German Pinscher

Protective, assertive, and loyal


Protective, assertive, and loyal

An old German breed, the medium-sized, no-nonsense German Pinscher derives its heritage from early European herding and guarding breeds. It became a distinct breed in 1895 and formed the ancestry of the Doberman Pinscher, Miniature Pinscher, Affenpinscher, and the Miniature, Standard, and Giant Schnauzers.

The German Pinscher’s prey drive gave him job security as a versatile farm dog and ratter. Alert, intelligent, and strong-willed, nothing escapes this robust dog’s attention.

In the wake of two World Wars, the breed neared extinction, but German breeder Werner Jung saved it after finding four German Pinschers on farms, smuggling a bitch from East Germany, and using four oversized Miniature Pinschers in a breeding program. Today most German Pinschers list these dogs in their pedigrees.

Now a member of AKC’s Working Group, the German Pinscher’s devotion to family, strong work ethic, and territorial personality contribute to his ability as a vigilant watchdog. ~Elaine Waldorf Gewirtz

Breed Standard

Official Standard of the German Pinscher

German Pinscher Club of America

General Appearance: The German Pinscher is a medium size, short coated dog, elegant in appearance with a strong square build and moderate body structure, muscular and powerful for endurance and agility. Energetic, watchful, alert, agile, fearless, determined, intelligent and loyal, the German Pinscher has the prerequisites to be an excellent watchdog and companion. The German Pinscher is examined on the ground.

Size, Proportion, Substance: Size – the ideal height at the highest point of the withers for a dog or bitch is 17 to 20 inches. Size should be penalized in accordance with the degree it deviates from the ideal. Quality should always take precedence over size. Faults – under 17 inches or over 20 inches. Proportion – squarely built in proportion of body length to height. The height at the highest point of the withers equals the length of the body from the prosternum to the
rump. Substance – muscular with moderate bone.

Head and Skull: Powerful, elongated without the occiput being too pronounced and resembles a blunt wedge in both frontal and profile views. The total length of the head from the tip of the nose to the occiput is one half the length from the withers to the base of the tail resulting in a ratio of approximately 1:2. Expression – sharp, alert and responsive. Eyes – medium size, dark, oval in shape without the appearance of bulging. The eyelid should be tight and the eyeball non- protruding. Ears – set high, symmetrical, and carried erect when cropped. If uncropped, they are V-shaped with a folding pleat, or small standing ears carried evenly upright. Skull – flat, unwrinkled from occiput to stop when in repose. The stop is slight but distinct. Muzzle – parallel and equal in length to the topskull and ends in a blunt wedge. The cheeks are muscled and flat. Nose – full, and black. Lips – black, close fitting. Bite – strong, scissors bite with complete dentition and white teeth. Faults – overshot or undershot bites, absence of primary molars.

Neck, Topline, Body: Neck – elegant and strong, of moderate thickness and length, nape elegantly arched. The skin is tight, closely fitting to the dry throat without wrinkles, sagging, or dewlaps. Topline – the withers form the highest point of the topline, which slopes slightly toward the rear, extending in a straight line from behind the withers, through the well-muscled loin to the faintly curved croup. Back – short, firm, and level, muscular at the loins. Faults – long back, not giving the appearance of squarely built, roach back, sway back. Body – compact and strong, so as to permit greater flexibility and agility, with the length of leg being equal to the depth of body. Loin – is well muscled. The distance from the last rib to the hip is short. Chest – moderately wide with well-sprung ribs, and when viewed from the front, appears to be oval. The forechest is distinctly marked by the prosternum. The brisket descends to the elbows and ascends gradually to the rear with the belly moderately drawn up. Fault – excessive tuck up. Tail – moderately set and carried above the horizontal. Customarily docked between the second and third joints.

Forequarters: The sloping shoulder blades are strongly muscled, yet flat and well laid back, forming an angle of approximately 45 degrees to the horizontal. They are well angled and slope forward, forming an approximately 90 degree angle to the upper arm, which is equal in length to the shoulder blade. Such angulation permits the maximum forward extension of the forelegs without binding or effort. Forelegs – straight and well boned, perfectly vertical when viewed from all sides, set moderately apart with elbows set close to the body. Dewclaws on the forelegs may be removed. Pasterns – firm and almost perpendicular to the ground. Feet – short, round, compact with firm dark pads and dark nails. The toes are well closed and arched like cat feet.

Hindquarters: The thighs are strongly muscled and in balance with forequarters. The stifles are well bent and well boned, with good angulation. When viewed from the rear, the hocks are parallel to each other.

Coat: Short and dense, smooth and close lying. Shiny and covers the body without bald spots. A
hard coat should not be penalized.

Color: Isabella (fawn), to red in various shades to stag red (red with intermingling of black hairs), black and blues with red/tan markings. In the reds, a rich vibrant medium to dark shade is preferred. In bi-colored dogs, sharply marked dark and rich red/tan markings are desirable. Markings distributed as follows: at cheeks, lips, lower jaw, above eyes, at throat, on forechest as two triangles distinctly separated from each other, at metatarsus or pasterns, forelegs, feet, inner side of hind legs and below tail. Pencil marks on the toes are acceptable. Any white markings on the dog are undesirable. A few white hairs do not constitute a marking. Disqualification – Dogs not of an allowable color.

Gait: The ground covering trot is relaxed, well balanced, powerful and uninhibited with good length of stride, strong drive and free front extension. At the trot the back remains firm and level, without swaying, rolling or roaching. When viewed from the front and rear, the feet must not cross or strike each other. Fault – hackney gait.

Temperament: The German Pinscher has highly developed senses, intelligence, aptitude for training, fearlessness, and endurance. He is alert, vigilant, deliberate and watchful of strangers. He has fearless courage and tenacity if threatened. A very vivacious dog, but not an excessive barker. He should not show viciousness by unwarranted or unprovoked attacks. *Note – Great consideration should be given to a dog giving the desired alert, highly intelligent, vivacious character of the German Pinscher. Aggressive behavior towards another dog is not deemed viciousness. Fault-shy.

The foregoing description is that of the ideal German Pinscher. Any deviation from this is to be penalized to the extent of the deviation.
Disqualification: Dogs not of an allowable color.

Approved November 7, 2005 Effective January 1, 2006

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