Let's talk Austrian Pinschers

The Austrian Pinscher is an intelligent, athletic, medium-sized breed originally developed to perform a host of farm jobs as well as to be an all-around companion. The result of those breeding efforts is a highly alert jack-of-many-trades canine whose inherent suspicion of strangers makes them one of the best guard dogs around. Rarely seen outside of Austria, the Austrian Pinscher can be a wonderful pet for those living in rural areas or with large, enclosed gardens where they can run and play – and bark – to their heart’s content.

Official name: Austrian Pinscher

Other names: Österreichischer Pinscher, Österreichischer Kurzhaarpinscher, Austrian Shorthaired Pinscher, Austrian Farm Dog

Origins: Austria

Black and white side view of an Austrian Pinscher
 Drooling tendencies

Very low

Warm weather?
 Shedding level Medium
Suited to apartment living?  Very low
 Energy level (high, low, medium) *: Medium Family Pet?* 

 Compatibility with other pets
Can stay alone?*

* We advise against leaving pets alone for long stretches. Companionship can prevent emotional distress and destructive behaviour. Speak to your veterinarian for recommendations.

Every pet is different, even within a breed; this snapshot of this breed’s specifics should be taken as an indication.

For a happy, healthy and well-behaved pet, we recommend educating and socialising your pet as well as covering their basic welfare, social and behavioural needs.

Pets should never be left unsupervised with a child.

All domestic pets are sociable and prefer company. However, they can be taught to cope with solitude from an early age. Seek the advice of your veterinarian or trainer to help you do this.

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Illustration of an Austrian Pinscher
43 - 50 cm translations.feature.breeds.height
12 - 18 kg translations.feature.breeds.weight
42 - 48 cm translations.feature.breeds.height
12 - 18 kg translations.feature.breeds.weight


 Baby age:  Birth to 2 months
 Puppy age:  2 to 12 months
 Adult age:  1 to 7 years
 Mature age:  7 to 10 years
 Senior age:  From 10 years

Tan and white Austrian Pinscher with head cocked


Get to know the Austrian Pinscher

All you need to know about the breed

If it’s a guard dog you’re in need of, look no further than the Austrian Pinscher. These hardy, well-muscled dogs were quite literally bred for the job. Aside from a natural wariness of anyone they don’t know, the Austrian Pinscher has a propensity to sound, or rather, bark the alert. Their stature may not be so threatening, but their bark is usually enough to dissuade any potential ill-doers.

But the seriousness with which the Austrian Pinscher takes their guard dog duties doesn’t make them all bark and no play. This breed is also highly affectionate and deeply loyal—qualities that have earned them appreciation as family pets. In addition, they are fairly low maintenance when it comes to grooming, thanks to their short, close-fitting hair, and the fact that they rarely need bathing—save for when they’ve had a roll in the mud or something less than fragrant.

Perhaps the greatest challenge an owner of an Austrian Pinscher will encounter is curbing their penchant for barking. While it’s useful when it comes to protecting the homestead, it means that they are not ideally suited for life in a small apartment or in the city. In addition, like any breed, the Austrian Pinscher can turn to destructive behaviours and yes, more barking when left on their own for longer periods of time. The Austrian Pinscher will thrive with owners who are prepared to invest the time and energy necessary to train, socialise and play with them—and the devotion those fortunate owners receive in return will make the effort more than worth it.

Close-up side view of a black and brown Austrian Pinscher's nose


2 facts about Austrian Pinschers

1.  All it takes is one

The Austrian Pinscher owes – at least in part – their survival to a certain Emil Hauck. By the end of the 19th century, the breed was all but extinct. But in the 1920s, Mr. Hauck began a breeding program that resulted in a uniform breed formally known as the Austrian Pinscher. World War II nearly wiped them out again, and by the 1970s, only one dog from the Hauck line remained. Fortunately, that Austrian Pinscher – by the name of Diocles of Angern – was crossbred to restore the line.

2. Dog or … mushroom?

Before establishing his breeding program that would establish the Austrian Pinscher line, Emil Hauck began searching for an aboriginal dog first identified by H. Von Meyer in 1843. Meyer had named the dog Canus Palustris, or ‘dog from a mushroom’. Hauck finally managed to locate several specimens that he believed to be the closest relatives of this Canus Palustris in an Austrian village, and the rest is history!


History of the breed

Though a lack of official documentation makes it impossible to know when the breed first originated, one thing is certain: The Austrian Pinscher originally hails from Austria where farmers crossbred a patchwork of Austrian farm dogs with German Pinschers to produce a breed that would make an excellent companion, guard dog, and effective ratter.

Despite their popularity, by the end of the 19th century, advances in farming technologies had driven the Austrian Pinscher to the brink of extinction. Luckily, efforts were soon made to re-establish the population and in 1928, the Austrian Kennel Club recognised the dogs as a separate breed known as the Austrian Shorthaired Pinscher. Then came World War II, and the breed once again faced near annihilation. In the 1970s, the last surviving Austrian Pinscher was crossbred with other dogs of uncertain lineage in an effort to restore the breed, resulting in the creation of a small group who would go on to serve as foundation stock. While it is still rare to find an Austrian Pinscher outside of Austria, the breed was officially recognised by the United Kennel Club in 2006 and can now participate in UKC official events.

Black and white portrait of an Austrian Pinscher standing


From head to tail

Physical characteristics of Austrian Pinschers

1. Head

Pear-shaped head proportionate to the rest of the body.

2. Ears

Small ears stand erect and taper to a point.

3. Eyes

Fairly large, round eyes. dark brown and alert.

4. Tail

High-set tail is medium length and covered with dense hair.

5. Body

Well-muscled body with broad barrel-shaped chest.

Austrian Pinscher, paws up, peering into a window


Things to look out for

From specific breed traits to a general health overview, here are some interesting facts about your Austrian Pinscher
Three Austrian Pinscher's sat in ascending height order


Caring for your Austrian Pinscher

Grooming, training and exercise tips

The Austrian Pinscher sheds at an average rate and their short, thick double coat can be maintained with a weekly brushing. However, their teeth should be brushed daily and professionally cleaned at least once a year to ensure healthy gums. Also, be sure to trim their nails every few weeks to avoid any discomfort.
Austrian Pinschers were bred to work on farms and, as such, thrive when given access to plenty of open space where they can have a good romp and play. Whether it’s running, walking or playing catch, the Austrian Pinscher should get at least an hour’s worth every day—and more, whenever possible.
Intelligent and versatile, Austrian Pinschers can easily achieve most tasks they are given, but whether or not they actually do them will depend heavily on their trainer. Since they can be somewhat stubborn, Austrian Pinschers fare best with a confident and consistent trainer capable of establishing their authority and willing to put in the time necessary to bring out the best in this clever breed.


All about Austrian Pinschers

Austrian Pinschers can get along with other dogs provided they’ve been thoroughly socialised from the earliest age. That said, the breed was developed to chase vermin—an instinct could trigger aggression towards smaller animals. In addition, Austrian Pinschers can be territorial. As is the case with most dogs, to be on the safe side, Austrian Pinschers should not be left alone with other pets.

Their devotion and capacity for affection make Austrian Pinschers wonderful family pets, provided they are given plenty of attention, exercise, and time outdoors. For those spending most days away from home, the Austrian Pinscher is not the best choice; however, for active families living in suburban and country locations, these dogs make excellent pets.



1 - Veterinary Centers of America https://vcahospitals.com/ 

2 - Royal Canin Dog Encyclopaedia. Ed 2010 and 2020

3 - Banfield Pet Hospital https://www.banfield.com/

4 - Royal Canin BHN Product Book

5 - American Kennel Club https://www.akc.org/