The Standard Schnauzer, generally classified as a working or utility dog, is a medium-sized dog, and is the original breed of the three breeds of Schnauzers originating in Germany. In the Middle Ages, Schnauzer type dogs were developed from ratting, guardian, and herding breeds in Western Europe. In the 19th century, with the advent of dog showing, the dogs captured the interest of German Dog Fanciers. They then began to standardize their look and temperament for the show ring. These dogs were mixed with the German Black Standard Poodle, and the German Pinscher, which gives the breed a “regal” look.
The Standard Schnauzer is a heavy-set, robust dog. He is sturdily built plenty of bone and good muscle. He is square-built in proportion of his body length to height. The height for the male dog is between 18-20 inches and weighs between 35-58 pounds. The female stands 17-19 inches tall and weighs 30-45 pounds. His head is strong, rectangular, and elongated. It narrows slightly from the ears to the eyes again to the tip of his nose. His eyes are of medium size, oval in shape and turned forward and are dark brown. They should be neither protruding nor round. The ears of the dog are set high and evenly shaped with moderate thickness. They are carried erect when cropped. The muzzle is strong, and will be parallel and equal in length to the topskull. He will have a strong, sound scissors bite. The coat of the breed is tight, wiry, hard and as thick as possible. It is composed of a soft, close undercoat, and a harsh outercoat. The outercoat when seen against the grain, stands up off the back, and will lie neither smooth nor flat. The colors are either pure black or salt and pepper.
The Standard Schnauzer is a loyal family dog with good guardian instincts. With a deep robust bark, most will protect their homes from unwanted visitors. Overall, the breed is good with children and were once known in Germany as “kinderwatchers”. As long as they are properly trained and socialized early to different ages, races, and temperaments of people, they can be tolerant and very patient in any situation. AS the breed is widely known to be intelligent, they are also easy to train. Like most working dog breeds, they will be rambunctious until about two years old. Lots of exercise will help keep them busy. Owners of the Standard Schnauzer should be mentally prepared to physically and mentally stimulate them every day, even into old age. Like with many other highly intelligent breeds when this dog becomes bored he may become destructive.
Overall the breed is a very healthy breed. The median lifespan of the dog is 12.9 years. Two major hereditary issues found within the breed are hip dysplasia and hereditary eye disease.