Dog Health & More
Standard Schnauzers were originally bred to be ratters, guard dogs, and all-purpose dogs on German farms. Their versatility, medium size, protective nature, and love of family make them an excellent companion dog breed.
Additional articles you will be interested in:
The Standard Schnauzer is a medium-size dog who inspired early breeders to develop two more breeds who look just like him — the Miniature Schnauzer and the Giant Schnauzer.
It's no wonder breeders wanted to duplicate this dog in different sizes for different needs. Standard Schnauzers are not only highly intelligent and excellent family companions, they're uniquely handsome, even aristocratic, in appearance. Renowned for their guarding abilities and devotion to their families, they're also often described as a dog with a human brain.
Squarely built, these dogs have stiff, wiry coats that shed little with minimal "doggy" odor. A hallmark of the breed is the face furnishings, which include arched eyebrows and a bristly mustache and beard. The high-set ears are carried erect when cropped but are otherwise V-shaped, carried forward with the inner edge of the ear close to the cheek.
Standard Schnauzers typically carry themselves with a great deal of self-importance. They are agile and athletic, and excel in performance sports such as agility, tracking and herding. Highly versatile, they're good hunters and have been used as retrievers both on land and in the water. They're also excellent herders of sheep and cattle, one of their original jobs as an all-around farm dog. In fact, many Standard Schnauzers have earned American Kennel Club (AKC) herding titles.
With their working dog heritage, they also make excellent watchdogs. Standard Schnauzers are territorial, quick to bark at any disturbance. They have a deep bark that sounds as though it should come from a much larger dog and are vigorous in carrying out their watchdog duties.
Their personality is sometimes mischievous, always clever, and inevitably dignified. They learn quickly and want to please, which makes them great therapy dogs. And when socialized with children, they make an excellent and affectionate companion for the younger members of the family.
The Standard Schnauzer's highly developed senses, intelligence, trainability, courage, stamina, and resistance to adverse conditions have found many a place in a field that most would not expect — search and rescue. Many of the Standards have proven to be exceedingly good at this important work, and their smaller size enables them to search in areas that larger dogs can't reach.
Standard Schnauzers do have strong personalities, and can be stubborn. They have an uncanny way of determining your weaknesses and will take advantage of you whenever possible. If you're not careful, they'll rule the household; this is a breed that requires consistent and firm guidance from owners.
With all of his innate skills and exceptional good looks, is it any wonder breeders felt one size was not enough? As the original model for both the Miniature and Giant Schnauzers, Standards are truly the foundation of a great legacy in dogs.