227 — German Pinscher: All-Purpose, Robust Dog for Active Owners

Copy of Love the Breedssome love (1)

German Pinscher is up for anything, but not for everyone


Valerie Vihlen Schluter, left, and Janet Oatney, right, show off their winnings and their dogs at the GPCA national specialty in Washington.

I visited with German Pinscher fanciers at the GPCA national to learn about this ancient breed. Valerie Vihlen Schluter and Janet Oatney were kind enough to share their enthusiasm and words of advice for potential owners.

German Pinschers date to the 1800s. This family farm dog was the foundation for Doberman Pinschers and Minature Pinschers. They are also split off as the “smooth coat” variety of the dogs that became the Standard Schnauzer. In fact, in Germany to this day, Oatney said, the Pinscher Schnauzer club remains united.

Like so many other purebred dogs, the German Pinscher was salvaged after the devastation of WWII. Werner Jung, the breed warden, smuggled a GP bitch out of East Germany and mated her with oversized Miniature Pinschers to establish the modern breed.

A Ferrari vs a Cadillac

German Pinschers excel at many sports, including Fast CAT.

German Pinschers excel at many sports, including Fast CAT.

“These dogs are competitive in all kinds of sports,” Oatney said. “They take an experienced dog owner. They are not a good breed for the first-time dog owner.”

Ferrari and Cadillac are both great cars, Oatney offered as a comparison. “These are like the Ferrari of dogs… You need to be on your toes.”

Vihlen Schluter also noted that because the breed is so in tune with its owners, they can make excellent service and therapy dogs. In this arena, the breed boasts a FEMA certified disaster assistance dog that dispatches to disaster areas to comfort victims.

The German Pinscher Club of America has excellent resources available at https://germanpinscher.org/

From the national club:

A Working Dog of Great Intelligence

An ancient breed of great intelligence and high energy. They are medium sized and robust with a strong prey drive. Alert and intelligent, they are outstanding performance dogs as well as companions with an instinctive drive to protect home and family. Because of their strong will, intelligence and independent nature, obedience training is a MUST!

AKC Standard

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.

Allison Foley, Leading Edge Dog Show Academy, offers her Tip of the Week on using available classes to best showcase your individual dog.

And learn more about Trupanion’s “breeding rider” insurance policy with Harin Greer.

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