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Group: Utility (Group 6)
Club: Schnauzer Club Of Victoria Inc
Contact: Liz Maclaine
Phone: 9397 1043

About the Schnauzer


Background The Schnauzer is an ancient breed. It is the original sheepdog of the Austrian Tyrol. Paintings and tapestries dating back to 1492 show dogs not unlike the modern Schnauzers. The Schnauzer has also been found in statuary, one on a statue in Mecklenborg, Germany. This statue is dated 1620.  "Schnauzer" was the name of the first prize winning wired-haired pinscher (the breed’s previous title) which was exhibited for the first time in 1879 in Hanover. Because of its desire to work with the shepherds and guard the family home, the travelling merchants of the 15th and 16th centuries used the Schnauzer to guard their wagons as they travelled from village to village. These dogs had to be of a size not to take up too much room when travelling on top of the wagon but fierce enough to repel possible thieves.  The Miniature and Giant Schnauzer were developed from the Standard Schnauzer.

Average Lifespan The Schnauzer, in general, is a very healthy breed.  He has a long lifespan: the Standard - 13+ years the Mini - 15+ years the Giant - 12+ years

Breed Personality/Characteristics/Temperament The Schnauzer is alive, alert and always interested and involved in its environment. They are very inquisitive and intelligent, often being referred to as the dog with the human brain. The typical features of its temperament are:-

1. LOYAL & DEVOTED - the Schnauzer is a one person dog but they love their family. They are tolerant of children and enjoy joining in their games.

2. SLOW TO ANGER - the Schnauzer is not, by nature, an aggressive dog.

3. QUICK TO DEFEND - when mature, the Schnauzer develops a territorial instinct.  This makes them an ideal guard dog. They defend their property VOCALLY and not with their teeth.

4. WARY OF STRANGERS - the Schnauzer is stand-offish and aloof, offering devotion to its own people only. It is better to allow the Schnauzer to approach the visitor than the visitor approach the Schnauzer.

The Schnauzer is a groomed breed, that is, to maintain its smart appearance they regularly need to be stripped or clipped and trimmed. They are a double coated dog, meaning that they have a soft undercoat and harsh wiry outer coat. This helps to keep them dry and clean.  The show Schnauzer - the grooming of the show dog is constant and time consuming. To maintain the harshness of coat the dog is stripped out; that is, the dead coat is removed from the body, at least twice a year, to allow a new coat to grow for presentation in the show ring. As the Schnauzer does not "drop" coat, they quickly lose their smartness and shape as the dead coat "blows", that is, it becomes brown and lifeless and lifts off the body. They require regular brushing and combing to keep the coat clean and the furnishings un-matted. The face trim takes time to learn and become proficient. The face of the Schnauzer is a unique feature of the breed. The Pet Schnauzer - also needs regular brushing and combing so that the furnishings and beard do not matt. However, most breeders recommend that the pet Schnauzer is clipped and trimmed at least four times a year to maintain their smart, unique appearance. Most breeders will either assist you to groom your pet or give you the name of someone who is proficient at grooming and lives in your area.

Please Take Note The Schnauzer is a very trainable dog. Because they are a very intelligent dog, they enjoy the challenge of trialling. However, unlike most other breeds, the Schnauzer will only do the exercise for a short period of time and then needs to move onto the next activity. If you plan to work your Schnauzer through obedience, be prepared to change the activities around frequently so they do not get bored. A bored Schnauzer makes a difficult workmate.

Ideal Owner/s Owning a Schnauzer is a lifetime commitment for both you and your dog. If you are not prepared to share your life, your home and your family with your Schnauzer then this is not the breed for you. Like a child, the Schnauzer needs and thrives on love, devotion and a stable environment. In return you will receive a lifetime of loyalty and companionship.

In Conclusion Now you know a little about the Schnauzer and have decided this is the dog for you or you want more information, make contact with the breed club or your State controlling body for purebred dogs. They will be able to give you information about available puppies and also suggest dog shows where you can see the breed and speak to breeders. In this way you will gain a better perspective of the breed and its needs.

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