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  • Temperament: Fearless, Smart, Spirited
  • AKC Breed Popularity: Ranks 85 of 194
  • Height: 18.5-19.5 inches (male), 17.5-18.5 inches (female)
  • Weight: 35-50 pounds (male), 30-45 pounds (female)
  • Life Expectancy: 13-16 years
  • Group: Working Group

    The AKC has grouped all of the breeds that it registers into seven categories, or groups, roughly based on function and heritage. Breeds are grouped together because they share traits of form and function or a common heritage.

Standard Schnauzer sitting in three-quarter view facing forward
Standard Schnauzer head and neck facing left
Standard Schnauzer coat detail
Standard Schnauzer

Find a Puppy: Standard Schnauzer

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GENERAL APPEARANCE

The Standard Schnauzer is a robust, heavy-set dog, sturdily built with good muscle and plenty of bone; square-built in proportion of body length to height. His rugged build and dense harsh coat are accentuated by the hallmark of the breed, the arched eyebrows and the bristly mustache and whiskers.

HEAD

Head strong, rectangular, and elongated; narrowing slightly from the ears to the eyes and again to the tip of the nose. The total length of the head is about one half the length of the back measured from the withers to the set-on of the tail. The head matches the sex and substance of the dog. Expression alert, highly intelligent, spirited. Eyes medium size; dark brown; oval in shape and turned forward; neither round nor protruding. The brow is arched and wiry, but vision is not impaired nor eyes hidden by too long an eyebrow.

BODY

Body compact, strong, short-coupled and substantial so as to permit great flexibility and agility. Faults – Too slender or shelly; too bulky or coarse. Chest of medium width with well sprung ribs, and if it could be seen in cross section would be oval. The breastbone is plainly discernible. The brisket must descend at least to the elbows and ascend gradually to the rear with the belly moderately drawn up.

FOREQUARTERS

Shoulders – The sloping shoulder blades are strongly muscled, yet flat and well laid back so that the rounded upper ends are in a nearly vertical line above the elbows. They slope well forward to the point where they join the upper arm, forming as nearly as possible a right angle when seen from the side. Such an angulation permits the maximum forward extension of the forelegs without binding or effort. Forelegs straight, vertical, and without any curvature when seen from all sides; set moderately far apart; with heavy bone; elbows set close to the body and pointing directly to the rear. Dewclaws on the forelegs may be removed. Feet small and compact, round with thick pads and strong black nails. The toes are well closed and arched (cat’s paws) and pointing straight ahead.

COAT

Tight, hard, wiry and as thick as possible, composed of a soft, close undercoat and a harsh outer coat which, when seen against the grain, stands up off the back, lying neither smooth nor flat. The outer coat (body coat) is trimmed (by plucking) only to accent the body outline.As coat texture is of the greatest importance, a dog may be considered in show coat with back hair measuring from 3/4 to 2 inches in length. Coat on the ears, head, neck, chest, belly and under the tail may be closely trimmed to give the desired typical appearance of the breed. On the muzzle and over the eyes the coat lengthens to form the beard and eyebrows; the hair on the legs is longer than that on the body. These “furnishings” should be of harsh texture and should not be so profuse as to detract from the neat appearance or working capabilities of the dog.

HINDQUARTERS

Strongly muscled, in balance with the forequarters, never appearing higher than the shoulders. Thighs broad with well bent stifles. The second thigh, from knee to hock, is approximately parallel with an extension of the upper neck line. The legs, from the clearly defined hock joint to the feet, are short and perpendicular to the ground and, when viewed from the rear, are parallel to each other. Dewclaws, if any, on the hind legs are generally removed. Feet as in front.

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About the Standard Schnauzer

A medium-size dog weighing between 35 and 45 pounds, the Standard Schnauzer is truly the standard Schnauzer: larger than Miniatures, smaller than Giants. Schnauzers of all three sizes share several breed hallmarks: a wiry, tight-fitting coat of pure black or “pepper and salt”; a robust, square-built frame; and an elongated head furnished with arched eyebrows and bristly whiskers, framing eyes gleaming with keen intelligence.

Standards are sociable companions, alert watchdogs, enthusiastic backyard squirrel chasers, and are good with kids and protective of loved ones. Approached with a firm but gentle hand, Standards train beautifully. Owners must provide outlets for their dog’s upbeat athleticism and highly developed senses.

Breed Clubs and Rescue

Want to connect with other people who love the same breed as much as you do? We have plenty of opportunities to get involved in your local community, thanks to AKC Breed Clubs located in every state, and more than 450 AKC Rescue Network groups across the country.
Standard Schnauzer

Find a Puppy: Standard Schnauzer

AKC Marketplace | PuppyFinder

AKC Marketplace is the only site to exclusively list 100% AKC puppies from AKC-Registered litters and the breeders who have cared for and raised these puppies are required to follow rules and regulations established by the AKC.
Find Standard Schnauzer Puppies

Care

NUTRITION

The Standard Schnauzer should do well on a high-quality dog food, whether commercially manufactured or home-prepared with your veterinarian’s supervision and approval. Any diet should be appropriate to the dog’s age (puppy, adult, or senior). Some dogs are prone to getting overweight, so watch your dog’s calorie consumption and weight level. Treats can be an important aid in training, but giving too many can cause obesity. Learn about which human foods are safe for dogs, and which are not. Check with your vet if you have any concerns about your dog’s weight or diet. Clean, fresh water should be available at all times.

GROOMING

Standard Schnauzers require regular grooming. Washing beards and leg furnishings, dental care, keeping foreign materials from between foot pads, and nail trims are weekly tasks. SS have a double coat; if the harsh, wiry outer coat is clippered instead of hand-stripped, it loses its dirt-, bramble-, and water resistance, which results in more dirt and shedding of hair in the house. Clippering the coat also makes the coat soft, and each clippering lightens the coat color. Once a coat has been hand-stripped, it can be maintained over a long period of time simply by regular brushing and plucking out long hairs.

Grooming Frequency

Occasional Bath/Brush
Specialty/Professional
2-3 Times a Week Brushing

Shedding

Infrequent
Frequent
Infrequent

EXERCISE

Standard Schnauzers are an energetic breed. They love to play, both with their people and with other dogs. They insist on being included in family activities and don’t do well left out alone or tied up in the yard. The love long hikes with their people. They’re excellent at performance sports such as agility, barn hunt, herding, and lure coursing. As long as their person enjoys an activity, most SS will participate with enthusiasm.

Energy Level

Couch Potato
Needs Lots of Activity
Regular Exercise

TRAINING

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.

Trainability

May be Stubborn
Eager to Please
Independent

Temperament/Demeanor

Aloof/Wary
Outgoing
Friendly

HEALTH

According to the health surveys the Standard Schnauzer Club of America does every five years, SS are a very healthy breed. SS are mostly free of many health concerns that affect other breeds. Breeders are conscientious about testing for health concerns such as hip dysplasia and eye disorders,and registering the results with the OFA at the University of Missouri. The new DNA test for cardiomyopathy (which in SS is a simple recessive) allows breeders to identify carriers and breed them to non-carriers so they can eliminate the expression of the disease in the breed.

Recommended Health Tests from the National Breed Club:

  • Hip Evaluation
  • Ophthalmologist Evaluation
  • DCM DNA Test

Read the Official Breed Club Health Statement.

Standard Schnauzer
Standard Schnauzer
Standard Schnauzer
Standard Schnauzer
Standard Schnauzer
Standard Schnauzer

History

The Standard is the original Schnauzer, progenitor of the Miniature and the Giant. In Germany, the Standard Schnauzer is known as the Mittelschnauzer (“medium Schnauzer”).

During the long centuries before mechanized agriculture, the world’s farmers strove to breed versatile dogs to use as all-purpose helpers. The farmers of different regions found diverse solutions to the same challenge, resulting in such varied breeds as the Kerry Blue Terrier (Ireland), Rat Terrier (United States), and Belgian Tervuren. Germany’s entry in the quest for an ideal farm dog was the breed that would come to be known as the Schnauzer.

A creation of the Middle Ages, the breed came of age in the verdant farm country of Bavaria. Like the world’s other barn-and-stable breeds, multitasking Schnauzers made their bones as ratters, herders, guardians, and hunters. Standards bear a superficial resemblance to several terrier breeds of Britain, but the breed is a product of Continental herders and working dogs.

During the birth of Europe’s organized show scene in the 1870s, the “Wire-haired Pinscher” proved to be a dashing show dog. By the turn of the century, fanciers began exhibiting the breed as the Schnauzer (“whiskered snout”). Schnauzers were in America since at least 1900, but it took until the ’20s before they clicked with pet owners. In 1933, the Schnauzer’s AKC parent club divided into separate clubs for the Standard and Miniature breeds.

Did You Know?

Of the three Schnauzers, the Standard is the prototype, a German breed that first appeared during the Middle Ages.
Dogs similar to today’s Schnauzer appear in German artwork from the 15th and 16th centuries.
Originally known as Wire-Haired Pinschers, by the 1900s they were universally known as Schnauzers, a reference to their bearded muzzles.
The Standard Schnauzer was originally classified in the Working Group, but then they were moved into the Terrier Group in 1926. It was moved back to the Working Group in 1946.
The Standard Schnauzer was used by the German army as dispatch carriers and Red Cross aides.
The Standard Schnauzer became widely known in the country only after World War I.

The Breed Standard

GENERAL APPEARANCE

The Standard Schnauzer is a robust, heavy-set dog, sturdily built with good muscle and plenty of bone; square-built in proportion of body length to height. His rugged build and dense harsh coat are accentuated by the hallmark of the breed, the arched eyebrows and the bristly mustache and whiskers.

HEAD

Head strong, rectangular, and elongated; narrowing slightly from the ears to the eyes and again to the tip of the nose. The total length of the head is about one half the length of the back measured from the withers to the set-on of the tail. The head matches the sex and substance of the dog. Expression alert, highly intelligent, spirited. Eyes medium size; dark brown; oval in shape and turned forward; neither round nor protruding. The brow is arched and wiry, but vision is not impaired nor eyes hidden by too long an eyebrow.

BODY

Body compact, strong, short-coupled and substantial so as to permit great flexibility and agility. Faults – Too slender or shelly; too bulky or coarse. Chest of medium width with well sprung ribs, and if it could be seen in cross section would be oval. The breastbone is plainly discernible. The brisket must descend at least to the elbows and ascend gradually to the rear with the belly moderately drawn up.

FOREQUARTERS

Shoulders – The sloping shoulder blades are strongly muscled, yet flat and well laid back so that the rounded upper ends are in a nearly vertical line above the elbows. They slope well forward to the point where they join the upper arm, forming as nearly as possible a right angle when seen from the side. Such an angulation permits the maximum forward extension of the forelegs without binding or effort. Forelegs straight, vertical, and without any curvature when seen from all sides; set moderately far apart; with heavy bone; elbows set close to the body and pointing directly to the rear. Dewclaws on the forelegs may be removed. Feet small and compact, round with thick pads and strong black nails. The toes are well closed and arched (cat’s paws) and pointing straight ahead.

COAT

Tight, hard, wiry and as thick as possible, composed of a soft, close undercoat and a harsh outer coat which, when seen against the grain, stands up off the back, lying neither smooth nor flat. The outer coat (body coat) is trimmed (by plucking) only to accent the body outline.As coat texture is of the greatest importance, a dog may be considered in show coat with back hair measuring from 3/4 to 2 inches in length. Coat on the ears, head, neck, chest, belly and under the tail may be closely trimmed to give the desired typical appearance of the breed. On the muzzle and over the eyes the coat lengthens to form the beard and eyebrows; the hair on the legs is longer than that on the body. These “furnishings” should be of harsh texture and should not be so profuse as to detract from the neat appearance or working capabilities of the dog.

HINDQUARTERS

Strongly muscled, in balance with the forequarters, never appearing higher than the shoulders. Thighs broad with well bent stifles. The second thigh, from knee to hock, is approximately parallel with an extension of the upper neck line. The legs, from the clearly defined hock joint to the feet, are short and perpendicular to the ground and, when viewed from the rear, are parallel to each other. Dewclaws, if any, on the hind legs are generally removed. Feet as in front.

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Colors & Markings

Colors

Description Standard Colors Registration Code
BLACK Check Mark For Standard Color 007
PEPPER & SALT Check Mark For Standard Color 139