Breed review: Schnauzer puppies and dogs
Schnauzer puppies and dogs are very popular and favoured by families throughout the world. But why is the breed such a household favourite?
Handsome and distinguished, the Schnauzer has appeared in paintings across Europe since the 15th century! Originating in Germany and taking its name from the German word ‘muzzle’, Schnauzers guarded farms, caught vermin and protected their owners when they travelled.
The breed is a result of breeding amongst the Black German Poodle, the Grey Wolf Spitz and the Wirehaired Pinscher creating a coat which is a hardy blend of tough fur and attractive colouring.
Originally, there was one kind of Schnauzer; the forefather of the Giant and Miniature versions so popular today. The first Schnauzer was shown in Germany in 1879 and swift progress as a show dog followed. There are now clubs dedicated to the Schnauzer in Europe and North America.
Unsurprisingly for a dog which was traditionally a guard dog, the Schnauzer is built strongly and sturdily. An unusual yet striking feature of this dog is the square-shaped appearance of its frame a result of its length and height being close to equal.
The tail is short and slightly curved and Schnauzers are pure black or grey salt-and-pepper coloured. White markings on its head, chest or legs are considered undesirable for showing and the breed lives for 12-14 years on average while generally weighing 30-50 pounds.
Character of a Schnauzer
The Schnauzer is very dignified, intelligent and loyal which makes it a fabulous companion within a family or for someone living alone. One thing that needs to be watched is its tendency to be stubborn though – making it potentially challenging to train.
It is healthily suspicious of strangers but will soon accept anyone which it sees its owner is comfortable and familiar with. It is important to show this dog who is boss in the household though because it knows its value and is very confident.
It has an uncanny ability to sense weaknesses in another and will take advantage by literally trying to be the top dog! Consistency over who rules the roost is important to maintain the respect of the Schnauzer.
One point worth noting is it is not wise to have small pets like gerbils or hamsters in the same home as a Schnauzer owing to its history as a rodent catcher. It can usually get along with cats if they are introduced at an early age though.
Exercise and health
The Schnauzer needs stimulation so does not take well to repetitive activities. Stretching its intelligence is vital for a happy dog and this breed has huge amounts of energy so adequate daily exercise is necessity.
Health problems are not prevalent in this dog but it is a good idea to have its eyes and hips examined annually as these areas can suffer from weaknesses.
The Schnauzer needs to be groomed regularly in order to look its best. Its beard needs to be brushed every day and cleaned after feeding while the fur on its legs needs daily attention too.
Regular clipping by a professional dog groomer is essential in order to keep its coat well-styled and healthy.