Three distinct Schnauzer breeds, differing in body size, are recognized by the World Canine Organisation (FCI) and American Kennel Club (AKC): Miniature, Standard, and Giant. The Standard Schnauzer is the oldest of the three Schnauzer breeds.
The Schnauzer is a medium-sized watch and companion dog. Originally it was used in the region of Southern Germany as a stable dog as he felt particularly at home in the company of horses. He also earned the reputation of a fast and efficient ratter.
The double coat consists of a medium-length wiry, harsh and dense outer coat, standing slightly off the back, and a short, dense, downy-like undercoat which works like insulation, keeping the dog warm in winter and cool in summer. The outer coat readily sheds dirt. Its tends to be short on forehead and ears and is softer on limbs. A beard and bushy eyebrows complete the typical schnauzer appearance. The breed standard requires the coat to be either pure black with black undercoat or pepper and salt (black, white, and banded hairs). Each banded hair is a black hair with a white band or white hair with a black band. This unique banding is what gives the coat its unique appearance of having been sprinkled with "pepper and salt." The tail is kept natural. The ideal height at the shoulders is between 17 and 20 inches.
The Schnauzer's temperament is described as lively, good-natured, and playful. Always alert, yet not noisy, fearless, intelligent, and highly trainable, the Schnauzer makes an excellent watch and guard dog. He loves the company of children and is very loyal to his master. The Schnauzer is a slow-maturing breed. Many will retain their puppylike behavior well into middle age, a delightful trait of the breed. Like all terrier-type breeds, he can be stubborn and requires consistent training.
- FCI-Standard # 182
- Barbara M. Dille, Isabelle Francais. Standard Schnauzer