The German Pinscher in
Germany and the Netherlands

It's hard to find literature on the German Pinscher and also one does not meet a German Pinscher very often in real life. German Pinschers have a small population. Vets therefore seem to be immensily pleased to have one amongst their clients. How all this came about, you wonder? To answer this question properly, we need to go back in time...

Origin and prevention of becoming extinct

Ami Dittmann,
born in 1899.

The German Pinscher is originally a German breed and is very old; there are pictures of German Pinschers ever since the middle ages. The first of the breed one finds in a book written in 1836 and here the breed is praised for it's good nature, strong constellation and lively character. The population of German Pinschers is nowadays still small, but periodically the breed has been threatened to die out: After World War I there were only a few German Pinschers left to keep the breed alive. But, after World War II the breed became slow, but sure, extinct in former West Germany. Cause of this was that German Pinscher- breeders did not get support from their club.

Edmund v. Fliseck,
born in 1934.

Werner Jung, supervisor of the Pinscher and Schnauzer club Germany ('Hauptzuchtwart'), could not stand that during his term of office, the German Pinscher would die out. So, in 1956, Werner Jung alarmed people on this matter and saw the need to prevent the German Pinscher becoming extinct. But, because nobody seemed to listen, Werner Jung started breeding German Pinschers, himself. His kennelname was 'v.d. Birkenheide' and it is mainly due to his great devotion that we still have this breed amongst us, these days.

Kitti v. Bodestrand, ancestor of modern breeding

Werner Jung went through a lot to get his hands on one of the few left German Pinschers in former East- Germany and imported the female Kitti v. Bodestrand to West Germany. This female can be seen as the 'birthmother' of all modern breeding. She was black and tan and derived from the old Pinscher breed; her grantparents came from the, at that time well known, kennels Walrabsburg en Sybillenburg and were offspring from Champions in the 1920's and 1930's. Besides Kitti, the male Fürst (red), the female Jutta (black and tan), the males Illo (black and tan) and Onzo (chocolate) were registered in 1957. Onzo brought the rare pure red into the breed, but like Fürst, Illo and Jutta, he actually was born out of Miniature Pinschers that were too large in withers (± 40 cm. in stead of 25-30 cm.). But, from sheer necessity, Werner Jung had to select these four originally Miniature Pinschers, to recreate the breed German Pinscher.

Rescue and (re)creation of the breed German Pinscher

In total, these five German pinschers were 14 times used for breeding, in order to lay a foundation of 60 black and tan, tan coloured and red German Pinschers. From these 60 dogs, the best German Pinschers were selected to construct the breed furthermore. Werner Jung created a profound build-up in a very short time, on which other breeders too, could embroider. The amount of German Pinscher breeders increased anually, so that within ten years over 500 Pinschers were bred. A number that till then, did not ever occur in the history of this breed, in such a short period of time.

On the right: Kressi v.d. Birkenheide,
born in 1959, bred by Werner Jung.

The first German Pinscher in the Netherlands

The first German Pinscher came to the Netherlands by accident. Mrs. Priems-v.d. Laak went to Sweden to get a Miniature Pinscher. At the same time, there also happened to be a litter of German Pinscher pups.

6 weeks  Mrs. Priems-v.d. Laak was persuaded into taking a German Pinscher along with her to the Netherlands. This German Pinscher pup was only six weeks old, so special consent had to be given by the Swedish authorities, in order to import the red female Desiree on the 20th of July 1968. On her pedigree are thenames of the five Pinschers which were used to rescue the German Pinscher breed.

Desiree as a pup.                         Desiree, born in 1968.

Mrs. Priem-v.d. Laak gave these pictures of Desiree to me, when I did research on the German Pinscher in the Netherlands in order to compose a book of reference. Mrs. Priem-v.d. Laak also put, next to several other pictures, the pedigrees of the first two German Pinschers in the Netherlands at my disposal, whereupon Kitti, Fürst, Jutta and Onzo are mentioned, whom lay the foundation of the breed. Then, in 1970, Agrett's Rakker, a black and tan male and a full brother to Desiree, was imported to the Netherlands. Mrs. Priem-v.d. Laak started breeding with these two dogs (kennel Petit Bonheur) and other German Pinschers were imported from Germany at the same time. This is how the breed came to our country and started to develop in the Netherlands. In the 1970's however, people in the Netherlands are not at all interested in the German Pinschers, so several German Pinschers did not even get registered for a pedigree.

Agrett's Rakker,
born in 1970.

But shows were visited and titles were gained every year, so, in the end, the interest in the German Pinscher increased a little. From that time till now, a lot of people began breeding German Pinschers, but stopped after one or a few litters, because of this lack of interest. Some breeders however, showed great persistence and that's why we can still enjoy the German Pinscher's existence to this day.

Trix Petit Bonheur, born in 1972.

Changes in the German Pinscher's features
In the course of time the breeding standard for the German Pinscher has changed. This standard is defined in the home country Germany and is internationally prescribed by the F.C.I., the umbrella organization of international dog breeding. Earlier on the height of withers used to be 43 to 48 cm., but was changed into 45 till 50 cm.; measures that still are in force. Due to the eardocking prohibition, the German Pinscher's exterior altered dramatically. In the Netherlands this was prohibited by law early on; in 1989. At that time, Dutch German Pinschers had to compete with German Pinschers from other countries that not yet issued this prohibition. Later on, some other countries established this prohibition too, so the German Pinscher's exterior, according to the F.C.I. standard, should be the same all over the world again.

Carré, Nikita, Destiné & Fenja

Out of the first litter we bred, two pups were born, the red male Avenir de la Barque de l'esprit was one of them.

Destiné de la Barque de l'esprit was the first German Pinscher with undocked ears to gain the title Dutch Champion.

Modification in the breeding standard

The new F.C.I. breeding standard (established in the year 2000) prohibits the docking of tails as well. This is called 'naturbelassen' ('natural tail'). How the tail should be shown, however, is not explicitly prescribed in this standard.

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