Whether you like little, medium-sized or big dogs, there's a schnauzer that will suit you. The name derives from schnauze, meaning muzzle in their native Germany. Maybe that's because of the schnauzer's beard and mustache. The American Kennel Club considers the different types of schnauzers as distinct breeds.
The original Schnauzer, from which the other sizes developed, is the standard. His ancient ancestry may derive from the bloodlines of the poodle, spitz and wirehaired pinscher, according to the AKC. The miniature descends from the standard Schnauzer with some poodle and Affenpinscher blood mixed in. While the Standard Schnauzer was originally a guard and farm dog, the miniature was developed as a vermin exterminator -- a ratter. The Giant Schnauzer served as a dog aiding farmers in driving livestock to market. The dog's huge size also made it an intimidating guard dog.
The grown Standard Schnauzer ranges between 17.5 and 19.5 inches in height at the withers, the highest point of the shoulder. His wiry coat is either salt-and-pepper or solid black. While the Standard Schnauzer still has his hereditary guard dog instincts intact, he's also makes a great pet. This breed possesses a reputation as being exceptionally good with children.
The full-size Miniature Schnauzer ranges between 12 and 14 inches high at the withers. The outside crosses from the Standard Schnauzer gives him a bit more varied coloring, as he may appear as silver, black or salt-and-pepper. A good choice as an apartment dog, he doesn't shed much and his coarse coat needs little grooming. Although small, his watchdog instincts are also still intact. He's bright, friendly and easily trained.
Looking like a giant version of his standard cousin, with the identical coat colors, this type of Schnauzer stands between 23.5 and 27.5 inches high in adulthood. His guard dog instincts are not only intact but can go into overdrive. He's ultra-protective and territorial, requiring an experienced dog owner who can train him properly. He's full of energy and needs lots of exercise. The Giant Schnauzer makes a good dog for someone willing to put in the time and training. He'd do best with a large yard or on a farm.
- American Kennel Club: Meet the Breeds: Standard Schnauzer
- American Kennel Club: Meet the Breeds: Miniature Schnauzer
- American Kennel Club: Meet the Breeds: Giant Schnauzer
- American Kennel Club: Giant Schnauzer History
- American Kennel Club: Miniature Schnauzer History
- American Kennel Club: Standard Schnauzer History
- miniture schnauzer image by Alison Bowden from Fotolia.com