The Standard Schnauzer is in between the Miniature Schnauzer and Giant Schnauzer in size. The Standard is a sturdily built, heavy set, robust dog with a square build in proportion to its body height and length, and very muscular. Intelligent, attractive, playful dogs, Standard Schnauzers are usually great with children and excellent companions. Standard Schnauzers are devoted to their master and family, often acting as guardians and watchdogs to protect them if necessary. Because of their high prey drive, they are not always trustworthy around animals that are smaller than they are but they usually get along well with pets and other dogs their size.
The Standard Schnauzers head is rectangular and long with a pronounced stop and strong muzzle. It has a lovely beard, whiskers, bushy eyebrows and dark brown oval eyes. Its black nose and scissor bite teeth give the dog an alert look. The Standard Schnauzers usually have docked tails, optional cropped ears, straight legs, and a soft undercoat and wiry, harsh outer coat.
The outer coat of the Standard Schnauzer is very thick, hard, and wiry with guard hairs standing away from the skin. Squarely built dogs, they are almost odorless and shed little to no hair. They have a fine, dense, soft undercoat that protects the Standard Schnauzer from the elements. Their salt and pepper, black, or black and silver coat should be straight, never shaggy, curly, or wavy looking. Standard Schnauzers that are salt and pepper colored have a grey undercoat although fawn or tan colored is acceptable. Usually they have a darker facial mask that complements the color of the dog’s coat.
The Standard Schnauzers have existed for many centuries in their homeland of Germany. Used to guard livestock and their farm family, the Standard Schnauzer also killed vermin, herded sheep and cattle, and traveled with their owners to protect them when going to market. It was 1879 in Hanover that they exhibited the first Standard Schnauzer at the Third German International Show. In 1880, they wrote the breed standard and held the first specialty show in 1890 at Stuttgart. During World War I and World War II, they used the Standard Schnauzer as a military dog. Today they use them as police dogs, watchdogs, tracking and hunting dogs, and in many dog sports events such as agility events and obedience training competitions.
Standard Schnauzers are loyal, steadfast, even-tempered dogs that are very intelligent, active, affectionate and friendly. They adore their family and are always anxious to please, love companionship and travel. A true family pet, they are great with older children and love to play and go for long walks. Standard Schnauzers enjoy being outside, can tolerate cold and heat, and do not mind being alone for short lengths of time. They make an excellent pet but require socialization and obedience training like all dog breeds. Standard Schnauzers respond bet to positive training methods using patience, rewards, and praise. Keep the sessions short, fun, and never repetitive or the dog will become bored and lose interest.
Of the three Schnauzers, which are the Miniature, Standard, and Giant Schnauzer, the Standard Schnauzer is the healthiest with very few medical issues. You should have your Standard Schnauzer tested yearly for eye problems or disease and x-rayed for hip dysplasia, as many larger breeds are prone to this. When getting a new puppy, select a reputable breeder that will provide health clearances for the adult parent dogs and the puppy. Be sure to take your dog in annually for a check-up and to keep his needles up to date.
The Standard Schnauzers wiry, dense, hard coat requires brushing daily using a short wire brush to remove dead or loose hair and prevent the dense undercoat from tangling or matting. They are low to non-shedding dogs that have no dog smell unlike most breeds. Clip pet dogs in the fall and spring and use blunt-nosed scissors to trim around the Standard Schnauzers ears and eyes. Show dogs require semi-annual plucking and stripping. Most people like their Standard Schnauzers stomach, chest, neck, head, and ears trimmed closely and the legs, muzzle, eyebrows, beard, and over the eyes left longer. Other grooming needs include nail care, and dental hygiene.
Standard Schnauzers are very adaptable and can live in the city, suburbs, or country. They are as comfortable on a country farm as in a city apartment and are happy as long as they have a fenced area to run around. Standard Schnauzers do require regular exercise such as daily walks. As much as they love going outside, they are indoor dogs that need to live with their people. High energy Standard Schnauzers require vigorous daily activity such as brisk walks and off-leash sessions such as playing fetch in a fenced in, safe area. Standard Schnauzers enjoy play sessions where they are free to run, making a fenced in yard a good idea.
Standard Schnauzers are eager to please and quick learners. With above-average intelligence and inquisitive, sometimes stubborn ways, the Standard Schnauzer requires a creative owner that is very intelligent and will train the dog with consistency and firmness. They require early socialization and lots of exposure to different sounds, people, sights, animals, children, places and experiences as young puppies. Socialization is the best way to ensure your Standard Schnauzer puppy grows into a confident, well-rounded dog. Start obedience training your dog when young but always be patient, consistent, firm, using positive reinforcement techniques such as praise, play, food treats or other rewards.