From the Middle Ages, the first ancestors of the Schnauzer performed farm duties in southern Germany: guarding the family and livestock, rat catching, protecting their owners and pulling carts as they travelled to market. These rough-haired, medium-sized dogs were descended from early European herding and guardian breeds and were NOT related to the similar terriers of Britain. A Schnauzer is not a terrier
In the mid-19th century, German dog fanciers began to take an interest in this native breed and crosses were made with grey Wolfspitz and the black German Poodle to produce the distinctive pepper and salt and black colours of today.
The breed was known as the Wire-haired Pinschers and in some countries are still referred to as a pincher, were they where first exhibited in Germany in the 1870's. The official German breed standard of that time describes a dog of remarkably similarity to the Schnauzer of today.
By the turn of the century, the breed was becoming universally known as The Schnauzer, a reference to the 'breed's hallmark: a muzzle (German: schnauzer) sporting a bristly beard and moustache, as well as to an early show winner of that name'.
The Schnauzer is principally an all rounder, a general-purpose dog and has been used in Germany, Austria and Switzerland for different roles such as a drover's dog, watch dog, police dog and ultimately a companion.
A statue of a night watchman and his dog in Stuttgart dated 1620 shows a typical Schnauzer of medium size; whilst paintings from the 1500's depict the breed as quite a well-defined type. In the 15th and 16th centuries the Schnauzer must have been in high favour as a household companion, for his portrait appears in many paintings of the period. A portrait of a Standard Schnauzer appears several times in the works of Albrecht Durer, an artist, between the years of 1492 and 1504.
When first introduced to Britain in the 1950's the Duchess of Montrose was the pioneer of the breed.
The Schnauzer is a sturdily built, robust and sinewy dog; he should appear to be nearly square with a keen expression and alert attitude. Even though the Schnauzer is a medium sized dog he is strong and vigorous, capable of great endurance.The schnauzer is a reliable breed and very intelligent, quick to learn and please and yet stubborn enough to say no in refusal. He makes a wonderful companion dog with a lively nature, he is a good house and watch dog, Gentle, patient and trustworthy with children.
However the Schnauzer is not for the faint hearted and not recommended for the first time buyer.The Schnauzer requires mental stimulation and will need lots of socialisation as a puppy youngster and adult.
If he is not socialised sufficiently as a puppy and into his adult life you will find him to be weary of new surroundings and new experience could be stressful. It is strongly recommended that you take your Schnauzer to obedience classes. The Schnauzer is the ultimate companion dog and you will become his world.
The Schnauzers physical maturity is about 18 months to 2 years of age while mental maturity is about 3 to 4 years of age.
The Schnauzer's coat is a very important part of his make up for being a Schnauzer. It is harsh and wiry with a dense undercoat. It is traditionally hand stripped to keep it's weather resistance, colour and texture and should be short enough for a smart appearance. He will require regular grooming to keep him tailored and looking smart. His leg hair and beard will also need a regular brush and polish to keep tangles and foliage at bay.
There are 2 acceptable colours in The Schnauzer. Pepper and Salt is a banded coat of dark/light/dark hairs with shades ranging from dark iron grey to light grey. He should have a dark facial mask. The second colour is black.