/Breed Introduction: Schnauzer Dog

Breed Introduction: Schnauzer

A schnauzer is a dog breed that originated in Germany in the 15th and 16th centuries. The term comes from the German word for “snout” and “moustache”, because of the dog’s distinctively bearded snout. Standard Schnauzers were originally bred to be ratters, guard dogs, and an all-purpose dogs on German farms. Their versatility, medium size, protective nature, and love of family make them an excellent companion dog breed.

Squarely built, these dogs have stiff, wiry coats that shed little with minimal “doggy” odor. A hallmark of the breed is the face furnishings, which include arched eyebrows and a bristly moustache and beard. The high-set ears are carried erect when cropped but are otherwise V-shaped, carried forward with the inner edge of the ear close to the cheek. With their working dog heritage, they also make excellent watchdogs. Standard Schnauzers are territorial, and bark quickly at any disturbance. They have a deep bark that sounds as though it should come from a much larger dog and are vigorous in carrying out their watchdog duties.

Breed Origin


The Schnauzer has a long history in his homeland of Germany. Based on paintings by Renaissance artists Rembrandt and Albrecht Durer, as well as a tapestry created in 1501 by Lucas Cranach the Elder. It is evident dogs of this type have existed for several centuries.

In their early years and until the late 1800s, Schnauzers were called Wirehaired Pinschers. They were first exhibited at the Third German International Show in Hanover in 1879, and the first-prize winner was a dog named Schnauzer. A breed standard was written in 1880 and the first specialty show was held at Stuttgart in 1890 with an entry of 93 dogs.

The Schnauzer Club of America was formed in 1925. In 1933, the club split to form the Standard Schnauzer Club of America (SSCA) and the American Miniature Schnauzer Club.

Breed Characteristics


Males are ideally between 18 to 20 inches high at the shoulder and generally weigh 35 to 50 pounds. Females are ideally between 17 and 19 inches high at the shoulder and generally weigh 30 to 45 pounds

The Schnauzer is an adaptable dog and can live as comfortably in a city apartment as on a country farm, provided he gets enough exercise each day. Whatever his environment, he should live in the home with his people.

The Standard Schnauzer’s outer coat is wiry, hard, and dense, with hairs that stand up from the skin. Beneath is a soft undercoat. On the back, the coat can be from 3/4 to 2 inches long.

Standard Schnauzers may be either pepper or salt or pure black. The pepper and salt coloring is a combination of black and white hairs, and white hairs banded with black. Pepper and salt coloring can range from dark iron gray to silver gray.

Sturdy and energetic, Standard Schnauzers can be loyal and affectionate companions to children. They generally get along well with children of all ages, playing gently and kindly with younger ones.