Standard Schnauzer

This breed is known in its homeland as the Mittelschnauzer (Medium Schnauzer), to distinguish it from the Giant and Miniature Schnauzers, but is sometimes referred to simply as the Schnauzer, because it was the original form from which the other two were later developed. The Standard Schnauzer originally worked as a farm rat-killer, but was soon given additional tasks and became a general, working farm dog.


The grizzled, rough-coated, bearded, be-whiskered Schnauzer has the striking appearance that was bound to make it a favourite in the show-ring, but long before it arrived there it was a popular German working dog with a long pedigree. From early works of art it is clear that this breed was active in Germany from at least the 14th century.

It first appeared at a dog show in 1879, in Hanover, when it was called a Wire-haired Pinscher. The winner of that contest was a dog with the pet name of "Schnauzer" (which means "whiskered snout"), and from that date onwards the rough-coated Pinschers adopted its name and were viewed as belonging to a separate breed. While the favoured colour for the smooth-coated Pinschers was black-and-tan, the most popular Schnauzer colouring was pepper-and-salt — in other words, mixed greys.

The standard for the Standard Schnauzer was drawn up in 1880 and five years later its first specialist breed club had been established in Germany. Much later, in 1925, the Schnauzer Club was established in the US.

Like the Pinschers, the Standard Schnauzers were typical fearless working terriers, primarily concerned with vermin control on farm properties, but they were co-opted to carry out other chores, including flock-guarding, house-guarding, driving cattle and even pulling carts to market. Although they are clearly terriers, they are not classified as such, presumably because they are not used by hunters to go to earth. But when one thinks of rat-killing breeds such as the Manchester Terrier, this is clearly illogical.


Robust, squarely built, well boned, and muscular, Schnauzers have high-set V-shaped drop ears that are usually cropped to form an erect triangle; profuse eyebrows; whiskers; and a moderately high-set tail that is docked short. The Standard Schnauzer has a sturdy, heavyboned angular body. The dense, harsh coat is double, consisting of a wiry outer coat and a soft, short undercoat. The standard should be either pepper or black. Tan shades are permissible.


Courageous and animated, the Standard Schnauzer is an affectionate and adventurous companion. It is known for high intelligence and obstinacy and can get into mischief without proper daily exercise. It needs a firm, but loving hand and requires a lot of patience from its family. Very protective and devoted, it makes a fun-loving and reliable guardian for kids and generally gets along well with other house pets. Strangers make its nervous, and it closely watches their every move that may threaten its family.

General care

A good daily workout in the form of a long walk on leash, an off-lead sprint in the field or a strenuous indoor game is a must for the Standard Schnauzer. It should be kept in the house, but also allowed to play outdoors. Grooming requires daily brushing, combing, and some stripping of dead and split hair, with special attention being paid to areas where the hair is long.

Puppies and Training

Although the mother is somewhat nervous, she is good at rearing her litter of puppies, which will number three to six for miniatures, four to nine for standards, and five to eight for giants. If desired, the ears should be cropped between the eighth and twelfth weeks.

Gallery of Standard Schnauzer