Austrian Pinscher (Österreichischer Pinscher)

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russet gold, brownish yellow, stag-red, black with tan-coloured markings, white markings are possible
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Good with kids:
Pros Cons
  • good watch and guard dog
  • easy to groom
  • intelligent
  • independent and stubborn
  • needs a great amount of daily exercises
  • can be aggressive towards dogs and other animals


The Austrian Pinscher is a brawny well-built dog of a medium size. It is quite a rare breed and in general it can be found in its homeland Austria. These dogs are very active and cheerful. The Austrian Pinscher can be a good pet for a family and it can be used as an excellent guard dog that reacts keenly to the least noise. This dog is not suitable for spending full day in the apartment. It needs space for everyday exercises. That is why the breed can be a perfect friend for a person who lives in the countryside or loves doing sports.

The Austrian Pinscher was known since the XVIII century. There are some paintings dated approximately 1700 proving the fact of existence of this breed at that time. Dogs practically similar to the modern breed members are depicted on those pictures. The exact origin of this breed remains a mystery although it’s strongly suggested that it was created from the German Pinscher, which was mated with indigenous dogs. It may also have some terrier-type dogs in its lineage because of its resemblance to the Miniature Pinscher, Manchester Terrier and Doberman Pinscher. However some experts assert that its kinship to these breeds is only marginally possible.

Austrian Pinschers were widespread in the XIX century. They were used for multiple purposes in farms. These dogs coped perfectly with driving the cattle, house and property guarding, and they also caught rats and mice.

Up to the XX century the breeding of these dogs was uncontrolled. Farmers cared not so much about the pure lineage and at the end of XIX century they did not need any more these dogs. Moreover World War I affected the breeding and the Austrian Pinscher began to die out.

Only in 1921 people began to breed the dog seriously, according to the rules. The Austrian Earl Hauck is the founder of the dog’s breeding. He did an excellent job of restoring the unique appearance of this ancient dog as well as preserving its robustness and unsurpassed hunting skills.

Unfortunately World War II turned out to be a real disaster for these dogs. Their number decreased considerably. By the 1970s the breed virtually disappeared. Despite all efforts, breeders did not manage to restore the Austrian Pinscher’s gene pool. The other name of the breed is the Austrian Farm Dog. It was renamed to the Austrian Pinscher only in 2000. Now the dog remains a very rare breed and is used generally as a watchdog.

In 2002 the Klub fur Osterreichishe Pinscher (KOP, Club for Austrian Pinscher) was created. Its main purpose is the preservation and further development of the breed. In 1928 the Austrian Pinscher was avowed as the Austrian Shorthaired Pinscher by the Austrian Kennel Club and the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI). Also the American Rare Breed Association (ARBA) and the United Kennel Club (UKC) recognized the breed.


The Austrian Pinscher is playful, lively and watchful dog. It is devoted to its own family and is friendly with the familiar people. It hates being alone for long periods of time and can demonstrate its frustration with such a situation by destructive and wilful behaviour. This dog is prone to have a temper so deep and timely socialization is essential to soften its aggressive tendencies.

The breed treats suspiciously the strangers. If the dog is well socialized, it can be patient and tolerant with children who it knows. However the Austrian Pinscher has a tendency to bark and sometimes it may be unpredictable and even can bite. Thanks to its well-developed territorial instinct it makes a very capable watchdog. It possesses loud and intimidating voice, which is usually more than enough to drive off any ill-intended individual. This dog is also fierce enough to be charged with responsibilities of a guard dog and will courageously defend its favourite people and home.

The Austrian Pinscher has a nasty reputation with other canines. It does best as an only dog and it surely shouldn’t be kept together with other dogs of the same sex. To avoid cruel confrontations with stray dogs it should be always walked on a leash. During long time the Austrian Pinscher was a relentless rat catcher. As a result it may be aggressive towards small animals such as rabbits, hamsters, cats and mice. It’s very likely that it will get along with the home cat if they have brought up in the same household since an early age.

Health Problems

The most common problems for the breed’s health are:

• autoimmune disorders;
• canine hip dysplasia;
• elbow dysplasia;
• cataracts;
• demodicosis;
• cardiac failure;
• von Willebrand’s disease.


The Austrian Pinscher does not need a careful and everyday grooming. It takes only to brush the dog once a week and clean its teeth regularly. Its short glossy coat repels dirt so bathe this dog as infrequently as possible.

Nail trimming should be performed every two weeks. Check the ears of your Australian Pinscher at least weekly in order to timely detect the signs of infection or irritation. On the whole the breed is a moderate shedder although some of its specimens may lose hair extremely intensely.


The Austrian Pinscher is a very clever dog. Austrian farmers used it for multiple tasks for many centuries so it gradually evolved into a passionate versatile working dog, which welcomes every opportunity to challenge its busy mind. Nevertheless its training is rather difficult as the dog has an independent and obstinate character. It is essential for the trainer to show this breed at once the dominance position.

In the hands of a self-assured and experienced person this dog is usually able to learn very advanced tricks but it is also necessary to display patience and confidence for the Austrian Pinscher’s successful training. Keep in mind that it commonly responds with fearfulness or reciprocal aggression to any type of negative reinforcement.


The Austrian Pinscher is very vigorous, strong and is capable of working hard all day. That is why the dog needs a lot of exercises every day. It is necessary to take at least one hour a day for walking and intensive exercises.

This dog wants nothing more than to roam unrestrained in a securely enclosed area and usually remains vigorous and cheerful even after a long walk. This means that it won’t be fully satisfied with an urban life and requires lots of space to wander and play. If the Austrian Pinscher does not get sufficient physical exercises some problems with its behaviour can emerge such as nervousness, aggression, irritability and destructiveness.