What's my history?
We’re of German origin and that can mean only one thing. No, it’s not that we always win penalty shootouts. Although we are rather good at that too. I was referring to our efficiency and precision engineering. You’ll see that in our pictures and I’ll highlight our key features below. The Schnauzer comes in three consistent sizes – the Miniature, Standard and Giant – each one remarkably true to our original design yet calibrated to precise specifications. The word Schnauzer refers to our muzzle, or snout if you choose to be slightly scornful. We date back as far as the 15th century where we were used for herding and guarding. However, the Standard Schnauzer became popular in Europe around the 19th century. To be precise, it was 1879 when a medium-sized dog called Schnauzer won best of breed at the Hanover show. The name stuck.The Miniature Schnauzer is particularly popular in America. It was formed through crossing the Standard Schnauzer with possibly a Poodle or Affenpinscher. The Giant Schnauzer dates further back to the 17th century and likely involves some breeding with Great Danes.
What do I look like?
Of course people are drawn to our muzzle. It is longer than that of most dogs, as are our eyebrows. Other dogs take great delight in reminding us of this in passing with sly glances and snide barks. We are typically sleek and powerful – especially the Standard and Giant variants. Our thighs are particularly muscular – we look great in football shorts. Why are you laughing, I am not trying to be funny – we do look good in shorts. Our coat is wiry for the specific purpose of forming a barrier against cold weather. Our most common colouring is inexplicably known as ‘pepper and salt’. Why they chose to do this I don’t know – what is wrong with ‘grey and white’? They did not label the Red Setter ‘tomato colour’; black labradors are not ‘coal coloured’. It is nonsensical. We have very aerodynamic ears also – they fit perfectly facing our direction of travel – forwards. Sadly, this increased efficiency is not reflected in our speed statistics. We have not as yet been able to surpass the performance of the greyhound or other such running breed. We will persevere.
What do I need from you?
Our intelligence is at a very high level and of course this means we respond well to training. Obedient Schnauzers are wonderful pets and that is what we strive to be. Look at Homer the Schnauzer on video below for evidence of that. Without it we can become fairly erratic and even destructive. We thrive on exercise and love it to be varied and fun – especially off the lead. Us Schnauzers have a double coat. Our top coat is wiry, but the undercoat is soft to keep us warm. Owners should strip our coat as this removes the undercoat and helps to make the top coat to become fuller. If this is performed 2-3 times per year then we will really look and feel much better.
What I will give in return
You might have got the false impression that I am a serious breed. Please don’t confuse my stereotypical German nature with a lack of willingness to engage in play. In fact we are remarkably good at this also. Our owners all testify to having lots of fun with us. It is also universally agreed that we are amongst the most loyal of dog breeds. We love our owners greatly and see it as our role to keep a vigilant watch for unwelcome visitors. We respond to unauthorised interest in our property by barking. We are very good at barking and are surprised when our owners tell us to stop. We try to remember this, but it can be a significant challenge.
How big will I get?
There are roughly 6 inches between the three variants, with the Miniature starting at around 12in (30cm) and the Giant ending at 24in (60cm). That is our precision German engineering for you. This translates into approximately 16lb (7.5kg), 32lb (15kg) and 64lb (30kg) respectively.
How long are we around for?
Our longevity is good – typically 15 years, although perhaps more like 12 years in the Giant variant. Like our automobiles, we remain in reliable condition until towards the end of our working life.
The U.S politician Bob Dole and his wife Elizabeth own Schnauzers. They are famous to us.
Want us to live with you?
We’re currently recruiting breeders and adopters to go here. Could that be you
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Disclaimer: the views expressed on this page and any comments below are only a guide to typical traits and views on the breed. Individual circumstance and traits will always vary so we can be in no way responsible for any of the information provided.
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