Country of Origin
Schnauzers (meaning ‘small beard’ in German) are named after an actual dog, ‘Schnauzer’ who lived in Germany in the 1870’s, but the breed itself existed as far back as the Middle Ages. This is evidenced by various sculptures and Rembrandt paintings. Early Schnauzers were likely derived by crossing gray spitzes with black poodles. This resulted in an adept rat hunter and guardian that became incredibly popular by the early 1900’s, due in part to its distinct appearance. Standard Schnauzers (or ‘Mittelschnauzers’) became popular in World War I by serving as messengers and police dogs, and increased in popularity as a pet after World War II.
The Standard Schnauzer has a shoulder height of 43-51 cm (17-20 in) and weighs 16-20 kg (35-45 lbs). The Standard Schnauzer has a long, rectangular head with small, deep eyes and highly set ears which may be cropped or uncropped. Standard Schnauzers have a slightly sloped back, highly set, erect tail, and small, round ‘cat feet’.
The Standard Schnauzer has a soft, thick undercoat and a rugged, wiry outer coat which is solid black or salt-and-pepper colored. The coat is longer on the chin and face, forming eyebrows and a beard. The Standard Schnauzer sheds little.
The Standard Schnauzer is even-tempered and an eager, intelligent learner. It is brave and fun, making and an excellent companion. Standard Schnauzers also make fine guard dogs as they are loyal, protective, and alert. At times, they may be pushy if they don’t know who’s boss.
The Standard Schnauzer gets along great with familiar children, dogs, and other pets, but is wary and cautious with people and animals it does not know. Standard Schnauzers are best behaved when given sufficient exercise and human companionship. They don’t get along with other dogs as well as the Miniature Schnauzer, but they bark less often.
The Standard Schnauzer requires weekly combing and biannual grooming/shaping. Typically, pet Standard Schnauzers are clipped and show dogs are stripped (dead hair is plucked via a serrated knife edge). Excessive hair around the pads of the feet should be removed and the ears must be kept clean. Standard Schnauzers with cropped ears should be checked for ear infections. Long facial hair should be combed occasionally. Standard Schnauzers can live outdoors in moderate or warm areas, but prefer to live indoors with plenty of playtime outdoors. Standard Schnauzers have a long life span of 13-15 years or more.
Though the Standard Schnauzer learns fast, it has a slight stubborn streak. Training must be fair and consistent and should not be overly repetitious. Standard Schnauzers are responsive to the sound of their handler's voice. They are versatile, and can learn a variety of activities such as hunting, retrieving, and herding.
The Standard Schnauzer's exercise needs are average. It likes to keep busy with activities such as swimming, catching a ball, or running through the woods. It can live in an apartment provided it is exercised sufficiently.