The modern Schnauzer is usually a much-loved family pet and does not generally have work to do, but it still retains the will and ability of its ancestor, an all-round farm dog. Some European countries use these dogs as guard dogs – a role they relish.


The Schnauzer was almost certainly derived from the ancient Wire-haired Pinscher to which it bears a startling resemblance as seen in a picture by Albrecht Durer (1492). A fourteenth-century statue of a hunter in Mechlinburg, Germany, has a similar dog crouched at his feet. This old breed was a general farm dog, keeping down rats, hunting and protecting its owners. It was known to accompany stagecoaches in order to defend them against the robbers who worked the forests and thus it became known as the "Carriage Griffon".

The dense wiry coat will need to be brushed and combed thoroughly twice every week.


Absolutely devoted to its family, the Schnauzer is a happy dog which can be trained relatively easily to be obedient. There is no need to worry about your property or children if this fellow lives with you; it is an outstanding watchdog. Courageous and assertive, it is a good companion but needs strong but kind handling.

must know

Generally, the modern Schnauzer is a healthy, hard breed with few health problems.


A chunky, medium-sized muscular dog, the coat is black or pepper and salt (greyish) in colour. The outer coat is wiry, harsh to the touch and distinguished by a beard and bushy eyebrows; the undercoat is dense. Dogs are 48cm (19in) high: bitches are 46cm (18in).

Although this dog may look fierce and is very protective of its family, it has a very friendly nature.

Strangers 5/5

Suspicious, prowlers beware

Temperament 4/5

Affectionate family dog, brave, caring deeply

Exercise 5/5

Enough to keep muscle tone

Grooming 5/5

Hand stripped quarterly

Other dogs 3/5

Males can be dominant


All-round family pet

General care

Schnauzers require frequent running exercise and play in order to maintain their athleticism and mental health. The wire coat needs hand stripping four times a year, and the leg and face furnishings should be combed out twice a week.

Gallery of Schnauzer