Characteristics of a Standard Schnauzer

Please take a few minutes to read about the characteristics of the Standard Schnauzer. The Standard is known as “the dog with the human brain,” while being an exaggeration, it does illustrate the perceived mental abilities of the breed. This dog is a well-tempered breed and is not prone to extremely active or disruptive behaviors provided they have lots of attention, training and proper care.  The Standard is the original of the three sizes, miniature, standard and giant. Listed are areas you need to consider before you decide to share your home with a Standard Schnauzer.


Standard Schnauzers are medium-sized. Males range between 18″ – 20″ at the shoulder with a weight between 40 – 50 pounds. Females are between 17″ – 19″ at the shoulder with a weight between 35 – 45 pounds. This is the correct size but can vary in height and weight.


The Standard Schnauzer is a robust, exuberant dog who loves to play and needs daily exercise. A fenced yard is highly recommended and keep in mind that Standards can jump a six-foot fence, if motivated.


All dogs require grooming, whether it be nail clipping, ear cleaning, or brushing. Standard Schnauzers require more than the average dog. Beard and leg furnishings must be combed and brushed often to keep from matting. Pets may be machine clipped, which is quicker than stripping. On dogs that are shown in conformation competition, the coat must be stripped to maintain correct coat texture and body outline. A properly groomed Standard should shed very little.

Health & Care

The breed is relatively healthy. Although hip dysplasia is present, severe hip dysplasia is rare. There are cases of flea and food allergies and some skin problems. Most breeds have some of the above and some Standards will never have allergies, skin problems, or hip problems, but we feel it is best for you to know the worst.  The Standard, if given good care, proper food will usually live 12 to 15 years.


The combination of intelligence and spirit can make him a handful and he requires training and discipline. The training must be consistent; a Standard Schnauzer will work readily and happily if praised for positive behavior rather than punished for bad behavior. He must be made to understand that you, the owner, are the “pack leader” or he will claim this title for himself.  This dog is very similar to the terrier.  They have natural hunting instincts & will need training to interact properly with cats.  The Standard Schnauzer is not tolerant of teasing & will let people know when they have had enough.  Local kennel clubs in your area offer training classes in obedience and the cost is nominal.


As a home guardian the Standard Schnauzer excels. He readily accepts friends of the family, but warns of strangers with his strong voice. He is alert to his surroundings and aware of change in his environment. His reaction is usually to hold rather than to attack, and unless provoked, has been known to keep an intruder cornered for quite a long time. He is good with children and appoints himself as their guardian and protector.  The standard schnauzer is excellent with older children, loves to travel, and go for long walks.  Smaller and younger children can be intimidated by the breed as they are a dominant dog and can be highly protective of their food, toys and space.  Standard Schnauzers are not recommended for homes that have another dog that is a dominant breed.


Standard Schnauzers are “people” dogs. They need to be with, around, and near humans because they thrive on love and attention. Consider your lifestyle and household schedule – do you travel a lot, do you work long hours, are you busy with your children’s activities? In other words, do you have time to give the love and attention a Standard Schnauzer needs?

When a dog becomes part of your family, he should become your companion for LIFE. His needs for love and security are no different from our own.


Compiled by Judy Houskeeper