Dog Breed Review

Standard Schnauzer





Move over Tom Selleck and Rollie Fingers, there’s a new moustache in town — The Standard Schnauzer. Meet the German snout. This hairy, medium size, versatile working breed needs no help filling out their resume.

A farm dog from the Middle Ages, the Standard Schnauzer is also the progenitor of the Miniature and Giant Schnauzer. While the breed has never been able to duplicate the popularity of other German breeds, they are equally as important.

Moreover, it was a special SS that made headlines for its special “sniffing abilities.”

What sniffing abilities? What makes this breed such a wonderful choice for your household?

Here is what you need to know about the Standard Schnauzer.


Indeed, the Standard Schnauzer will never receive the same notoriety that of the Dachshund or German Shepherd. Yet, back home, in Germany, they’ll get plenty of credit for the work done on the farm and around the house.

Moreover, the SS has been keeping families and their property safe at least since the Middle Ages. It wasn’t uncommon to sight both the SS and their owner going to market with goods. Just as it wasn’t unlikely to find the Schnauzer guard livestock as well. A breed like this found many roles around the household and farm. They could hunt, they could herd and most importantly, they could love.

It was during the 19th century, that fanciers began experimenting in Germany. Fanciers had a growing fascination with creating a true working farm dog. It is the belief of many historians, that the Standard Schnauzer is a cross between a black German Poodle and a Wolfspitz. Furthermore, some agree that are wirehaired Pinscher breed made its way into the stock as well.

The breed’s first time appearing at dog shows was back in the 1870’s. And, according to the American Kennel Club, at these shows, the breed went by “Wirehaired Pinschers.” That was until the turn of the 20th century. With their new name, and their club in America forming in 1925 — Higher imports of the breed came flowing into America. However, the breed, as said above, would never gain the same kind of fame as other German breeds.

Receiving recognition in 1904 by the American Kennel Club, the breed would end up with working group designation. Eventually, in 1926, the Standard Schnauzer would end up in the Terrier Group. Following a separation from the other Schnauzers as a distinct breed, the AKC put the breed back in the working group in 1946.

The breed has also found a role with the German army as a message carrier and working with the Red Cross as a aide. Today, the American Kennel Club lists the Standard Schnauzer as the 90th most popular breed in America. A position the breed is familiar with, hovering around the 90 spot four of the last five years. The Schnauzer can be seen in dog show rings, herding and doing other work on farms but most becoming a steady household pet.


In Germany, the breed goes by the “Middle Schnauzer” or “Mittelschnauzer.” As the medium breed of the Schnauzer trio, a male should stand between 18.5 to 19.5 inches. A female can range between 17.5 to 18.5 inches.

With regards to weight, a male should weigh between 35 to 50 pounds and a female between 30 to 45 pounds.

Personality and Temperament

This is a highly active and energetic breed. Standards become very enthusiastic about their play time and a good backyard romp. With proper socialization as pups, there’s nothing more that they love than to play chase. The breed excels at lure coarsing, agility and other K-9 activities. Children will also enjoy the Standard Schnauzer as well. Speaking of which, the breed does great with children, even getting the nickname, the “kinderwatcher.” The American Kennel Club says that the breed does well with other dogs. Some disagree, and believe the breed has a bit of jealousy or protective streak. 

Protective of their family is a certainty. Nobody is to threaten this breed’s family or people. Fearless and bold, the Standard isn’t afraid to stand up for what is theirs and what they hold dear to them. 

Standard Schnauzers can live in apartments if you teach them right. They are fairly adaptable. While they much prefer the life on the farm or somewhere they can run — Standards have been seen living in smaller dwellings. They will bark whenever it is necessary, especially if they grow suspicious of certain people or activity.

The breed can be willful at times but still, this is a reliable breed. They learn quick but do bore easily. The breed isn’t big on doing the same routine over and over. 

Loyal, loving and affectionate, the Standard Schnauzer demands to be a part of the family. They never like being alone, and prefer a special bond of their master.

All in all, this is a fun going, plenty of spirit, working dog. You can teach them just about any assignment aside from burrowing. This breed is a capable guard or watchdog. They aren’t afraid to standup for what is theirs and defend their people’s honor. Other dogs and kids will love the breed and the breed will love them back. They need special attentio and will return the favori with plenty of affection and devotion.


If you’re looking for a breed that doesn’t come with a high Vet bill, then the Standard Schnauzer is the breed for you. Of course, this hinges upon where you buy one from. Always try to find a reputable breeder, who has ethical breeding practices. Ask the questions, read the reviews. A reputable breeder will provide you with the clearance and document you need to make the best purchasing decision possible. Additionally, you should schedule regular veterinarian visits to ensure your Standard’s good health. On average, the Standard Schnauzer should live between the ages of 13 to 16 years.

There have been times the breed will suffer from Dialated Cardiomyopathy. This is when the blood doesn’t pump to the rest of the body properly. Similarly, the breed may experience a bout of Pulmonic Stenosis, which is a partial obstruction of blood flow from the heart to the lungs causing the heart to work harder. These conditions can have dire consequences. Heavy breathing, lethargy and weakness are a few signs something isn’t right with your Standard Schnauzer. 

A few minor issues concerning the eyes. Distichiasis, which is an extra hair inside the eyelids that rubs against the eye and may cause scarring or irritation. Pawing or red irritation marks are signs that something may be wrong with your Standard’s eye. 

Cataracts is a bit more severe, in the sense, that your SS may lose its vision. It’ll start with night blindness, and eventually lead to complete blindnes. Cataracts is the cloudiness of the crystalline lens.

Keratoconjunctivitis is basically another term for “dry eye.” This is when the tear ducts no longer produce tears and causes the eyes to dry up, which will further result in itchy eyes, infections and soreness. There is an ointment available that can help. Again, with this condition like Distichiasis, your dog may show signs of pawing, squinting as something wrong.

Issues with their joints aren’t uncommon. A malformation of the hip joint or Hip Dysplasia, which causes pain, discomfort and lameness has been found to occur with the breed. In fact, the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals ranks the breed 125th worst with a 8.5% dysplastic rate. That puts them in the ranks with the Weimaraner and Bichon Frise.

Elbow Dysplasia is the abnormal growth of the elbow, that can lead to the same problems that Hip Dysplasia does. The OFA states that the breed has a 6.6% dysplastic rate for Elbow Dysplasia. This puts them as the 48th worst along with the Spinone Italiano and Rhodesian Ridgeback


The Standard Schnauzer needs proper socialization and early training. Without it, the breed won’t be as civil with other dogs. Introduce to them to new people, new things, and other dogs. This will also make things easier during other training objectives. The breed needs plenty of mental and physical stimulation to break any chance of boredom. Boredom results in destructive habits. A nice game of fetch, a walk or two or one long walk, a visit to the dog park, or letting them out in the backyard for a playful romp should suffice their needs.

The breed can live in an apartment for as long as you socialize them early on. You’ll also need to spend time with the breed. This breed doesn’t do well alone for long periods of time. They need to be a part of the family’s adventures. A role or job is important for this breed to give them purpose.

If this is your first rodeo with a dog, then you’ll need to understand that the breed is intelligent and can have a mind of its own. However, they are willing to learn, and eager to please if something is in it for them. Typically, your love, or approval is enough. Mixing up their routines will help as well. Moreover, the most important factor is being fair, consistent and firm. Never be rough with this breed because of their sensitivity.

The breed may also have a strong prey drive. That is, if they see something appealing like a field mouse or squirrel, they are likely to chase. Even a cat is appealing. Be sure to provide a fence that securely hold them to the backyard or put them on a leash.

Trim their nails regularly, brush their teeth often, and inspect their ears routinely for infections or bacterial buildup.


All dogs are different. How much your Standard Schnauzer will vary upon their age, energy requirements and metabolism, to name a few. Meat should be the first ingredient and quality calories, protein, crude fat and a balance of vegetables or fruit will go a long way in furthering your Standard’s life.

Most owners seem happy feeding their Standard Schnauzer between 1 to 2 cups of high quality dry kibble. You can break that up into two meals to help reduce the chances of Bloat.

As always, you should provide your Standard Schnauzer with fresh drinking water.


There is a bit of upkeep when it comes to the Standard Schnauzer. You do get lucky with their infrequent shedding. Also, if you are sensitive to pet dander, this is a better fit for you as well. However, you will need to brush two to three times per week. One of the biggest “don’t” about the breed’s coat is never to hand strip. Always clip, instead. 

The Standard Schnauzer has a double coat. The outercoat feels harsh and the undercoat is soft. The overall coat is wiry, hard and thick.

According to the American Kennel Club, there are only two acceptable color options for the coat: Black, pepper and salt.

There are no acceptable markings for this breed’s coat.

Fun Standard Schnauzer Facts

  • The breed’s sniffing senses is a gift from doggie heaven. According to a 1996 article from the LA Times, George the Standard Schnauzer was able to sniff skin cancer on a person.
  • This breed is the progenitor of the Mini Schnauzer and Giant Schnauzer.
  • According to the website,, the Schnauzer appears in several paintings by Albrecht Burer between 1492 to 1504.
  • In 1997, Parsipal Di Casa Netzer, a Standard Schnazuer won the Westminster’s Best in Show. 
  • The breed is the 22nd most intelligent on Stanley Coren’s “Intelligence of Dogs” list. This means the Standard will obey the first command 85 percent of the time.

Closing Words

From their centuries spent on the farm, to their service with the German army, and finally to one Standard’s ability to sniff out a form of skin cancer — This breed has consistently kept itself busy and incredibly resourceful.

And because not everything is a popularity match, the Standard Schnauzer could care less about numbers. In fact, the only thing they seem content on doing is helping their people and that is quite popular with the dog world.



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