- 1 History of the Standard Schnauzer
- 2 Diet and Health of Standard Schnauzers
- 3 Common Health Concerns for the Standard Schnauzer
- 4 Preventative Care and Screenings
- 5 Best Crates and Beds for Standard Schnauzers
- 6 Collars for Standard Schnauzers
- 7 Training and Exercising a Standard Schnauzer
- 8 Grooming Insights for Standard Schnauzers
The Standard Schnauzer is a medium-sized dog breed, with a height range of 18-20 inches for males and 17-19 inches for females. They typically weigh between 30 and 45 pounds. These dogs have a relatively muscular build with a distinctive salt-and-pepper-colored coat that is wiry and thick. They have long, bushy eyebrows and a beard, which helps them stand out from other breeds in appearance.
Standard Schnauzers are intelligent, alert, and vigorous dogs. They’re known for their playful and energetic personality and require regular exercise and mental stimulation to stay happy and healthy. These dogs are pretty easy to train and do well in various activities like agility exercises, tracking, and search and rescue.
If you’re looking for a pet that can help keep you safe, Standard Schnauzers also make excellent watchdogs. That’s because they’re loyal and protective, and will bark upon encountering potential threats to alert owners. They can also be reserved and cautious around strangers, however, so early socialization is important to prevent them from becoming overly suspicious of unfamiliar people and dogs.
History of the Standard Schnauzer
The Standard Schnauzer has its roots in Bavarian farm life dating back to the 15th century. These talented and hardworking dogs were prized for their ability to assist with a variety of tasks on the farm, including hunting vermin, herding, and guarding. Over time, the breed developed a watchful attitude and a keen prey drive, traits that remain evident in the Standard Schnauzer of today.
Dating back to the middle ages in Germany, this breed was developed by crossing the native German Pinscher with other breeds, such as the Greyhound and the German Spitz. This resulted in a versatile working dog with a range of skills that helped farmers. During the 19th century, the Standard Schnauzer was refined and standardized, then started to gain some recognition for its intelligence, obedience, and loyalty. It became a popular companion and working dog in Germany around that time — getting the name “Schnauzer” which translates to “snout” or “muzzle” in German. This name is fitting given the breed’s distinctive wiry beard. Around this time, breeders also introduced gray Keeshonds and black Poodles to the gene pool to establish the salt and pepper and black coats seen in the breed today.
In addition to being a popular family companion, the Standard Schnauzer has also been used for police work, bomb detection, and search and rescue. The breed was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1904 and the Standard Schnauzer has been a pretty famous show dog in the United States ever since.
Diet and Health of Standard Schnauzers
The diet of a Standard Schnauzer should be tailored to meet the individual needs of the dog, based on factors such as age, size, and activity level. In general, however, a healthy diet for a Standard Schnauzer should include high-quality protein, healthy fats, and a mix of fruits and vegetables.
A Standard Schnauzer should be fed various sources of protein, including chicken, fish, and lamb. These protein sources should make up the majority of the dog’s diet and be supplemented with fruits and vegetables, such as carrots, peas, and apples. It is also important to include healthy fats in your dog’s diet, such as fish oil, which can help to support healthy skin and coat.
Some good food options for Standard Schnauzers include:
High-quality Dry Dog Food
Look for a dry dog food that is specifically formulated for medium-sized breeds. You should choose one that is made with high-quality ingredients like protein from real meat, fruits and vegetables, and healthy fats. Avoid dog foods with artificial ingredients, by-products, or lots of filler content.
Fresh, Whole Foods
In addition to dry dog food, you can also feed your Standard Schnauzer fresh, whole foods like cooked chicken, turkey, or fish, as well as cooked vegetables like broccoli, carrots, and sweet potatoes. Avoid feeding them foods like chocolate, onions, grapes, garlic, or any other ones that are toxic to dogs.
Homemade Dog Food
If you’re feeling adventurous, you can also try making your own dog food at home. This can be a great way to ensure that your dog is getting a balanced diet that is tailored to its specific needs. Some easy homemade dog food options for Standard Schnauzers include cooked chicken or turkey with brown rice and vegetables, or ground beef with sweet potatoes and green beans.
In addition to a balanced diet, it is important to ensure that a Standard Schnauzer has access to fresh, clean water at all times. You should change your dog’s water daily and wash its water bowl regularly to prevent the buildup of bacteria.
It is also important to monitor the dog’s food intake and body weight to ensure that it is receiving the right amount of nutrients and calories. Overfeeding or underfeeding can lead to health problems, so it’s essential to follow the recommended feeding guidelines for the specific dog food you’re using.
Overall, a healthy diet for a Standard Schnauzer should include a balanced mix of high-quality protein, healthy fats, and fruits and vegetables, along with plenty of fresh, clean water. By providing them with the proper nutrition, you can easily help support the overall health and well-being of your Standard Schnauzer.
Common Health Concerns for the Standard Schnauzer
Like many other dog breeds, the Standard Schnauzer can develop some health issues throughout its life. Here are some common health conditions that Standard Schnauzers may be prone to include. In addition, we cover some health evaluations and suggestions to help you keep your dog healthy and happy.
Bloat is a serious and potentially life-threatening condition that can affect Standard Schnauzers. It occurs when the stomach becomes distended and twisted, which can cause severe abdominal pain and difficulty breathing.
Hip dysplasia is a deformity that occurs during a dog’s growing years and can lead to arthritis, pain, and even lameness. Standard Schnauzers are prone to this condition, so it’s important to keep an eye out for signs of discomfort or difficulty while walking. Make sure to talk to your veterinarian if you notice any changes in your dog’s mobility.
Standard Schnauzers can also develop skin allergies, which can cause symptoms like excessive scratching, biting, or licking of the skin, as well as redness, swelling, and hair loss. If your dog is experiencing symptoms of a skin allergy, please contact your veterinarian as soon as possible to explore suitable treatment options.
Preventative Care and Screenings
To keep your Standard Schnauzer healthy, it’s important to provide them with the necessary veterinary care, including regular check-ups and vaccinations. In general, most health problems that affect this breed can be avoided by taking care of simple things like ensuring sufficient exercise, a balanced diet, and regular vet visits.
The National Breed Club recommends that Standard Schnauzers receive the following health evaluations:
This test is used to assess the health of a dog’s hips and identify any potential problems, such as hip dysplasia.
This test is performed by a veterinarian who specializes in eye health and is used to check for any eye conditions or diseases that may be present in the dog.
DCM DNA test
This test is used to screen for a specific type of heart disease called dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM), which can affect Standard Schnauzers.
These health evaluations are important for ensuring that your Standard Schnauzer is in good health and can help identify any potential health issues before they become more serious. If you’re unsure about or notice any health-related concerns in your Standard Schnauzer, please contact your veterinarian immediately.
Best Crates and Beds for Standard Schnauzers
In general, Standard Schnauzers are medium-sized dogs, so don’t go for a crate that’s too big or too small. An average crate that is around 36 inches long, 24 inches wide, and 26 inches tall should be fine. Ideally, it should give your dog plenty of room to move around and stretch out, without being too big for them to feel comfortable in.
Another key factor is the crate’s material. You’ll want to choose a crate that is made from durable, high-quality materials that will withstand wear and tear from your dog. Common materials used are plastic, wire, or metal. Metal and wire crates are typically more durable than plastic crates, but they can be more expensive.
Once all the important boxes are checked, don’t be afraid to look for the right design. Some are meant to be used indoors, while others are designed for outdoor use. The former are typically smaller and more portable, and outdoor ones are usually larger and sturdier to be able to withstand the elements. Carefully select a product based on your planned use case and environment.
Finding the perfect bed for your Standard Schnauzer is vital. This breed tends to be at least 17 inches tall, so you’ll want to look for a bed that’s about 20 inches long and wide to give your pet sufficient space. A medium or large-size bed is generally ideal for a Standard Schnauzer.
When it comes to comfort, you’ll want to look for a bed with raised edges and a deep cushion to support your dog’s weight. Memory foam and orthopedic mattresses are extra thick and provide excellent support for your dog, especially if they are older or experience joint pain. You can also choose a plush material for the outer layer of the bed, as this will make it incredibly soft and help your dog fall asleep quickly.
There are many kinds of dog beds on the market, including elevated beds, sack bags, pillow beds, and orthopedic beds. If your dog is sensitive to extreme temperatures, you may want to consider a bed with a cooling gel or heating pad.
Collars for Standard Schnauzers
As we’ve discussed above, the Standard Schnauzer is energetic and muscular, which means those sudden movements during dog walking call for an extra-secure collar around their neck.
To choose the right collar for your Standard Schnauzer, you’ll need to consider its size, the type of buckle and leash attachment, the material it’s made of, and your dog’s age. A collar should be wide enough for the size of your dog’s neck and have an inner lining made of soft materials to prevent irritation. The buckle should have a protective valve and the leash attachment should be sturdily attached to the collar. Look for collars with concealed seams and a strong connection to the leash as well. Puppies may need a special collar with a shorter belt and a softer inner lining for maximum comfort while they become familiar with wearing a collar.
Training and Exercising a Standard Schnauzer
The Standard Schnauzer is a working dog that requires mental engagement to thrive. Unlike other high-energy breeds, simply providing a good physical workout is not enough for these dogs. They also need to be challenged mentally in order to find fulfillment. If not, they may cope by engaging in destructive behaviors or becoming overly territorial.
When raised by responsible and caring owners, Standard Schnauzers are known for having well-rounded and reliable personalities. They’re naturally very attentive and will alert their owners to potential intruders. They’re not known for excessive barking, however. They may be wary of newcomers, but will quickly be put at ease if the pack leader welcomes them warmly.
Providing the right combination of exercise, training, and mental stimulation will allow these dogs to become wonderful companions. Always make sure to maintain a position of leadership, as the intelligence of this breed can lead to dominance or stubbornness if not guided by an authority figure.
Grooming Insights for Standard Schnauzers
Taking care of a Standard Schnauzer’s double coat is essential to maintain its beautiful appearance and keep your dog looking and feeling its best. Brushing the fur regularly prevents mats from forming and keeps the eyebrows, beard, and leg fur free of debris. Many Standard Schnauzer owners know how dirty and smelly their pet’s beard can get from eating and drinking. To reduce odors and discoloration, it is recommended to regularly clean their beard.
Since Standard Schnauzers are non-shedding, they’re usually better tolerated by people who suffer from allergies to dogs. As their hair grows continuously, though, regular grooming is necessary for their coat’s upkeep. There are two ways to groom a Standard Schnauzer: hand stripping or clipping.
Finding a groomer that can hand strip a Standard Schnauzer might require some research, but breed specialists recommend this method over the more common clipping technique. Using clippers on this breed’s coat gradually removes the wiry top layer of fur, decreasing its resistance to water and debris and altering its color and appearance. Hand stripping may be more expensive or difficult to find, but it leads to slower hair regrowth. After a hand stripping session, you can expect to wait up to five or six months for the next one — compared to the six to eight weeks needed between clipping sessions.