Frequently Asked Questions
Is the standard schnauzer the right breed for you?
Schattentier's Nautical Kid -likely deep in thought about when he gets to go on his owners' next  boating  trip?!
Jake, Owned by Gail & Dave Wilson
How big is the standard schnauzer?
The standard schnauzer is a medium sized dog, robust and square.  Males are 18 to 20 inches at the withers (shoulder) and are approximately 40 to 45 pounds.  Females are slightly smaller at 17 to 19 inches at the withers and weigh about 35 to 40 pounds.  Sizes do vary, as with any breed of dog.  To show your standard schnauzer, it must physically comply with the breed standard, IE not oversize.  With standard schnauzers in a companion home, specific size would not normally be a concern.  The standard schnauzer is a stronger dog than you would normally expect it to be, for its relatively medium size.  See our Breed Standard page.
We have a member of our household who suffers from allergies and were told the schnauzer is a non-allergy dog?We have a member of our household who suffers from allergies and were told the schnauzer is a non-allergy dog?
There are no non-allergy dogs, yes, some tend not to aggravate allergy sufferers as much and schnauzers with proper grooming appear to be one of these.  However that does not make the standard schnauzer the ideal candidate for all households, you have to do your research.
What grooming is involved?

Standard schnauzers need to be groomed.  People are often mistaken to think that just because your standard schnauzer is non-shedding, that it is also maintenance free.  That is a fallacy.  For more information on grooming, see our Grooming and Links pages.

What level of grooming depends on whether you plan to show your dog or whether you wish to provide a companion home for your standard schnauzer.  It also equally depends more so on the overall look that you want (or that you prefer) for your standard schnauzer, whether you intend to show or not.  Simply put, what look you choose determines the amount of work (or expense particularly if you use a grooming salon).  It is much more economical to do it yourself, however there is basic equipment also to be considered as an expense (see our Grooming Basic Equipment page).

The standard schnauzer is groomed similarly to the miniature schnauzer, however there are grooming differences, IE the hair on the furnishings (legs) is cut shorter than would be done on a miniature schnauzer.  The standard and giant schnauzers are classified by the CKC in the "working dog" category, whereas the miniature schnauzer is not.

If you are particular, be sure that your grooming salon is familiar with the grooming of standard schnauzers specifically, or you can contact your breeder (or local owners via your breeder) for recommendations to a grooming salon in your area.

If you plan to do the grooming yourself, be prepared for a bit of a learning curve.  To get "the schnauzer look" (for pet or show look), you really need to learn certain techniques.  And you need to gradually acclimatize your puppy to the sound of clippers and to learn that grooming is a positive experience (which requires patience).

To learn the proper techniques either way (pet or show coat), you still probably need to contact an experienced person via your breeder who can give you hands on experience.  Or, perhaps consider offering to volunteer at a local grooming salon for the day when they have a schnauzer or two booked.  It can be a rewarding experience and you can be guaranteed to learn a lot!  The Standard Schnauzer Club of America has some essential information that you can purchase, IE The Illustrated Standard Schnauzer (it's a must have), and there is a grooming video as well.

So how much work is involved?  It depends upon the choice of look, that you want for your standard schnauzer.

  • The pet/companion coat choice is easiest, where the standard schnauzer's coat is totally clippered, including the jacket or back area.  Otherwise it will grow long and unruly eventually.  This should usually be done every 8-12 weeks. Many pet owners clipper their own pets and most breeders are happy to help you learn.  Clippering will with time soften the texture of the coat.  The whiskers and leg furnishings should be brushed to remove debris and mats 2-3 times a week.   And the beard should be shampooed every 2-3 weeks to avoid the red beard often seen.

  • The show coat choice involves much of the same techniques described above, however one major difference is that the jacket (back), neck and head are hand stripped, generally using stripping combs.  Show coats entail much more attention to detail, and will not be discussed much here.  You should know that stripping is easy to do, a bit time consuming and that you must learn this technique or have an experienced person to do it either with you initially, or for you.  The overall coat look is markedly different than the clippered pet coat look.

See our Links page also for more information.

How are they with children?
Silberfel Everlasting Rose
Rose, Owned by Gail & Dave Wilson
Standard schnauzers can be somewhat protective (of your property, your children and towards other dogs on occasion).

When children are engaged in rambunctious play, the standard schnauzer can be stimulated by same, thus adult supervision is always recommended, if not required.  Acquiring a standard schnauzer puppy is not entirely unlike adding a toddler to your household. 

They do make wonderful family companions and enjoy time spent with the younger members of the household.  Be sure to supervise time between children and dog, teaching proper handling and respect between the two.  Children should always be supervised with any breed of dog.

Tell me a bit about their temperament and exercise requirements?

If you've ever owned a miniature standard schnauzer and think that you're ready now for the standard schnauzer, you should know that the standard schnauzer remains in the "puppy mode" for longer than their smaller counterparts.  This means to expect much more of the typical puppy behavior (enthusiasm etc.) for a longer period of time.  Expect more challenges to the house rules and be prepared to be very consistent in enforcing them!  Consistency is the key in training of the standard schnauzer.  Easy to say, harder to do - but it's true.

Standard schnauzers are energetic, intelligent and can be a bit little "stubborn" (or more precisely worded...more "challenging" to you).  They will continually test you, so you have to prove to them that you mean business.  They bond strongly with their families and insist upon being involved in everything.  They have strong watchdog skills and once mature excel as a home guardian.  Affection is reserved for family & close friends with a watchful eye kept on strangers.

They excel in their quick speed and in their ability to "turn on a dime".  It is amusing to watch them play with many other breeds of dogs, and you will see this ability in them.  Agility work is simply a natural for them, see our Activities page for lots of possible and fun things to do.

As to being energetic, standard schnauzers generally tend to mature by about 2 years of age, all of which is prime time for enrolling and doing all of the proper obedience training classes - that should be continually reinforced in your home at every opportunity. 

Due to their high intelligence and determined minds, obedience classes are a must for all standard schnauzers.  This is why it is generally recommended (not always) that people who have no prior dog or dog training experience may not make the best list of candidates for acquiring a standard schnauzer.  Obviously that is not always applicable.

Being an active breed they have definite exercise requirements, obedience and agility are excellent outlets - and they excel at both.  Standard schnauzers live everyday to the fullest and continue their puppy like enthusiasm into old age.  It is not unusual for them to live 12 -15 years.  See our Health page for more information.

I have never seen one in a pet store, where do I find a puppy?
No, you will not often find this breed in a pet store and standard schnauzer breeders want to keep it that way.  Check with local dog clubs, breed clubs and the Canadian Kennel Club for information on selecting a puppy - or visit our Breeders DirectoryOnce you have contacted a few breeders, visit their homes if possible and learn about them and their dogs.  A good breeder is more than happy to sit and talk about their dogs, their breeding program, health testing and activities they are involved in. Make sure you are comfortable with them and their dogs, then be prepared to wait.  Breeders do not have puppies sitting on a shelf waiting for buyers to come along.  Your new puppy will be the product of careful thought and research, and all of this takes time.

  If you do contact a breeder, note the cropped and uncropped ears in the above pictures on this page.  You may wish to think also about your preferences in this regard.

Once you acquire a standard schnauzer, you should expect that your relationship with your breeder is a lifelong thing.  Always feel free to contact your breeder for any point along the way! 



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