Austrian Shorthaired Pinscher Dog Breed Caring and Family, Social Life, Physical Traits, Diet Information

Austrian Shorthaired Pinscher Dog Breed Caring and Family, Social Life, Physical Traits, Diet Info

Native in Austria, the Austrian Shorthaired Pinscher, pronounced as Aus-trian shawrt-haird pin-sher, is a multipurpose working dog developed by crossing the German Pinscher with local Austrian farm dogs. This versatile dog was bred to assist the native farmers with various farm jobs and tasks, including livestock guarding, home guarding, and vermin control. The dog was also bred to be a family companion. It’s other names include Austrian Pinscher and Österreichischer kurzhaarpinscher.

The Austrian Pinscher is a beautiful dog with a powerful short muzzle and a sturdy, well-muscled body like other pinscher breeds. Described as stocky dogs with a happy and lively expression, the Austrian Pinschers are medium-sized with pear-shaped heads and button-like ears.

Although still considered working dogs, the Austrian Shorthaired Pinscher is not an ardent hunter. However, this dog breed makes an excellent watch and guard dog due to its alertness and natural suspicion of strangers. If you are looking for a perfect companion, the Austrian Pinscher dog never disappoints. This dog builds deep links with its family and never shies from displaying great love and affection whenever possible. Its love for play and gentle nature makes it a pleasant addition for families with children.

They have a deep link with their family, showing them great love and displaying their adoration whenever possible. They are perfectly adapted to live with children because of their fun and compassionate disposition. Although it has high intelligence levels, training this dog can be challenging, especially for novice owners. It requires a stern owner who can display his authority over it, or else it will take over.

The Austrian Pinscher has an average lifespan of 12-14 years and has a litter of 4-6 puppies once a year.  Both the male and female Austrian Pinschers have an average weight of 26-40 lbs but slightly differ in height, with males standing between 17-20 inches and females at 17-19 inches. 

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What is the History of the Austrian Shorthaired Pinscher Dog? 

Although documentation on its exact origin is lacking, the Austrian Shorthaired Pinscher is a native of Austria developed in the 19th century by crossing German Pinscher with local farm dogs. During that time, the farm dogs in Austria had started dying out due to the gradual industrialization that was happening. The local farmers were looking for a dog that could serve as a guard dog, an excellent companion, and a vermin hunter.

It was then that Emil Hauck, a breeder, committed himself to bring these dogs back by crossing German Pinschers with local farm dogs. His attempt was successful as he was able to restore the breed.  It was not until 1928 that this dog breed was recognized as a separate dog breed by the Austrian Kennel Club and officially registered under Austrian Shorthaired Pinscher.

Although this dog breed was widely popular in different parts of Austria, it remained rare outside the country and almost became extinct during the second world war.  Only one Austrian pinscher dog breed ran out so much that only a single dog of this breed remained in the 1970s. This was bred with other Pinschers to bring back the breed. Initially, the Austrian Shorthaired Pinscher was used to protect livestock and farms, guard homes, and provide company to the owners. The United Kennel Club recognized the dog breed in 2006.

What are the Breed Traits and Characteristics of Austrian Shorthaired Pinscher Dog? 

Despite its working history, the Austrian Shorthaired Pinscher is an excellent family dog that makes a wonderful companion for children of all ages. Their playfulness and compassionate disposition adapt them to live with children. These dogs bond very strongly with their family and are never afraid of displaying their affection.

The Austrian Pinscher is an excellent guard dog. It is fearless and constantly alert and will thus bark immediately on noticing any strangers and intruders or hearing unexpected sounds. It does not relate well with other dogs and therefore requires early and proper socialization. This dog is not suitable for weak or passive owners but needs a firm but calm, confident, and consistent handler capable of exerting his authority; otherwise, the dog will take control.

The following are other characteristics of this dog breed:

Austrian Shorthaired Pinscher Dog Features

Breeds characteristics


Alert, attentive, lively, devoted, loving, gentle, happy, and playful are some of the words that can be used to describe this dog’s temperament. The Austrian Pinschers are very affectionate and fond of their family. These dogs strongly attach to the family members and expect the same devotion.

Additionally, these dogs are alert and constantly on the lookout, making them great watch or guard dogs.

Adaptability level

The Austrian Pinscher breed is highly adaptable. This dog can cope well with changes in lifestyle and environment. With its thick double coat, the dog is well insulated against coldness and can thus live in cold climates. Although it’s best suited for rural or suburban settings, the Austrian Pinscher can adapt to urban settings as long as there is large enough space to play in. However, this dog is unsuitable for apartment living due to its barking tendencies.

Sensitivity level

The Austrian Shorthaired Pinschers are not among the most sensitive dogs. They have moderate emotional levels and are not emotionally affected by moderate punishment. It’s okay to break the routine, entertain visitors, or enjoy some loud music occasionally without affecting the dogs emotionally.

Affection level

The Austrian Pinscher is highly affectionate. This dog breed bonds strongly with its family, and it’s happy to display its affection for them. 


Although Austrian Pinschers are very friendly to their family, they are highly wary and suspicious of strangers. They bark on sighting the presence of unknown people to alert their owners. They are also not friendly to other dogs.


This dog breed is highly friendly and loves playing with kids. The gentle temperament of the Austrian Pinscher dog makes it an ideal companion for children


These dogs do not relate well with pets and other dogs; hence they are unsuitable for families with multiple pets. However, when properly socialized, they can adapt and tolerate pets well.

Exercise needs

The Austrian Pinschers require lots of exercises to keep them satisfied. They need both physical and mental stimulation. At Least 1 hour of exercise daily, including walks, jogs, and hikes, are good to keep this dog at its best.


The Austrian Pinschers’ playfulness is highly playful and is thus best suited for large spaces, including big fenced yards. These dogs don’t do well in small spaces like apartments.

Energy Level

Since they were bred as working dogs, Austrian Pinschers have fairly high energy levels. They thus need a minimum of one-hour activity failure to which they become unhappy and destructive. 


These dogs are easy to train. However, they have their mind and may not take commands easily. As such, they need a strong person to control them. They are also easily distracted; thus, patience and persistence are necessary while training them.


The Austrian Pinscher is highly smart and quickly learns commands.

Tendency to bark

Being watch or guard dogs, Austrian pinschers have a natural propensity to bark. They bark to alert their owners of strangers and intruders.

Amount of shedding

These dogs shed averagely throughout the year blow out their whole coat during the shedding season.

What are the Austrian Shorthaired Pinscher Dog Physical Traits?

The Austrian Shorthaired Pinscher is a stocky, muscular, energetic, and vigorous dog with a lively and alert gait. This dog comes with a round head, broad skull, and large dark eyes. It has small v-shaped ears, a short muzzle, a black nose, and a short, docked tail that curls slightly upward.

This dog has a double coat with a short to medium-length outer coat and thick undercoat in red, yellow, fawn, black-brown, and yellow-brown. Male Austrian Pinschers stand 17-20 inches tall while females are 17-19 inches tall.  The sexes have no weight difference as both weigh between 26-40 pounds.

What are the Social Traits of Austrian Shorthaired Pinscher Dog Breed?

The Austrian Shorthaired Pinschers are very affectionate to their family. These dogs have a gentle nature and are friendly to children of all ages.  However, they are suspicious of strangers and don’t relate well with other dogs or pets. However, they can adapt with early and proper socialization training.

What are the Personality Traits of Austrian Shorthaired Pinscher Dog?

The Austrian Pinscher dogs are highly intelligent, energetic, lively, vigorous, and happy. They make wonderful family companions as well as great watch and guard dogs. These dogs are also very playful making them excellent playmates for children.

What is the Average Maintenance Cost for Austrian Shorthaired Pinscher Dog? 

The average maintenance cost for the Austrian Pinschers is determined by various factors, including acquisition costs, food costs, veterinary and medical costs, and grooming costs.

The Austrian Shorthaired Pinscher dogs are very rare outside their homeland in Austria. As such, the cost of acquiring one is fairly high. The average cost of an Austrian puppy is between $300-$500, based on the available data. The first year will cost higher due to the extra care the puppy needs in its first year and one-off costs like spaying and neutering. You can expect to spend about $4000 in the first year after which it will go down to about $1800.

The Austrian Pinscher will not cost you much since it does not require any special care in terms of grooming. This dog has a double coat which means they have moderate to high shedding levels. As such, it needs brushing once or twice a week to keep its coat in top condition. 

However, daily brushing will be necessary to keep loose hairs at bay during the shedding season. You can also give a rub down in between brushings using a soft towel or a rubber mitt to keep dog stench and loose hairs at bay.  

Bathing this dog should be infrequent and limited to once every two months. Overbathing can cause the dog’s skin to become excessively dry and itchy. Seasonal flea treatment, as well as regular ear and eye cleaning, are necessary to prevent infections. The Austrian Pinschers have low drooling tendencies. For utmost hygiene, you can keep a clean cloth to wipe the dog’s drool when it happens.

The average food and medical costs for these dogs are about $600. Generally, the Austrian Pinscher dogs are healthy dogs with low medical costs. These dogs are a low-maintenance dog breed. 

What is the best diet for an Austrian Shorthaired Pinscher Dog? 

The right kind of diet is essential for the Austrian Shorthaired Pinscher’s optimal health and proper functioning. Although these dogs are not prone to unhealthy weight gain due to their active nature, they can become obese without enough exercise.  It’s thus essential to give them good quality food and keep them active. 

As a medium-sized dog, feeding Austrian Pinscher on a breed-specific diet is ideal for their size. The best diet for these dogs should contain all essential nutrients, including proteins, healthy fats, vitamins, minerals, omega fats,  and easily digestible carbohydrates. 

Vets recommend high-quality dry dog food such as the Hill’s Science Diet Dry food for Healthy Mobility for Austrian Pinscher dogs. Besides offering a healthy balanced diet to these dogs, it also allows them to feed easily, quickly, and efficiently.

The amount of food that an Austrian Pinscher should eat depends on its age and health condition. However, an average Austrian Pinscher dog should consume between 21/2 and 3 cups of high-quality food daily. To avoid overfeeding in one sitting, this should be portioned into two or three meals. You should also avoid feeding table scraps and minimize threats to Austrian Pinscher dogs.

Austrian Pinscher puppies are highly energetic and require a lot of food to meet their energy needs and fuel their growth. They thus consume up to 4 cups of high-quality, wholly balanced, age-specific food split into 3-4 meals a day.

Generally, feeding an Austrian Pinscher dog will cost you about $1.2-$1.4 daily and $34-$45 monthly on average.

What are the common health problems of Austrian Shorthaired Pinscher Dog? 

Because the Austrian Pinscher is a rare breed, very little information is available about its health issues and other ailments. As such, Austrian Shorthaired Pinscher dogs are generally considered a healthy breed with few health issues, including

Hip dysplasia: This condition affects many dog breeds. Although it’s more commonly linked with large breed dogs, any dog, including Austrian Pinschers, can be affected. Hip dysplasia is a degenerative disorder caused by the hip ball and socket not fitting properly. This causes the hip joint to deteriorate with time causing debilitating pain, dysfunction, or incapacitation. This syndrome causes lameness, muscular atrophy, as well as immobility. Surgery may be necessary if the dog’s movement is limited or they are in pain.

The symptoms of hip dysplasia include:

  • Lameness
  • Difficulty getting up
  • Abnormal sitting positions
  • Occasional or chronic lameness
  • Cracking and popping sounds from joints

Cardiovascular disease: Although no studies have been undertaken to prove that Austrian Pinschers are more prone to heart diseases than other breeds, they have been linked to this condition. Symptoms of cardiovascular diseases in dogs include;

  • Weakness or collapse
  • Coughing
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Bloating or swelling of the abdomen
  • Getting more tired on walks or when playing
  • Paralysis or sudden onset of back leg weakness

Skin issues: Austrian Pinschers are not known to suffer from any common minor health issues. However, they are known to have very sensitive skin that’s prone to becoming excessively dry and irritating.  Bathing them too frequently can exacerbate this problem as it rids them of skin oil making them dry and itchy. As such, these dogs should be given a bath only when it’s absolutely necessary. This should not be more than twice a month.

What are the Nutritional Needs of an Austrian Shorthaired Pinscher Dog? 

Just like other dog breeds, Austrian Shorthaired Pinscher dogs require a completely balanced diet with all the necessary nutrients for proper growth and functioning. The food for Austrian Pinschers should have the following nutrients:

  • Proteins: Austrian Pinschers require natural animal protein, which is useful for the provision of amino acids. These are essential for the building and maintenance of healthy muscles and tissues. Proteins are also important sources of energy for the Austrian Pinscher dogs.
  • Fat: Animal proteins contain healthy fats which serve as additional sources of that serve as additional energy sources for dogs. These are also helpful for the dog’s metabolism. However, excess fat intake can lead to unhealthy weight gain and eventually obesity.
  • Carbohydrates: These are important sources of energy, despite the fact that they are not required nutrients. Providing sufficient carbs to the Austrian Pinschers will offer energy and enhance the body’s protein absorption, allowing it to create lean muscles. However, these should be given in moderation as they contribute to obesity.
  • Minerals: The diet for Austrian Pinscher dogs should include a healthy balance of all necessary minerals. These dogs require potassium, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, folate, and selenium, among others. These minerals are important for a variety of bodily activities. They aid in the health of a dog’s kidney, heart, liver, and bones.
  • Micronutrients: Austrian Pinscher dogs need micronutrients such as taurine, chondroitin, and glucosamine for joint and heart health.

Where to Buy or Adopt Austrian Shorthaired Pinscher Dogs? 

The Austrian Shorthaired Pinscher dogs are a rare dog breed. As such, it may be difficult to find, even in their country of origin. It’s thus crucial to exercise caution while seeking to purchase or adopt Austrian Pinscher dogs and deal with only reputable breeders. This ensures that you will have a healthy dog free of any potential health issues in the future. While at it, stay away from sales sites and ad pages to discourage backyard breeding.

Suppose you are successful in identifying a genuine breeder. In that case, you should make a point of visiting the facility and insist on seeing both of the puppy’s parents to get a sense of their personalities. A good breeder must have proof of successful healthy litters that come with all relevant documentation. An Austrian puppy will cost you about $300-$450, depending on the breeder.

Although it may be challenging due to the breed’s rarity, you may get an Austrian Pinscher from adoption and rescue centers. These organizations are dedicated to identifying abandoned, stray, mistreated, or unwanted dogs and finding new homes for them. The best way to get to these rescue centers is by reaching out to registered kennel clubs, including the United Kennel Club (UKC), the Austrian Kennel Club (AKC), and the Federation Cynologique Internationale( FCI) to direct you to rescue centers.

What are the Similar Dog Breeds for Austrian Shorthaired Pinscher Dog? 

The dog breeds below are similar to the Austrian Shorthaired Pinschers in one way or the other. This may be size, temperament, physical characteristics, or personality.

  • German Pinscher dog: Like an Austrian Pincher, this dog has a height of 17-20 inches and weighs between 25-45 pounds on average. Besides size, these dogs have a similar temperament. They are devoted and fiercely loyal to their families. They are also highly intelligent and easy to train but require a firm and consistent owner to control them. Both dogs make excellent watchdogs due to their alert nature and natural suspicion of strangers.
  • Chinooks: These dogs are similar to Austrian Pinschers in maintenance and temperament. They both have double coats with moderate to high shedding levels requiring daily brushing to keep their coats in order. They are also gentle, affectionate, and friendly to their families but aloof in the presence of strangers. Both goods relate well to children making them ideal for families with kids.
  • Portuguese Sheepdog:  With their height between 16-22 inches and a weight of 25-40 pounds, these dogs are similar in size to Austrian Shorthaired Pinscher dogs. These dogs are happy, lively, energetic, and make loyal companions. They naturally bond strongly with their families but are suspicious around strangers.
  • Airedale Terriers: just like Austrian Pinscher dogs, terriers are highly active and energetic dogs that need at least an hour of exercise and attention daily to be their best. These dogs are also not ideal for apartment living as they need large spaces to play in. Terriers don’t do well when left alone and may become destructive isolated for long hours. more about Airedale Terrier social life, care & diet information.

Michael Brady

Michael is an animal-lover who specializes in marketing. He started running Dog Food Care with his mother, Sarah, after leaving his office job. Michael gained enough flexibility in his schedule to be able to adopt a dog of his own and welcomed Emmie the dachshund into his home in 2020.