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The Standard Schnauzer is a medium sized (17-20"at the shoulder) robust dog, they weigh more (35-48lbs) then one would think at first glance.  They are strong and muscular, schnauzers should not be light of bone or racy looking.  This is a dog originally bred as a multi purpose farm dog.  Their daily duties would be varied and could include ridding the yard and barn of vermin, helping to herd livestock, alerting it's owners to intruders, watching over the family children, travelling to market and guarding the families wares.  The breed was encouraged to think on it's feet and to be suspicious at the approach of strangers boldly seeing them off.

Although they are seldom called upon to complete these roles in modern day it should give you an idea of the sharp intelligence, stubbornness and enthusiasm that a Standard Schnauzer possesses.

In current times the Standard makes a wonderful companion for people looking for a high energy companion ready to take on hiking, agility even obedience.  They will take a little more firmness and imagination then your average Golden Retriever, but don't be fooled they can work at a very high level in any venue and their sense of humour will keep you humble.

Their life span is 12-15 years, they are a healthy breed suffering from few genetic issues.  This is a topic best discussed in more detail with the breeder of your future schnauzer.

Their minimal shedding coat makes them ideal candidates for Pet Therapy
The Standard Schnauzers coat is coarse, wiry and if hand stripped the texture and oils shed water and keep them warm in winter.   Most owners are a little overwhelmed with the process of plucking a schnauzer coat and decide to have the cost clipped every 2-3 months instead.  Clipping of the coat will change the texture (soften) with time, this will also alter the coat colour, with the Pepper & Salt coat losing the distinctive ticking.  If it is a Black coat their may be extensive fading in the coat colour after a couple of clips.

The Schnauzer is one of the breeds that are said to by hypo-allergenic.  We would agree that schnauzers maybe a breed to consider if you usually suffer a reaction to dogs and cats, but it isn't necessarily true for everyone.  We have had one Schnauzer returned to us because of the allergy and asthma reaction of one person in the home.  You may do best to pay a visit to someone that owns the breed before obtaining a pup.  And schnauzers DO shed!  No they will not have the huge shed-outs of long coated breeds, but believe me you will find hair on your furniture and cloths, our experience is the blacks shed more heavily then the Pepper & Salt.  To keep hair loss at a minimum regular brushing and professional clipping on a regular basis is necessary.

And lastly the NOT so good attributes of the breed. They are very challenging pups and adolescents. Standards are not a large version of a Miniature Schnauzer, each breed is very unique.  In temperament and personality, the Standard has a mind much more like a Boxer or Doberman, with a very generous sprinkling of Terrier tenacity.  Of the three varieties of Schnauzers (Mini, Standard, Giant) the Standard is probably the most challenging to raise.  They are dogs bred to think independently and to take charge of a situation if there isn't a strong pack leader. They can be stubborn and protective. They are masters of manipulation.  Schnauzers are easily stimulated by excitement and movement, small children and animals are not the best combination.  This is a breed that takes a lot of time, consistency and determination on the part of the owner, puppy hood is extended (2-3 years) and challenging to say the least.  Be sure you have the time for all the work involved before acquiring a pup from a breeder.  The breed is not a great breed choice for a person lacking prior dog ownership, nor for a busy family with young children.  The breed MUST be involved in your daily life.  They are not a dog to be banished to a kennel or yard for large chunks of the day.  Trust me, they will make your life a misery if you do not have the time for them. Think of a Standard Schnauzer pup akin to adding another toddler to your home for the next 2-3 years.  Because they are easily excited they can be hard on young children with their sharp puppy teeth and strength, they see children as littermates and play very hard with them, they must be supervised with kids. Be sure everyone in the family wants a Standard Schnauzer, adults and kids and that the entire family is prepared to train and stick to the rules when raising this breed.

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