Sociable and affectionate, Standard Schnauzers become true members of their families and especially love children. Of the three Schnauzers breeds, the medium, or Standard, is the prototype. At 17 to 20 inches tall and weighing between 35 and 50 pounds, it is truly the “standard” Schnauzer: larger than the Miniature and smaller than the Giant. Schnauzers of all three sizes share several breed hallmarks: a wiry, tight-fitting coat of pure black or “pepper and salt”; a robust, square-built frame; and an elongated head furnished with arched eyebrows and bristly whiskers, accentuating dark brown eyes that gleam with a keen intelligence. Their sporty look is a canine classic.
Normally protective, they will also alert members of the household to any potential danger. The breed is very intelligent but can be strong-willed and determined, so it's beneficial to start training early with puppy kindergarten classes and follow later with regular obedience classes. Owners should provide daily opportunities for both mental and physical exercise. The Standard Schnauzer is an energetic breed and benefits from regular walks and active play, as well as participation in a range of canine activities such as Agility, Herding, Lure-Coursing and Barn Hunt.
The Standard Schnauzer has a hard, wiry coat which serves as a protective barrier to enable the dog to do the job for which he was bred. Regular hand stripping strengthens the quality and texture of the coat, which, in turn, further improves the utilitarian purpose of the dog. Whether your Standard Schnauzer is hand stripped and on a proper coat rotation or in a pet trim wielding the artful use of clippers and scissors, all terriers benefit from regular grooming rather than allowing them to regress to a state of scraggly disarray. If the dog is hand stripped, it is done before the furnishings are bathed then touched up afterward. The outer layer of coat is hand stripped, while the undercoat is systematically raked to reach optimal results. If you are artfully clippering, brush and comb the coat to remove dead coat and stimulate surface circulation to encourage new, fresh coat growth. Frequent brushing and rubbing the jacket down with a towel to remove dirt and excessive oils makes regular bathing unnecessary. When it is time to do a full bath on the Standard Schnauzer, wash the jacket gently in the direction the hair grows, and rinse the same way. Pin a towel around the jacket to help it lay flat and allow it to air dry. Despite the fact that the jacket does not need regular washing, it does not mean that the routine maintenance can be overlooked. Weekly brushing for 10 - 15 minutes and a rubdown with a towel each week is necessary. The leg furnishings and facial furnishings should be bathed at a minimum monthly.
Finishing the Dog: Tools and Finish Grooming
This intelligent terrier should be groomed on a regular schedule. They have a harsh, double coat with a wiry topcoat and a soft, dense undercoat. In order to keep the harsh texture and vibrant color, the topcoat is maintained by hand stripping and rolling the coat weekly. It is necessary for a dog to be hand stripped to enter the show ring. It is a difficult dog to properly groom since most of the work is done by hand. A pet trim follows the same pattern and outline, but the coat is clipped rather than hand stripped. The wiry texture will eventually disappear, but if the dog is carded with appropriate carding tools and a stone, the color should not fade as much. This is the easiest way to maintain a great looking dog without the time commitment and expense of hand stripping the coat.
General Health Care
Prep work is the foundation of all grooming. Prep work includes ear cleaning, nail trimming, trimming the pads, and proper dental hygiene. Mastering these skills sets the professional stylist apart from the rest. Prep work should be done before every grooming and bathing appointment. All dogs need to have their ears checked and cleaned. Some need to have the hair pulled from the ear canal. This allows the ear to have proper air circulation, which helps prevent bacteria and moisture in the ear canal. It is not necessary to remove all of the hair in the ear, as some serves as a barrier to foreign debris. It is imperative that you are properly trained to pull ear hair before attempting this endeavor. Proper nail care is important. Long, unsightly nails present potential health issues as well as make it more difficult to trim a neat and tidy foot. Trimming the pads of the foot helps give a pet good traction on different surfaces and can minimize the amount of dirt the dog tracks into the house. It also affords the opportunity to treat and condition the paws from cracks and abrasions. Good oral hygiene is also very important.
In order to maintain healthy skin and coat as well as overall health, it is important to provide good nutrition to your dog through diet, vitamins, and healthy treats.
Do they require a lot of grooming?
Standard Schnauzer’s do require regular routine grooming. If the dog is hand stripped, keeping the dog in proper coat rotation is extremely time consuming as well as expensive. Several hours a week are spent keeping the coat in proper condition. If you have chosen a clipped trim, plan on spending 15 minutes per week for brushing to keep the undercoat at bay, remove dead coat, and to prevent the furnishings from becoming tangled.
What are common problems in this breed?
As with any breed of dog, the Standard Schnauzer has its fair share of health issues. Some of the more common issues are: Hip Dysplasia; eye issues such as Cataracts and Retinal Dysplasia; Hypothyroidism: and Bladder Stones.
Do they shed or cause allergies?
Standard Schnauzers are considered more of a non- shedding breed since the coat does not drop out without provocation. The coat is either stripped or clipped. If it is clipped, the coat becomes soft with loose curls rather than falling out., hence the shedding is minimal. This is a suitable breed for someone who cannot handle the dander as long as routine maintenance is done. However, before bringing a Standard Schnauzer into your home if you have allergies, you should spend some time around the breed to make sure you do not have a reaction.
Are they good with children?
This breed is known for being affectionate and wonderful with children. As with any dog, small children should never be left unattended with a dog.
What if I have a show dog?
Whether you have a show dog or a companion dog, the same basic care is given regarding nutrition, socialization, and hygiene. The difference is the conditioning of the dog and confirmation training. It is always quite helpful if your breeder can help mentor you to lead you in the right direction upon entering the wonderful world of dog shows. A great place to start is the Standard Schnauzer Club of America, http://www.standardschnauzer.org.