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Standard Schnauzer
History
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Of the three Schnauzers: Miniature, Standard, and Giant, all of which are bred and registered as distinct breeds, the medium, or Standard, is the prototype. He is a German breed of great antiquity, which in the 15th and 16th centuries must have been in high favor as a household companion, for his portrait appears in many paintings of the period. Albrecht Durer is known to have owned one for at least twelve years, as the portrait of the same dog occurs several times in works of that artist between the years 1492 and 1504. Rembrandt painted several Schnauzers, Lucas Cranach the Elder shows one in a tapestry dated 1501, and in the 18th century one appears in a canvas of the English painter Sir Joshua Reynolds. In the marketplace of Mechlinburg, Germany, is a statue of a hunter dating from the 14th century, with a Schnauzer crouching at his feet which conforms very closely to the present-day show Standard.

As far as can be determined, the Schnauzer originated in the crossing of black German Poodle and gray wolf spitz upon wirehaired Pinscher stock. From the Pinscher element derives the tendency to fawn-colored undercoat, and from the wolf spitz is inherited the typical pepper-and-salt coat color and its harsh, wiry character. Solid black specimens of the breed, while fairly common in Germany, are still rather unusual in this country.

The breed in America was originally classed as a terrier, whereas German breeders have always regarded the Schnauzer principally as a working dog. His principal vocation was that of rat catcher, yard dog, and guard. Before World War I in Germany, fully ninety percent of the dogs used to guard the carts of farm produce in the marketplaces, while the farmers rested themselves and their teams at the inns, were of strong Schnauzer blood. Breeders in the land of their origin hold the Schnauzer second to none for sagacity and fearlessness. Owing to these characteristics, the "dogs with the human brain" (as their owners proudly call them) were much used by the army during the war as dispatch carriers and Red Cross aides; they were also employed in Germany in police work.

In this country and in England they were used mainly as personal guards and companions, for which purpose their devotion and bravery, coupled with an uncanny perception of approaching danger, renders them most suitable. They are good water dogs and are easily taught to retrieve; and, on at least one western sheep ranch, Schnauzers have proved themselves the most efficient of various breeds tried as protection for the flocks against marauding coyotes.

Schnauzers were first exhibited in Germany as Wire-Haired Pinschers in 1879 at the Third German International Show at Hanover. A standard was published in 1880 and the breed made rapid progress as a show dog. The first specialty show was held at Stuttgart in 1890 with the remarkable entry of 93 dogs. The Pinscher Club was founded at Cologue in 1895 and the Bavarian Schnauzer Club at Munich in 1907. In 1918, the Pinscher and Schnauzer Clubs united to become the official representative of the breed in the German Kennel Club-it is known as the Pinscher-Schnauzer Club. Today there are clubs devoted to the breed in the Netherlands, Austria, Switzerland, the Czech Republic, England, and America.





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