The Standard Schnauzer is a handsome, robust, powerful, squarely built, medium dog breed. The Standard is the original of the three dog breeds- Miniature, Standard and Giant. The Schnauzer is distinguished by its rugged and square build and characteristic prominent moustache.
The Standard’s head is broad with a long tapering, blunt muzzle, bushy eyebrows, thick moustache and long whiskers. Ears can be natural (V- shaped, set very high and falling forward) or, where permitted, they can be cropped to form an erect triangle.
The tail is customarily docked fairly short. Schnauzers have a coarse, wiry outer coat and a soft dense undercoat. The Standards colors are pepper and salt (mixture of dark and light hair) or pure black.
This is a medium-size breed with females standing 17 to 19 inches and males standing 18 to 20 inches tall at shoulder height. Males weigh 40 to 45 pounds and females 35 to 40 pounds.
Schnauzers ( Standard ) are members of the American Kennel Club (AKC) Working Dog Group.
Standard Schnauzers usually have litters of four to nine puppies. As soon as they have completed their shots, the Schnauzer puppies should be taken to early kindergarten training.
History of The Schnauzer
The Standard Schnauzer is the oldest and the progenitor of the other two Schnauzer breeds. The Schnauzers were originally developed in the sheep and cattle farming areas of Southern Germany.
These dogs were used to guard the farm and animals, herd animals, catch rats and other vermin, and protect the farmers on the way to market. The Schnauzer dates back to the 15th century and is featured in several pictures of Albrecht Durer between 1492 and 1504.
The likely progenitors of the Schnauzer include the black German Poodle, the gray Wolfspitz and Wire-haired Pinscher. In fact the breed was first shown in 1870 Germany under the name of Wire-haired Pinscher.
However by the 1900’s the breed became commonly known as the Schnauzer after the German word for muzzle. Significant numbers of Standards were imported to the US after World War I and the national breed club was created in 1925.
Despite its many outstanding characteristics, the Standard has never been as popular as the Miniature or the Giant Schnauzer. Standard Schnauzers were ranked 99th out of 154 dog breeds registered by the AKC in 2005.
Temperament of The Schnauzer
Standards are intelligent, fearless, loyal, affectionate, alert, energetic and strong willed. These Schnauzers make good family dogs and companions and do fine with children if they are raised with them.
The Standard is one of the most intelligent of all dog breeds but his active and strong-willed nature means that he must be thoroughly socialized and obedience trained at an early age.
The Standard remembers what he learns and is relatively easy to train if you use challenging, upbeat and reward-based training methods. Many breeders recommend professional training assistance to get the most out of this breed.
Standard Schnauzers can excel at conformation, obedience, agility, herding and tracking competitions. Schnauzers insist on being part of the family and are very devoted and protective. Standards are aloof with strangers and make good watchdogs and guard dogs. Standards do best with an active experienced dog owner who will not allow the breed to exert its dominance.
Standards will enjoy all the exercise that you can provide including off leash romps in secure open areas. At the minimum, Schnauzers need a long brisk walk every day. Inclement weather is no excuse for avoiding a walk, as the Standard seems impervious to cold and wet weather.
Because the Standards are so intelligent and active, you should try to get them involved in mentally challenging activities such as: obedience, agility, herding and tracking competitions. See our article on “Fun Dog Activities” or a description of these and other activities for your dog. Standards can adapt to apartment living as long as they are given sufficient exercise.
The Standard’s wiry coat is fairly easy to look after but requires regular brushing and combing with special attention to the long hair to avoid mats and tangles. These Schnauzers are non shedding dogs with no doggy odor and are often referred to as hypoallergenic.
Like most non shedding dogs the dead hair must be hand stripped twice per year in Spring and Fall. If you don’t learn how to do this, you will have to take the Standard to a professional groomer.
Show dogs have to be rolled and hand stripped on a weekly basis. If you don’t plan to show your dog then you may wish to have the Schnauzer clipped for easier maintenance.
Standard Schnauzers should live for 12 to 15 years and are generally very healthy. There are cases of hip dysplasia and eye disease (such as cataracts, progressive retinal atrophy and “dry eye”) in the bloodlines but they don’t appear to be very widespread at this time.
However Standard buyers should insist on seeing the breeding parents Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) orthopedic test results for hip dysplasia and also the Canine Eye Registry (CERF) recent ophthalmologists report for eye disorders.