The German Pinscher is a generally healthy breed with an average lifespan of approximately 12 years. 


The goal and mission of the German Pinscher Club of America is to provide reliable current information on health-related issues that may affect German Pinschers and to encourage participation in and support research to improve the health of future generations of the German Pinscher breed.


The modern German Pinscher has a relatively small gene pool so attention to potential health concerns is important for the future of the breed. Although testing will not guarantee the health of a puppy it does increase the chance of producing healthier and longer lived offspring.

Information is linked from this page and is provided as a resource only and is not intended to replace professional care. Always consult with your Veterinarian about your health and medical concerns.

Reputable breeders follow the club’s code of ethics for breeding as well as the Club’s recommendations for testing which is managed through the CANINE HEALTH INFORMATION CENTER, an offshoot of the Orthopedic Foundation for  Animals.


The Canine Health Information Center, also called “CHIC” maintains a database of health tested dogs in each breed.  It is a tool that collects health information on individual dogs from multiple sources. This centralized pool of information is maintained to assist breeders in making informed breeding choices, for buyers to research the health of a potential puppy’s pedigree/ancestors, and for scientists in conducting research.  Each parent club designates the required and recommended testing based on the trends of health conditions in the breed.  The GPCA requires three tests: 1) a yearly eye exam with a veterinary opthamologist;  2) x rays of the hips after the age of 2 years to rule out hip dysplasia and 3)  an echocardiogram after the age of one year to rule out congenital heart issues.

Each dog must be permanently identified in order to have test results included in CHIC. Permanent identification may be in the form of microchip or tattoo. CHIC operates an informed consent database. Owners are encouraged to release all test results realizing it is in the ultimate health interests of the breed and the information greatly increases the depth and breadth of any resulting pedigree analysis, however breeders and owners are not required to make their dogs testing public and some do refuse their results to be made public. In order to qualify for a CHIC number, all results must be released into the public domain. 

German Pinscher required testing for CHIC certification                (as of 1/1/2018)

Eye Examination by a boarded ACVO Ophthalmologist

◾Results registered with OFA – OR
◾Registered with CERF

Hip Dysplasia

◾OFA Evaluation – OR
◾PennHIP Evaluation-OR
◾Recognized Foreign Hip Registry (contact OFA to register results) 

Cardiac Evaluation

◾Advanced Cardiac Exam – this exam must include an echocardiogram.

Recommended:   von Willebrand’s Disease   (in circumstances where a carrier parent is used or when a dog’s clearance cannot be certified by DNA of ancestors)

◾  OFA Evaluation from an OFA approved genetics lab or certified Clear By Parentage (first generation only – see OFA website for detailed policy)