Standard Schnauzer

  • Overview

    Standard Schnauzers, who stand between 17 and 19 inches tall and weigh about 30 to 40 pounds, were so popular that their fans decided to create even more varieties in smaller and larger sizes. This dignified, hard-working family companion is the oldest of the Schnauzers and his affable, loyal nature helped the breed become so widely loved.

    The Standard Schnauzer is an amusing, loyal and sassy companion for owners who don't mind spending some extra time grooming, training and playing with their lovable, boisterous Schnauzers.

    View Grooming Diagram for standard schnauzer
  • Personality

    Standard Schnauzers are fun-loving and playful. This size of Schnauzer makes the best choice for families with young children who are eager to add an energetic, watchful companion to their home. They love high-energy play and will appreciate a daily walk or jog. They respond very well to being given a task or command to complete, because their hard-working natures give them a drive to stay busy. Like all Schnauzers, Standard Schnauzers are not immune from making mischief. They will resort to destructive habits, like barking, chewing and especially digging, if they feel mistreated or neglected. Schnauzers are sensitive to their owner's tone of voice, and they will become aloof and stand-offish if they feel they are being unfairly reprimanded.

    The Standard Schnauzer responds a little more willingly to obedience training than his larger counterpart. They react positively to the sound of their owner's voice and appreciate respectful, consistent training that lets them use their intelligence as an advantage. Standard Schnauzers combine the characteristic traits of their smaller and larger relatives — they are fiercely loyal, protective and watchful. They make good guard dogs because they take pride in alerting their owners to intruders and disturbances, but they also love to enthusiastically greet visitors and become the center of attention in every social situation.

  • Coat Care

    Standard Schnauzers' coats are either pepper and salt or black. Pepper and salt Schnauzers have a gray under coat, but some have a lighter tan or fawn under coat that is not a fault. The facial furnishings are occasionally darker than the coat, usually dark gray or gray with black hairs. As some Schnauzers age, the pepper and salt coloring around the face and eyebrows fades to light gray or silvery white, as if they are going gray. The coat is wiry and hard. The outer coat should stand off from the skin with a soft under coat underneath.

Standard Schnauzer
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All Schnauzers need some extra attention to look their best, and Standard Schnauzers are no exception. Their beard and legs need to be brushed daily with a pin brush to stay mat-free.

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With preparation, perseverance and a positive attitude, bathing can become a fun and fulfilling part of the regular grooming cycle, while helping your dog avoid many diseases and infections.

The general rule of thumb for dog bathing is every three months but wire-coated dogs can be done with greater frequency, often within a four-to-six week range. The coat should end up fresh smelling, shiny, with no loose or shedding hair. First give the dog a good brushing to remove dead hair and mats. Place a rubber mat in the tub to provide secure footing and fill the tub with three to four inches of lukewarm water. Use a spray hose, pitcher or unbreakable cup to wet the dog, taking caution to avoid getting water in the eyes, ears and nose. Massage in pet shampoo, saving the head for last. Immediately rinse thoroughly, starting with the head to prevent soap from dripping into the eyes. Towel dry. The coat should be fresh smelling, with no loose or shedding hair.

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Hair Clipping

If you want to maintain the look and feel of the Schnauzer's wiry coat, you will need to strip it by hand once every four to six months. If you prefer an easier grooming routine, the coat can be clipped about once a month, but it will lose its hard texture and become softer. The Schnauzer will also start to shed his dead hair more frequently.

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Many dog owners are apprehensive about trimming their dog’s nails because they are nervous about cutting into the quick. But with the right conditioning and careful cutting, nail clipping can be a simple, stress-free activity for you and your dog.

Provide your dog with plenty of positive reinforcement and even treats to help associate nail clipping with a positive experience.  As you start to clip, gently press on your dog’s paws to help him become accustomed to the feeling of having his nails clipped. Then, work gradually, shaving down just a thin portion of the nail at first to make sure you don’t reach the quick. Clip one nail, reward your dog with a treat, and stop to give him some positive reinforcement before moving on. Gradually increase the number of nails you clip in one sitting to help your dog get used to the process. Never trim extremely long nails down to a short nail in one sitting, because this is an excellent way to accidently quick the dog’s nail. Instead, work gradually, shaving small portions of your dog’s nails off each time.

You can tell if you’re getting close to the quick by the texture of your dog’s nail. The nail is hard closer to the surface and becomes softer as you get closer to the quick. If your dog’s nail starts to feel softer, that’s a good indication that you’re getting close to the quick.

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Eyes / Ears

Not all breeds and coat styles require routine trimming in and around the eyes and ears but all should undergo regular inspection and cleaning around these sensitive areas. Doing so will help prevent the development of infections that could seriously damage these amazing organs.

It is always important to routinely clean your dog's eyes and ears, and examine for potential infections. Wire coated dogs have sensitive ears covered in hair that  need to be checked weekly for infection and cleaned with a cotton ball. Gently wipe a cotton ball moistened with mineral oil, olive oil or witch hazel in your dog's ear, being careful to avoid the ear canal. Never use a Q-Tip, which could cause damage to the inner ear if your dog suddenly shakes or jerks his head. Bushy hair growth within the ear can be thinned with tweezers or blunt scissors. Use a small trimmer to trim excess hair around the eyes, ears and face. West Highland Terriers and other small terriers with white coats are prone to developing tear stains around the eyes, so clean around their eyes with a cotton ball or soft cloth and use a small trimmer to trim excess hair around their eyes.

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Many owners do not realize how important it is to brush your pet’s teeth on a regular basis. Some dogs are prone to dental problems and sensitive teeth, especially small dogs with tiny teeth and dogs with special diets. These problems can be easily combatted with frequent brushing.

Cavities are rare with dogs but gum disease caused by tartar buildup is not, which is why they require regular brushing with toothpaste and a toothbrush formulated specifically for dogs. While daily brushing is ideal, doing so on a weekly basis will be a big help in avoiding the need to bring your dog to a veterinarian for a cleaning, which usually has to be done under sedation.