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Standard Schnauzer

Standard Schnauzer's sporty look is a canine classic. Bold and lively, he is a fun-loving companion and guardian.

Overall Status

Height 17.5 to 19.5 inches at the shoulder
Temperament Fearless, Smart, Spirited
Weight 30 to 50 pounds
Life Expectancy 13 to 15 years
Coat Color Black, Pepper & Salt
Barking Level Frequent

Quick Factors

Dog Friendly
Exercise Need
Grooming Needs
Strangers Friendly
Family Affectionate
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Daily Care

Grooming Tips Exercise Tips Feeding Tips Health Tips Trainability

Standard Schnauzers require regular grooming every five to eight weeks. Many owners prefer to use the services of a professional groomer, as properly clipping a Schnauzer can be tricky.

Show dogs need to be hand-stripped, which is a time consuming process, and is unnecessary for dogs who will not be shown. It is important to brush a Schnauzer two to three times per week to prevent mats, though the beard may need grooming on a daily basis.

Check the Standard Schnauzer's ears on a regular basis for signs of wax buildup, irritation or infection. Clean the ears with a cotton ball and a veterinarian-approved cleanser; never use a cotton swab in a dog's ear canal.

Teeth should be brushed on a weekly basis to prevent tartar buildup, promote gum health and keep bad breath at bay. Trim nails monthly if the dog does not wear the toenails down naturally outdoors.

Don’t worry so much about exercise – which should be regular, of course – but about mental challenges. The Standard Schnauzer can handle plenty of tasks and needs to avoid boredom and should be good and tired after working out if you want to really give them a full day’s experience.

The Standard Schnauzer enjoys a good hunk of meat like any dog, but you’ll want to present it with an overall balanced meal on a regular basis in order to ensure proper nutrition.

Since these dogs are capable of a lot of exercise, you might be surprised at how much food they can actually eat. Make sure regular exercise is part of the overall nutrition and health regimen.

The average life span of the Standard Schnauzer is 13 to 16 years. Breed health concerns may includecataracts, keratoconjunctivitis sicca (dry eye), follicular dermatitis andhip dysplasia.

Early socialization in puppyhood is a must. Standard Schnauzers are extremely intelligent, wily, and crafty. They “get” an idea or an exercise with very few repetitions.

A big problem with SS is over-training; after a few repetitions, they get bored and look at the trainer as though the trainer is stupid. Because of their intelligence, they do require training—and if their person doesn’t teach them, they learn on their own, but it may not be what the owner wants the dog to learn.

Keep in mind that despite their small stature relative to other breeds in their class, Standard Schnauzers can still have strong guardian instincts which are a throwback to its guardianship duties in Germany over the years.

Today, the breed can be trained to be friendly, but your dog should be raised properly and should not be given overly excessive negative reinforcement for mistakes. It should be noted that the Standard Schnauzer is considered easy to raise, so you shouldn’t have many problems even if you’re new to dogs.


The Standard is the eldest of the three Schnauzer breeds. He is depicted in artwork by Albrecht Durer that dates to 1492. These were all-purpose dogs who guarded property and livestock, killed mice, rats, and other vermin, and protected the farmer or merchant on the road to or from the marketplace. Their ancestors were herding and guardian breeds.

Along the way, the wirehaired pinschers, as they were originally known, were crossed with the gray Wolfspitz and the black standardPoodle. The result was the familiar pepper and salt and black coats seen in the Standard Schnauzer today. The dogs were exhibited at shows in the 1870s and a breed standard was written for them that describes a dog much like the modern dog. The wirehaired pinschers eventually became known as Schnauzers, a play on words that referred to the dogs’ distinctive muzzle (schnauze in German) with its beard and mustache. That was also the name of a popular show dog of the time, and the breed took his name.

A few Schnauzers were brought to the United States in the early 20thcentury, around 1900, and the American Kennel Club recognized the breed in 1904, but it wasn’t until 1925 that the Schnauzer Club of America was formed. The club split in 1933, with one group becoming the Standard Schnauzer Club of America, the other the AmericanMiniature SchnauzerClub. The Standard Schnauzer has never had the same popularity as the Mini, which ranks 12thin AKC registrations, and falls just below the Giant at 95thamong the breeds registered by the AKC.

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