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An Introduction To The Pinscher Dog Breeds

The term “pinscher” is used to refer to any one of six different dog breeds that were originally bred or developed as ratters, in order to control vermin levels in rural environments such as farms. Possibly the best known dog of the pinscher breed is the Doberman pinscher, although if you give it a little more thought, most dog owners could probably come up with at least the miniature pinscher and the Affenpinscher too!

In this article, we will provide a basic introduction into the six different pinscher dog breeds, their working role and most common usage today. Read on to learn more about the six different pinscher dog breeds.

The Doberman pinscher

The Doberman pinscher is a medium sized dog breed that is lean, muscular and very fit in appearance, with a short, sleek black and tan coat. While the Doberman pinscher is most widely associated with working roles such as security, guarding, military and police roles, in the earliest days of the breed’s origins, the Doberman pinscher was used for personal protection roles and as a general, versatile all round dog.

While the Doberman pinscher is classed as a pinscher breed due to their breed history consisting of dogs including the Beauceron, German pinscher, and Rottweiler, the Doberman pinscher itself does not have a significant amount of history working in a pinscher role, or as a ratter.

The German pinscher

The German pinscher is another medium sized dog with German origins, which has itself been formative in the development of a variety of other dog breeds, including the Doberman pinscher, miniature pinscher, and Affenpinscher. They can weigh up to 45lb and stand up to 20” tall at the withers, and have a short coat that can be either black, rust, fawn, red, or tan and blue. They may be either smooth or wire haired, and were first cited in books about dogs in the late 1800’s, although artwork demonstrating the German pinscher is found dating back to the late 16th century.

It is widely accepted that the breed’s more distant history goes back much further than this, and has roots with various different breeds and types of ratting and hunting dogs that worked on farms historically to keep vermin levels to a minimum.


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The miniature pinscher

The miniature pinscher or “mini pin” is a small breed of dog from Germany, with ancestry including the German pinscher and Italian greyhound. They are black and tan in colour, and are small, compact and fine limbed, with a lightweight but lithe build. They have the same type of coat as the Doberman pinscher, being black and tan, shorthaired and smooth, and are often considered to be a miniature version of them. While the dogs are related in terms of their origins and parent breeds, they are not, however, classed as direct relatives, nor variant sizes of the same breed.

The miniature pinscher is thought to be a very ancient dog breed, but the recorded history of the breed actually only goes back for around 200 years.

The Affenpinscher

The Affenpinscher is one of the most unique looking and distinctive of all dog breeds, with some people thinking that they resemble the monkey in terms of their facial expressions! The Affenpinscher is Germanic in origin, despite the fact that they are sometimes referred to as the African terrier, and dogs similar to today’s breed but slightly larger are recorded as far back as 1600. The Affenpinscher was first created and widely prized for their skills as a ratter, like all dogs of the pinscher type origins.

Their coats are rough and harsh, and should be black, but some breed registries in other countries permit the breed to be shown in a wider range of colours.

The Austrian pinscher

The Austrian pinscher is a medium to large breed of dog that hails from Austria, which was originally kept as a farm dog to work outside in storage barns and hay lofts to keep them free of rats and other vermin. They were also good multi-purpose dogs that were adept at guarding livestock and homesteads too.

The breed was first formally recognised in 1928, but has much older origins, having been developed from a much older type of pinscher dog that used to be widely kept as a farm dog in the Austrian countryside, and that was created from a mixture of local farm dogs and the German pinscher.

The Danish Swedish farm dog

The Danish Swedish farm dog does exactly what it says on the tin; it is a farm working dog breed that originates from northern Denmark and southern Sweden! They are widely distributed all across Scandinavia, and are a native breed to the region that was widely owned historically as a farm dog for guarding, herding and managing the local vermin populations.

It is thought that the breed originated with other pinscher breeds crossed with white British terriers, but aside from this, the breed’s foundations are not definitively known.


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