The Standard Schnauzer

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Standard Schnauzer
Weight Male 40 —45 lbs
Weight. Female 35 — 40 lbs
Height:Male 18” — 20”
Height Female: 17” — 19”
AKC Rank 2008 #97
Lifespan: 12—14 yrs
Group Working
Origin: Germany

Dog Breed Info - Standard Schnauzer

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Breed Overview

Origin: Middle ages. Original Function: Ratting, guardian. Today: Companion dog. Colors: Black, salt and pepper.

The Standard Schnauzer is the oldest of the three breeds of Schnauzer, going back to around the fourteenth century. Back then it was considered a house pet and hunting companion. The dog is likely a mix of hunting, terrier and hinting breeds. This breed probably comes from crossing Wirehaired Pinschers, black German poodles and grey wolf spitz. The result was a hardy rat catcher and capable guardian. By the twentieth century, this was one of the most popular dogs for guarding farmers’ carts while the farmers were tending to business. This Schnauzer came to American around 1900 but were quite slow to catch on. The Standard Schnauzer is recognized by the AKC as a separate breed.


Yes. Fairly easy to train. Some can be a little stubborn but overall this is a trainable breed. Use clicker training which involves positive reinforcement. The Schnauzer learns quite well.

Crate Training

Want to crate train your Standard Schnauzer puppy? It's easy and if you're interested, take a look and you'll see what to do. Crate training your puppy will save many headaches and problems.

Potty Training

Most Standard Schnauzer puppies are easy to house train, potty train, toilet train, housebreak or whatever you want to call it. If you have a puppy, decide if you want to crate or paper potty train it. For the best results, we have a page at Crate vs Paper Potty Training which will help you decide and from there you can get all the information you need to get the job done. Always praise the pup profusely when she goes potty in the RIGHT PLACE so she knows she has done a good thing. Either method will work for this breed.

If you have an older dog, take the dog outside every two hours until she gets the idea which door leads to her potty area. Older dogs catch on to the potty or housebreaking pretty fast once they are shown what to do.

Schnauzer playing in the snow
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Standard Schnauzer’s are fun-loving, active, exceptionally loyal family dogs that make great guardians and playmates. They have lots of energy, love to chase things and need plenty of exercise. The dog can be quick and quite mischievous, as well as headstrong. It needs firm, alpha training and management lest it become dominant, so the owner must let the dog know who the boss is at all times. Once the Schnauzer is comfortable in her place as the submissive member of the family, she will be a fantastic member. The Standard Schnauzer is devoted, trustworthy and affectionate with her immediate people and very protective of them. She will be good with family pets but aggressive toward strange dogs and some unknown people that she may view as intruders or dangers.

If you happen to get a Standard Schnauzer with a separation anxiety problem, that can be dealt with by investing a few hours of work on your part and some "tough love."


Friendly Toward Other Dogs

Maybe. Wary of many dogs, Picks her dog friends. Can be aggressive toward strange dogs.

Friendly Toward Other Pets

Somewhat accepting with house pets except for anything that looks like a rodent. Don’t keep hamsters and guinea pigs around. She’ll chase them. Does better with cats and dogs but introduce them slowly and on common ground.

Friendly Toward Strangers

No. Once the Standard Schnauzer gets to know the stranger it is okay but this is a guard dog and she is wary and stand-offish with people she does not know.


Yes. Loves to play, chase balls and play fetch, romp with dog friends, run with the kids and so on. A lively, perky little dog.


Not overly affectionate, except with her immediate family. She will curl up at your feet or on the sofa and is totally devoted to her family, but may be a little short on giving kisses.

Good with children?

Yes. This is a sturdy dog that can stand up to children pretty well. She likes to run and romp with the kids and as long as they HAVE BEEN TAUGHT how to behave around a dog, everything should be all right, especially if the children don’t become rambunctious, noisy and rough.

Children under 6 or 7 years need to be supervised very closely with any dog.

Good with Seniors over 65?

Yes. The Standard Schnauzer is a good match for seniors. As long as the senior can walk a half mile several times a day or throw a ball and can drive to the vet, this dog will work out. If longevity or training are issues, find a Standard Schnauzer Rescue group or kennel and get a 2 or 3 year old dog that is house trained and knows a few commands. It will save many headaches for the senior.

Living environment

Apartment, farm, ranch, condo—all okay.

This dog would like to have a small to medium size fenced yard to roam, sniff and chase balls in for exercise, if possible, but not mandatory.


Energy level

Moderately high energy. Give her 8 bars out of 10.

Exercise needs, daily

One or two long walks on leash OR some vigorous games of fetch in the yard OR a little of both. The Standard Schnauzer can also do some jogging with you as long as she is on leash or in a safe place.

Be sure the Schnauzer gets enough exercise. They lean toward obesity and diabetes.

It’s a good idea if the Schnauzer can divide her time between house and yard so a doggie door and a small to medium size fenced yard would be ideal.

An apartment, farm, ranch or condo are all fine as long as she gets her exercise.


Excellent watchdog. Has a loud bark and knows how to use it!


Guard dog

Excellent. Just big enough to do some damage. 42 teeth worth of ferociousness.


No. Does not shed.


Brush with a stiff bristle brush the wiry coat 2 to 3 times a week. Have groomed with a “Schnauzer cut” approx. .every 10 to 12 weeks. Some people call this “scissoring.” This will keep the dog looking terrific!

Wash the beard at the side and under the muzzle after EACH feeding to keep it clean, soft and flowing


Suggested Reading - Standard Schnauzer
Click on the cover photos for more book information and reviews.

  • The 1st book on the left is all you need to understand and care for your Standard Schnauzer, including training.

  • 3rd book from the left - "A Dog Who's Always Welcome" teaches you to take your dog way beyond normal obedience training and into the world of THERAPY DOG work. You will never worry about taking your dog anyplace again - he'll be the most loved by all!

  • Book at the far right is by the American National Red Cross and deals with dog health, dog illness, emergencies and injuries. It's a valuable reference manual for all dog owners.Vol 2, 2008, includes a DVD.

Standard Schnauzer Breeders

In the event you decide to go looking for Standard Schnauzer puppies, be SURE to find reputable breeders that really know what they are doing. Be sure the puppy has been well socialized and started in obedience training.
Standard Schnauzer Breeders with puppies for sale.

You can search for Standard Schnauzer breeders online, but they tend to mix Giant and Standards together, even to the point of calling them "large" and "medium" size. It's confusing but breeders often breed more than one size at a time.

Standard Schnauzer Rescue

In the event you are seriously considering the adoption of an older dog and are looking for a Standard Schnauzer Rescue group or groups in your state, here are several links that might help:
Petfinder - Standard Schnauzer Rescue It is difficult to find "Standard" at Petfinder. They lump all 3 sizes of Schnauzer together under "Schnauzer." From there, you can get a long line of mixed breed Schnauzers. If you do adopt, try to locate the dog health records for future reference.
Adopt A Pet This is an interesting site but you may have trouble finding what you want. Try searching the web for Standard Schnauzer Rescue groups or kennels.

Dog Health Issues For The Standard Schnauzer
Below are the dog illness / illnesses or medical problems listed for the Standard Schnauzer by various vets.

This is basically a healthy breed. Don’t let the list below scare you! Your own dog will probably never have ANY of these problems. These are dog illness and medical issues this breed is prone to that have been listed by various veterinarians at different times over the past decade or so and some pertain to puppies and very young dogs that a breeder would deal with.

The information contained herein has been gathered from numerous books by veterinarians and is intended as general information only. Every dog and situation is different. You must see your vet. Our information is for general interest only and not intended to replace the advice provided by your own veterinarian.

  • Hip dysplasia - Hind end limping, back leg acts lame. Wear and time causes the femur to fit poorly into the pelvic socket with improper rotation causing great pain, lameness, arthritis and difficulty walking. You may notice your Standard Schnauzer “hopping”” like a rabbit when running plus hesitating to climb stairs, all due to pain in the hind quarters. The problem actually starts as a very young puppy with an abnormal formation of the hip joint and grows progressively. A vet can locate this with a diagnostics test.

  • Hypothyroidism—An underactive thyroid gland produces too little thyroid hormone which reduces the Standard Schnauzer's metabolism level. Hypothyroidism stems from the dog’s immune system attacking the tissues of the thyroid gland. Bottom line is the dog becomes symptomatic. The cause can be a predisposition for thyroid problems, air pollution and allergies. A FEW symptoms of the disorder include lethargy, weight gain, skin infections, dry skin, hair loss, slow heart rate, ear infections, depression. See your set right away.

  • Follicular dysplasia – Genetic disease (Alopecia) that causes hair loss. Caused by structurally malfunctioning hair follicles. Most common area affected is where grooming occurs and around the neck where the collar is placed. Attempts at treatment generally don't work.

  • Pancreatitis—A life-threatening disease commonly affecting middle age and older Schnauzers, Miniature Poodles and Cocker Spaniels. The pancreas produces enzymes that help process food. With the disease, the pancreas begins digesting it’s own tissue. Vomiting, loss of appetite and abdominal pain follow in most cases. Some dogs will die from lack of response to treatments. PREVENT the disease by not allowing the dog to become obese, and not giving high-fast foods to the dog Info thanks to

  • Atopic dermatitis's—Atopy. Hereditary. Shows at 1 to 3 years age. Skin allergy triggered by dust mites, pollen, poor quality foods and other garbage we put into the dog’s environment. Many breeds are prone to this. The dog will lick, rub, chew and scratch the infected areas. Allergens can also come from fleas, bacteria and yeast infections. See your vet. There are many treatments ranging from medicines, antihistamines, diets, bathing, cleansing the house of dust mites and so on.

  • Cataracts - Hazy or cloudy vision and if not treated can eventually lead to total blindness.

  • Epilepsy - A serious seizure disorder that usually appears at around two to four or five years of age in a dog.

  • Gastric Torsion—Sometimes called Bloat. “Twisted stomach.” Mainly in larger, deep-cheated dogs. The stomach may not be firmly secured to the ribs and can break loose and rotate, sealing off both ends and trapping the contents of the stomach. Gas, liquids and food accumulate in the stomach causing it to “bloat.” The stomach enlarges and can twist on it’s attaching points. One point is the food pipe (esophagus) and at the other end is the small or “upper” intestine. With the entrance and exit closed off, the dog can not burp, belch, expel gas, vomit or in any way get anything out of the stomach. Blood flow returning to the heart is immediately blocked by the enlarged stomach. This triggers other negative responses in the body including breathing problems. The dog dies suddenly if immediate medical intervention is not made. quickly If your dog is prone to this, feed 3 or more small meals a day and don’t overload the stomach. DO NOT EXERCISE THE STANDARD SCHNAUZER FOR AT LEAST AN HOUR (or two) after eating a meal. This includes evening walks. Let food digest first. Surgery is often required so be sure to see an emergency vet immediately. Symptoms include excessive drooling, nervous pacing, agitation, weakness, attempt to vomit, bulging stomach area, heavy breathing, retching and gagging, shock or total collapse.

  • Diabetes—The pancreas manufactures the hormone INSULIN. If the pancreas stops making, or makes less than the normal amount of insulin, or if the tissues in the body become resistant to the insulin, the result is called “diabetes.” The dog can NOT control her blood sugar without injections of insulin on a regular basis, but given the insulin, the Standard Schnauzer can live a normal life like a human can. If the dog does not receive the insulin injections at the same time each day of her life, the dog will go into a coma and she will die. Some causes of diabetes may be chronic pancreatitis, heredity, obesity or old age, but no one is sure. Symptoms are excess drinking and urination, dehydration, weight loss, increased appetite, weight gain, and cataracts may develop suddenly. Treatment is in the form of the insulin injections daily and a strict diet low in carbohydrates and sugars. Home cooking may be suggested in some cases. Frequent trips to the vet for blood monitoring will be needed but diabetes is not a death sentence.

  • Malignant Melanoma—A tumor in the cells that produce pigment, and probably hereditary. The source is commonly the mouth, around the toe nails, back of the eyes and skin. The oral cavity is most common. These tumors are most likely to be found in dogs with dark skin. How fast the tumor develops, the probability of metastasis and how quickly it spreads (metastasizes) in the body depends on where the tumor is located in the Standard Schnauzer. A metastatic melanoma (a tumor that has spread) more often occurs in middle age and older dogs. Symptoms: Seizures and problems breathing as the cancer spreads. The death rate is high, even with surgery, radiation and chemotherapy. This is a serious disease.

Other health problems could occur with your Standard Schnauzer. If you notice any problems with your dog, take it to the vet immediately. This website is for general information only and is not intended to, in any way, be a medical guide.


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