Standard Schnauzer Description
The Standard Schnauzer is a distinctive looking dog with its beard and whiskers, bushy eyebrows and overall impression of power and dignity. The Standard is the actual original size of all Schnauzer's and is actually a medium size breed that gives of an impression of a much larger and more powerful dog. Usually described as a square shape in both body and head, the Standard Schnauzer is very muscular and athletic looking without appearing heavy or cobby.
According to breed standards, the Standard Schnauzer shouldhave an alert and spirited expression. his eyes are oval with long eyebrown, which should not impair vision. His head is strong, rectangular and long and his ears are set high on his head. If cropped, the ears are carried erect. If not cropped, they are V-shaped and mobile. The dogs topline slopes slightly down, his tail is carried erect and usually docked to be only 1" - 2" long. His feet are small, round, and compact. The Standard Schnauzer is a member of the Working Group of the AKC, and has been recognized by the AKC since 1904.
Active, energetic, and playful, the Standard Schnauzer is an agile dog with plenty of spirit and enthusiasm. These reliable dogs can be sweet and gentle, but can also be serious. The Standard Schnauzer has a high level of intelligence, is responsive, and is eager to please, which makes training easy. He is a highly trainable breed. However, they can be stubborn and hard headed, making them best suited to those with some experience of dog ownership. The Standard Schnauzer needs a confident and assertive owner that knows how to use positive training methods. He is very in tune with the moods and emotions of his owner, and thrives on the attention and affection of his family. Mental and physical stimulation is important for this breed, otherwise he can become bored and destructive. You should also provide a safe and secure are for the Standard Schnauzer to exercise and play when not on a leash.
The Standard Schnauzer is a sensitive breed, and is known as an excellent problem solver. He gets along well with children, particularly when brought up with them. He tends to be stand offish around strangers, but early socialization can help to promote a more confident and less suspicious personality. His loyalty and territorial instincts make him an effective watchdog, and he is also ideal as a family pet and companion. The Standard Schnauzer gets along well with household pets with early socialization, but can be aggressive with dogs of the same sex. These dogs are ideal for active families, and for confident, experienced owners.
The Standard Schnauzer is quite a high maintenance dog, and may therefore prove a problem for those with little time to dedicate to grooming. You will need to brush the coat of this dog around twice weekly, and his beard must be cleaned on a daily basis for hygiene reasons. You may need to get his coat clipped every few months, and for show dogs the dead coat will need to be stripped every few months. On the bright side, the Standard Schnauzer is a low shedder, and could be suitable for those suffering from allergies.
As the original of the three Schnauzer sizes, the Standard Schnauzer was first developed in Germany in the fourteenth century. Named for the German word "Schnauze" or muzzle, they were likely developed by crossing black German poodles, spitz breeds and large terriers. The breed was a companion dog as well as a working animal and is depicted in both family portraits and hunting scenes from the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. In the late 1800's the breed became popular as a farm and watchdog, used to protect farmer's carts as public markets. In many households in German this dog was considered a "kinder watcher" or watchdog for children.
The first recorded showing of a Standard Schnauzer was in 1879 at the Third German International Show held in Hanover, Germany. At this time the breed was shown as a wirehaired pinscher. The Standard Schnauzer was used as a military dog in World War I and II and continues to be used as a watchdog, police dog and hunting and tracking dog. They are often seen in obedience training competitions as well as agility events.
The breed has since evolved into two other categories, the Miniature Schnauzer and the Giant Schnauzer, both which resemble the Standard in everything except size.
The Standard Schnauzer is a very intelligent dog that is very easy to train and work with once they understand that they are not the dominant member of the family. The breed responds very well to positive training methods and loves to please, but it can be very independent and somewhat stubborn at times. As with most of the terrier breeds the Standard Schnauzer becomes quickly bored with repetitive routines and being asked to do the same tricks over and over. To make training fun consider changing the routine frequently and finding new places for the dog to explore and new activities for the dog to engage in.
Socialization is a critical part of Schnauzer training to prevent aggressiveness and possessiveness as the breed matures. While needing a firm hand in training the Schnauzer is a very sensitive dog and will quickly learn to respond to the changes in the owner's tone of voice. While an excellent breed for older children and families it is important to have one person work with training until the puppy or dog understands the commands.
The Standard Schnauzer should always be exercised before training, especially if they are kept indoors. Until they have had a chance to burn off excess energy they will often be distracted and stubborn, but with a brisk walk or a time to run in the yard they will be ready to work and to follow directions. As a breed they are not prone to problem barking or digging, but some will become destructive to furniture and property if they are bored or stressed. Lots of different types of balls, toys and chewable play objects can keep the dog occupied when owners are not home.
The Standard Schnauzer is naturally somewhat wary of unfamiliar people and will become more distant with new people in the house as they mature if not properly socialized. By taking the dog out into public areas and taking them to areas where other people and dogs gather from a young age the wariness will be minimized and the dog will be much happier and social in all settings.
The life expectancy of the Standard Schnauzer is around 12-14 years. There are a number of health problems to look out for, although by and large this is a relatively healthy breed. Some of the health issues that may affect the Standard Schnauzer include thyroid problems, cancer, HD, and cataracts. The parents of the Standard Schnauzer puppy should have OFA and CERF certificates.