This is a robust, sturdily built, heavyset dog of square proportion. They are both strong and agile, with a quick, powerful stride. Their coat is hard, wiry, and thick, with soft undercoat. Their hallmark whiskers, mustache, and eyebrows add to their often alert, spirited expression.
The Standard Schnauzer is the prototypical Schnauzer, the oldest of the three breeds. Definite evidence of the breed exists as early as the fourteenth century; even then, they were appreciated as a household pet and hunting companion. The breed is a fortuitous blend of terrier, working, and hunting breeds, most likely originating from the mixing of Wire-haired Pinschers with black German Poodles and gray wolf spitz. The result was a hardy dog able to protect the farm from rodents and who also protected the home.
By the beginning of the twentieth century, they were the most popular dogs for guarding farmers’ carts at the marketplace while the farmers were elsewhere. The first Schnauzers were recognized as Wirehaired Pinschers at an 1879 German show. Their smart looks quickly enamored them to people, and they became very popular by 1900.
Although the first Schnauzers came to America by this time, they were slower to catch on with Americans. The breed was initially classified as a terrier, but they were later reclassified as a working dog. Their alert and intelligent nature gained them a role as dispatch carrier and aide during World War I. Like the larger Giant Schnauzer, the Standard Schnauzer also participated in police work. Only after World War II did they gain more public attention; even so, they have not achieved the popularity of the other Schnauzers.
Bold and lively, the Standard Schnauzer is a fun-loving companion. They can be clever and headstrong, and unless given daily physical and mental exercise, they can be mischievous. They do best when shown patience and structure. They are a devoted family dog and can be very reliable with children. They are often good with family pets, but they can be assertive with strange dogs, animals, or small pets. They are typically reserved with strangers, sometimes acting suspicious.
The Standard Schnauzer needs daily exercise, either a long walk on leash, a vigorous game, or hike. Their coat needs combing twice weekly, plus professional occasional professional grooming.