Meet the Breed

Bearded Beauties: The hard-working Standard Schnauzer is an alert and protective companion with an endearing mischievous streak.

By Stephanie Horan |

Standard Schnauzers

 

With its abundant beard and moustache, prominent eyebrows, and keen and aristocratic expression, the Standard Schnauzer presents a distinguished and handsome face to the world. Robust and muscular, it’s a sturdy working dog prized for its abilities in all kinds of performance events, and a handsome and elegant show dog.

Forming a breed
The Standard Schnauzer is the ancestor of both the Miniature and the Giant Schnauzer, and was developed in the 14th or 15th century in southern Germany. Together with the Doberman Pinscher and the Rottweiler, it likely had a common ancestor in the droving dogs found in the Württemberg region. When these droving dogs were crossed with the gray Wolfspitz (an early Keeshond type) and possibly the black Poodle, the Schnauzer was created.

Schnauzers often appear European artwork, including a 14-century statue in Mecklenburg, Germany, that depicts a hunter with his Schnauzer at his feet; a 1620 statue in Stuttgart featuring a Schnauzer; and a tapestry depicting a dog that looked very much like a Schnauzer, created in 1501 by Lucas Cranach the Elder (1472 to 1553). Albrecht Durer (1471 to 1528) often painted the breed, including what was probably his dog at different times in its life. The Dutch artist Rembrandt (1606 to 1669) also painted Schnauzers, as did English painter Joshua Reynolds (1723 to 1792).

The earliest records of the Standard Schnauzer come from the late 1800s. The breed was prized as an all-purpose farm dog that ratted, herded and guarded. Originally known as the Wirehaired Pinscher, the breed was first exhibited at a show in Hanover in 1879. The winner was a dog named "Schnauzer,” and the breed has been known by this name in Germany ever since. Schnauze is a German word for "snout” or "muzzle,” undoubtedly referring to the prominent whiskers and beard, trademarks of all the Schnauzers.

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