Whilst they look like stern little moustached men, Schnauzers are lively, intelligent dogs that love to play and run. A spirited Schnauzer is the perfect addition to a family with oodles of energy to spare.
Bring home a Schnauzer if you a seeking a big personality dog that will make life a non-stop good times shop.
Where I'm From
The Schnauzer stems from Germany where the breed was known as effective stock herding and guard dogs. Their name derives from the German word for snout – schnauzer and is symbolic of their unique long-whiskered chin. Whilst the breed is thought to have been around for a few hundred years, the Schnauzer was ultimately mixed with the Standard Poodle and Pinscher and standardised in the early 1800s. The breed was further developed via interbreeding into the Miniature and Giant varieties also common.
Schnauzers have been in Australian since the early 20th century, and the Standard and its varieties remain popular pets to this day.
What I Look Like
Schnauzers are unique looking
dogs with strong bodies and angular lines. Their square head is framed by long
whiskers and beards, fuzzy old man eyebrows and folded ears. Their wiry double
coat comes in salt and pepper most commonly, and all black. Miniature varieties
are also recognised in silver and black and all white. Schnauzers naturally
have folded ears and curled over tail. Whilst some countries like the US permit
ear and tail cropping, in Australia the procedures are banned.
How I Act
Schnauzers are very intelligent and curious dogs with a determined streak. Nonetheless, they are great family dogs that are good with children if brought up together from a young age. They can be wary of strangers, which makes them good guard dogs but guests to the house should be introduced slowly. Schnauzers will get along with other large pets in the family, but may go after small animals like mice and hamsters!
Due to their stubborn streak Schnauzers need a firm master to guide them though they are relatively easy to train. Obedience training and socialisation needs to start young to ensure a well-behaved pet. As very smart dogs, Schnauzers require a lot of variety and challenges so they won’t get bored. Training a Schnauzer needs a patient and consistent approach to curtail any wayward or dominating behaviour.
Schnauzers come from a working breed of dog and require ample exercise to burn off steam and to preempt any destructive tendencies. Standards and Giants require a minimum of 1 hour of exercise per day and Miniatures at least 45 minutes, which should include walking and some high-energy exertion activities such as playing fetch or Frisbee.
Looking After Me
Schnauzers should be fed a high-quality meal twice a day as per packaging instructions.
The Schnauzer’s wiry coat needs a certain amount of attention to stay in top condition. This includes brushing a few times a week, especially of long whiskers and beard, which may also require a cleaning after meals.
Schnauzers do shed but not in large amounts and if they are show dogs they need their coat hand stripped a couple times a year to remain wiry. Clipping their coat is most convenient for Schnauzer owners but ultimately results in further shedding and a softening of the fur.
Schnauzers should always be walked on a leash as all that boundless excitement and curiosity could lead them astray.
Schnauzers are generally a healthy breed of dog with few pertinent health issues. Nevertheless they can suffer from hip dysplasia, eye diseases, thyroid problems or heart defects.
It is advisable to check the temperament and medical history of a puppy’s parents and view veterinarian clearance certificates to ensure you get a healthy dog though not every ailment can be predicted. Be very wary of uncertified backyard breeders.
Standard Schnauzers lifespan is 13-16, whilst Miniatures can live 12-14 years and Giants tend to live till an average of 10-12 years of age.
Am I the pet for you?
- Schnauzers are loving and affectionate dogs that can be an excellent choice for family life. They're suitable for homes with children, though Giants can be too boisterous for little ones under the age of 12. Like all dogs, Schnauzers should be supervised when around children. Likewise children should be taught how to interact with their dog.
- Schnauzers can be good guard dogs warning the household of strangers and scaring off potential intruders.
- They are high-energy exercise companions that will force you outside for your own dose of daily exercise!
- Schnauzers can be stubborn dogs with their own minds and may cause mayhem if their wilful streak goes unchecked. They require firm authority and good training to become manageable household pets.
- Schnauzers are high-energy dogs that need a lot of exercise to stay fit, healthy and well behaved. This requires some time dedication and won’t suit owners that are not at home much or are often away.
- The Schnauzer coat though very low-shedding requires a lot of upkeep, especially if they are show dogs that need to have their coat hand stripped a few times a year. Otherwise they will need to be clipped every couple of months.
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