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The Guard – German Pinscher

German Pinscher

The German Pinscher, classified in the working group of dogs, is well known for its elegant, muscular build and its unique cropped ears. The German Pinscher is also known for its docked tail, which was once thought to increase the animal’s agility and prevent certain diseases, such rabies.

A brief history of the German Pinscher

German_Pinscher no imageIt is believed that the Pinscher breed has its roots in various forms of ratters which can be found as early back as the 15th century. Drawings and paintings of the German Pinscher can be found as early as the late 18th century, although the breed did not become significantly popular outside of farming and working communities until the 20th century. IN the 19th century, the German Pinscher was often employed as a guard dog for coaches and homes, where they would be used to protect passengers and homeowners–in addition to catching and killing vermin. Although the breed was popular in Europe for many years, the breed was not introduced outside of Europe, except for isolated cases, until the mid-20th century.


The German Pinscher is a small sized dog with a noticeable amount of muscular strength. Typical adult German Pinschers are about 17 to 20 inches in height at the shoulder and weigh between 30 and 40 lbs. They have square, broad shoulders combined with long and muscular legs, which lead many breeders to call their physique “elegant.” Their coats typically come in black, rusty red and solid red colors, often with black or tan markings on the chest and leg. It is customary for the breed to have their ears cropped and their tails docked. In the past, this was believed to have several benefits–including prevention of rabies, increasing their agility, preventing work related injuries, and making the breed look more fearsome–but today it is recognized that docking and cropping is done mainly for cosmetic purposes.

Personality wise, the German Pinscher is known to be a loving companion when they come from an even tempered breeding stock. The temperament of a German Pinscher is particularly known to be affected by heredity–meaning that the puppies will likely inherent the temperament of their mother. Many breeders recommend potential German Pinscher owners to meet the mother of their potential puppy in addition to examining the temperament of the puppy before adopting–one rule of thumb is to see if the puppy shies away from strangers, which may be a sign of a poor temperament. Generally, however, the breed is friendly and can make excellent family pets. They are an intelligent breed who can be trained quickly, although they do not like repetitive training exercises. Because they are a high energy breed, they do require a few hours of exercise daily.

Did you know? Trivia

  • The German Pinscher breed was on the brink of extinction at the end of World War II, before being introduced outside of Germany into England and the United States.
  • Early breeders began to crop the breed’s ears because of their role as a guard dog—their floppy, loose ears gave them a friendlier appearance.
  • The German Pinscher

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