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Austrian Pinscher

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 Austrian Pinscher

This dog’s body is medium large at best, but its heart and its desire to perform are huge.

Here is the Austrian Pinscher at a Glance
Name Austrian Pinscher
Other Names None
Nicknames None
Origin Austria
Average size Medium large
Average weight 25 to 40 pounds.
Average height 14 to 20 inches at the shoulder
Life span 12 to 14 years
Coat type Short, smooth
Hypoallergenic No
Color Back, brown, black and tan, brindle
Popularity Not well known outside Austria
Intelligence High
Tolerance to heat Average
Tolerance to cold Average
Shedding Sheds a lot
Drooling Not a drooler
Obesity Low risk
Grooming/brushing Mainly frequent brushing
Barking Is a barker
Exercise needs Very high
Trainability Trains easily, loves to learn
Friendliness Wary and suspicious of strangers
Good first dog Probably not
Good family pet Yes
Good with children Yes
Good with other dogs Not great
Good with other pets Okay
Good with strangers Wary and suspicious
Good apartment dog No
Handles alone time well No
Health issues Hip dysplasia, heart problems
Medical expenses $235 annual average
Food expenses $120 annual average
Miscellaneous expenses $70 annual average
Average annual expense $670
Cost to purchase $450
Biting Statistics Unknown

The Austrian Pinscher’s Beginnings

This breed got its start in Austria with multiple roots, combining the local farm dogs with German Pinschers in an effort to develop a hound that would serve as family guard dogs as well as getting rid of rats. The need for such dogs began to dwindle as farming became more mechanized, and by the end of the nineteenth century there were very few left. .

One man, Emil Hauck, was determined to keep the breed going, and succeeded well enough that the Austrian Kennel Club recognized it as a separate breed in 1928, under the name Austrian Shorthaired Pinscher. .

New Lease on Life

The breed did reasonably well, but was not extremely well known outside of parts of Austria, and then was nearly wiped out again during World War Two. By the nineteen seventies, only one of the original line of Hauck’s dogs survived. This dog was, however, bred back to other Pinschers, and today there is a small group of Austrian Pinschers, almost all of them in Austria. .

The Dog You See Today

The present-day Austrian Pinscher is a medium large dog of twenty-six to forty pounds, standing fourteen to twenty inches high at the shoulder. It has a pear-shaped head with medium small, floppy ears and a black nose. .

The Austrian Pinscher has a wide, well developed chest, a short, square muzzle, and powerful legs. The tail is medium length and curls over the back. .

The Pinscher’s coat is short, and may sport a range of colors—red, black, fawn, brown, black and tan, or brindle. Some, but not all, have white markings. .

The Inner Austrian Pinscher


The Austrian Pinschers were bred from the beginning to be working dogs more than household pets. They are strong, focused and extremely active. They are intelligent and driven, and pick up on things quickly and easily. In addition to physical activity, Austrian Pinschers also need and thrive on mental work. They are eager to please and love learning new skills, and they will get bored and possibly destructive if they don’t have enough to challenge them. .

These dogs are not the friendliest in the world, and need early and intense socialization if they are to fit into a household. On the plus side, they are extremely good watch dogs and guard dogs, although they need to be trained to limit their barking. On the other hand, the Austrian Pinscher bonds well with family members and is good with children. This is a dog that will be loyal and protective, and will certainly guard the boundaries of the household. .

Living with an Austrian Pinscher

Training requirements

The most important thing is that the owner of an Austrian Pinscher needs to be a strong person, able to be the alpha critter in the household, and able to provide firm control and guidance. The owner also needs to have the willingness and energy to spend a lot of time working with the Austrian Pinscher. The Pinscher will do best if its owner puts effort into obedience and skills training on an ongoing basis.


How active are they?

Like their progenitors, these are farm dogs, not suitable for city life. They need space—at the very least a large yard—and may be destructive if they are penned in for long periods of time. They are definitely not meant for apartment life. Daily runs are a minimum requirement. Austrian Pinschers are instinctive hunters, and like nothing better than going after rats and moles, along with other smaller game. They are strong runners, will roam as far as they are allowed to, and have a great deal of endurance. An Austrian Pinscher is hard to wear out, and always ready for more. .

Caring for the Austrian Pinscher

Grooming needs

The coat of the Austrian Pinscher is short and will shed an average amount. Brushing the coat a couple of times a week would help remove loose hair and keep it healthy looking. Use a rubber mitt or even just rub it down with a cloth. In terms of bathing it is important to keep them to just when the dog is particularly dirty or smelly. Over bathing damages the natural oils in the skin as does using anything other than a dog shampoo. .

Teeth should be cleaned two to three times a week to prevent tartar buildup and remove bacteria. Its nails should be clipped if they are not worn down naturally, this can be done by the vet or professional groomer. Take care if you opt to take on this task yourself as there are live blood vessels and nerves in them so cutting too low down can cause bleeding and pain. Check the ears once a week for infection and clean them by giving them a wipe. .

Feeding time

How much your dog will need to eat depends a lot on how active it is. In general this dog will need to be fed 1½ to 2½ cups of high quality dry dog food a day. When using dry dog food the quality makes a difference in the nutrients the dog receives as well as being full on the right things. They should be fed at least twice a day to stop them from overeating. .

How the Austrian Pinscher gets on with kids and other pets

Austrian Pinschers have a drive for dominance, and may not be the best to bring into a household where there are already other dogs, although with early socialization and careful training this does not have to be a fatal flaw. That kind of training and socialization is also advisable if there are other pets in the home, especially smaller ones. It is a suitable breed to have around children and is usually playful and energetic with them as well as being affectionate. .

What Might Go Wrong?

Health Concerns

The Austrian Pinscher is a strong, active dog, and does not have a large number of health problems. It is, however, vulnerable to hip dysplasia, where the hip joint can become dislocated. If this problem is chronic or severe, surgery may be necessary. Some of these dogs also are vulnerable to heart problems; this is a hereditary trait. .

Biting Statistics

In data that looks at the last 30 years of reported instances of dogs biting or attacking humans there are no reports that include the Austrian Pinscher. Careful training and socialization are key to a better behaved and trusted dog. Also make sure you get a dog that is suited to your needs and situation and that it is well loved and raised. .

Your Pup’s Price Tag

Because Austrian Pinschers are relatively rare, you may have trouble finding one at all outside of its home country. There are no rescue organizations devoted to Austrian Pinschers, and the odds of finding one at a pet shelter are slender to nonexistent. If you can locate one, the best estimate of purchase price would be in the neighborhood of $450. .

Assuming you have been able to find an Austrian Pinscher and bring it home, the next step is having your new pet spayed, if it is female, or neutered if it is a male. This will run you around $200. At the same time there will be a need for additional first-time work such as de-worming and the initial round of puppy shots. Expect that to cost about another $70. You will also need to purchase a collar and leash for your new pet for about $30, as well as a pet license, which typically costs around $15. .


As veterinarian costs continue to rise, many dog owners these days buy pet insurance for their animals. If you choose to go this route, expect to pay a minimum of $200 a year—more if you want more extensive coverage. .

Some people prefer to crate their dogs, and a crate of the right size for an Austrian Pinscher will run around $150. On the other hand, you probably should not be thinking about crating this dog, because it has a strong desire for freedom, and will do better penned in a secure yard. .

Then there is food. Austrian Pinschers are like all dogs; they love to eat. On the other hand, they are not as heavy eaters as some breeds, and you can expect get by on about $150 a year for enough high quality dog food to keep your pet happily fed. Then of course you will want to keep your Austrian Pinscher well supplied with treats, for training, as rewards for good behavior, and just for nice. How much you spend on this is strictly up to you; some people lay out as much for treats every year as they do for regular dog food. However, count on spending at least $50 or $60 a year in this department. .

Overall, you can expect that you will be spending in the neighborhood of $670 a year to keep your Austrian Pinscher well fed and cared for. .


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The Austrian Pinscher is a medium large dog from Austria that was bred to provide farmers with a working dog that would be good at hunting rats and other farmyard pests, and also be a good watchdog and guard dog. The breed is a mix of German Pinscher and various local Austrian dogs, and got its final form in the nineteen twenties. .

Austrian Pinschers almost died out after World War Two, but were brought back by a few determined breeders. There are still not a lot of them around, however. .

Austrian Pinschers are not primarily household pet types. They are working dogs that are best suited to farm life, where they have space to roam and a job to do. They are intelligent and train well, but they are also wary of strangers and not the friendliest dogs in the world. They can be good family dogs, but only when the primary owner is willing to provide firm, consistent socialization and training, and able to spend considerable time working with this dog.

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