Fainting, weakness, cough, or shortness of breath during exercise 
  • Excessive licking or chewing, pawing at face and/or ears, head shaking, face rubbing 
  • Dull coat, hair loss, sluggish, weight gain
  • Care

    Routine Care: German Pinschers have a high prey drive, so they need to be leash walked, and a fenced yard is a must. They are well suited to apartment life as long as they are given daily walks and short play sessions. Due to their strong and assertive nature, they are not recommended for homes with small children.

    Grooming: They have low grooming needs. Brush their coat as needed, at least weekly. 

    Dental: German Pinschers generally have good teeth, and you can keep them perfect by brushing them at least twice a week!

    Ear Care: Clean their ears weekly, even as a puppy. Don’t worry—your veterinarian can show you how!

     


  • Characteristics

    German Pinschers are devoted protectors of family and home. They require frequent attention, but you will be rewarded with a constant companion.

    Positive Traits:

    • Alert, curious, and busy 

    • Energetic and playful 

    • Protective of family; good watch dog 

    • Compact - does well in small living quarters 

    • Bold, steady, and fearless 

    • Loving and loyal to their owners

       

    Negative Traits:

    • Easily bored if not given something to do, which leads to barking and chewing 

    • Can be rambunctious and rowdy, especially as a younger dog 

    • Strong prey drive—will chase and grab things that run, including cats and children 

    • Can be possessive of toys and food, tending to show dominance 

    • Independent and headstrong 

    • Suspicious of and aggressive toward strangers and other dogs if not socialized properly


  • Health Concerns

    Whether you are considering adding a new German Pinscher to your family or you already have one as a companion, it is important for you to know about the genetically linked diseases known to occur more often in this breed. Of course not every German Pinscher will have these problems, but research shows your pal is more at risk than other breeds. 

    By exploring the health concerns specific to the German Pinscher you will become a knowledgeable and confident pet parent. Be sure to speak with your veterinarian about breed risks every time you visit and educate yourself on the most important signs to watch for at home. They are counting on you to be their health expert.

    Some health issues a German Pinscher could encounter:

  • History

    The German Pinscher, also known as the Standard Pinscher, is an ancient breed that originated in Germany and bred to hunt mice and rats. They make excellent watchdogs and family companions. The German Pincher is a valiant breed; brave, intelligent, active, and agile. German Pinchers can be territorial and overprotective, so early training and socialization are recommended. They are willing learners, devoted to their family, and are not excessive barkers. The German Pinscher is a generally healthy breed with an average lifespan of 12-14 years.

  • Watch Out For

    Consult with your veterinarian if your German Pinscher shows sings of the following:

    • Blinking, redness, pain or itchiness around the eyes 
    • Cloudiness to eye lens 
    • General reluctance to run or play 
    • Coughing, especially at night or upon rising after sleeping, rapid breathing at rest 
    • Shortness of breath, cough, or fainting 
    • Fainting, weakness, cough, or shortness of breath during exercise 
    • Excessive licking or chewing, pawing at face and/or ears, head shaking, face rubbing 
    • Dull coat, hair loss, sluggish, weight gain

German Pinscher Discussions

Share your thoughts and experiences, ask questions, or just show your love for the German Pinscher breed here!

Select Another Breed

To view the sources for the information listed on this page, see our Dog Breed Guide Reference page.

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