OUR BREED

First off, if you aren't familiar with the basic info regarding the SS-average height, weight, build, temperament, etc.--then you may want to take a detour to these few links to learn what you can before going much further: http://standardschnauzer.org/breed_info.htm ; http://www.akc.org/dog-breeds/standard-schnauzer/ ; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Standard_Schnauzer ; https://www.dogbreedinfo.com/standardschnauzer.htm .

If you want to forego those links and read my ramblings...

One fact that surprises most who are just starting to research standard schnauzers is that there is NO such thing as the "schnauzer" breed. The term "schnauzer" simply refers to a particular look (bearded muzzle, wired coat) shared by the 3 schnauzer types. In actuality, the mini, standard, and giant schnauzers are all 3 separate and distinct breeds; their labels are not interchangeable according to the size of the dog. Unlike poodles, size does not determine which breed of schnauzer you have...genetics does. Though they share a few common ancestors, minis, standards, and giants each have a different array of canines in their heritages that make them each unique. The most common misconception about the SS  is that the standard schnauzer is just a "big mini" or a "small giant." This is simply not the case and, through multiple cross-breedings with other breeds, they have centuries of more differences than similarities. So, if you tell me you have experience with "schnauzers" or think a standard would be a good fit for you because you've "owned a mini or a giant," I'll typically refer you to this page. 


Some people may think pointing out this fact is a matter of snobbery, but I assure you that knowing your dog's correct breed type can effect everything from understanding its behaviors and its temperament to how you train it or even how you feed it. For some dogs, knowing its correct breed may even be a matter of life or death. For example, standards and giants are susceptible to a certain hereditary fatal heart condition call Dilated Cardiomyopathy (or DCM); right now, this condition can only be contracted genetically in both these schnauzer breeds. However, minis are prone to developing this same disease through their diet or other external factors. In this case, feeding your "schnauzer" the wrong food could literally kill it if you are misinformed as to it's correct breed. There are other examples of this, but the bottom line is knowing and understanding your dog's correct breed could be a vital bit of information when it comes to keeping it alive and healthy.


If you want to learn more about the specific traits, challenges, and what to expect of the SS breed, check out the essay below written by another SS breeder and owner with over 25+ years experience:


So You Want To Buy a Standard Schnauzer Puppy...

The purchase of a new puppy is one of the biggest decisions a family makes and one which should not be made lightly.  It should not be an impulse purchase--it is a lifetime commitment (for the lifetime of the dog, at least).  So often you see a puppy in a pet shop window and you just have to have it!  It's so cute and fuzzy; but what do you know really about the breed, and the breeder? Are you even sure the breed is right for you?  Will it fit your lifestyle, expectations, and desires? Do you have any first-hand experience with adults of the breed? Have you visited the breed website and done your research about every aspect you can think of?  Have you talked with owners of that breed?  Read a book on them? 

More often than not, the answer to those questions when it comes to an SS is a resounding "no." There are so many misconceptions about the standard schnauzer--confusing it with either a mini or a giant--that many people form the basis of their knowledge of the breed on those misconceptions and are in for a rude awakening when their SS isn't at all what they expected it to be. So let's clear some of those misconceptions up...

The Standard Schnauzer is a bold, stubborn, robust, energetic, super-intelligent medium-sized dog.  The male can weigh 45‑50 lbs and the female can weigh 35‑40 lbs, give or take on either end.  It is a family dog that thrives on human contact.  It needs the proper outlet for its above‑average intelligence.  It is clever, inquisitive, creative and has a great sense of self-dignity. Given it's stubbornness and it's propensity to out-think its human, the Standard Schnauzer is typically not suggested for a first-time dog owner.

Are you aware that the Standard Schnauzer is not just a larger version of the Mini Schnauzer?  The Standard Schnauzer is the original breed.  The Mini was made from a cross between the Standard and the Affenpinscher, Mini Poodles, Mini Pinschers, and Pomeranians, and is classified as a Terrier with a terrier personality.  

 Are you Aware  that a Standard Schnauzer is considered by the AKC to be a working breed?  They are bred to work independently; to think on their own; to size up a situation and act on it...and often without the perceived notion that they need their master's command to do so.  That means they are not a dog that just lays at your feet and is content for you to pat it on it's head once a day.  This is a dog that needs activity (and LOTS of it!), stimulation, and interaction.  It needs a job to do.  If it gets bored, it will get into mischief. 

Are you aware that a Standard Schnauzer is a home guardian?  Just about every dog will bark when someone comes to the door, but the Standard Schnauzer was specifically bred to be a mid-size guard dog and will instinctually defend its home and family, if necessary.  It will greet each familiar friends with a wag of the tail but a stranger will be greeted with a stare, a bark and possibly a growl. If the Standard Schnauzer perceives his family to be in danger, it is not uncommon for it to deliver a lightening fast snap or nip.  It usually does not break the skin, but it does leave a bruise. They will place themselves between their family and the perceived danger. So, an SS often needs to be supervised around strangers. 

Are you aware that a Standard Schnauzer is a "rat catcher"?  Their origin as ratters on the farm is still a strong instinct in the breed.  They will tunnel after every mole, rat or mouse, chase every squirrel and skunk.  If they are lucky enough to catch their prey, the prey will be killed and brought to you as a present.  If you want a beautiful landscaped yard, this may not be the dog for you without extensive, focused training.  They will tunnel through your flower beds and leave holes in your yard if they are following the scent trail of "vermin". 

Are you aware that a Standard Schnauzer is a herding breed? They excel in herding competitions.  If you don't happen to have livestock in your back yard, they will herd you, your children or other pets.  

Are you aware that almost every breed of dog has genetic disorders?  The Standard Schnauzer has been a very protected breed with limited breeding. Because of that, its list of genetic problems is short.  X-rays for hip dysplasia, a DNA test for a heart condition called Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM), and an exam for degenerative eye disease are 3 of the required tests that are routinely run on breeding Standard Schnauzers.  Of course, any number of non-genetic diseases could pop up but these are rare and not breed specific. 

Are you aware that the Standard Schnauzer is good with CONSIDERATE children?  Since a Standard Schnauzer puppy acts like a two-year-old child itself, a lot of thought should go into purchasing an SS puppy when you have small children in the house. Given the amount of focused training an SS puppy needs, they need a lot more time and attention than most other breeds. Additionally, puppies should not have to contend with having their ears pulled and being beaten over the head with stuffed animals and toys. It isn't fair to you and certainly not to the puppy. Getting a Standard Schnauzer puppy with children in the house usually requires everyone receiving proper training, kids included! Or else an SS puppy will react as it sees fit to protect itself.  

Are you aware that the Standard Schnauzer does indeed shed, even though it is considered a "hypoallergenic" breed?  The Standard Schnauzer has hair and, just like you and me, they lose individual hairs every day of their lives. No, they do not shed as much as Goldens or German Shepherds, but do not expect them to be shed-free. With routine brushing, shedding can be minimal, and since they do not have dander (the most common pet-allergen) they can often be tolerated by people with allergies. 

Are you aware that the Standard Schnauzer typically needs professional grooming throughout the year?  The breed is double-coated with a coarse outer coat and a thick, soft undercoat.  A show dog must be hand-stripped to remove the soft undercoat several times a year, whereas a clippered coat can be maintained quarterly for most.  

Are you aware that a Standard Schnauzer is a HOUSE dog?  It is not a breed that can be left tied in the yard.  This breed needs to be near its people not just because it craves attention, but also because of its instinct to guard; it needs to know its family is safe.  It wants to be in the middle of everything so it will need to be a well-socialized member of the family. 

Are you aware that Standard Schnauzers are NOT couch potatoes?  They need exercise...and LOTS of it!  Tossing the ball around the yard a couple times does not qualify as exercise. Daily long walks/runs, multiple sessions of fetch/catch, swimming, jumping, tug-of-war, wrestle-matches...whatever suits you, but usually at minimum 2-3 hours of high-energy play.

These are just some of the important things to note about the SS breed and its personality. Please take the time and properly research whether this is the breed for you. And don't just stop there! PLEASE do your due diligence and research your prospective breeders as well. At minimum, a reputable SS breeder will have done the proper OFA health-testing before breeding. If you can find a breeder who fulfills at least this one point, then you and your dog will be far better-off in the longrun.