AKC Dog Breeds:  Standard Schnauzer

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Working Group
Height:17-20 inches   Weight: 30-45 pounds  Color: black, black and silver or salt and pepper

The Standard Schnauzer is a robust, heavy-set dog, sturdily built with good muscle and plenty of bone. The Standard Schnauzer is a distinctive looking dog with its beard and whiskers, bushy eyebrows and overall impression of power and dignity. As the original of the three Schnauzer sizes, the Standard Schnauzer was first developed in Germany in the fourteenth century. Named for the German word "Schnauze" or muzzle, they were likely developed by crossing black German poodles, spitz breeds and large terriers. The breed was a companion dog as well as a working animal and is depicted in both family portraits and hunting scenes from the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. In the late 1800's the breed became popular as a farm and watchdog, used to protect farmer's carts as public markets. In many households in German this dog was considered a "kinder watcher" or watchdog for children. The Standard Schnauzer was registered with the AKC in 1904.

General Appearance
The Standard Schnauzer is a medium-sized, rugged, robust dog with bushy eyebrows, whiskers and a beard. The head is long and rectangular, with a strong muzzle and a pronounced stop. The nose is black and the eyes are oval and dark brown. The teeth should form a scissors bite. The feet are small and cat-like, with arched toes. The tail is generally docked at the fourth vertebra, but cropping the ears is optional. The forelegs are very straight. Any dewclaws should be removed. The topline slopes slightly downward from the withers to the rump. The front legs must appear straight from every angle, while its rear legs and thighs are oblique and very muscular. He has a harsh, wiry outer coat and dense, soft undercoat. The coat comes in salt & pepper or solid black.


Active, energetic, and playful, the Standard Schnauzer is an agile dog with plenty of spirit and enthusiasm. These reliable dogs can be sweet and gentle, but can also be serious. The Standard Schnauzer has a high level of intelligence, is responsive, and is eager to please, which makes training easy. He is a highly trainable breed. However, they can be stubborn and hard headed, making them best suited to those with some experience of dog ownership. The Standard Schnauzer needs a confident and assertive owner that knows how to use positive training methods. He is very in tune with the moods and emotions of his owner, and thrives on the attention and affection of his family. Mental and physical stimulation is important for this breed, otherwise he can become bored and destructive. The Standard Schnauzer is a sensitive breed, and is known as an excellent problem solver. He gets along well with children, particularly when brought up with them. He tends to be stand offish around strangers, but early socialization can help to promote a more confident and less suspicious personality. His loyalty and territorial instincts make him an effective watchdog, and he is also ideal as a family pet and companion. The Standard Schnauzer gets along well with household pets with early socialization, but can be aggressive with dogs of the same sex. These dogs are ideal for active families, and for confident, experienced owners.

The Standard Schnauzer is a great indoor dog since they have almost none of the doggy odor of most breeds. In addition they shed very little, making them ideal as house companions. The coat is actually a double coat, with a slightly coarser and thicker outer layer of long hair protecting the denser, finer inner insulation layer. The outer layer is very easy to care for but the inner layer of hair in the Standard Schnauzer's coat can become matted if not properly cared for. To keep the coat free from mats and tangles start by brushing in the direction of hair growth with a pin or wire brush to remove tangles. Follow this with a brushing against the direction of growth to get to the undercoat. Mats and tangles should be clipped out if they cannot be loosened with dog hair detangler and some careful combing. Typically grooming every other day will prevent any problems. Stripping or plucking is used to shape the hair on the body for show dogs.

Health Problems and Life Expectancy
The life expectancy of the Standard Schnauzer is around 12-14 years. There are a number of health problems to look out for, although by and large this is a relatively healthy breed. Some of the health issues that may affect the Standard Schnauzer include thyroid problems, cancer, HD, and cataracts.

Activity Level

Typically the Standard Schnauzer will need one or two long walks a day. They can be excellent dogs for jogging and hiking but only after the hips are tested for any possible problems if there is a history of hip dysplasia in the line. These dogs love to travel and are likely to want to go with the family whenever they can rather than be left at home.


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