Standard Schnauzer Guide

Working Dog Breeds

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This is a robust, sturdily built, heavyset dog of square proportion. It is both strong and agile, enabling it to perform as both a guard and ratter. Its stride is quick, powerful and ground-covering. Its coat is hard, wiry and thick, with a soft undercoat. Its hallmark whiskers, mustache and eyebrows add to its alert, spirited expression.

Bold and lively, the standard schnauzer is a fun-loving companion and guardian. It is clever and headstrong, and unless given daily physical and mental exercise, it can be mischievous. It does best with a firm, patient owner. It is a devoted family dog and very reliable with children. It is good with other family pets, but it can be aggressive toward strange dogs, animals or rodents. It is reserved with strangers, sometimes acting suspicious and protective.


FAMILY schnauzer, livestock guard, terrier



ORIGINAL FUNCTION ratting, guardian


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

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The standard schnauzer needs daily exertion, either a long walk on leash, a vigorous game or an off-lead outing in a safe area. It can live outdoors in temperate climates, but it is better off dividing its time between house and yard. Its harsh coat needs combing twice weekly, plus professional scissoring and shaping four times yearly. Shaping is done by clipping for pets and stripping for show dogs.
• Major concerns: none
• Minor concerns: CHD, follicular dermatitis
• Occasionally seen: none
• Suggested tests: hip
• Life span: 12 – 14 years
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The standard schnauzer is the prototypical schnauzer, the oldest of the three breeds. Definite evidence of the breed exists from as early as the 14th century; even then, it was appreciated as a household pet and hunting companion. The breed is a fortuitous blend of terrier, working and hunting stock, most likely derived from crossing wirehaired pinschers with black German poodles and gray wolf spitz. The result was a hardy rat catcher that also functioned as a capable guard dog. By the beginning of the 20th century, standard schnauzers were the most popular dogs for guarding farmers' carts at the marketplace while the farmers were elsewhere. The first schnauzers entered the show ring as wirehaired pinschers at an 1879 German show. Their smart looks quickly enamored them to the dog fanciers, and they became very popular as show dogs by 1900. Although the first schnauzers had come to America by this time, they were slower to catch on with American dog fanciers. The breed was initially classified as a terrier, but it was later reclassified as a working dog. Their alert and intelligent nature gained them a role as dispatch carrier and aide during World War I. Like the larger giant schnauzer, the standard schnauzer was also used in police work. Only after World War II did it gain more public attention; even so, it has not achieved the popularity of the other schnauzers.
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