Standard Schnauzer

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Standard Schnauzer
Standard Schnauzer with pepper-and-salt coat, natural ears and tail
Other namesMittelschnauzer
Wire-Haired Pinscher (obsolete)
Height Dogs 18 to 20 in (46 to 51 cm)
Bitches 17 to 19 in (43 to 48 cm)
Weight Dogs 35 to 58 lb (16 to 26 kg)
Bitches 30 to 45 lb (14 to 20 kg)
Coat Harsh and wiry when hand stripped, soft when clippered/scissored
Color Pepper-and-salt, black
Litter size 4 to 8 pups (2 or 13 is not uncommon)
Life span Average 13 to 16 years
Kennel club standards
VDH standard
FCI standard
Dog (domestic dog)

The Schnauzer or Standard Schnauzer (Mittelschnauzer) is a dog breed that originated in Germany in at least 14th–15th century,[1][2][3] of Schnauzer breed type and progenitor of the Giant Schnauzer and Miniature Schnauzer.[4] Initially it was called Wire-Haired Pinscher, while Schnauzer was adopted in 1879.[1][4] The literal translation is "snouter" from the German word for "snout" and means colloquially "moustache",[5] or "whiskered snout",[1] because of the dog's distinctively bearded snout.[6]

Generally classified as a working or utility dog, this versatile breed is robust, squarely built, medium-sized dog with aristocratic bearing. It has been claimed that it was a popular subject of painters Sir Joshua Reynolds, Albrecht Dürer and Rembrandt, but actual proof remains elusive.[4][7] Standard Schnauzers are either salt-and-pepper or black in color, and are known for exhibiting many of the "ideal" traits of any breed. These include high intelligence, agility, alertness, reliability, strength, and endurance. This breed of dog has been very popular in Europe, specifically Germany, where it originated. The breed was first exhibited at a show in Hanover in 1879, and since then has taken top honors in many shows, including the prestigious "Best in Show" at Westminster Kennel Club" in the United States in 1997.[8]


Schnauzer of medium size, from W. E. Mason's work Dogs of All Nations (1915) prepared for the Panama–Pacific International Exposition.

In the Middle Ages, Schnauzer-type dogs of medium size were developed as a versatile multifunctional breed from herding and working breeds in Germany (Württemberg and Bavaria).[2][4][9] Historians and cynologists theorize that it has a common ancestry with the German Pinscher as a rough-coated variant of the Pinscher breed, and that it was possibly crossed with a black German Poodle and a gray Wolf Spitz,[2] and perhaps also a Bolognese dog.[10][11][12] Such a variety would have been more useful in winter, and in livestock-driving and vermin-hunting roles.[13]

A dog of the peasant farmers for centuries, they finally captured the interest of German dog fanciers at the advent of dog shows in the 19th century; the Schnauzer's look and temperament were standardized for the show ring. By 1850, it was recognized as a distinct purebred dog. Those early dogs had many recognizable features, such as thick facial hair, wiry double coat, elegant necks, and cropped tails.[11] The breed takes its name from one of their kind, a medium-sized show dog named "Schnauzer", who won at the 1879 Hanover Show in Germany. Since the 1900s the breed universally started to be called as Schnauzer.[1][4] It is considered that the word itself appeared for the first time in 1842 when Jeremias Gotthelf used it as a synonym for the Wire-Haired Pinscher,[14] which was also known as Wire-Haired German Pinscher, Rauhaar Pinscher (Rough-Haired Terrier), Rattenfanger, Ratter.[11][12] By the name "Wire-Haired German Pinscher" it received first German breed standard in 1880 (or 1884[14]), and initially having a wide variety of coat colors, between 1885-1890 were introduced black and pepper-and-salt color variations which would become dominant colors in 1907 breed standard.[11][14] In this period has developed a standard with more elegant head, more prominent beard, and eyebrows, as well as overall appearance.[11] The Pinscher-Schnauzer Club was founded in 1895 and is still active.[9][14]

Although it is claimed that the first Standard Schnauzer in the United States was shown in the Miscellaneous Class at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in New York City in 1899, and European immigrants could have brought it with them, the first official import was recorded in 1905,[11] named Fingal.[14] However, it became more popular only after World War I,[11] where the German army used it to carry small packages while the Red Cross for guard duty and other aides. The Wire-Haired Pinscher Club of America was founded in 1925.[11] The club was for both Standard and Miniature Schnauzers, but since 1933 the club was divided for separate promotion, one of them being Standard Schnauzer Club of America.[11] Initially, American Kennel Club (AKC) classified it in the Working Group, but in 1926 were moved to Terrier Group, which was reverted in 1945 or 1946.[4][14] It was imported into England circa 1926, within two years, was formed Schnauzer Club of Great Britain, and in the late 1930s received challenge certificates.[15] CKC also includes it in the Working Group, UKC includes it in Guardian Group,[16] the KC, ANKC and NZKC include it in the Utility Group, while by the VDH and FCI Schnauzer is placed in "Group 2, Section 1: Pinschers and Schnauzers", with "Nr. 182" in "Section 1.2" dedicated to the Standard Schnauzer breed.[17]


Distinguished by their long beards and eyebrows, Standard Schnauzers are almost always pepper and salt or less commonly black in color, with a stiff and wiry hair coat on the body similar to that of other wirehaired breeds. Their hair will perpetually grow in length without properly shedding, but contrary to popular belief Standard Schnauzers are not hypo-allergenic and they all shed to some degree. The more wiry – and correct and weather-resistant – the coat, the more that the coat will shed, though the hair dropped from a single dog is said to be nearly unnoticeable.

One author has ranked the Standard Schnauzer 18th out of 140 breeds within 79 ranks on the ability to learn and obey known commands.[18]


Black cropped-ear female (1.5 y/o) and Pepper-and-salt natural-ear male (9mo) out of same U.S. kennel
Two female Standard Schnauzers, natural ears on the left from a Canadian kennel, cropped ears on the right, from a U.S. kennel.
Black cropped-ear female Standard Schnauzer.
Male Std. Schnauzer with natural ears.

Overall, the Standard Schnauzer is a very healthy breed. The 2008 health survey done by the Standard Schnauzer Club of America revealed that roughly only 1% of dogs surveyed had serious health issues.[19]

Famous Standard Schnauzers[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d "Schnauzer: Description". The Kennel Club. Retrieved 28 May 2018.
  2. ^ a b c Rugh, Karla S. (2009). Miniature Schnauzers: Everything about Purchase, Care, Nutrition, and Behavior. Barron's Educational Series. pp. 5–7. ISBN 978-0-7641-4245-1.
  3. ^ "Miniature Schnauzer". American Kennel Club.
  4. ^ a b c d e f "Standard Schnauzer". American Kennel Club.
  5. ^ Schnauzer at Merriam-Webster Dictionary
  6. ^ Schnauzer at Encyclopædia Britannica.
  7. ^ Robert Coane. "Schnauzers in Art". Max The Schnauzer.
  8. ^ "- Westminster Kennel Club - Results - Retrieved September 1, 2008". Archived from the original on December 25, 2007. Retrieved September 8, 2008.
  9. ^ a b Chris Levy (2001). "History of the Miniature Schnauzer". Abiqua Miniature Schnauzers. Retrieved 30 May 2018.
  10. ^ "History of the Miniature Schnauzer". The American Miniature Schnauzer Club. Retrieved 30 May 2018.
  11. ^ a b c d e f g h i Dog Fancy Magazine Editors (2011). Miniature Schnauzer. i5 Publishing. pp. 23–30. ISBN 978-1-59378-842-1. {{cite book}}: |author= has generic name (help)
  12. ^ a b "Standard Schnauzer History". Rose Graphic Webs. Retrieved 30 May 2018.
  13. ^ Stahlkuppe, Joe; Earle-Bridges, Michele (March 1, 2002). Giant Schnauzers: Everything About Purchase, Care, Nutrition, Training, and Wellness. Hauppauge, NY: Barron's Educational Series. pp. 5–11. ISBN 0764118846. OCLC 47289437. Retrieved February 9, 2013.
  14. ^ a b c d e f "Presenting The Standard Schnauzer" (PDF). Standard Schnauzer Club of America. 2012. Retrieved 30 May 2018.
  15. ^ The Schnauzer - A Complete Anthology of the Dog. Read Books Ltd. 2013. ISBN 978-1-4474-9072-2.
  16. ^ "Breed Standards: Standard Schnauzer". UKC. Retrieved 28 May 2018.
  17. ^ "Group 2 : Pinscher and Schnauzer - Molossoid and Swiss Mountain and Cattledogs". FCI. Retrieved 3 May 2018.
  18. ^ Coren, Stanley (2006). The Intelligence of Dogs: A Guide to the Thoughts, Emotions, and Inner Lives of Our Canine Companions. Simon & Schuster. pp. 142–143, 149, 182, 192. ISBN 978-0-7432-8087-7.
  19. ^ Standard Schnauzer Club of America - FAQs - Retrieved March 11, 2010
  20. ^ Standard Schnauzer Club of America - Helper - Retrieved September 7, 2008
  • Fogle, Bruce, DVM (2000). The New Encyclopedia of the Dog. Doring Kindersley (DK). ISBN 0-7894-6130-7.