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German Pinscher

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From Sam Baker

Mucky Pups, 108 Old Church Road, Clevedon, North Somerset

This breed, of which I own two, does not need much grooming as such, but they are a delightful breed that not many people have heard of.

The German Pinscher is an old German breed, which first appeared with litters containing rough and smooth coats and is considered to pre-date 1835. The first standard was printed in 1881, and the litters were divided into rough and smooth coats becoming Schnauzer and German Pinscher respectively.

The first dog and two bitches were imported into Britain from Holland in 1980 and the first litter was born in quarantine the same year. Since that time there have been many more imports.

The German Pinscher is classified as a Rare Breed, owing to them being small in number in Britain. They are also bred in small numbers on the Continent.

Would a German Pinscher Suit You?

German Pinschers are very attractive, medium sized dogs standing around 17" to 19" to the shoulder. They have an easy kept coat and are economical and easy to feed. German Pinschers love people, and fit into family life, although if care is not exercised they can become a bit possessive about a favourite person. German Pinschers are NOT kennel dogs, human company is all-important.

Although they are very fond of a nice warm fire, they need daily exercise, a good walk and free running, which they love. Some German Pinschers like bringing you presents, usually blankets, bones or a fluffy toy pinched from the children. Some German Pinschers will dig, bury things, chase anything furry and kill it if they catch it (rabbits, birds, even hedgehogs), although they will live in harmony with other pets if brought up with them. Opening doors is simple and their natural spring is sometimes used to jump the perimeter fence!

German Pinschers are intelligent, can be trained, but at the same time can work out how best not to do things that they don’t really want to do, by somehow managing to persuade you that you didn’t really want them to do it anyway. They can be very boisterous and sometimes noisy, not continually yapping but talking to you, determined to have your attention.

German Pinschers need firm but kind handling, you will need to be consistent in the things that they are allowed or not allowed to do. Harsh handling will not benefit you or your dog.

The German Pinscher will also GUARD your home and this is something that should be borne in mind when you are thinking that a German Pinscher might be for you.

As a Show Dog

The number of German Pinschers being shown is quite small and from an exhibitor’s point of view this has advantages and disadvantages. The number of shows that have classes is limited, but there are two Club

Shows per year, which are always enjoyable and very friendly. If you do decide to show your German Pinscher you will be made very welcome. These shows are usually held on the first weekend in May and the first week in October.

As a Working Dog

The breed takes part in working tests on the Continent and there are members of the UK Club who are interested in working their German Pinschers. The breed also seems to have an aptitude for Agility. If you are interested there are people who will be happy to chat and give help if you need it, whether you want to work or just need advice about your family dog.

How will you find your German Pinscher?

The German Pinscher Club Secretary will know of breeders who have puppies available or litters planned, and of people who won’t mind if you contact them in order to see the dogs in a home environment, if that would be helpful. Litters are only bred occasionally so you may have to wait some time for a puppy. German Pinschers are usually red or black & tan. Blue & tan or Isabella (fawn) can occur in litters, although there has never been any born since 1989. It is better to be open minded about which sex and colour to have; all will provide you with the same love and companionship. Try to get to a Club show and see as many dogs as possible.

Coat Care

A rubber hound glove is ideal for removing dead hairs when your German Pinscher is shedding his coat. For the rest of the time a damp chamois leather and a wipe over with a soft cloth or a piece of cotton velvet will bring up the shine.

Health

The German Pinscher has been in Britain for over 20 years and the information that we have collected so far is that the breed is strong and robust with no serious health problems.

Breeding from your German Pinscher Bitch

There needs to be very good reasons for breeding a litter of puppies. Dog breeding is about producing better stock than you already have. On a more sentimental level you may like to have a puppy to keep from a well-loved dog. Breeding a litter for the children to experience is not a good reason. Puppies are not all fun, there is a lot of hard work and heartbreak when things go wrong. There is no financial gain in having a litter. Puppies of any breed, other than the most popular, can be very difficult to find homes for. It is not unknown for breeders to have to run puppies on for anything up to seven months or more and along with the cost of stud fees, vet bills, registrations and extra food, breeding a litter is a very expensive exercise.

The German Pinscher Club always stress to owners to think carefully about breeding. So far there is no need for a Rescue Service for the German Pinscher and we would like to keep it that way.

I wonder if anyone out there has had a German Pinscher in their salon for nail clipping or a bath. I would be interested to know.

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Opinions expressed in this magazine are not necessarily those of Northern Groomers.

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Last modified: February 07, 2002