This delightful breed comes in standard, miniature and giant versions which show just how popular this breed of dog is. The breed is of German origin and is thought to derive from the black Poodle, old German Pinscher and wolf-grey Spitz. The miniature version is believed to have Affenpinscher blood which accounts for its smaller size, whereas the giant breed was likely a cross with the standard and other large cattle driving dogs of the Bavarian countryside.
The Schnauzer, because of its breeding, combines working and terrier stock and in its native Germany was used for a variety of purposes. Its many roles included being used as a drovers’ dog, a ratter, a carting dog as well as being a stock tender and a guard. In the US as well as Germany, this dog has been successfully used as a police dog.
The Schnauzer is a sturdy and robust dog with a keen expression and an alert attitude. It makes for an excellent and loyal companion as well as being a good guard dog. It is an affectionate and loving dog and has won the admiration and devotion of many, including the rich and famous such as Janet Jackson and Avril Lavigne, who have both had miniature Schnauzers.
This wonderful dog, with its distinctive bushy eyebrows and moustache, has also won over stars of the silver screen and, perhaps the most famous and devoted owner of the Schnauzer was Errol Flynn, who owned two standard Schnauzers. According to biographers, Flynn loved his dog ‘Arno’ more than any human and brought him to all his movie sets. The dog was also a constant presence on his yacht, but unfortunately one night the dog fell overboard and drowned. Flynn was distraught and called the Coast Guard to put in place a full search. Not long after, a gossip columnist who wrote a scathing piece about the incident didn’t fare too well. When Flynn read the article he was so angry that he tracked the man down to a night club and when he found him he beat him senseless. Flynn went on to own another Standard Schnauzer named “Moody”.
The beauty of the Schnauzer has also been depicted in many famous works of art, including work by artists such as Rembrandt.
The Schnauzer has a wiry coat with a dense undercoat which requires attention and grooming. The Schnauzer’s colors can be salt and pepper, pure black or black and silver. The standard Schnauzer’s colors also range from dark to light iron grey.
Average sizes for the standard are 45.7 cm (18-19 inches) and weight is in the range of 14.5 – 15.5 kg (32-34 lb.). The miniature is a good 5 inches smaller than the standard ranging from 33 to 36 cm (13 to 14 inches) and weight is generally in the region of 6-7kg (13-15lb).
The giant Schnauzer is 23 to 25 inches tall and weighs in at anything from 65 to 90 lb. making it a formidable police and guard dog. Due to its powerful and strong build, this dog will need a lot more exercise than the standard and miniature versions, which are exuberant themselves and love to play.