Standard Schnauzer

AKC Working Group


Photo Copyright © Cook PhoDOGraphy. All rights reserved.

Photo Copyright © Cook PhoDOGraphy. All rights reserved.

The Standard Schnauzer is probably the oldest of the three Schnauzer breeds. The name is derived from the German word “Schnauze,” or nose. The Schnauzer was developed in Germany and used to accompany coaches, as a messenger in World War I, and as a vermin hunter and guard in stables and on farms. The breed was used to watch children, and even was given the name “kinder watcher.” Schnauzers also have been trained successfully as livestock guardians and as retrievers. The breed has been portrayed in paintings and tapestries of several European artists, including Rembrandt and Durer, who owned one. Today the breed serves primarily as a family guard and companion.


The Standard Schnauzer is a medium-sized, rugged, robust dog with bushy eyebrows, whiskers, and beard. Ideally, the dog’s height should be the same as his length, resulting in a square impression. The head is long and rectangular, with a pronounced stop and a strong muzzle. The nose is black. The eyes are oval and dark brown. The teeth should form a scissors bite. The catlike feet are small, with arched toes. The tail is generally docked. Cropping the ears is optional; if uncropped, they should be V-shaped and break forward at skull level. The forelegs are very straight. Any dewclaws should be removed. The topline slopes slightly downward from the withers to the rump. He has a harsh, wiry outer coat and dense, soft undercoat. The coat comes in salt and pepper or solid black.

Key Facts

  • Height: 18-1/2 to 19-1/2 in. (male); 17-1/2 to 18-1/2 in. (female)
  • Size:   Medium
  • Weight: 35 to 50 lbs. (male); 30 to 45 lbs. (female)
  • Availability: Difficult to find
  • Talents: Hunting, tracking, retrieving, watchdog, guarding, military work, agility, competitive obedience, and performing tricks


The coat requires frequent care. Thorough trimming and stripping is needed quarterly, though a person can easily learn how to do it. A good traveler. Has no doggy odor. Beware of hip dysplasia. Buy only from stock with OFA, PennHIP, or another national hip-dysplasia clearance. Prone to tumors. Novice owners should seek the help and advice of experienced owners.


Fearless, lively, and protective. High spirited and affectionate. Clever and intelligent. Demanding and playful. Socialize well when young to prevent overprotectiveness later in life. Has the personality of a terrier. Needs companionship. Can be quite willful—needs firm training. Needs an energetic and dominant owner.


  • Children: Best with older, considerate children
  • Friendliness: Reserved with strangers
  • Trainability: Slightly difficult to train
  • Independence: Moderately dependent on people
  • Dominance: High
  • Other Pets: Not generally trustworthy with other pets
  • Combativeness: Tends to be fairly dog-aggressive
  • Noise: Average barker
  • Indoors: Very active indoors
  • Owner: Not recommended for novice owners


  • Grooming: Daily grooming is best
  • Trimming and Stripping: Professional trimming or stripping needed
  • Coat: Wiry coat
  • Shedding: Very light
  • Docking: The ears are customarily cropped, and the tail is customarily docked
  • Exercise: Moderate exercise needed
  • Jogging: An excellent jogging companion
  • Apartments: Good for apartment living
  • Outdoor Space: Does all right without a yard
  • Climate: Does well in most climates
  • Longevity: Moderate (12 to 15 years)

Useful Links

AKC® Standard Schnauzer Breed Standard

Standard Schnauzer Breed Club

Search for a Breeder

Rescue Organizations

Books about the Standard Schnauzer

Standard Schnauzer Gifts