Hound & Co Breed Spotlight: Schnauzer
The Schnauzer is a popular breed throughout history. They can come in a variety of sizes but are recognized as miniature, standard and giant. The standard Schnauzer has been bred down in size and up in size. The breed is affectionate, loving, smart and social. They have instincts that make them great at sniffing out small burrowing critters.
Grooming and Training Schnauzers
Schnauzers are compact yet are formed from solid muscle. Their breed standard haircut accentuates the muscle definition and gives them a distinct look. Schnauzers have high eyebrows and round eyes. When brows are cut they are cut at an angle. Many of the grooming steps work with a “V” shape. The brows, the breast, underbelly and back legs will show this angular pattern. Schnauzers shed very little though they require regular brushing. They have two types of hair texture, soft and downy and hard and wiry. Most Schnauzers have a combination of the textures. The downy hair can get matted very easily. There is an advanced method to groom Schnauzers called hand stripping or plucking. The groomer would pull or pluck hairs by hand rather than using a clipper. Typically not used on household pets but seen more in “Show” and “Competition” circles.
Schnauzers are social and energetic. Though small they require a good amount of exercise to burn off energy. They can be stubborn and willful with training but are genuinely loyal and obedient pets. They bark to alert of visitors or of intruders in the backyard (squirrels, rabbits, cats or other critters). Schnauzers can get feisty and when they want something they may dig or scratch at it and use their noses to push away dirt or debris. Their sniffers are tremendously accurate and Schnauzers are fearless vermin trackers.
Their smallness does not equal frailty like many other small breeds. Schnauzers get along well with children and do great in smaller living areas. They are playful and tolerant when young and into adulthood. Senior schnauzers can be a bit snarky. A smart breed, like the Schnauzer, requires stimuli that lets them use logic and senses to get what they desire. They like choices and can be comical in their antics. Their round brown eyes melt owners of even the naughtiest Schnauzers. Give them lots to do and they will be content and reliable family members.
Giant Schnauzers usually come in solid black while standard and miniature Schnauzers can come in some breed specific colors. Most frequently the salt and pepper combination. White and black, and a variety of greys with white accents. There are “silver” schnauzers whose light grey colorings appear shiny like metals. Schnauzers give out a variety of beautiful breed colors giving them a striking look with the contrasts.
Origins and Fun Facts About Schnauzers
The name Schnauzer is German in origin and means “snout” or “muzzle”. In American culture a big “schnaze” is a way to define a persons big nose. It’s no wonder the Schnauzer is named for its nose. This breed has worked as a guard dog for the German Army and has been used by the Red Cross to carry messages much like a carrier pigeon. The Schnauzer came to America with immigrants from Germany or vacationers that brought Schnauzers back from a trip to Germany. It’s a well loved family friendly breed.