Let's talk Standard Schnauzers

There’s really nothing standard about the Standard Schnauzer breed, except for the name. The original member of the universally lovable Schnauzer family has a distinctive, aristocratic bearing, thanks to that bushy beard, arched eyebrows and high-set ears. Once trained, these sociable and affectionate dogs make lovely family pets, even for apartment-dwellers, as long as they get plenty of exercise. They may have left their original vocation as rat-catchers behind them but they still have plenty of energy that needs burning off somehow.

Official name: Standard Schnauzer

Other names: Originally known as a Wire-haired Pinscher

Origins: Germany

Standard Schnauzer sitting in black and white

 

 Drooling tendencies  Very low  Warm weather?  High
 Shedding level  Very low  Suited to apartment living?  High
 Energy level *  High  Family Pet? *  High
 Compatibility with other pets  Medium  Can stay alone? *  

* We advise against leaving pets alone for long stretches. Companionship can prevent emotional distress and destructive behavior. Speak to your veterinarian for recommendations.

Every pet is different, even within a breed; this snapshot of this breed specifics should be taken as an indication.

For a happy healthy and well-behaved pet, we recommend educating and socializing your pet as well as covering their basic welfare needs (and their social and behavioral needs).

Pets should never be left unsupervised with a child.

Contact your breeder or veterinarian for further advice.

All domestic pets are sociable and prefer company. However, they can be taught to cope with solitude from an early age. Seek the advice of your veterinarian or trainer to help you do this.

 

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Illustration of Standard Schnauzer
Male
47 - 50 cm Height
14 - 20 kg Weight
Female
45 - 47 cm Height
14 - 20 kg Weight

 

 Baby age  Birth to 2 months
 Puppy age  2 to 12 months
 Adult age  1 to 7 years
 Mature age  7 to 10 years
 Senior age  From 10 years

 

Standard Schnauzer with red collar looking at camera

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Get to know the Standard Schnauzer

All you need to know about the breed

Dapper-looking Standard Schnauzers, with their twinkly-eyed, inquisitive expressions and trademark shaggy beards, are the original Schnauzers, the breed from which Miniature Schnauzers and Giant Schnauzers were developed. Intelligent and playful, they originated in Germany in the Middle Ages. These wonderfully hairy all-rounders were developed to work on farms and around stables (they were comfortable around horses), catching rats and acting as a guard dog protecting the herd, and their humans too.

Nowadays the Standard Schnauzer, playful and sometimes mischievous by nature, has found another vocation as a family dog – they are prized for their affectionate natures, ease of training – not to mention their low levels of shedding: your soft furnishings will thank you.

Standard Schnauzers can be … how shall we put this … vocal. They were originally prized as guard dogs after all (and they can still be wary with strangers). But they do respond well to training so their barkiness should not be too much of a problem. Once trained, Standard Schnauzers get on well with other dogs and also with children, although they shouldn’t be left alone with very young ones.

Standard Schnauzers are lively and high-energy by nature – they need plenty of walks and enjoy playing games: these will help keep them mentally stimulated too. For off-the-lead runs, they need a safely enclosed space. Even if times have changed, that prey-chasing instinct is still there.

Three Standard Schnauzer puppies sitting in dried grass

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2 facts about Standard Schnauzers

1. Line of canine duty

These intrepid canines have an illustrious record of service: intelligent and purposeful Standard Schnauzers were used as guard dogs and dispatch carriers during World War One, and they have also served as police dogs in both the U.S. and Germany.

2. Schnauzer’s snout

Those lavish whiskers aren’t just for decoration – they originally served as protection against scratches and bites in the breed’s early hunting days. Nowadays, it’s more about the aesthetics – and that on-trend beard makes the fabulously bewhiskered Standard Schnauzer an instantly recognisable breed.

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History of the breed

Spirited and sturdy Standard Schnauzers are thought to date back to the Middle Ages, where they were bred in Germany as versatile farm helpers, able to turn their paw to rat-catching, herding and guard dog duties. They are thought to be descended from the European herding breeds and working dogs of the time, with one theory putting them as the result of a cross between a grey Wolfspitz and a black German poodle, others suggesting pinschers are present in the mix: their exact ancestry goes back too far to be certain.

The Standard Schnauzer we know and love today first appeared as a distinct breed under the less descriptive name of Wire-haired Pinscher in the dog shows of the 19th century. The Standard Schnauzer’s distinctive look ensured it quickly earned a more evocative name (Schnauze means muzzle or snout in German) and from the early 20th century, started to become more popular as a family pet.

Side view of Standard Schnauzer walking in black and white

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From head to tail

Physical characteristics of Standard Schnauzers

1. Face

Abundant beard, moustache and shaggy eyebrows.

2. Ears

High-set ears, hanging forward; alert expression.

3. Body

Muscular, compact, medium-sized build.

4. Coat

Thick, wiry and dense coat in black or salt-and-pepper.

5. Tail

Curved tail held high.

Close-up of Standard Schnauzer looking at camera with tilted head

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Things to look out for

From specific breed traits to a general health overview, here are some interesting facts about your Standard Schnauzer
Grey Standard Schnauzer standing in front of low branches and fall foliage

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Caring for your Standard Schnauzer

Grooming, training and exercise tips

Like the other Schnauzer breeds, Standard Schnauzers have thick double coats – a wiry topcoat and a soft undercoat – and these need proper grooming to stay in good condition, with brushing every day or so at home as well as trips to a professional groomer from time to time. Standard Schnauzers need plenty of exercise and enjoy variety: regular lead walks, off-the-lead runs in an enclosed space or playing games with their humans – better still a combination of all of the above - will keep them physically fit and mentally stimulated. Standard Schnauzers can be stubborn but as they’re also intelligent they should be straightforward to train. Just make sure it’s fun – too repetitive and they may get bored. Remember, any food rewards should come out of their daily rations to avoid them becoming overweight.

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All about Standard Schnauzers

Not as much as you might expect, given their hirsute looks. However, while this is good news for vacuuming-averse dog owners, this does not make them hypoallergenic: no dogs are, as it is dogs’ dander (skin flakes), not their hair, that triggers allergies in humans.

Standard Schnauzers are not known to be aggressive. Once trained, they make good family pets and get on well with other dogs. However, because of their prey instinct they should be kept separate from any small pets such as hamsters or guinea pigs and be warned, they may also chase cats. Although, like any breed, Standard Schnauzers shouldn’t be left unsupervised with young children, they are known to get along well with them.

Other breeds that might interest you.

Sources

1 - Veterinary Centers of America https://vcahospitals.com/ 

2 - Royal Canin Dog Encyclopaedia. Ed 2010 and 2020

3 - Banfield Pet Hospital https://www.banfield.com/

4 - Royal Canin BHN Product Book

5 - American Kennel Club https://www.akc.org/