German Pinscher

Breed History

German Pinscher

German Pinscher is a medium size dog with a solid built and straight ears. Tails are docked after birth and they are some of the best ratters due to their speed and agility.

Coming from Germany they are one of the oldest breeds to come from this land. They are known to be an ancestor to both the Doberman and the Miniature Pinscher helping shape their look colors and breed standard.

Schnauzers and Pinschers are closer in bloodline than any breed that was an offshoot of them. In fact, German Pinschers and Schnauzers were the same dog with different coat variations smooth and wired.

Splitting one would start with a brand-new name of Schnauzer and the other one would remain a Pinscher which was the smooth coat in the 20th century.  

Like the Terrier in appearance they would hold no relationships to the Terrier bloodline that would form in different parts of United Kingdom.

During the World War being in the region of Germany they would face extinction and suffer low numbers of German Pinscher due to the war.

Since they were the dogs that would help shape the Miniature Pinscher, they would be the breed that would save the German Pinscher. Every GP today has a relation to the Miniature Pinscher because of the duty to save the breed when their numbers were too low.

Coming to America at a late date they would arrive in the 1970’s and wouldn’t receive recognition for several decades after they came to the States.


In 2003, they would receive official recognition from the American Kennel Club. After a long period of helping other breeds form into a similar version, almost facing extinction after WWII, and bouncing back with the help of friends they are back better than ever.

Top 130 in popularity they are still gaining popularity being a late arrival to the Kennel Club. Miniature Pinschers and Doberman Pinschers dominate in terms of popularity, but they are still coming along fine.

Working Group, Terrier, and Non-Sporting Group different kennel clubs have different opinions about where to place the German Pinscher. Differences like this are rare amongst different kennel clubs.

Here are the different kennel clubs and their breed standards.


Male Height: 17-20 inches

Female Height: 16-18 inches

Male Weight: 35-45 pounds

Female Weight: 25-35 pounds

Litter Size

6 puppies are the average litter size for the German Pinscher. Breeders should be aware of how many puppies to expect when breeding. Best practice is to keep the puppies until they are at least eight weeks of age before selling to a responsible owner.


  • Black
  • Brown
  • Fawn
  • Red
  • Blue


  • Red
  • Tan


$1,000-$2,000 is the average price for a German Pinscher. Prices vary depending on location, currency, supply, demand and other factors can change the cost.

Registration will cost more because of the strict adherence to the breed standard, colors, and physical features. Tracking the bloodline from Germany to whatever country you come from.

Puppies will cost the most with papers than without papers. Without papers puppies will cost a few hundred buck but come with some caution.

One, or both parents, were not allowed to receive papers probably due to crossbreeding.


Take the dog on a long walk or run before you start the grooming session. Understanding how to get great behavior and turning it into a process will change the way this process is seen from the owner and dog’s point of view. Using a leash is a great idea to communicate you want them to stand still.

  1. Brushing
  2. Bathing
  3. Ears
  4. Nails
  5. Professional Help

Brushing the coat should happen at least once per week for ideal results.

Bathe the dog after a long run or walk and it will serve as a nice cool down. Drinking from the hose and getting a cold wash after being hot from running will be a great experience for the dog.

Ears should be clean at least once per week to avoid infection. Constant head shaking, scratching the ears, and development of an odor are all symptoms of an ear infection.

Trimming the nails should happen during walking or running, which we recommend. If you don’t exercise, which we don’t recommend, cut them with nails.

Professional help is not a recommendation.

Life Span

12-14 years is the lifespan for a German Pinscher. Owners should be aware of how long this dog lives and make the commitment to keep them the entire time. Great dog to adopt due to how long they live.

Health Issues

Hip Dysplasia – is a condition where the hip socket has an issue concerning the leg bone. Dogs will show a disinterest in exercising especially running. Getting the examination around 24 months of age is the best practice unless the dog showing discomfort at an earlier age.

Cardiac Exam – heart disease is something that can affect dogs when they get older from eating kibble that isn’t good for the heart. Examinations will assist in getting a proper diagnosis and medical attention when it is in need.

Von Willebrand’s Disease – issues with blood clotting are something that affects this breed. Protein in the blood makes it difficult for clotting and this is a genetic disease they get from older generations.

Breed Group

Proud member of the Working Group. As we discuss earlier in this post there are different categories depending on where you get this dog from but in America there is the working group for the German Pinscher.

Working dogs have done so much for society in terms of rescues, therapy, searching, police dogs, herding, pulling sleds and many more jobs.

Most of these dogs can do all these at once.

Here are some of the dogs in the Working Group

Exercise Needs

German Pinschers needs a lot of daily exercise. Don’t believe the stereotype about smaller dogs having a smaller exercise need. Size doesn’t determine the needs of a dog but let’s discuss what does determine how much.

Dogs behavior is the best indication, without guessing, if the dog is getting enough exercise. After training dogs for many years, we can say this without hesitation.

Whenever a dog is getting enough exercise, they are in recovery mode at the home and when they don’t get enough exercise, they are in destruction mode. Here is how you know they are in destruction mode.

Digging, barking excessively, biting, nipping, forcefully jumping on the family and many other behaviors will start to develop when the dog lacks exercise and mental stimulation.

Here is a simple exercise program we suggest for new clients.

Morning: Hour (run, walk or treadmill)

Evening: 30 mins (run, walk or treadmill)

Young dogs need a lot of two session exercise days with a lot of runs to keep them behaving the best. Of course, this is the most extreme example, but you may want to start here and decrease when good behavior increases.

Adult dogs need start to decrease in energy levels and the workload becomes more manageable. One session days are more common and skipping days will start to happen depending on behavior.

Senior dogs will not need a lot of exercise. Only one exercise per day and sometimes you will get them out three times a week for 20-minute sessions. Follow the dog’s energy levels when deciding how much they need.


  1. Exercise program
  2. Commands
  3. Socialization
  4. Corrections

Every home should be built on a solid foundation and the same is true for a training program. Nothing is more solid than a daily exercise program. One thing you can do that makes everything easier or not as important is walks and runs every day. Giving treats and praise does nothing to curb the energy levels and over excitement. Not only do you need to exercise your dog, but it needs to be the central part of your entire training program. Expect to spend most of your time exercising.

Although less intense you need to master, with your dog, commands and have always them follow you. On and off leash you need the same command and you will need to train them with repetition to get the best results.

Socializing the dog after a long exercise session is how you should do it every time. Before vet visits, parks, dog parks, dog dates, or car rides start with a long run or walk. Good behavior is going to go through the roof.

Correcting the dog verbally or with the leash are your only options. Verbal will account for 99 percent of all the corrections you need to give. Timing is what is most important, and the correct timing prevents the entire event from taking place. Next, you need to make sure the dog sits and lays afterwards the same way they would if their mother or more dominant dog gave the correct. Those two are the only thing you need to master in most cases.

Is a German Pinscher a Doberman?

No, the German Pinscher is not a Doberman Pinscher. The history stands that the German Pinscher was one of the first Pinschers and every other Pinscher came after and through the linage of the of the GP.

Additional Resources