Originating in Germany, the Standard Schnauzer is the oldest of the three Schnauzer breeds. As a working class dog this breed was used as a family pet and guard dog. Their principle farm duties included herding, killing vermin, and protecting livestock. This breed was also used to watch children and keep them safe. Today, the Standard Schnauzer is a highly revered watchdog and companion, although they are quite difficult to obtain.
Robust and medium-sized, this breed is often referred to as "the dog with the human brain". Clever, engaging, and sturdy, the Standard Schnauzer also possesses grace and elegance. They have a regal and aristocratic appearance and are quite versatile as a family pet and hard worker.
The Standard Schnauzer has highly developed senses and is extremely intelligent. They are exceedingly loyal, devoted and reliable. Affectionate and playful, this breed has a charming personality. They do best with older, considerate, and well-behaved children. They are not generally trustworthy with other household pets and have a tendency to be dog aggressive. This breed thrives on human companionship and does not do well if left alone for extended periods of time. They are aloof and reserved with strangers and very protective of their family and territory which makes them an excellent watch or guard dog. The Standard Schnauzer is not recommended for the novice or sedentary dog owner.
The Standard Schnauzer requires daily brushing and combing to keep the under coat free of mats and tangles. A short wire brush works best. The hair around the eyes and ears must be kept trimmed. Professional all-over clipping should be done in the twice a year. It is important to clean the whiskers after meals. Bathing or dry shampooing should be done when necessary. The Standard Schnauzer is generally healthy but may be prone to minor eye problems and hip dysplasia.
The Standard Schnauzer is a double coat breed. The outer coat is thick, wiry, and hard. The under coat is soft and dense. The coat is longer over the eyes and on the muzzle to form bushy eyebrows and a distinctive beard. The hair on the legs is longer than the body coat. The color of the coat is either pure black or salt and pepper. This breed sheds little to no hair.
Demanding and willful, this breed requires a firm and dominant owner. They need intensive and extensive early socialization and obedience training. The Standard Schnauzer responds best to fairness, firmness, consistency, and patience. They excel in search and rescue, agility, competitive obedience, and military work. They have also been used successfully as therapy dogs.
The Standard Schnauzer is highly energetic and requires vigorous daily exercise. They thrive on play sessions, running free in a safe area, and long, brisk, securely leashed walks. If this breed becomes bored and restless they will be destructive. They will do okay in an apartment provided they are sufficiently exercised and stimulated.