German Pinscher Breed Magazine - Showsight

CROPPING & DOCKING The Hallmark of in the German Pinscher


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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