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Standard Schnauzer Information ~ The Breed

The Standard Schnauzer is a squarely built, energetic, medium-sized dog with a stiff wiry coat. he is robust and sturdy enough to be a working dog yet small enough in stature so as not to be overwhelming. These traits, combined with a coat that has minimal shedding and "doggy" odor, would lead some people to think that this is the ideal dog for everyone. However, it is what is found on the inside of this extremely agile body that has intrigued fanciers for centuries. This sometimes mischievous quick and active dog is in reality a sensible, honest and reliable working dog with a superbly intelligent mind. This is the dog that is often called by fanciers "The dog with the human brain." He thrives best on close interaction with his human family. Standard Schnauzers need the proper outlets for their above - average intelligence that only living as a family dog can provide. This breed has a very clever, inquisitive, ceative and sometimes stubbornly determined mind, combined with a great sense of self-dignity. The Standard Schanuzer, although sometimes favoring one person, readily accepts all members of his human family as part of his inner circle. When raised properly, the Standard Schnauzer makes an affectionate friend, confidant for children. To his personal family, he is extremely loyal, playful and can have an interesting sense of humor. The family home is his castle and the arrrival of each new stranger is announced with a deep bark that belies his mid-size stature. only "real family" and a few select friends are privilaged to the enthusiastic "wiggling from the inside out" welcome that Standard Schnauzer give their owners upon their arrival home. This very special and selective greeting has led fanciers of this breed worldwide to say: "once owned by a Standard Schnauzer, any other breed is pale by comparision." This is a breed that excels as a home guardian, and doubles as a therapy companion animal.


The Standard Schnauzer is one of the only truly mid-size dog breeds. Females should measure from 17-19 inches at the whithers (top of shoulder) and the males should measure from 18-20 inches. The dogs range in weight from a low of approximately 35 pounds to a high of 48 pounds. This variation depends on the sex, height and thickness of bone structure of the individual dog. A Standard Schnauzer is a dog that is strong enough and large enough to give his owner complete protection if needed yet still is small enough to be the perfect couch companion.

Coat Colors

The double coat of the Standard Schnauzer is one of his most distinguished features. The outer coat consists of very course, harsh, stiff hairs that when seen against the grain, stand slightly up off the back, lying neither smooth nor flat. Undercoat is dense and consists of soft downy-like hairs. Both coats serve a different and definite purpose. The undercoat works like insulation, keeping the dog warm in winter and cool in summer. The outer wire-coat offers excellent protection against the elements of nature and readily sheds dirt.

Coloration on the salt and pepper Standard Schnauzer fades out to a lighter gray in the eyebrows, beard and furnishings with a darker facial mustache-like mask overlaying the beard.

Solid black is the only other color that is permissible in the breed and it must have a solid black undercoat. Texture of the outer coat should have the same wiry feel in both colors.

Special Abilities

Although not well known for their scenting ability as the Bloodhound, the Standard Schnauzer attention to details and strong determined mind has made the sport of tracking a favorite of many Standard Schnauzer owners. Several owners have gone on to achieve the American Kennel Club title of Tracking Dog Excellent with their Standard Schnauzers.

Standards have been very successfully trained and used as Search and Rescue (SAR) dogs that find victims of natural and man-made disasters such as earthquakes and airplane crashes. SAR dogs are taught to air-scent for humans as opposed to ground-scent like the tracking dog. The dogs are also taught to ride in small boats (they can detect a human under water).

Organizations, such as the National Education for Assistance Dog Services (N.E.A.D.S.), have found that the Standard Schnauzer's size and extremely acute sense of hearing make them excellent candidates for use as Hearing Ear dogs. A Hearing Ear dog enables the deaf person to live a normal lifestyle in their soundless world. The Hearing Ear dog is taught to identify and alert their owner to variety of auditory sounds.

The "assistance" or "service dog" is trained to be the arms and legs for a person in a wheelchair. PAWS FOR A CAUSE in Michigan and Canine Companions for Independence in California have successfully used them as assistance dogs for physically challenged people. These assistance dogs allow their owners to live more independent lives. Many more dogs of this amazing breed have been used successfully as certifide Therapy Dogs that visit patients in nursing homes, hospitals and schools.

Standards have been seen hiking with their masters, complete with their own backpack in wilderness areas. More than one owner has even used their Standard, instead of one of the more popular sporting breeds, to flush birds while hunting. The Standard Schnauzer has shown a strong herding instinct and several Standard Schnauzers have successfully passed herding dog instinct tests.

Versalitity and adaptability are accurate descriptive words for Standard Schnauzers. Their performance capabilities are only limited by the imagination, interests, perseverance and ability of their master to direct their brilliant mind.

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