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This article also relates to: Giant Schnauzer and Miniature Schnauzer

The Schnauzer originates from...

Classified as three distinct varieties, the Giant, Standard and Miniature Schnauzer, the breed is thought to date back as early as the 1400s, with depictions that align with our modern perception of the breed appearing on tapestries and paintings of the century. The breed's early usage was that of a guard dog, standing watch over traveller wagons as merchants moved between villages. Part of the 'working' breed group, the Schnauzer was primarily bred in Germany for the purposes of cattle droving and as retrievers and livestock guardians. During WWI the breed was widely used as a dependable messenger dog, carrying its message doggedly through shellfire to reach its recipient. The Giant Schnauzer was officially registered by the American Kennel Club in 1930.

The Schnauzer is characterised by....

Distinctive in appearance, the Standard Schnauzer possesses a medium-sized, square build, with short, straight legs, a pronounced muzzle with feathering and round, dark eyes. The Schnauzer's double coat is typically dense and hard with a soft undercoat, common in colours of 'salt and pepper,' grey, black or white. Characteristic to the breed are its bushy whiskers, feathered beard and eyebrows, observed across the three size classifications. Boasting keen senses, agility and vigilance, the modern Schnauzer is commonly seen in police and security work across Europe, assisting in drug and arms detection.

The average Schnauzer...

Retaining its natural guarding instincts and protective temperament, the Schnauzer requires firm leadership, consistent training and early socialisation in order to adapt well to comfortable domestic living. When trained, the Schnauzer is both obedient and affectionate, adapting well to new situations and people. A great addition to the active family home or to a dedicated sole owner, providing its needs for exercise and companionship are met. Typically, a healthy Standard Schnauzer will weigh 14-20 kg, with a life expectancy of 10-12 years, although it is not uncommon for the breed to outlive this expectancy.

Because no breed is without its weakness...

The Schnauzer is amongst the healthiest and most resilient of breeds, although it does not escape all medical ailments. As with most breeds, hip dysplasia and associated orthopedic complaints, as well as optical and thyroid disorders are identified in the breed, with the serious conditions of bloat and gastric tortion seen in the Giant variety.

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Our Schnauzer owners' thoughts

14th Aug 2014
Sally Horobin
  • VioVet Customer Since: June 2013
  • From: Hertfordshire, United Kingdom

We have a Minature Schnauzer, he is the second one we have had in our family. I read with interest that they are generally a healthy breed, however I have had 2 that have both developed diabetes. The vet I see and the specialist vets we have gone to to have both dogs have their diabetic caused cataracts removed have said they see a large proportion of minature schaunzers with diabetes. I speak to other owners of schaunzers who have a said their dogs have a variety of illness and disease mainly diabetes & pancreatitis.
This said they are lovely dogs to live with. They are easy to train and good natured. They do need grooming so if you want an easy dog that needs little maintenance this is not the breed for you. They love their walkies.

11th Aug 2015
Jacqueline Swale
  • VioVet Customer Since: July 2013
  • From: Nottinghamshire, United Kingdom

My mini shnauzer is allergic to beef, wont eat any hard food, so I cook for him every day.He is the most stubborn animal I have ever come across ,but he's lovely , wouldnt swop him for the world. He says Hello and woof yooo which I taught him as a pup. He loves the country walks , music and our caravan in the Derby Dales.I get lots of hug and kisses and he removes any cushion or pillow that he comes across.Hes very quirky and lots of fun.He has lots of cuddly toys that talk and he loves to find the spot where he pushes them to speak, then it goes on for ages , which has us all in hysterics.It's the 1st shnauzer I have owned , but I would recommend them to all.

1st Sep 2015
Val Freeman

My mini schnauzer Daisy will not drink out of stainless steel bowls, s when she went to the kennels they said she would not eat, now take her ceramic bowls and no problems. She loves her vegetables, cooked and uncooked. Very cheeky and loves children. She has lots of cuddly bears and adores her elle, I hide treats in her bear and she manages to get the velcro undone to get them out. She has also managed to get a zip down to get the treats out, keeps her amused. Like the previous owner she also keeps us in hysterics with her antics. Lovely dogs to keep you company as they will interact with you can also work things out quickly.

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