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Schnauzer Breed Fact Sheet

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Schnauzer Breed Information

Group 6: Utility

Energy Level: Moderate to high

Original Function: ratting, guardian

Temperament: Alert, reliable, affectionate, & lively spirited. Primarily a companion dog.

Characteristics: Strong, vigorous dog capable of great endurance.

Recommended for: Most people/families.

Lifespan: 12-15yrs


Height: Dogs 48.3 cms (19 ins) at withers

Height: Bitches 45.7 cms (18 ins) at withers

Colour: Pepper & salt shades or black

Coat: 'Double' coat. The outer coat has coarse, harsh, stiff hairs that stand-up off the back, neither smooth nor flat. The undercoat is dense & consists of soft downy hairs. The undercoat works like insulation against hot or cold weather while the outer coat offer protection against the elements.

General Appearance: Sturdily built body. Rectangular shaped head which has bushy eyebrows covering the dark oval shaped eyes. Ears hang to the side of the head. Tail was usually docked but now left natural.

 

 

The exact origins & the history of the Schnauzer is not so clear, while the histories of the Miniatures and the Giants are probably better understood. The most widely held belief is that the Schnauzer was once called the Wire Haired Pinscher. The story of the Wire Haired Pinscher and the Schnauzer starts in, about the fourteenth century and around that part of Europe we now know as the Austrian Tyrol. Dogs were used in this mountainous region by local folk, mainly shepherds, who brought together several breeds to help them with their flocks and for other general purposes associated with that agrarian lifestyle.
These dogs were used to herd flocks, guard the flocks and homes from predators of all kinds, and control vermin. Eventually the dogs of the Tyrol found there way to Wurttemberg and Southern Bavaria in the fifteenth century: again working cattle and guarding farmer and merchantís property. These dogs grew in popularity in the fifteenth & sixteenth century as tradesmen & merchants used the breed to protect their wagons as they traveled the countryside. These hardy, reliable guard dogs were of a size not to take up too much space in the wagon, but were fierce enough to scare away robbers.
The farmers of Germany relied on the Schnauzer to protect their families. Young children would be watched over by the dogs while the older family members worked elsewhere on the property. This earned them the nickname of the "kinder watcher" or childminder.
The modern Schnauzers are not well known for their special abilities but they have been very successfully trained for Scenting, Tracking, Herding, and Police Work etc. Versatile and Adaptive are accurate descriptions.
Sometimes called by fanciers as "the dog with he human brain", the mind of the Schnauzer does not develop well in kennel situations. He thrives best on close interaction with his human family. Schnauzers need proper outlets for their above average intelligence that only living as a family dog provides. The breed has a very clever, inquisitive, creative and sometimes stubbornly determined mind. When raised properly the Schnauzer makes an affectionate friend and confidant for children. To his family he extremely loyal, playful and can have an interesting sense of humour. They can also fit in well with young families and with less active older people.

Grooming- The owner of a Schnauzer kept strictly as a companion and family pet has two options as to grooming. The first and easiest option is to take the dog to your local groomer and have them 'machine clip' the coat. This should be done every six to eight weeks and is fastest and easiest. However, clipping makes the coat much softer every time it is done, the characteristic pepper and salt colour fades out and black dogs lose their shine. The second option is to
'hand-strip' the topcoat, doing it yourself or finding an experienced handler or breeder that is willing to do it for you. Hand stripping preserves the natural harsh coat and maintains the original colour. It is essential for a dog that is to be shown and will require maintenance at least twice per week.

Exercise- regular exercise is needed, daily walks and off lead runs to keep them fit and happy. They also love the water so swimming would be fantastic.

Health- This breed is generally sound. For Diet and other general dog health information Health/Nutrition

 

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Other information on this breed

Websites:

Books: Recommended reading: -"Standard Schnauzer" by Barbara M. Dille. TFH Publications, TFH Plaza, Third & Union Aves., Neptune City, NJ 07753 USA

Clubs:

Standard Schnauzer Association Inc
http://www.geocities.com/stdschnauzer/

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