Let’s Talk Breed Education!
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Official Standard of the German Pinscher General Appearance : 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. Size, Proportion, Substance : Size – the ideal height at the highest point of the withers for a dog or bitch is 17 to 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 prosternum to the rump. Substance – muscular with moderate bone. Head and Skull : 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 ratio of approximately 1:2. Expression – sharp, alert and responsive. Eyes -medium size, dark, oval in shape without appearance of bulging. The eyelid should be tight and the eyeball nonprotruding. 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 when in repose. 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, Topline, Body : 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 – the withers form the highest point of the topline, which slopes slightly toward the rear, extending in a straight line from behind the withers, through the well-muscled loin to the faintly curved croup. Back- short, firm, and level, muscular at the loins. Faults – long back, not giving the appearance of squarely built, roach back, sway back. Body – compact and strong, so as to permit greater flexibility and agility, with the length of leg being equal to the depth of body. Loin – is well muscled. The distance from the last rib to the hip is short. Chest – moderately wide with well-sprung ribs, and when viewed from the front, appears to be oval. The forechest is distinctly marked by the prosternum. 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. Forequarters: The sloping shoulder blades are strongly muscled, yet flat and well laid back, forming an angle of approximately 45 degrees to the horizontal. They are well angled and slope forward, forming an approximately 90 degree angle to the upper arm, which is equal in length to the shoulder blade. 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 are well closed and arched like cat feet.
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Hindquarters: The thighs are strongly muscled and in balance with the forequarters. The stifles are well bent and well boned, with good angulation. When viewed from the rear, the hocks are parallel to each other. Coat : Short and dense, smooth and close lying. Shiny and covers the body without bald spots. A hard coat should not be penalized. Color : Isabella (fawn), to red in various shades to stag red (red with intermingling of black hairs), black 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 as two triangles distinctly separated from each other, at metatarsus or pasterns, forelegs, feet, inner side of hind legs and below tail. Pencil marks on the toes are acceptable. Any white markings on the dog are undesirable. A few white hairs do not constitute a marking. Disqualification – Dogs not of an allowable color. Gait : The ground covering trot is relaxed, well balanced, powerful and uninhibited with good length of stride, strong drive and free front extension. At the trot the back remains firm and level, without swaying, rolling or roaching. When viewed from the front and rear, the feet must not cross or strike each other. Fault- hackney gait. Temperament : The German Pinscher has highly developed senses, intelligence, aptitude for training, fearlessness, and endurance. 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 or unprovoked attacks. *Note – Great consideration should be given to a dog giving the desired alert, highly intelligent, vivacious character of the German Pinscher. Aggressive behavior towards another dog is not deemed viciousness. Fault – shy. The foregoing description is that of the ideal German Pinscher. Any deviation from this is to be penalized to the extent of deviation. Disqualification : Dogs not of an allowable color.
Approved May 10, 2022 Effective August 8, 2022
JUDGING THE GERMAN PINSCHER by DEIDRE E. GANNON, ESQUIRE T he German Pinscher is not a small Doberman or a large Min Pin. Rather, the breed’s origins trace back to the Stan-
smoothly from the tip of the nose to the tip of the tail. This presents a slight slope towards the rear. There should not be any one factor that causes the eye to stop when getting the first impression of a class that has just entered the ring. The same is true of the undercarriage of the dog. The forelegs are straight and the brisket descends to the elbows and ascends gradually to the rear with a moderate tuck up. No part of the Ger- man Pinscher is exaggerated. With a short, single coat that lies close to the body, the German Pinscher is smooth from head to tail. However, some Ger- man Pinscher coats are coarser than others, but a hard coat is not penal- ized through the texture of the coat should not approach the wiriness of the Standard Schnauzer. The German Pinscher head resem- bles a blunt wedge from both the front view and in profile. The head is com- posed of parallel planes; the muzzle is parallel and equal in length to the top skull. The stop is slight but distinct. Some dogs have a hair lick across the bridge of the nose. This is not a fault in the breed but has caused some judges to take a second look at the fore face of the dog because it is not something seen regularly in other breeds of this type. The chest, when viewed from the front, appears to be oval in shape and the ribs are well sprung. The German Pinscher is one of the slower maturing breeds and dogs under two or three years of age will still appear immature in these areas. The most misunderstood part of the German Pinscher standard is the top line. Unlike some others in the Working Group, the German Pinscher topline does not appear to start at the withers. Rather, the shoulders are a separate
component whose musculature cre- ates a slight slope from the insertion of the neck towards the rear. The visual topline starts behind the withers and extends in a straight line to the base of the tail. If the dog clamps his tail down or in the case of one with a natural tail at rest, there will be a slight curve over the croup. There has been much discussion about size in the German Pinscher world. The current standard calls for them to be 17-20 inches at the withers. There is no disqualification for height over or under the standard, though it is a fault. Further, the standard specifi- cally states that quality should always take precedence over size. Since there is no disqualification for height, the dogs cannot be wicketed in the ring and any assessment as to size is, at best, an estimate. Further, the German Pinscher is often deceptive when it comes to visually estimating height. The heavier boned dog with more substance will appear to be bigger than he actually is. In addition, the size of the German Pinscher varies widely within the breed and the tallest or smallest specimen in the ring on any given day should not be assumed to be incorrect. The moving German Pinscher should have good reach and drive. He should cover ground smoothly. The back remains firm and level without swaying, rolling or roaching. At this point in the breed’s evolution in the United States, the most frequently seen problems are with the front construc- tion which interferes with the proper movement of many dogs. Many are too straight in shoulder while others do not have the breadth and depth of chest that should be seen in the breed. There have also been issues with dogs
dard Schnauzer. During various stages of its evolution, the German Pinscher has been described as having both a Schnauzer type and a Doberman type. The Schnauzer type was the heavier dog with more substance while the Doberman type was the dog with less substance and more elegance. The ideal is most likely somewhere in between. As a relatively young breed in the United States, with a number of for- eign imports still being added to the gene pool on a regular basis, there are times when at first glance at German Pinschers arrayed around the ring, one might think they are not members of the same breed. Thus, it is very impor- tant that each individual dog be judged against the breed standard and not com- pared to each other. Too often the “odd man out”, the one that just does not resemble the others entered that day, is the most correct German Pinscher. This is a common occurrence in the more recently recognized breeds. Where more established breeds will often vary according to geography (i.e. a West Coast dog is different in type from an East Coast dog), the newer breeds rep- resent variations that occur all over the world. The German Pinscher presents a square profile with well-developed muscles. The body is compact and strong while conveying an athletic and agile appearance. Moderation and good balance are the keys to the breed. The elegantly arched neck that blends smoothly into the shoulders extending into a straight topline to a faintly curved croup is such that the eye should move
“THE GERMAN PINSCHER IS NOT A SMALL DOBERMAN OR A LARGE MIN PIN.”
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“IT IS ALSO IMPORTANT TO UNDERSTAND THAT THE GERMAN PINSCHER IS AN ACTIVE BREED, THEY ARE ALERT, INTELLIGENT AND VERY INQUISITIVE.”
that have a short upper arm, which is a structural defect that many breeders are working to correct. When examining the German Pin- scher it should be remembered that this is a medium-sized breed that is exam- ined on the ground. Like most dogs, they do not like someone leaning over them. It is best to approach the Ger- man Pinscher from the front. Once you have introduced yourself, most German Pinschers will stand for examination. Friendly hands touching their body are perfectly acceptable to most German Pinschers. However, not all German Pinschers are as pleased to have their bites examined since it can be uncom- fortable for the dog. The breed standard calls for full dentition. While most dogs do not mind having their lips parted, many do not like the “Doberman” approach of prying their jaws apart and opening the entire mouth. Again, size is the issue. Most German Pinschers stand around knee level to the judge. Therefore, the judge not only opens the mouth wide, he needs to tilt the head back and maneuver it from side to side in order to see all the teeth. This is just too much manipulation for many dogs. Therefore, it works much better if the judge examines the dog first and leaves the mouth for last. It is also important to understand that the German Pinscher is an active breed, they are alert, intelligent and very inquisitive. This does not necessar- ily make for an ideal show dog. Stand- ing perfectly still is simply beyond some German Pinschers. There are those that
feel the need to crawl into a judge’s lap for a good massage as soon as he starts touching them while others will twist and turn because they want to know what is going on everywhere around them. There have even been a few that have performed dances of joy and oth- ers that found it delightful to roll on the floor. German Pinschers always enjoy entertaining the crowd and embarrass- ing their handlers. However, since the hardest attribute to assess at a dog show is temperament, the German Pinscher’s natural enthusiasm and outgoing nature are positive traits in the breed as it gives the judge a good indication of each dog’s personality. A discussion of judging the Ger- man Pinscher would not be complete without addressing the natural dog. While the breeders in the United States mostly crop and dock their dogs, many imports come in as older dogs from countries that have outlawed one or the other or both. Even though the German Pinscher standard allows for a dog to have both natural ears and a tail, show- ing these dogs is difficult. Judges here are not used to seeing the natural ver- sion of a breed that is usually cropped and docked and it takes an exceptional specimen to have any degree of suc- cess. Much appreciated was a remark made by one judge upon seeing a recent import from Germany, “I hate the ears and I hate the tail, but I cannot deny the dog.” While the standard very spe- cifically describes the natural ear, the tail is simply referred to as moderately set, carried above the horizontal and
“customarily docked”. In judging the natural tail it is more important to look at the tail set rather than where it falls. Being an outgoing and generally happy breed, a German Pinscher with a natu- ral tail will often be seen wagging it constantly. Even judges who have trou- ble accepting a natural dog will often comment about how happy the dog is acting. Generally, the German Pinscher is still a work in progress. Since the breed has come into the United States there have been great strides forward in improving and stabilizing the tempera- ment. Many of the earliest imports were much sharper than what we see today. While today’s breeders work with what they have, there is a concerted effort to continue selective importation so that the small gene pool that is available here does not limit the continued devel- opment of the breed. Through careful breeding, the German Pinscher will continue to improve while maintaining his working breed nature. For more information, please visit the German Pinscher Club of Amer- ica’s official website at http://www. german-pinscher.com.www.german- pinscher.com . ABOUT THE AUTHOR Deidre E. Gannon has been involved in the sport of purebred dogs for over 35 years. She is a Past President of the German Pinscher Club of America and their current AKC Delegate. She is the author of several dog books includ- ing one on the German Pinscher.
“THROUGH CAREFUL BREEDING, THE GERMAN PINSCHER WILL CONTINUE TO IMPROVE WHILE MAINTAINING HIS WORKING BREED NATURE.”
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CROPPING & DOCKING The Hallmark of in the German Pinscher
BY JANICE Y. PARK, DVM
The Robust Yet Elegant Build of the German Pinscher. photo courtesy of Dr. Janice Y. Park
T he middle and lesser-known Pinscher, the Ger- man Pinscher, exhibits the unquestionable strength and wit of the Doberman Pinscher and the vivacity of its smaller counterpart, the Min- iature Pinscher. Most interestingly, however, the brother to this breed is the Standard Schnauzer, which was previously the same breed with a wire coat type. Just like the other two Pinschers and the Standard Schnauzer, the German Pin- scher’s cropped/docked appearance is a hallmark character- istic that accentuates this breed’s sharp, alert aura. Today, in the United States, the German Pinscher is still a rarer and developing breed, and the emphasis on the cropped/docked appearance is two-fold: aesthetic and pur- pose-driven. As the AKC breed standard describes, German Pinschers are “energetic, watchful, alert, agile, fearless, (and) determined,” which rings true for many German Pinscher owners, including myself. As many Working breeds retain their ancestral working qualities, the German Pinscher far excels in this aspect, as evidenced by its tenacious disposition
and proclivity to guard. The origin of the German Pinscher is that of an all-around working dog used to hunt vermin and to protect. It is no surprise that these dogs love barn hunt and scentwork, and warning their families of approaching strangers while retaining an affectionate yet reserved nature. Cropping/docking in this breed, like in many others, ini- tially served as modification to reduce work-related injuries, such as bites from prey and other offenders. Additionally, as popularity of this breed slowly grows in the United States, cold climate-related pinnal vasculitis (ear tip necrosis) in uncropped ears is an increasingly common and painful con- dition due to small blood vessels in the thin ear tips. On the other hand, in the world of showing dogs, cropping/dock- ing is common practice to represent the German Pinscher’s historical roots, and to reduce injury, while emphasising its elegant, streamlined, and demanding presence. The unavoidable discussion point of cropping/docking is that it has become a hot topic of debate for the general public
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THE HALLMARK OF CROPPING & DOCKING IN THE GERMAN PINSCHER
and even within the veterinary community, with opposition grow- ing from both. I am sure many of you already have a general idea of what has been said and has been concluded about the practice. If I could share any takeaway, I hope to remind all of us that our role as advocates for breed preservation and improvement should not be to end our side of the debate with it being “simply tradition.” It is our responsibility to reflect on the contribution cropping/docking con- tributes to visually representing the German Pinscher’s (and many other breeds’) original purpose, reducing work-related injuries and pinnal vasculitis, as well as complementing its marvelous confor- mational highlights. The ultimate goal ties back to breed preserva- tion and the aim to respect this breed’s history in the modern day. Without keeping the foundations of our breeds in mind, we fail to truly preserve and protect them. Equally, it is crucial that we represent the German Pinscher well, educate others, and always respect those who may disagree, as this breed is more popular in European countries where crop- ping/docking is typically banned. Because of the limited gene pool of the German Pinscher, irrespective of opinion, we must build
Pinnal vasculitis (ear tip necrosis) is a common issue in natural-eared German Pinschers residing in cold climates. photo courtesy of Sue Cox
bridges and work together for the security of this breed’s future. Additionally, it is heavily worth mentioning that there are highly- dedicated veterinarians who take exceptional care to make the pro- cess of cropping/docking as purposeful and respectful as possible, with adequate pain control provided during and after the proce- dure. Veterinarians who are renowned for this service are the few who understand visual anatomy, can complement each individual puppy’s head profile, and have an emotional investment in doing good for each breed. Many of these veterinarians show dogs them- selves and uphold the meaning of this practice. As a newly-graduated veterinarian learning the intricate artistry of cropping, I myself first reflect on both the historical and intend- ed role of the dog in front of me. I hope that maybe, someday, that puppy will develop into a respectable representation of its breed, conformationally and purpose-wise. It is an honor to work with breeders who strive to preserve and protect their cropped/docked breeds with regard to their breeds’ origins and standards. Crop- ping/docking in German Pinschers pays homage to the breed’s his- tory, reduces risk of injury for pets and for those dogs performing their original jobs, accentuates their classic beauty, and makes each dog recognizable in the ring for spectators and fellow dog fanciers to admire.
The alert appearance of a hunter and protector, accentuated by the cropped and docked appearance. photo courtesy of Dr. Janice Y. Park
ABOUT THE AUTHOR Janice Y. Park, DVM is a recently graduated veterinarian who is now a resident and PhD candidate at The Ohio State University. She actively shows her German Pinscher and is equally enamored with Standard Schnauzers. Through her journey of showing dogs and working with a wide range of breeds in her career, Dr. Park has become a strong advocate for the dog fancy and is in the process of training in the art of ear cropping in hopes of giving back to the breed preservation community. She equally aims to serve as a liaison, promoting mutuality between the general public and those involved in showing/ breeding dogs. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family, exploring international cuisines, and learning new craft hobbies.
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A "VIVACIOUS" CHARACTER
BY ALLISON CHAPPO
T he German Pinscher is historically known for its working abilities as a ratter and a protector of farms and carriages. As an old German farm dog, these qualities are ever present in today’s Pinscher. The breed’s histori- cal traits are deeply rooted and well-preserved by most reputable breeders. Many are interested to find out that although similar in looks to the Doberman Pinscher, the breeds are very different in both personality and behavior. The German Pinscher is so much more than a medium-sized dog with lots of energy. For those who are willing to invest time in creating a successful rela- tionship with their Pinscher, the sky is the limit for what these vivacious little dogs are capable of. The innate behaviors of the German Pinscher can be used to give owners a competitive edge in many of today’s popular dog sports such as barn hunt, lure coursing, scentwork, and schutzhund. Additionally, this same skillset can be shaped to produce success in other events, including agility and dock diving. For those who are up for even more of a challenge, Ger- man Pinschers have also had success in the rally and obedience rings. The German Pinscher is a strong and versatile dog that can be trained to do just about anything by using patience, practice, and praise. This breed is highly food motivated, which makes reward- based training easy. The AKC breed standard describes the German Pinscher as, “Energetic, watchful, alert, agile, fear- less, determined, intelligent and loyal…” The standard further goes on to state that the German Pinscher has “…highly developed senses, intelligence, aptitude for training, fearlessness and endurance.” Other terms used within the standard to describe the Pinscher include “alert, vigilant, deliberate, watchful of strang- ers,” “highly intelligent,” and “vivacious.” German Pinschers typically bark only to alert their household of a change within the perimeters of their fortress. Despite such a strong personality, the breed is quite loyal to their primary caretaker and aloof to strangers.
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THE GERMAN PINSCHER
“One phrase that all German Pinscher owners seem to agree with is, ‘A tired German Pinscher is a good German Pinscher.’ It’s amazing what a day of play outside or a long jog in the park will do for this breed.”
If not properly socialized and desensi- tized early on, these personality character- istics can cause problems for the Pinscher as a household (family) pet. Resource guarding and protective behavior are the two most common troublesome behaviors reported by owners of this breed. Early implementation of a structured training program, coupled with a commitment to consistent training and boundary setting, is imperative for creating a well-mannered German Pinscher. Once the ground rules of accept-able behavior and socialization have been established, the German Pinscher takes great pleasure in accompanying its owner just about anywhere, including car rides or action-packed adventures. For those who enjoy being outdoors, the German Pin- scher makes a wonderful companion. This breed does not require its owner to keep it entertained. While completing yard work or other outdoor tasks, you can count on the German Pinscher to seek out and cre- ate its own fun until it’s time to go inside. It is important to note that due to the strong prey drive present within this breed, allowing a German Pinscher to be “off-leash” outside the boundaries of a fenced area is discouraged. If an owner has a strong desire to train “off-leash etiquette,” this skill will require specialized training. Those who have had success recommend the use of a quality GPS collar. This breed has little regard for verbal commands and can end up in dangerous situations when they are in pursuit of any-thing they con- sider prey. It is often said that the German Pin- scher has two speeds—0 and 100. When not investigating the actions of the neigh- borhood, being in your personal space, trying to persuade you to share a bite of your lunch or begging to accompany you on a quick errand, the German Pinscher can be found napping in a beam of sun- light or somewhere comfy and warm such as a bed or couch. Many owners prefer their dogs to sleep in crates; however, Ger- man Pinschers are most happy when they are under the covers and cuddled up next to their human. One phrase that all German Pinscher owners seem to agree with is, “A tired Ger- man Pinscher is a good German Pinscher.” It’s amazing what a day of play outside or a long jog in the park will do for this breed. While it’s almost impossible to tire these dogs physically, they do tire mentally at a much faster rate. Activities that exercise the mind, such as training classes, teach- ing new tricks, or a day of competition,
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THE GERMAN PINSCHER
yield a far higher level of exhaustion than simply letting them outside to run around for a few min- utes; hence, the reason active households bare far better for this breed. That being said, an area of training that is often overlooked is “quiet time.” Many owners of high energy breeds tend to focus more on how to exercise a dog to expel its energy. While being active certainly comes more naturally to a German Pinscher than being calm and relaxed, having an “off switch” is one of the most important skills to conquer for a Working Dog such the German Pinscher. Commands such as, “done,” “enough,” “place,” and “go to sleep” are all just as impor- tant as the basic, “sit” and “stay.” A comfortable crate, bed or mat provides a place for the dog to decompress and rest. For those who have children, it’s nice to encourage “story time” where the child reads to the dog in a calm and quiet environment. “Massage” is also a great way to promote peace and release the naturally occurring chemicals within the body that encourage relaxation. Despite how it may seem, the German Pinscher, like many dogs, does spend a significant amount of time sleeping. You will oftentimes hear that this breed is not suitable for the first-time dog owner. As with any dog, especially an energetic Working Dog with a high prey drive such as the German Pinscher, a strong commitment to training, combined with a stable temperament and a stable household, is one of the most important factors that contributes to a well-rounded and enjoyable dog. Any level of dog owner is capable of understanding the importance of this. Success has more to do with the level of commitment and consistency than with the level of experience. Overall, the German Pinscher is a very loyal and protective breed. They are quick to develop a strong bond with their caretakers, and that bond is further strengthened by completing activities such as training and other fun adventures. German Pin- schers demand to be included as part of the family and are best-suited for the interactive dog owner. As you can tell, a commitment to training is a necessity for this bold breed. Their size and their low maintenance coat are definitely a bonus. Their level of intelligence and their way of thinking will amaze you, and their silly antics will keep you laughing (or shaking your head) on a daily basis.
“While being active certainly comes more naturally to a German Pinscher than being calm and relaxed, having an ‘off switch’ is one of the most important skills to conquer for a Working Dog such the German Pinscher.”
BIO Allison Chappo is a critical care nurse practitioner in Cleveland, Ohio. She and her significant other of 14 years, Dale Bainbridge, live in Wakeman, Ohio, on a peaceful 18-acre farm with their four horses, two German Pinschers, and a Golden Retriever. Allison has been owned by German Pinschers since 2008. She breeds under the kennel name Greystone German Pinschers. Allison enjoys showing her German Pinschers, Ava and Falcon, in conformation as well as in barn hunt and dock diving. She is a member of the German Pinscher Club of America and serves on the Board of Directors. Allison also enjoys riding and showing her American Quarter Horses and visiting local hospitals with her Golden Retriever therapy dog, Oliver.
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THE VIVACIOUS GERMAN PINSCHER T he German Pinscher stan- dard characterizes the breed as being “very vivacious.” They are the smallest breed BY KIMBERLE SCHIFF
in the Working Group, but they are larger than life in personality. They approach life (especially when it involves play) with considerable gusto. The Ger- man Pinscher possesses both spirited- ness and playfulness—with just a touch of clown. The German Pinscher is a long-lived and keenly alive breed. Their average lifespan is thirteen and they age well, with many continuing with their favorite sports and activities well into old age.
“THE GERMAN PINSCHER POSSESSES BOTH SPIRITEDNESS AND PLAYFULNESS— WITH JUST A TOUCH OF CLOWN.”
THE VIVACIOUS GERMAN PINSCHER
German Pinschers are dedicated to their people, and nothing is worse for them than being left behind. They are up for any activity that their people want to get involved in. Love hiking or jogging on the beach? The German Pinscher is “all in.” Enjoy kayaking or paddleboarding? They can learn to do that too. Do you enjoy speed sports? German Pinschers do too! The German Pinscher standard also identifies the breed as having highly developed senses and great intelligence. They have an aptitude for training, with a fearlessness and an endurance that makes them a great all-around dog for just about any activity. German Pinschers work best using positive training methods and short, fun training sessions. German Pinschers aim to please. They can be found exceling in agility, obedience, and rally competitions. They will do just about anything for a treat and some praise from their person. The German Pinscher enjoys using its nose, and is fast and accurate in nose work and scent work activities. (They might even hunt for truffles.) German Pinschers have shown both their sensitivity to scent and their connection to their owners, and without formal training, they have learned to alert diabetics to high or low blood sugar levels, the onset of seizures, and migraines. They are resolute rodent exterminators and take their supervision of home and yard with appropriate seriousness. The German Pinscher is a breed full of energy and allure. A dog with an overflowing spirit—this is their essence.
CHELAN COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE K9 IMMER TREU VOYAGE HOME, “SPUR”: FIRST GERmAN PINSCHER IN US LAw ENFORCEmENT by DEPUTY mONIKA HAYNES
L ocated in Washington State, I have worked for Chelan County Sheriff’s Office on patrol for 19 years now. In 2013, the Chelan County Sheriff’s Office received two donations to purchase another Patrol canine and a Search and Rescue (SAR) canine. I was very inter- ested in becoming a canine handler and after passing the testing process was selected as the handler for our new SAR canine. Chelan County has a total area of 2,994 square miles and is home to Lake Chelan and numerous hiking trails. Each year, the Sheriff’s Office receives several search and rescue calls and hav- ing a SAR canine is a valuable asset to our department. My research for a SAR dog began with the American Kennel Club web- site. Working breeds are known for their adaptability in various terrains which is valuable in search and res- cue work. In reading about the Ger- man Pinscher, their size, energy, work ethic, prey drive and keen sense of smell, I determined it would be ideal for search and rescue work. I was referred to Immer Treu German Pinschers by a member of the Mt. Rainier Working Dog Club. I contacted Lorraine and How- ard Shore in Sequim, Washington and spoke to Lorraine about the breed. Lor- raine and her husband are both retired law enforcement and know what a lot of the expectations are for police dogs. They are very active with their German Pinschers training and showing in Con- formation, Rally, Agility, Nose Work and Tracking so they could honestly tell me if the German Pinscher was the breed of dog I was looking for. On December 12, 2014, Spur was born! His parents, “Max”, BISS GCH CH Immer Treu Midnight Express RN CGC and “Diva”, CH Pretty-Dutch-Diva von
Deputy Haynes with SAR K9 “Spur”
Cronestein RN CGC, are both excellent tracking dogs that demonstrated great work ethic and temperaments. A Search and Rescue dog must have a stable tem- perament and a good work ethic. In addition to tracking and search and rescue, the dog selected for my depart- ment would be trained as a cadaver dog. While most Working dogs will track live subjects and find articles, it takes a special dog to find human remains. To determine which pup would be the best candidate for the job, I brought trainers from the National Search Dog Association (NSDA) to the Shore home
when the pups were six weeks old for Cadaver Aversion Testing. This test was to determine the reactions of the pups to the scent of human remains. A human patella was used as the body part in the test. The patella was placed into a jar with holes for the scent. Only the males in the litter were tested as I specifi- cally requested a male. The pups were identified by collar color and the test was videotaped. Alongside the NSDA Trainers, the Shores and I watched reac- tions and we each determined that the red collar male had the best reaction to the cadaver scent. He showed curiosity,
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but not concern and did not have a neg- ative reaction where the blue and green collar boys both showed suspicion and concern when they reacted to the scent. The final test was conducted when the pups were seven weeks old. How- ard and Lorraine Shore use the Puppy Aptitude Test (PAT) created by Jack and Wendy Volhard on the pups in each of their litters. This test is used to determine temperament traits of the individual puppy, which is helpful in determining placement of each puppy. This test was very important in deter- mining which puppy would be the best fit as a SAR K9 in addition to the Cadav- er Aversion Test. Following is a descrip- tion by the breeders of the testing given to the pups: 1.30.15, Day 49: Temperament Testing using the Puppy Aptitude Test created by the Volhards was conducted with trainers Georgia Towle and Patty Greeny along with our friend Elemi who helped make sure all instructions were fol- lowed. Georgia is a certified trainer and this is the third litter she has tested for us. The pups were given 10 tests and scored on their initial behavior. This testing process is a great tool for our puppy buyers to get insight into their individual puppy’s per- sonality which allows them to tai- lor their training methods to best suit their new pup. Some puppies have higher prey drive than oth- ers, some may be sensitive to touch or sounds and some may be more cautious than others. We rely on this testing process to accurately match our puppies with their new owners and it has worked very well for us. This testing was essential in determining whether one of the pups was suited for Search and Res- cue work and Red Collar Boy tested perfectly for the job. In February 2014, I picked up 10-week-old “Spur”, Immer Treu Voyage Home, from the Shores. I picked Spur up in our K9 SUV and he has gone to work with me from that moment on. He has met all the Starbucks employees in Chelan County. When I am not on a call, I usually have Spur out of the car and we are working on recalls and basic obedience. He hangs out in the office when I am writing reports. Night shift was a little tiring for him so I usually
tried to get him home by 0200 hours so he got decent sleep. Spur and I attended the 2015 SAR Conference which was a great experi- ence. We are looking forward to this year’s SAR Conference which will have a number of sessions designed for canine teams. Search and Rescue Dogs in law enforcement are trained to search and locate missing persons as well as human remains. They can be trained to locate a specific scent (Trailing or Tracking) or to follow any human scent (Air-Scenting) whether it’s a live person or human remains. I decided to train Spur for trailing. His nose was always on the ground tracking something in our yard; except when he would need to air scent to determine the exact location of his quarry. As a trailing dog, Spur will locate missing persons using a scent article starting where the person was last seen and he may work on or off lead during the search. He will be trained to trail a person over a variety of terrain following the scent on the ground or in the air. I began his training with hot dogs on the ground in the footprints of a tracklayer, which taught him to associ- ate the human scent with treats. Even- tually treats were slowly removed from the track and Spur was rewarded when finding the “lost” person. A fun part of his training was finding my kids in the yard. My kids were playing hide and seek one day and I heard my youngest son tell Spur to “go find Soren”, which he proceeded to do. Needless to say arguments ensued about the use of Spur for hide and seek. We train weekly for approximately two to three hours. We are going to be adding every other Saturday now for longer training ses- sions. Our issues, of course, are mainly with me. Because we are a team, my training is just as important as his and understanding each other’s language is paramount. We are strictly work- ing soft tracks at this point that range about ¼ - to ½ -mile with approximately four to five corners. I am going to be working in some scent discrimination training in March. We are slowly and steadily making progress. I have been partnering with one of our CCSOSAR Volunteers in the train- ing process. He is training his dog for wilderness air scent so we will have
two SAR dogs with different skill sets. The difference between the dog search- ing by air scent and a trailing dog is Spur will be trained to search a specific scent where the air-scenting dog is trained to follow any human scent and not neces- sarily a specific person. We meet week- ly with some of our SAR volunteers who set trails and hide for us. We have gotten to longer trails with Spur, but haven’t added a lot of time delay as of yet. We will be progressing toward that over the next year. A trailing dog is expected to be able to follow a 24-hour-old trail prior to testing. To become operational, the dog and handler team works a mile- and-a-half to two-mile-long trail which is aged 8 to 12 hours and contaminated with other people’s scents. It takes a tremendous amount of training before a SAR K9 can be deployed in the field and Trailing canine teams take an average of three years training up to 1,000 hours per year before testing. I am starting an official AKC obedi- ence class this month so Spur can get his Canine Good Citizen Certificate as obedience is a must for a working canine. Spur has been an amazing addi- tion to our family and to our commu- nity. I am regularly asked by the public what breed of dog he is and then told he is the exact size of dog they want. I would say Spur is being a good spokes- man for the German Pinscher breed here in central Washington.
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FIND YOURSELF WITH A GERMAN PINSCHER
B old and bright, the German Pinscher has all the attributes necessary to fulfill its role as a working dog. A “generalist” breed, their original function was as a multi- purpose farm dog. Compact and agile, they were the right size to rid the feed stocks of vermin; their independence and protective nature ensured that the farmer’s cart was safe from pilferage during trips to the market and hearth and home were secure. Th e physical and mental characteris- tics necessary to be an all-around hand on
By Janet Oatney
the farm translate readily into today’s dog sports. Th eir muscular, compact body is well suited to the demands of agility; scent- ing sports such as tracking, K9 Nose Work®, and barn hunt tap into their hunting drives, obedience and rally capitalize on their tre- mendous desire to please their owners. Ger- man Pinscher’s prey drive is satisfied by lure coursing, and to some extent herding. From the German Pinscher Standard: “ Th e German Pinscher has highly devel- oped senses, intelligence, aptitude for training, fearlessness and endurance. He is alert, vigilant, deliberate and watchful of strangers. He has fearless courage and tenacity if threatened.” Th ese traits are
considered so important, the standard further emphasizes “Note: Great consider- ation should be given to a dog giving the desired alert, highly intelligent, vivacious character of the German Pinscher.” German Pinschers are not for the faint of heart, or for those expecting instant respect and blind obedience. They consider themselves active part- ners, often devising new and improved methods for completing the task at hand. They bore easily, and can be insulted by continuous repetitions. “One and done” is their motto—once they master a task or skill set, they expect you to increase the difficulty
“Great consideration should be given to a dog giving THE DESIRED ALERT, HIGHLY INTELLIGENT, VIVACIOUS CHARACTER OF THE GERMAN PINSCHER.”
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as part of the game. It is those traits that draw seasoned competitors to the breed. Developing a training and conditioning regimen requires creativity, innovation, experimentation and a sense of humor. As one GP rally exhibitor stated, “He is on a need-to-know basis. Once I see the rally course, I can quickly teach him the exercise” Says another, “Teach a GP the heel position, a good stay, proper jump- ing techniques and you can excel in any sport”. Most working GPs have titles in multiple events, a testament to their ver- satility. Currently, there are no OTCH German Pinschers; perhaps due to their dislike for the singular focus high level obedience requires of competitors. The breeds versatility and breadth of skills allows exhibitors to partici- pate in many sports and activities to determine the perfect fit for each team. After establishing the basic fundamen- tals and developing a training style for each dog, you can then “speed date” your way through all the events. Within my pack, one dog is a natural herder,
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another lives to find the rat in barn hunt and the veteran of the group pre- fers tracking. While the breadth of skills is wide, the ability for the breed to achieve the highest level of accom- plishment within a single sport is not restricted. Many GPs are competing in agility at the master level, multiple agil- ity championship have been obtained by the breed recently. As a tribute to the breed’s historic function, the German Pinscher Club of America has initiated the Unique Titling Program. This program recog- nizes GPs that have received titles in sports or venues that are not available for the breed via AKC. Herding, nose work, carting, are just a few examples of titling events that mimic the breed’s historic function. To further emphasize the importance of companion events,
the GPCA is offering a National Versa- tility Award at the 2014 Specialty show, the highest combined qualifying score in rally, obedience and agility will be recognized as the National Versatility German Pinscher. German Pinschers are a healthy and long-lived breed, rarely suffering from joint or other physical ailments that have derailed promising sports careers. Their moderate size (17"-20"), train- ability, long life and good health cel- ebrate and acknowledge their origin as a multifunction working dog and valuable companion. German Pinschers don't necessarily respond to what the owner says or thinks... they respond to how the owner feels. Th is emotional connection allows you to improve as a trainer, and advance as a part- ner during the journey towards your titling
goals. Find yourself with a German Pin- scher, and you’ll never be lost again!
Janet Oatney lives in St. Helens, Oregon with her husband Ron Dunn and three German Pinschers. They train and compete in obedience, rally, tracking, herd-
ing, nose work, barn hunt and in their spare time…. conformation. They have the first German Pinschers with K9 Nose Work ® and herding titles, and are working towards their Barn Hunt LLC titles. Janet is the GPCA public relation chair and a member of the performance event committee.
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A SURVEY ON GERMAN PINSCHERS
KAREN MOUNTS- HAPGOOD
I live in Wilmington, Delaware, which is two hours from DC or New York City— central to everywhere! My life outside of dogs involves shopping, concerts and church activities. I always like to be on the go! I got my first show dog in 1966 and was first licensed to judge Alaskan Malamutes in 1984.
I currently live in Terrell, Texas and have for over 25 years. I enjoy painting ceramics, snorkeling and deep-sea fishing. I have been working with dogs for 41 years; 27 years in compe- tition and eight years as a judge. KIMBERLE SCHIFF I live in Washington State. I am a School Psychologist. I’ve been in dogs and showing for 21 years and I’ve been a judge for six years. LARRY STEIN
1. Describe the German Pinscher in three words. KMH: The three words that best describe the German Pinscher are charismatic, intelligent and dedicated. KS: Devoted, intelligent and motivated. LS: Square, strong and elegant. LV: Determined, loyal and devoted. RZ: Medium, square and elegant best describes the German Pinscher to me. 2. What are your “must have” traits in the breed? KMH: There are several traits that define a German Pinscher but I would say that balance, temperament, structure and their analytical minds. KS: Good movement, correct shoulders and square body. Along with good topline and tailset. LS: Strong, square and elegant outline. Alert and fearless expression. Powerful, relaxed and free front extension in movement. LV: Overall balance, outline, size, head, topline, movement. RZ: Must haves for me are a correct topline, straight well-boned forelegs, nice muscled rear, good feet and sound movement. 3. Are there any traits in this breed you fear are becoming exaggerated? KMH: Too many breeders and judges are overlooking the fact that the German Pinscher is not a Miniature Pinscher and therefore should not move with the hackney gait! I fear this is being forgiven far too often in the ring and the breeders/handlers are not being held accountable for this fault in the breed.
I live in Mount Holly, New Jersey. Pro- fessionally I am a Medical & Veterinarian Illustrator. I have been in the dog fancy and exhibiting for 45 years. I became
acquainted with German Pinschers prior to AKC judging FCI, ARBA and CKC shows. With the breeds AKC Recognition and my approved AKC judging application I was honored to judge the German Pinscher National Specialty. I have judged in the AKC for 26 years.
DR. LAURA VAN HORN I live in Sebring, Florida. I’ve been in dogs since 1963 and showing since 1968. I started judging on October 1, 2008.
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KS: This breed is a moderate breed that should also be elegant and typey. Elegance should not be confused with an overly refined dog that lacks the bone and substance expected for the breed or one that lacks proper structure and movement. LS: There are two traits that are cause for breeders to take another look at their German Pinscher standard. The first is the lack of prosternum leaving the front legs unable to extend properly creating an up and down choppy gait, causing them to expend too much energy covering ground. Second is the shortness of leg and long backs. Not only does this cause the overall ideal elegant proportion and balance off, also causes for deviation in movement. LV: Oversized, unbalanced, poor topline and bad movement! RZ: Somehow, I feel the faulty toplines are becoming an accepted trait, by breeders, exhibitors and judges alike, causing them to become more exaggerated. 4. Do you think the dogs you see in this breed are better now than they were when you first started judging? KMH: I do not feel the current German Pinscher found in the ring is better than the original GP presented when the breed originated. There are features of the breed that are improving; e.g., the heads and eyes on a few here and there. The movement; however, needs improvement in some instances. Toplines are also a feature that was changed in the standard and still needs to catch up in some areas. I prefer the substance in the origination of the breed and feel it has gotten a bit slight over time. KS: Yes. Improvements have been made in structure and movement as well as in temperament. LS: Every decade has its great ones, but I believe the German Pinschers I see in the ring today have more consistent breed type. LV: Absolutely not! I have owned and bred German Pin- schers since 1993. We had mostly outstanding GPs. As German Pinschers numbers increased, the new owners seem to think that breeding larger GPS were better! The AKC standard is 17"-20". Some current GPs are as tall as 25". Judges have yet to give a BIS to a German Pinschers. There are too many “different types”. A judge does not want to be the one who chooses a GP that is not the best—or correct (GPs entered AKC in 2003). Yes, there are some outstanding GPs that are very worthy of a BIS! RZ: I really am not too sure how to answer this question. I really do not get the opportunity to judge many
German Pinchers, in spite of the fact that I love the breed! I feel they have not gained the popularity they deserve; so few are seen in the group. Also, I can tell you, the best one I ever laid eyes on was many years ago, long before they were recognized, at a very large Rare Breed show. I was told it was a California dog. It moved like the wind, was a black and tan, glossy coated, sleek and elegant, with a lovely level topline. I awarded the dog Best in Show that day and swore I was going to get myself a dog just like that one! I have never seen another that I liked so much! Several years ago, while judging in California, the day before or day after the national, I saw some very nice dogs! I awarded a dog from Mexico the Breed that day. The competition was strong and I wish to see more of that! 5. What do you think new judges misunderstand about the breed? KMH: The two biggest misconceptions about the German Pinscher are 1) they are not a Miniature Pinscher and 2) they are not a small Doberman. KS: Topline and tailset. LV: Following the standard! German Pinschers are not Dobermans nor are they Miniature Pinschers. RZ: Toplines are mostly misunderstood. Judges rarely get to see a good correct topline. 6. Is breed education readily available? KMH: No. Not only is the GPCA lacking in breed seminars, it is also lacking in consistent educational material. LS: New judges should understand that the German Pinscher is not a Miniature Doberman Pinscher. LV: No. There appears to be one GPCA Club Member who does the seminars. RZ: The standard is available online 24 hours daily! I am not sure if the club has an illustrated standard yet or not. I do not have one. 7. How important are toplines? Movement? KMH: The correct topline is an integral part of the struc- ture. It will take breeders several generations to get the toplines well established in their breeding programs. Movement is extremely important as it is based on the structural foundation of the dog. The dog must have correct and well balance structure to be able to have correct movement. LS: Topline is paramount to the German Pinscher move- ment. The proper topline structure “the withers form the
“IMPROVEMENTS HAVE BEEN MADE IN STRUCTURE AND MOVEMENT AS WELL AS IN TEMPERAMENT.”
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