Standard Schnauzer is the oldest of the three schnauzer breeds and an ancestor of the other two—the Giant Schnauzer and the Miniature Schnauzer. Paintings from the Middle Ages show dogs that look much like today’s Standard Schnauzer. The dogs were multipurpose dogs— catching vermin, protecting the farm, livestock, and family, and driving livestock to market.
The Standard Schnauzer dogs stand 17 to 20 inches tall and weigh 35 to 45 pounds. The head is strong and rectangular, the eyes are oval and dark brown, and the ears are either folded or cropped. The body is as long as the dog is tall and is strong and well-muscled. The undercoat is soft and dense. The outer coat is tight, hard, and wiry. The two acceptable colours are black and salt and pepper. The coat can tangle and mat, especially the beard and feathers on the legs, so it must be brushed or combed at least twice a week. The undercoat does shed and needs brushing. The outer coat must be either hand-stripped or groomed with clippers. Potential owners should discuss coat care with a breeder.
Standard Schnauzers are active dogs who need daily walks and a chance to run and play. These dogs will enjoy a chance to train on the agility course, play flyball, or even go for a jog. The Standard Schnauzer dog breed prefers to be a companion and will enjoy any activities the owner wishes to do with her. These are intelligent dogs who have a tendency to be a touch stubborn. Training should begin young and continue on into adulthood, not just to establish the owner’s control but also to keep the dog’s mind busy.
These versatile dogs were bred to work and still have a strong work ethic. The Standard Schnauzer is a family dog who wants to be a part of daily life; the Standard Schnauzer is not a backyard dog. The Standard Schnauzer is watchful and wary of strangers. The Standard Schnauzer is good with children and good with other dogs when well-socialised to them but should not be trusted with smaller pets. The primary health concern is hip dysplasia.