Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Unusual Breed: Austrian Pinscher

This breed is also known as the Österreichischer Pinscher, and formerly the Österreichischer kurzhaariger Pinscher .
This breed is one that is rarely heard about in the United States, and is indeed not often seen outside of Austria. It is derived from what was used as a farmer's dog in Austria and has only been bred as a "purebred" since 1921. They were used for such purposes as livestock drivers and as guardians, which they are quite adept at. Since it was breed to be a working dog, companionship was not a priority in selection, and as such they are known to be biters. They are usually very good with people that they are familiar with, however.

The Austrian Pinscher is more heavily built than the better-known German Pinscher, which is of a similar height, and it is described as being lively, bright, and devoted. In size, the breed is approximately 16 to 20 inches and 26 to 40 pounds. They are most often seen in some form of red, but also come in black and tan, with or without white markings.

There is little information I could find on the breed's health, but they appear to sometimes have hip dysplasia and can be prone to a hereditary heart condition.

Sources are the United Kennel Club, Fédération Cynologique Internationale, and Dr. Bruce Fogle's The New Encyclopedia of the Dog. Image is from Wikimedia Commons and is under a creative commons license.

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