There isn't much the sporty-looking Standard Schnauzer can't do. They were bred to guard the carts of German farmers while they sold their wares at market; and since 1900, they've been strong competitors in the show ring. These days, you'll find super-smart Schnauzers detecting cancer, sniffing out bombs, aiding in search and rescue missions, and serving as therapy and hearing dogs.
Originally from Germany, this medium-sized and medium-energy breed can grow to between 35-45 pounds and lives an average of 12-14 years. The breed is recognized by the American Kennel Club and classified as a member of the Working group.
AKC Recognized: Y
Breed's Original Pastime: Hunting, Companion
Breed Group: Working
Average Lifespan: 13-16 years
Bark Factor: Moderate
AKC RANKING 97
FAMILY schnauzer, livestock guard, terrier
AREA OF ORIGIN Germany
DATE OF ORIGIN Middle Ages
ORIGINAL FUNCTION ratting, guardian
TODAY'S FUNCTION companion
AVERAGE SIZE OF MALE Height: 18.5-19.5 Weight: 40-45
AVERAGE SIZE OF FEMALE Height: 17.5-18.5 Weight: 35-40
OTHER NAME mittelschnauzer
Energy level High energy
Exercise needs Medium
Playfullness Moderately playful
Affection level Somewhat affectionate
Friendliness toward other dogs Shy
Friendliness toward other pets Friendly
Friendliness toward strangers Shy
Ease of training Moderately easy to train
Watchdog ability High
Protection ability Very protective
Grooming needs High maintenance
Cold tolerance Medium tolerance
Heat tolerance Medium tolerance
BEHAVIOR & TRAINING
WHAT IS A STANDARD SCHNAUZER'S PERSONALITY?
Standard Schnauzers are smart, spirited, smart, fearless, SMART, reliable, and SMART. Did we mention this dog is smart? She's also affectionate and somewhat playful, and completely devoted to her family — especially “her” kids when they play together supervised. Their sense of fun and mischief makes these dogs wonderful canine companions to beloved humans and other family pets to which they've been socialized early. They can, however, be suspicious of unknown dogs.
WHAT IS STANDARD SCHNAUZER BEHAVIOR LIKE?
This is a very active breed. These energetic smarty-paws need lots of physical and mental stimulation if you want them to be good housemates. Standard Schnauzers will need long walks every day, or shorter runs coupled with off-leash exploring sessions and playtime with you. These dogs are alert and lively, making them wonderful guardians. Some Standard Schnauzers don't do well in dog parks.
HOW EASY IS IT TO TRAIN A STANDARD SCHNAUZER?
Though they are sometimes willful, Standard Schnauzers are a biddable breed that responds well to training. Reward good behavior with games or food.
Remember how bright these dogs are — they learn fast, but they also get bored quickly. Keep training sessions short and fun. A nightly review of a few tricks before dinner could be good bonding work for you both.
This breed often excels at tracking, herding, obedience, rally, and agility dog sports.
CARE & HEALTH
HOW MUCH DO STANDARD SCHNAUZERS SHED AND WHAT ARE THEIR GROOMING NEEDS?
Standard Schnauzers don't shed much and are among the breeds recommended by the American Kennel Club for allergy sufferers. Their coats are wiry and hard, and require combing a few times a week. If you're showing your Standard Schnauzer, she'll need to be hand-stripped. Otherwise you might want to schedule regular clippings.
WHAT HEALTH PROBLEMS DO STANDARD SCHNAUZERS HAVE?
As a breed, Standard Schnauzers are generally healthy. Some may be susceptible to skin conditions, eye disease, and hip dysplasia.
Breed history has moved while this section is under construction. Please check out the first tab for fun facts about this breed's history. You can also read on to learn about this breed's ideal family situation.
ARE STANDARD SCHNAUZERS GOOD FOR PEOPLE WITH ALLERGIES?
The American Kennel Club lists Standard Schnauzers among its breeds recommended for allergy sufferers. This breed sheds infrequently and predictably, and produces less dander than most dogs.
Remember that no breed is 100% hypoallergenic, and any breed can aggravate allergies. You can reduce your furry friend's impact on your allergies with frequent baths and brushings to reduce loose hairs and aggravating proteins in your pet's dander. Use a damp cloth to wipe off your dog after you've been playing outside. Smaller dogs have less surface area, and so produce comparatively less dander than larger breeds — definitely something to keep in mind with a dog like a Standard Schnauzer!
WHAT IS A STANDARD SCHNAUZER'S BEST DAY?
The bold, busy Standard Schnauzer just wants to be doing something, pretty much all the time, preferably with you. If you can find her a safe, traffic-free area to run around in and chase squirrels through, she'll have a grand time. (Schnauzers don't always do well at dog parks, though, so it's best if you can find yours someplace private to play.) These clever canines will also enjoy opportunities to learn and solve puzzles, so consider dog sports, like rally or agility courses.
SHOULD I ADOPT A STANDARD SCHNAUZER?
Standard Schnauzers are equally well suited to warm and cool climates. While you're considering adopting this breed, there are a few things to keep in mind. This is not the best dog for someone looking for a lap-warmer. She's happy to keep you company while you jog, but she's never going to want to lounge around your apartment all day. This breed also has non-negligible grooming requirements. She's not high maintenance if you comb and clip her regularly, but she's also not a wash-and-go kind of lady. And while they're definitely amenable to training, a Standard Schnauzer is no pushover. If you're looking for a genius dog to help guard your house and keep you on your toes, there might not be a better match.
Have you decided that a Standard Schnauzer is the perfect dog for you? Why not be your new best friend's hero and adopt a rescue! Be sure to check out our article on what to expect when you're adopting a dog or cat.