Breed Type: Terrier
Country of Origin: Germany
Also known as: Mittelschnauzer Schnauzer
Males: Height: 46-51 cm Weight: 16-23 kg
Females: Height: 43-48 cm Weight: 14-20 kg
Exercise Requirements: Medium
Care Requirements: Medium
Lifespan: 13-16 Years
Best Suited as: Family Pets
The Standard Schnauzer is the original Schnauzer of the three types and may sometimes forget he is canine instead of human. This breed is extremely intelligent, alert and makes a wonderful companion.
Their long beards, expressive eyebrows whiskers and mustache easily distinguish the Standard Schnauzer. They have a unique rectangular muzzle and it is no wonder that the Germans named them for this defining characteristic -the word Schnauzer comes from the German word for muzzle or snout. They have high set, erect ears when cropped but are otherwise floppy. Their expressive eyes are medium size and dark brown in color. Their teeth come together in a strong scissor bite.
Their coat color is most often salt-and-pepper but black Standard Schnauzers also exist. Their coat is stiff, wiry and thick with a soft undercoat. They are a handsome, regal and robust in stature and carry themselves with a self-important air.
The Schnauzer has a long history and records of the first Schnauzers date back 600 years. The Standard Schnauzer is the original type of Schnauzer and the breed was developed from other herding and vermin catching breeds such as the Wirehaired Pinscher, black German Poodle and Gray Wolf Spitz. From the Pinscher, the Schnauzer most likely inherited its soft undercoat while the Wolf Spitz contributed to its wiry salt-and-pepper coat common in many Schnauzers. The black poodle contributed its coloring to the black colored Schnauzer.
A star is born! Schnauzers first entered the show ring as wirehaired pinschers at a German dog show an 1879. It was this dog, named “Schnauzer”, by which the breed got its name. By the 1900’s, dog enthusiasts were so impressed by the Schnauzers’ regal looks and intelligence that they became very popular show dogs. In 1997, the breed was awarded “Best in Show” at the Westminster Kennel Club” in the United States.
Schnauzers continued to be popular pets and gained notoriety as dispatch carriers and aides during World War I as well as working with the police. Today, the Standard Schnauzer is a popular breed in Europe, Australia and the United States.
There are many words to describe the Schnauzer – sociable, intelligent, alert, loyal, comedian, guard dog and lovable companion. Never boring, the Schnauzer expects to be treated like an important family member. They rarely bond with just one individual, but consider the whole pack to be theirs. Do not get between a Schnauzer and his family – he is an alert watchdog and is quite defensive when he senses there is trouble.
Standard Schnauzers are easy to train due to their intelligence and loyal spirit. Your Standard Schnauzer puppy will keep you on your toes – they are constantly exploring, learning and testing their limits. Training should start early and your puppy should quickly learn a number of commands. They are high-spirited dogs and need a good amount of exercise.
Your Standard Schnauzer will expect to be treated like one of the family and loves to go for car rides and run errands with their owners. Anything you do, your Schnauzer will want to tag along.
Care and Grooming
The Standard Schnauzer requires a great deal of grooming and for those who take their pet to a professional groomer, quite a large expense. Many Schnauzer owners like to have their dog trimmed with the typical Schnauzer cut with longer furnishings on the legs and face and a skirt on their underbelly. These areas need to be brushed daily to keep them from getting mats. Matted fur is both painful and difficult to cut out. Ready to take on the grooming job yourself? Good luck – the Schnauzer needs the fur cut around their paw pads (which they detest), their nails trimmed, teeth brushed and their ear hair plucked.
After several meetings with the shears, their coat loses some of its wiriness and become much softer. The Salt and Pepper variety actually loses its black and white banded color of fur and in its place is an entirely gray coat. This tradition is much more common in the United States then in Europe.
Prone to overeating, make sure your Schnauzer does not have access to a full bowl of food whenever he wishes. Measure out his food and feed him twice a day and no more.
Standard Schnauzers have very few health problems. In 2008, the Standard Schnauzer Club of American released a health survey that showed only 1% of Standard Schnauzers they studied had serious health concern. The only two major health issues for this breed are hip dysplasia and hereditary eye disease. These diseases can be tested for in their parents prior to breeding. Ask your breeder about these tests prior to adopting a puppy.
More minor issues related to the Schnauzer are Schnauzer bumps, which are bumps that look similar to human blackheads or pimples and are found on the Schnauzers back. While they are not a sign of a serious problem, they should be examined by a veterinarian. Some Schnauzers are also prone to urinary tract infections, ear infections and pancreatitis.
Suitability as a Pet
If you are looking for a loyal companion and a pet that is ready to join you for every activity, the Standard Schnauzer might be the dog for you. While they are a high-energy breed as puppies, they tend to mellow with age. This is not to say they do not need daily exercise and constant mental stimulation. Like other high-intelligence breeds, a bored Standard Schnauzer is a destructive one.
Due to their intelligence and willingness to please, the Standard Schnauzer is easy to train. Able to sense weakness, they need a strong leader who will not allow them to take the job of “ruling the roost.”
Because one of their many jobs has been to catch rats, Standard Schnauzers should not be trusted to be alone with small, furry pets. Most Standard Schnauzers do well with cat and dog siblings if they are introduced as puppies.
This breed is particularly good with children and make wonderful family pets. They do not like to be left out of the action or left at home for long periods of time. If your work takes you away for long periods, your Schnauzer may show his dissatisfaction with you. If you have more than one Schnauzer, they are also known to howl together once you have left the premises.