Standard Schnauzer Dogs

The schnauzer is called "the thinking person's dog."

The schnauzer is called "the thinking person's dog."

There's a schnauzer size for you whether you prefer small, medium or large dogs. The standard schnauzer is a medium-size dog, an older breed than his miniature and giant cousins. According to the American Kennel Club, the breed's name originates from his distinctive beard and mustache -- "schnauze" in his native Germany.

Appearance

Male standard schnauzers range in height from 18 to 20 inches at the shoulders; they weigh between 35 and 50 pounds. Females are slightly smaller. The schnauzer's wiry coat is either salt-and-pepper or solid black. Robust and muscular, standard schnauzers look like the tough working dogs they were bred to be. Their jobs included catching varmints and guarding livestock and property. Modern schnauzers retain their watchdog abilities.

Temperament

This is one smart canine: He's at the top of class if you take him to obedience school or participate in other canine activities. You can brag about how quickly he picks up new things. No one gets near your house without you knowing about it if a standard schnauzer is in residence. The schnauzer is a high-energy dog, so he needs adequate amounts of exercise. He becomes part of your family readily but demands a certain level of respect. He doesn't tolerate a lot of teasing, according to the Standard Schnauzer Club of America.

Grooming

Your standard schnauzer requires a fair amount of grooming, even though his wiry coat doesn't shed. If you don't frequently comb out the finer hair on his legs and face, you're inviting mat formation. If you want your dog to conform to the appearance of the breed standard, or if you want to show him, you must have the coat hand-stripped every few months. You can learn to do this yourself or take the dog to a groomer. If you simply want your dog to be comfortable and don't care about showing, your groomer can clip the coat.

Health

All purebred dogs are prone to specific hereditary health problems, and the standard schnauzer is no exception. That's a primary reason to buy your puppy from a reputable breeder, one who won't breed dogs carrying known genetic health issues and who can offer a health guarantee on the pup. Among the diseases commonly seen in the standard schnauzer is hip dysplasia, a malformation of the hip joint leading to lameness and early arthritis. Schnauzers may develop eye problems, including cataracts, along with diseases such as hypothyroidism, a deficiency of thyroid hormone; bladder stones and the heart valve problem, pulmonic stenosis.

 

About the Author

Jane Meggitt has been a writer for more than 20 years. In addition to reporting for a major newspaper chain, she has been published in "Horse News," "Suburban Classic," "Hoof Beats," "Equine Journal" and other publications. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English from New York University and an Associate of Arts from the American Academy of Dramatics Arts, New York City.

Photo Credits

  • miniature schnauzer image by Alison Bowden from Fotolia.com