Standard Schnauzer

The Standard Schnauzer, known as the SS for short, is just as it sounds, the true standard. Bigger than the miniature but smaller than the giant, these dogs are a perfect sized companion for those looking for an adaptable, lively, and loyal dog. This breed is easily recognizable by its whiskery beard and sporty body. Originally bred as ratters and all-around dogs for German farms, these versatile pups are bold and full of life. Read on to learn more about the Standard Schnauzer.

Description of the Standard Schnauzer

Many prize the Standard Schnauzer for its reliability, adaptability, and hardiness. They are athletic and spry but still a family oriented and attentive breed.

Bred to be workers, these dogs have plenty of energy and endurance, making them a great companion for those who have active lifestyles. They are tough and game for anything.

The Standard Schnauzer has an air of nobility. Their proud head sits atop a compact and strong body. Their square muzzle is good for both seeking out small rodents and chewing on his favorite toy. These dogs are quite handsome and striking.

The wiry topcoat of the SS is harsh and thick to protect against inclement weather and the soft undercoat is nice insulation from cooler temperatures. This breed comes in both salt and pepper, which is a combination of black and white, or all black.

Life Expectancy and Size

This sturdy breed is extremely healthy and often lives 13 – 16 years. As one of the healthiest breeds it is no surprise the Standard Schnauzer is so popular, but always work with a reputable breeder to ensure you are getting the healthiest puppy possible.

A perfect balance between his close Schnauzer relatives, the male SS stands 18.5 – 19.5 inches tall and weighs 35 – 50 pounds; and the female stands 17.5 – 18.5 inches tall and weighs 30 – 45 pounds.

Protective Ability

Bred to be a vigilant watchdog and protector of his farm, the SS still has those instincts today. Especially watchful over small children, the Standard Schnauzer is an excellent choice for those wanting a dog that will be alert and warn them of strangers and stand up to anyone he thinks may be intruding. This breed has a true guardian spirit, even if they are relatively small.


The Standard Schnauzer is a smart and often independent dog. They can learn quickly but can easily become bored or disinterested without motivation. Using rewards-based training is a great way to keep your dog engaged and have him learning to his full potential

Treats are an excellent tool to use when training. As a typically food motivated breed, the SS will be more than happy to pay attention and learn when he knows he will get a tasty treat for doing so well.

Keeping training sessions short and engaging is also important for success when training your dog. They can learn something new after just a few repetitions, but if you keep drilling them on something they have already picked up they will get bored and find something else engaging to do.

Be sure to start training as soon as your puppy comes home. This will make sure he learns the things he should, and doesn’t teach himself bad habits out of lack of guidance. Early socialization is also a big must for this breed so they can blossom into the outgoing and lively dog they should be.

Energy Level

Like many working dogs, breeders made sure the Standard Schnauzer had enough energy for long days working. Whether running around the backyard in chase of squirrels, playing games with you or other dogs, or going on long adventures, this breed loves to move and will keep you busy. They can be fun and sometimes mischievous companions that will always provide you with an endless supply of love and entertainment.

The SS is also a loving breed that enjoys being a part of the family. While he may not be the best choice for someone wanting a couch potato companion, he will be more than happy to snuggle up after a long day of playing with his people.

What Living with a Standard Schnauzer is Like

This is an all-purpose breed.

Excellent with children and other dogs, the Standard Schnauzer makes a great family pet. Their lively nature, compact size, and loyalty are all great qualities that make them the popular breed they are.

These dogs do need plenty of activity, though, and a home that can commit to giving their dog enough exercise is important. While the Standard Schnauzer can be a great snuggle buddy, they sleep best when tuckered out before curling up.

Care of the Standard Schnauzer

The Standard Schnauzer is an extremely adaptable dog that can live with pretty much anyone, anywhere so long as he has enough attention and exercise.

Environmental Needs

Built to withstand the tough German winters, the Standard Schnauzer is ready for cold temps with his thick double coat and wiry, weather-resistant topcoat. But these dogs are also quick to adapt to warmer climates and can do just as well when it’s hot. Always monitor your dog in extreme weather to make sure he is not becoming too hot or cold, and consider getting your dog a jacket if he will be outside more in cold weather.

Exercise Needs

These hardworking dogs need plenty of exercise. Used to working long days sniffing out rats or doing other chores, they love to move and still crave plenty of daily activity.

Whether this occurs while working on a farm, playing in the backyard, participating in canine sports, or going for long walks, the Standard Schnauzer is not picky, so long as he gets lots of exercise and mental stimulation. About an hour of exercise each day should be enough to satisfy these energetic dogs.

Getting involved in your dog’s exercise will provide him with the quality bonding time with you that he craves.

Shedding and Grooming

The Standard Schnauzer requires regular grooming to stay healthy. This includes daily washing of his beard after meals, regular washing of his longer leg hair and beard, weekly brushing of his whole body, and hand-stripping every few months. Keeping up on this grooming will mean a happier and healthier dog and less hair and muck around the house.

This breed sheds some, but not heavily.

Be sure to check your dog’s foot pads for foreign objects and keep his nails trimmed.

Ideal Home Environment

The Standard Schnauzer can be happy in any home where he is a part of the family and given enough exercise. While he does particularly well with children, he can also be a great companion for the outdoor enthusiast or individual looking for an energetic and loving dog. The SS is smart and independent so can be a tough first-time dog breed. They require consistent and patient training that might be easier for those with experience.

These vigilant dogs make excellent guardians and are extremely protective and watchful of their family. But these outgoing and vivacious dogs are charming to everyone once they are introduced.

Health Concerns

The Standard Schnauzer is one of the healthiest breeds around. The Standard Schnauzer Club of America tests their stock every five years and reputable breeders are very proactive in keeping their stock as healthy as possible. The biggest concerns are hip dysplasia and eye problems, but regular check-ups can help catch, treat, or prevent these issues early.

Behavior Problems

These feisty dogs love to chase anything small that moves so it is important to train them and keep them fenced in or on leash to prevent them from chasing after a pesky squirrel.