Pinscher is a type of dog developed originally as ratters on farms and for fighting or guarding, although today they are most often kept as pets.
It is considered that the German Pinscher is a prototypical Pinscher and one of the oldest German breeds, more closely related to the Standard Schnauzer (once known as the Wire-Haired Pinscher) than the Dobermann and other Pinschers. Since the mid-19th century, breeders stopped crossbreeding these coat types, and with the formation of the German Pinscher-Schnauzer-Club (PSK) in 1895, advanced them to distinct breed varieties.
There are several theories on the etymology of the word Pinscher; that it derives from French "pincer", meaning "to seize" and "to nip", or "to bite" and "to grip" which are possibly related to their function of catching vermin on the farm, that it derives from English "pinch" referring to their clipped ears, "fox terrier" type of dog (considered that it was a descriptive term meaning "settler" or "terrier" dog method of working, and not heritage), or biter, although the verb "pinch" has the same early 13th century Old North French *pinchier derivation, which itself possibly originates from Vulgar Latin.
The Fédération Cynologique Internationale recognizes the following pinscher breeds in Group 2, Section 1: Pinschers and Schnauzers, Section 1.1 Pinscher:
There may be other related hunting dogs called pinscher that are not recognized breeds. In addition, individual breeders often attempt the creation of new breeds which they may call pinschers. One example of these is the Carlin Pinscher, which has been developed by crossing the Pug with the Miniature Pinscher, or other similar breeds. There are a very large number of sporting clubs, breed clubs, and internet-based breed registries and businesses in which dogs may be registered under whatever name the owner or seller wishes.
The German Pinscher is among its homeland’s oldest breeds. As the progenitor of the Miniature Pinscher and the ever-popular Doberman, among other German breeds, it can be said to be the prototypical pinscher. (A helpful historian tells us that “ ‘pinscher’ appears to be a Germanic form of the French word ‘pincer,’ meaning "to seize" or "to nip".) And seizing and nipping are apt descriptions of how GPs originally earned a living: rat killing...The German Pinscher originated in Germany and is more closely associated to the Schnauzer than the Doberman and other Pinschers.
Part of the confusion in origin comes from the word "pinscher", which is a descriptive term like "settler" or "terrier" that denotes the dog's method of working, not his heritage. "Pinscher" refers to a dog's habit of jumping on, and fiercely biting its quarry. A definition in Henne's Dictionary of the German Language indicates that Pinscher is "borrowed from the English word pincher, meaning one who pinches, nips or tweaks."
The word pinscher means 'to bite' or 'to grip' and it was used to describe the breed's original function as a killer of rats and other vermin.