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German Pinscher bone bar line
German Pinscher Breed Standard
American Kennel Club Working Group*

The German Pinscher originated in Germany and is included in origins of the Doberman, Miniature Pinscher and other Pinscher types. However, the German Pinscher has always been more closely associated with the Standard Schnauzer. In fact, it is thought the Standard Schnauzer was originally referred to as the Wire Haired Pinscher. The Wire Haired and Smooth Haired Pinschers or the modern day German Pinscher and Standard Schnauzer are shown in books as early as 1884.
It was officially designated a distinct breed in Germany where the first Pinscher Club was formed. At the time the short coat was the main emphasis and coloration varied. The breed came close to extinction as a result of World War I and World War II. Werner Jung is credited with saving the breed in 1958 using a German Pinscher bitch that was fortunate enough to get past East Germany's iron curtain.

A working dog, German Pinschers are known for their vermin hunting skills and instinctual desire to protect home and family. The German Pinscher's natural hunting abilities give them a keen sense of prey drive and determination. The German Pinscher is of strong will and mind and can be manipulative and stubborn when they want their own way. They are territorial and can be quite possessive of their owners and property. Highly intelligent with expressive animation the German Pinscher commands attention as it conveys the impression that this dog is ready to go to work and learn the desired task at hand. Willing learners, they make wonderful multipurpose companions with firm but gentle and consistent discipline. German Pinschers are high-energy that enjoy adventure in any form.


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- the ideal height at he highest point of the withers for a dog or bitch is 17 - 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 point of the shoulder to the rump.
Substance- muscular with moderate bone.


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 ration of approximately 1:2.
Expression- sharp, alert and responsive.
Eyes- medium size, dark, oval in shape without the appearance of bulging. The eyelid is 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. 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- 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- is not perfectly level when standing naturally, but should have a slight descending slope from the top of the wither to the start of the back, with a very slight rise over the well-muscled loin to the faintly curved croup.
Back- short and close coupled.
Faults- long back not giving the appearance of squarely built, roach back and sway back.
Body- compact, strong, short coupled so as to permit greater flexibility and agility.
Loin- the distance between the last rib to the haunch is short, giving the dog a compact, short coupled appearance.
Chest- moderately wide with well-sprung ribs, and if could be seen in cross-section would be oval. The breastbone is prominently constructed through the forechest and extends over the height of the point of shoulder. 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.


The slopping shoulder blades are strongly muscled, yet flat and well laid back. They are well angled and slope forward to the point they join the upper arm. 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 well closed and arched like cat feet.


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

German Pinscher CH Lakai Ode to Joy

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


Isabella (fawn)

to red in various shades to stag red
(red with intermingling of black hairs)

black with red/tan markings

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 and two triangles distinctly separated from each other, at metatarsus or pasterns, forelegs, feet, inner side of hind legs and vent region. Pencil marks on the toes are acceptable. Any white markings on the dog are undesirable. A few white hairs do not constitute a marking.


Strong, free, well-balanced gait, with good reach in front and strong drive behind. At the trot the back remains firm and level, without swaying, rolling, or roaching. When viewed from the rear, the feet, though they may appear to travel close, must not cross or strike each other.
Fault- hackney gait.


The German Pinscher has highly developed senses, intelligence, aptitude for training, fearlessness, endurance and resistance to illness. 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 of unprovoked attack.

Note- Great consideration should be given to a dog giving the desired alert, highly intelligent, vivacious character of the German Pinscher. Aggressive behavior toward another dog is not deemed viciousness.

Faults- 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.

Approved: June 12, 2000
Effective: March 1, 2001

* Note: Text is being used by AKC judges in the German Pinscher classes.
There is NO mention of males having 2 testicles, on their website.

All German Pinscher illustratitive photographs are provided by subscribers of the GermanPinschers maillist http://groups.yahoo.com/group/GermanPinschers.

German Pinscher bone bar line

PINSCHER -- 04 June 2000 FCI German Pinscher Standard - Translation in English - http:www.germanpinschers.com/standards/d_strd_FCI.html"

German Pinscher bone bar line

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Last modified on Sunday, 12 August, 2012

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