Standard Schnauzer

Written by Doris Donnerman (last updated April 6, 2009)

There are only a few breeds that can boast three different sizes to choose from. The Schnauzer is one of these breeds. This German breed comes in Giant, Standard and Miniature size. This article is concerned with the Standard Schnauzer, oldest of the three types.

The breed is a very old one. A Stuttgart statue, dated 1620, is supposed to show a watchman and his Schnauzer dog. Though there is some doubt as to this, there is little questioning that the sculptor owned a dog which conforms closely to present day Schnauzers. He painted his dog a number of times between 1490 and 1504. At about the same time his Elder, placed a Schnauzer type dog in a tapestry which is still extant.

Most authorities state that the dog was never a Terrier, but was always a cattle dog and a ratter. It is true that he comes from the great shepherd dog: countries of Germany, Wurttemberg and Bavana. The breed came to the attention of show dog fanciers rather early in the period when Germany was becoming interested in Shepherds.

Still, one of the few guesses as to the exact origin of the breed states that it was developed from crosses of the black "pudel," or Poodle, and the gray Wolfspitz, that is, the breed conforming in the Pomeranian and Keeshond. The soft under coat was supposed to have come from the Poodle and the harsh pepper and salt gray from the Wolfspitz.

At least one English student of the breed feels that the Schnauzer was developed entirely from Shepherd blood. This author states that the dog was never considered a Terrier, and never called a Schnauzer Terrier.

It is true that the typical Schnauzer is rather heavier throughout than a true Terrier. Neither is his gait typical of the modern Terrier. Yet he was originally shown as the Wire-haired Pinscher, and the word pinscher has the meaning of terrier.

The first recorded importation into the United States was of a dog brought to Rochester, N. Y., in 1905. From that time until July ten, 1945, the dog was officially classified in the United States as a Terrier. He then was placed in the Working Group. Similarly, in Canada, Doberman Pinschers and Schnauzers were imported at about the same time. The Canadians listed them as Pinschers, Doberman, and Schnauzer.

The dog's extraordinary ability as a ratter would seem to make him more of a Terrier than a working dog. Ratting trials are still held in Europe for the breed, so that this Terrier characteristic is still being fostered.

In Canada, the Schnauzers arrived a year or two after heavy importations to the United States began. One of the first official importations was in June of 1926. The breed has prospered in both countries, but has not enjoyed the popularity of the Miniature. In 1948, in the United States, Miniatures outnumbered the larger dogs almost two to one.

The Standard Schnauzer is a robust, sinewy, heavy-set dog of the Terrier type, sturdily built, square in the proportion of body length to height, with good muscle and plenty of bone. His nature combines high spirited temperament with extreme reliability. His rugged build and dense, harsh coat are accentuated by arched eyebrows, bristly mustache and luxurious whiskers. The height for the males is from eighteen to twenty inches and for the females from seventeen to nineteen inches.

Additional information on the Standard Schnauzer can be found at the website for the American Kennel Club.

Author Bio

Doris Donnerman

Doris is a jack of all trades, writing on a variety of topics. Her articles have helped enlighten and entertain thousands over the years. ...


Apricot, White Chocolate, and Walnut Scones

Scones are great for mixing up your traditional dessert. They are delicious and easy to make. Here is a great recipe that ...

Discover More

Siberian Husky

Strong, smooth and graceful, the Siberian Husky has proven to be an excellent sled dog. His endurance is second to none.

Discover More


The Pomeranian was once a much larger breed than what it is today. He is now a small but vivacious dog that is perfect ...

Discover More
More Pet Tips


The Kuvasz has been used primarily in the Rocky Mountains for sheep herding. He is a great guardian, rarely wandering far ...

Discover More

Doberman Pinscher

The Doberman Pinscher was earlier bred for ferociousness, but is now considered to be quite docile unless provoked. His ...

Discover More


The komondor's unique coat acts as a disguise while herding and guarding sheep. He is an ideal guard dog and house ...

Discover More

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] (all 7 characters, in the sequence shown) in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is nine minus 3?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)