The German Pinscher is a medium sized dog, 17-19 inches at the shoulder, smooth densely coated, short coupled, square (closest to square is considered ideal), strong and robust with an elongated wedge-shaped head deep muzzle/underjaw & strong arched neck is the appearance of the German Pinscher. A well-proportioned dog. He comes in a variety of colours - Black/red, Reds-varying from light to dark stag red, Isabella (solid Fawn) and Blue/ tan dogs are also accepted in Australia. Originally, he also was solid Black, Chocolate/Tan and Salt and Pepper. It is unclear if the Harlequin was the same Pinscher found only in the mountainous regions
The German Pinscher is an old breed. That much is a certainty. The dog often chosen as the early descendant of the Pinschers were a mix of the German Bibarand of the seventh century and the Tanners of the 14th century. In the 1600 the type that came from this dog was mixed with the Blk & Tan terriers, creating what was called the Rattenfanger (Rattler) that latter became the PINSCHER. The breed has placed its ancient paw mark on many other dogs' gene pools, setting the phenotype for at least hundreds of years. The breed was instrumental in the foundation of the original Dobermann, is related to the Min Pin and also to the Affenpinschers. The earliest recorded pictures of two German Pinschers are from the 14th century in a copper etching called "The Crowning of Thorns". The Pinscher is closely allied to the ancestry of the Schnauzer, although it seems that both underwent an input of additional blood. It seems that both breeds evolved from an ancient breed know as the "Rattler'; the smooth puppies born from this breed were developed into the Pinscher, as we know him today. From a similar beginning both breeds have crystallized with their own stable genotype. It appears to my mind there is more than just a difference in hair type between the two but I would also describe the breeds very similar type.
Faced with extinction...
The German Pinscher was an almost extinct breed at the end of the world war II. Pinschers were on the verge of extinction not a single litter had been registered from 1949 to 1958. Thanks to a man named Werner Jung the breed was revived by using the descendant of the German Pinscher the Miniature Pinscher. Using 4 oversized Min Pins and a smuggled East German female (where GP's still existed) to kick start the breed again. These litters were registered in the stud/litter registration books of the Pinscher/Schnauzer Klub in West Germany. Almost all German Pinschers in existence today came from these 5 dogs.
The German Pinscher was originally a stable dog living with and around horses; as such he has developed an affinity with this animal. His vermin killing abilities were legendary and even today he is the staunch enemy of many creatures such as rabbits, rats and foxes. additionally, the German Pinscher was and is an excellent guard dog. A reputation for extreme sharpness preceded him without fail as recently as twenty years ago. Breeders and owners I have spoken to are all fairly agreed that this is still something which rears its ugly head occasionally in some strains. As a result of the strong prey drive, the Pinscher is not the best breed to keep if you also own small animals such as rabbits, Guinea Pigs and reptiles and the like. Although many owners do have Cats and both live well together, I would limit the furry animals -to them - anything that is regarded as natural food would be high risk to keep with the German Pinscher. It is worth mentioning that the German Pinscher is not a popular dog, it never has been, and it very possibly will never reach the status that other dogs have achieved in public affections. As many breeders understand that unpopularity is not always a bad thing in a breed. However the breed has taken strides forward in this country regardless of the lack of public knowledge or lack of judges support in the conformation ring.
General info. About the GP and its Temperament
The German Pinscher seems a good choice of breed and can be good with families under correct supervision of children, as with any dog, these two should not be left to their own amusements. An apartment is fine as long as the dogs mind and physical demands are met daily. They are protective, have a loud deep bark and are an ideal medium size to fit into most modern homes. The breed can be stubborn and alpha tendencies mean that this a dog requiring discipline from an early age. In spite of the latter this breed can be very faithful, a characteristic it shares with its more popular cousin the Doberman. There are also Pinschers that have excelled at obedience, Agility and Tracking work, though it should be noted that this is an aloof breed that won't always co-operate in the "truly obedient' sense. Generally speaking, however, they are satisfactory in this area: the protective instinct is strongly ingrained.
The German Pinscher is a terrier at heart in both its hunting performance and guarding outlook. It is a natural problem solver given the chance therefore needs a good yard and something to keep its mind occupied. It excels at obedience, agility and the Show ring given an experienced handler or a consistent determined new owner to the breed.
It is not a breed for those not interested in caring for and giving the dog attention, it is not a kennel breed nor can it be left to its own devices. It will occupy itself if need be and it may not be to the lazy owners liking.