If you like Schnauzers of any size (and I do), you have the Standard Schnauzer to thank. This breed started in Germany way back in the 14th or 15th century. If Shakespeare had ever met a Schnauzer, he would have included more than one dog in his plays. The Bard put only one dog in his sports, Crab, a commoner (mutt). Can you guess which play that was? The answer is below, but no fair peeking until you read the entire article.
The Standard Schnauzer began its career as a farm dog in Germany hundreds of years ago. It is a loyal, intelligent, and affectionate family pet that is great with kids and protective of its loved ones. It is the forerunner of both the Miniature and Giant Schnauzer.
Standard Schnauzers Come In Different Colors
The AKC lists only two color patterns in the breed standards for show competition: salt and pepper or pure black. However, some Schnauzers not bred for the show can be all white or black and silver.
There are also some variations in how you treat their ears. They will have floppy ears unless they are trimmed or “cropped.” Same for the tail, which will be long without cutting or “docking.” If you want either procedure done, the breeder should dock a few days after birth and the ears cropped at 7 to 12 weeks.
Standard Schnauzers Are Good Athletes
The medium-sized Standard Schnauzer, 30 to 50 pounds, is a robust dog that can compete in agility, obedience, and herding. There were bred to be versatile farm dogs and performed tasks from being ratters to sheep.
The Standard Schnauzer is adept at agility trials. Agility trials are a simple obstacle course over which the dog will run in the owner/handler’s direction. It is a great exercise that provides mental and physical stimulation. The owner/handler, from touching the dog, the breed loves the challenge, motivation, and various jumps they can do.
Although they grew up on the farm, they do well with city life as long as they get plenty of exercise. They are intelligent dogs and can be easily trained. During wartime, Schnauzers served as message dogs and medical aides. They also participate in search and rescue missions.
Standard Schnauzers Love To Play
Playing a simple game of fetch may not be challenging enough for the Standard Schnauzer. They love challenges and appreciate a game of hiding and seek. The dog loves to solve problems and will enjoy a challenge.
The dog needs a brisk walk or a nice backyard to romp in. Giving it more than a casual stroll would be best to keep your Standard happy. If you need help staying fit, a Standard Schnauzer makes a great workout partner.
Standard Schnauzers Are Healthy
Standards are healthy and can live up to 16 years, although the average is between 12 to 14 years. Their teeth seem to be more of a problem for them than for other breeds. Tartar builds up quickly and, if not treated, can lead to tooth loss and other serious issues. It could even shorten their life.
You must control your diet or quickly become overweight, especially if you do not get enough exercise. It sounds like that is a problem for all animals, especially me.
Where Schnauzers Came From
She was unaware that her 100th great-grandparents were from Germany. So, I asked my Miniature Schnauzer, “Where did you come from?” I didn’t get an answer. Then I tried, “Woher kommst du?” and she quickly answered, “Ich komme aus Las Vegas.”
The Miniature Schnauzers were cross-breed with the Standard with smaller breeds, including the Affenpinscher, Miniature Pinscher, and Poodle. It is remarkable how much the appearance is the same for the three sizes, considering how many other breeds were used. The Giant Schnauzer’s development is unclear, but several larger species like the Great Danes, German Shepherds, Rottweilers, and others were included in the mix.
My dog, probably like yours, has a life of leisure. Not so much back in the 15th century. Dogs were not just pets but were expected to work for a living in those days. Schnauzers started as farm-working dogs; just about everybody lived on farms, and they earned their keep by catching rodents and herding livestock. They stayed on the farm until the 1800s when the breed became popular in German dog shows.
Schnauzers appeared in the United States around the turn of the century (the turn from the 1800s to 1900s for younger readers). They became a relatively popular breed, and the Miniature Schnauzer, at one time, was in the top 10 most popular breeds recorded by the AKC. Over the past decade, the Miniature has lost some popularity and is now listed as the 19th most popular breed. The Standard ranks quite a bit lower at 89th, and the Giant is on the list at 78.
The cost of a Miniature Schnauzer, Standard Schnauzer, and Giant Schnauzer can vary depending on several factors such as the breeder, location, pedigree, and availability. However, here is a general comparison of their prices and where to buy them:
- Miniature Schnauzer: A miniature Schnauzer costs from $500 to $2,500. However, prices can increase if the dog comes from a champion bloodline or has rare coloring. You can find miniature schnauzers for sale from reputable breeders, pet stores, and online marketplaces such as AKC Marketplace, Greenfield Puppies, and Puppyfind.
- Standard Schnauzer: The cost of a standard schnauzer is higher than that of a miniature schnauzer. A Standard Schnauzer puppy can cost anywhere from $1,200 to $4,000, depending on the breeder and pedigree. You can find standard schnauzers for sale from reputable breeders, rescue organizations, and online marketplaces such as AKC Marketplace, NextDayPets, and PuppySpot.
- Giant Schnauzer: The cost of a Giant Schnauzer is the highest among the three types. A Giant Schnauzer puppy can cost anywhere from $1,500 to $6,000. The price can increase if the puppy comes from champion bloodlines or has exceptional features. You can find giant schnauzers for sale from reputable breeders, rescue organizations, and online marketplaces such as AKC Marketplace, NextDayPets, and PuppySpot.
When purchasing a schnauzer, it is essential to find a reputable breeder who is knowledgeable about the breed and follows ethical breeding practices. You can also consider adopting a schnauzer from a rescue organization or animal shelter. However, be prepared to pay adoption fees, typically lower than buying from a breeder.
Answer to Shakespeare’s dog question:
In the play “The Two Gentlemen of Verona,” there is a dog named Crab. Unfortunately, Crab does not have a speaking role.