Austrian Pinscher

Austrian Pinscher

The Austrian Pinscher is first and foremost a working dog, originally bred to keep farms, land and houses free of vermin. Due to its working nature, this is a breed with a particularly high exercise requirement and impressive intelligence. This medium-sized dog makes an excellent companion for those who are active and have experience in handling strong-willed dogs.

Key facts about the Austrian Pinscher

Life expectancy :





Temperament :

Affectionate Playful

Size :

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Origins and history

The Austrian Pinscher originates from Austria (duh!) towards the end of the 19th century. Farmers wanted a dog which could act as a watchdog as well as keep their property and land free of mice and rats - and as you’ve read, they definitely got what they wanted! This smart and intelligent pup was finally recognised as a breed in 1928.

FCI breed nomenclature

FCI Group

Group 2 - Pinscher and Schnauzer - Molossoid and Swiss Mountain and Cattledogs


Section 1 : Pinscher and Schnauzer type

Physical characteristics of the Austrian Pinscher

  • Austrian Pinscher
    Austrian Pinscher
  • Austrian Pinscher
    Austrian Pinscher

    Adult size

    Female : Between 17 and 19 in

    Male : Between 17 and 20 in


    Female : Between 26 and 40 lb

    Male : Between 26 and 40 lb

    Coat colour

    Type of coat

    Eye colour



    The Austrian Pinscher is a medium-sized, stocky and relatively short dog who boasts a strong, muscular body. Similar in appearance to other Pinscher breeds, they boast what’s commonly described as a ‘pear-shaped’ head with big, round eyes, small, high-set ears and a black nose. For the most part, males are bigger than females.

    Good to know

    The Austrian Pinscher nearly died out completely after WWII. Thanks to the rigorous breeding initiative, their population has risen but hasn’t managed to gain the same momentum.


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      The Austrian Pinscher is known to form a very close bond with its family members. While it’s not necessarily the cuddliest of breed, they’ll definitely give affection to those they trust.

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      With endless energy to use, the Austrian Pinscher loves playing games and joining in with sports. If you’re bored, grab a ball and get outside with them - they’ll always be up for it!

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      This breed can be highly strung and hard to handle if they don’t get enough exercise or feel bored.

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      This is a super intelligent dog breed which learns new things with ease. While this is a great trait, it does mean the dog needs plenty of mental stimulation to prevent boredom.

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      The Austrian Pinscher was bred to hunt and exterminate rats and other vermin. This means they have an extremely high prey drive and shouldn’t be trusted around small animals.

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      Fearful / wary of strangers

      This breed is extremely wary of strangers. This is definitely something to bear in mind if adopting an Australian Pinscher - truthfully, they can be rather intimidating towards new (and likely innocent!) people. With consistent socialisation, they may be tolerant of them - but never friendly.

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      Strong-willed, stubborn and independent, the Austrian Pinscher can be a lot to handle. This breed needs to be paired with an experienced dog handler who knows how to handle a dominant pooch.

      Behaviour of the Austrian Pinscher

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        Tolerates solitude

        Ideally, no dog should be left alone for too long. However, as dog breeds go, the Austrian Pinscher tolerates a few hours alone well. However, it’s important to provide toys and room to roam to prevent boredom.

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        Easy to train / obedience

        Due to the Austrian Pinscher’s natural dominance and independence, they can be difficult to train. They need a confident, experienced trainer and consistent training sessions from a young age. If this breed thinks it can get its own way, it could become bossy and impossible to handle.

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        If you’re thinking of adopting an Austrian Pinscher, be aware that you might annoy your neighbours. This breed truly likes the sound of its own voice - and while training may help, it’s unlikely to eliminate the problem completely.

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        Tendency to run away

        Due to their high prey drive, the Austrian Pinscher may run off without warning upon the sight of a small animal.

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        The Austrian Pinscher could become destructive, hyperactive, overly vocal and possible even aggressive if they’re cooped up or under-exercised.

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        Greedy / Gluttony

        The Austrian Pinscher isn’t known as a greedy breed.

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        Guard dog

        If you’re after a top quality watchdog, this breed might be a good match for you. Their natural suspicion of strangers means they’ll bark endlessly at any unfamiliar face which enters their territory. However, it’s important to note that the Austrian Pinscher does have it in them to become aggressive if provoked.

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        First dog

        To thrive into an obedient, well-behaved dog, the Austrian Pinscher needs an experienced dog owner who knows how to handle a dominant breed. With a novice owner, they will try to push the boundaries and could become extremely hard to handle.

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          Austrian Pinscher in a flat

          With so much energy, the Austrian Pinscher needs plenty of space to roam freely. They may be frustrated and, therefore, destructive, in a flat.

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          Need for exercise / Sporty

          This breed has a high exercise requirement - they need lots of activity to thrive. Ideally, they should get around 2 hours of walking or running, as well as plenty of roaming and playtime in the garden, every single day. If their energy is left unspent, they will quickly develop destructive habits and, more worryingly, be a very unhappy pooch.

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          Travelling / easy to transport

          The Austrian Pinscher is a medium-sized dog who can easily fit in the car boot. However, they may feel frustrated on long journeys as they’re prone to boredom.


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            Austrian Pinscher and cats

            Considering this dog was bred to hunt vermin, there’s no surprise their prey drive can sometimes be taken out on felines. You simply can’t keep an Austrian Pinscher and a cat together - the kitty would be at risk.

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            Austrian Pinscher and dogs

            Although well-socialised Austrian Pinschers may tolerate other dogs, they are prone to dog aggression and can be extremely territorial.

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            Austrian Pinscher and children

            This breed is actually quite sweet with children, but only those who they know well. However, they can be a little aggressive if aggravated - an accidental hit or squeeze by a child could be dangerous. Therefore, they should only live with children of a certain age who know how to act around dogs.

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            Austrian Pinscher and the elderly

            Due to extremely high exercise requirements paired with strength and dominance, the Austrian Pinscher isn’t a good match for an elderly person.



            Though they’re hard to find in the UK, we’d expect an Austrian Pinscher puppy to cost between £500 and £1,000.


            Thankfully, the Austrian Pinscher is super low maintenance in terms of grooming. All they need is a good brush once or twice a week, on top of normal maintenance such as nail trims, ear cleans, teeth brushings and baths.


            The Austrian Pinscher is an average shedder - a deshedder can help.

            Nutrition of the Austrian Pinscher

            Opt for a dog food formulated for active breeds.

            Health of the Austrian Pinscher

            Life expectancy

            The lifespan of an Austrian Pinscher is between 12 to 14 years.

            Strong / robust

            Strong, sturdy, fearless and powerful are all accurate when describing the Austrian Pinscher. This is one tough cookie; both physically and mentally.

            Withstand heat

            The Austrian Pinscher is pretty resistant to weather changes and should be fine during warm spells. However, do be aware that they have a thick coat - they’ll need shade and cold water.

            Withstand cold

            This is a hardy breed with a weatherproof, double coat - they can tolerate cold weather very well. However, do make sure they always have access to warm shelter.

            Tendency to put on weight

            The Austrian Pinscher is an active breed and therefore, isn’t particularly prone to weight gain.

            Common illnesses

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