The Standard Schnauzer
PRONE TO SHENANIGANS & MALARKEY...
As much as we love these dogs this simply is not the breed for everyone- especially a first time dog owner or a family hoping for a laid back couch potato.
A Standard Schnauzer is a lot of dog in a medium sized package- picture the drive and energy of a German Shepherd in a Schnauzer body. These dogs require a large investment of time to exercise and mentally stimulate them on a daily basis because:
A bored Standard Schnauzer is a very creative Standard Schnauzer.
However, for the an owner willing to invest time and effort to provide a puppy with socialization and training, a Standard Schnauzer will make an outstanding dog who wants nothing more than to be a part of your family. This is truly a special and unique breed that will give their people years of happiness, devotion and unconditional love.
A BRIEF OVERVIEW...
Standard Schnauzers are generally a healthy and long lived breed with a great quality of life even in their "golden years". The middle size of the three Schnauzer breeds, this is the original- the prototype. These dogs are not a larger version of a Miniature Schnauzer and they possess a very different temperament.
Though they are bred for similar tasks- hunting small vermin- the Standard was also bred to be a guard dog. The breed standard calls for them to be "aloof to strangers", many of these dogs size up strangers at their first meeting. Don't expect a Golden Retriever type of greeting when meeting a Standard for the first time- this inherent desire to guard their "pack" makes it crucial to properly and thoroughly socialize puppies.
Pulling a cart was also a task of Standards at work on the farm. Unfortunately this can translate into a dog that will need patience and work to walk nicely on a leash- the instinct to pull is bred into them.
Standards long to be part of the family. This is not a dog to leave outside or live in a kennel- they want to be part of the pack and tend to bond with the entire family, as opposed to some breeds that are more of a "one person" type of dog.
The harsh, wiry coat is the traditional look of a Standard but it also serves several purposes. The harsh jacket repels the rain (ideal if you live in a rainy climate), insulates against extreme heat and cold during the different seasons, and doesn't bring the outdoors into your house. If you intend to spend time hiking or working outdoors this wiry coat does not pick up grass seeds, burrs, dirt, etc. like a shaved coat does. Learning to hand strip the coat will maintain that traditional look and it is relatively easy to learn.
WHAT CAN MAKE IT HARD TO LIVE WITH A STANDARD SCHNAUZER?
Socializing puppies must be a priority and essentially a full time job for the first couple months in order to raise a well rounded canine good citizen that is accepting of new people, environments and experiences. (THE DOG PARK IS NOT SOCIALIZATION).
A 20 minute walk around the block will NOT be enough to satisfy these high energy dogs. Anticipate the need to invest a minimum of an hour daily into exercising and mentally entertaining these guys.
Their prey drive and desire to "have a job" is too much for some lifestyles and environments.
As a rare breed it can be difficult to find service providers (veterinarians, groomers, etc) who understand that this is not just a bigger version of a Miniature Schnauzer.
Owners/trainers will likely need to adjust techniques when training these dogs due to their high intelligence. Too much repetition can bore them and derail success in learning.
Standards are a head strong breed that can have a stubborn streak and a tendency to want to "be the boss". You will need to firmly and gently teach them boundaries, manners, and that you are the leader of your pack.