Standard Schnauzer Breed Magazine - Showsight

Standard Schnauzer Breed Magazine features information, expert articles, and stunning photos from AKC judges, breeders, and owners.


Let’s Talk Breed Education!

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Official Standard of the Standard Schnauzer General Appearance: The Standard Schnauzer is a robust, heavy-set dog, sturdily built with good muscle and plenty of bone; square-built in proportion of body length to height. His rugged build and dense harsh coat are accentuated by the hallmark of the breed, the arched eyebrows and the bristly mustache and whiskers. Faults - Any deviation that detracts from the Standard Schnauzer's desired general appearance of a robust, active, square-built, wire-coated dog. Any deviation from the specifications in the Standard is to be considered a fault and should be penalized in proportion to the extent of the deviation. Size, Proportion, Substance: Ideal height at the highest point of the shoulder blades, 18½ to 19½ inches for males and 17½ inches to 18½ inches for females. Dogs measuring over or under these limits must be faulted in proportion to the extent of the deviation. Dogs measuring more than one half inch over or under these limits must be disqualified. The height at the highest point of the withers equals the length from breastbone to point of rump. Head: Head strong, rectangular, and elongated; narrowing slightly from the ears to the eyes and again to the tip of the nose. The total length of the head is about one half the length of the back measured from the withers to the set-on of the tail. The head matches the sex and substance of the dog. Expression alert, highly intelligent, spirited. Eyes medium size; dark brown; oval in shape and turned forward; neither round nor protruding. The brow is arched and wiry, but vision is not impaired nor eyes hidden by too long an eyebrow. Ears set high, evenly shaped with moderate thickness of leather and carried erect when cropped. If uncropped, they are of medium size, V-shaped and mobile so that they break at skull level and are carried forward with the inner edge close to the cheek. Faults - Prick, or hound ears. Skull (Occiput to Stop) moderately broad between the ears with the width of the skull not exceeding two thirds the length of the skull. The skull must be flat; neither domed nor bumpy; skin unwrinkled. There is a slight stop which is accentuated by the wiry brows. Muzzle strong, and both parallel and equal in length to the topskull; it ends in a moderately blunt wedge with wiry whiskers accenting the rectangular shape of the head. The topline of the muzzle is parallel with the topline of the skull. Nose is large, black and full. The lips should be black, tight and not overlapping. Cheeks - Well developed chewing muscles, but not so much that "cheekiness" disturbs the rectangular head form. Bite - A full complement of white teeth, with a strong, sound scissors bite. The canine teeth are strong and well developed with the upper incisors slightly overlapping and engaging the lower. The upper and lower jaws are powerful and neither overshot nor undershot. Faults - A level bite is considered undesirable but a lesser fault than an overshot or undershot mouth. Neck, Topline, Body : Neck strong, of moderate thickness and length, elegantly arched and blending cleanly into the shoulders. The skin is tight, fitting closely to the dry throat with no wrinkles or dewlaps. The topline of the back should not be absolutely horizontal, but should have a slightly descending slope from the first vertebra of the withers to the faintly curved croup and set-on of the tail. Back strong, firm, straight and short. Loin well developed, with the distance from the last rib to the hips as short as possible. Body compact, strong, short-coupled and substantial so as to permit great flexibility and agility. Faults - Too slender or shelly; too bulky or coarse. Chest of medium width with well sprung ribs, and if it could be seen in cross section would be oval. The breastbone is plainly discernible. The brisket must descend at least to the elbows and ascend gradually to the rear with the belly moderately drawn up. Fault - Excessive tuck-up. Croup full and slightly rounded. Tail is set moderately high and carried erect.

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When docked, tail should not be less than one inch nor more than two inches in length. When un- docked, a Saber or Sickle tail is preferred. In a relaxed pose, the base of the tail is held in the 1:00 position. While it may be raised in excitement, the base should not incline towards the head. Fault - Squirrel tail. Forequarters: Shoulders - The sloping shoulder blades are strongly muscled, yet flat and well laid back so that the rounded upper ends are in a nearly vertical line above the elbows. They slope well forward to the point where they join the upper arm, forming as nearly as possible a right angle when seen from the side. Such an angulation permits the maximum forward extension of the forelegs without binding or effort. Forelegs straight, vertical, and without any curvature when seen from all sides; set moderately far apart; with heavy bone; elbows set close to the body and pointing directly to the rear. Dewclaws on the forelegs may be removed. Feet small and compact, round with thick pads and strong black nails. The toes are well closed and arched (cat's paws) and pointing straight ahead. Hindquarters: Strongly muscled, in balance with the forequarters, never appearing higher than the shoulders. Thighs broad with well bent stifles. The second thigh, from knee to hock, is approximately parallel with an extension of the upper neck line. The legs, from the clearly defined hock joint to the feet, are short and perpendicular to the ground and, when viewed from the rear, are parallel to each other. Dewclaws, if any, on the hind legs are generally removed. Feet as in front. Coat : Tight, hard, wiry and as thick as possible, composed of a soft, close undercoat and a harsh outer coat which, when seen against the grain, stands up off the back, lying neither smooth nor flat. The outer coat (body coat) is trimmed (by plucking) only to accent the body outline. As coat texture is of the greatest importance, a dog may be considered in show coat with back hair measuring from ¾ to 2 inches in length. Coat on the ears, head, neck, chest, belly and under the tail may be closely trimmed to give the desired typical appearance of the breed. On the muzzle and over the eyes the coat lengthens to form the beard and eyebrows; the hair on the legs is longer than that on the body. These "furnishings" should be of harsh texture and should not be so profuse as to detract from the neat appearance or working capabilities of the dog. Faults - Soft, smooth, curly, wavy or shaggy; too long or too short; too sparse or lacking undercoat; excessive furnishings; lack of furnishings. Color : Pepper and salt or pure black. Pepper and Salt - The typical pepper and salt color of the topcoat results from the combination of black and white hairs, and white hairs banded with black. Acceptable are all shades of pepper and salt and dark iron gray to silver gray. Ideally, pepper and salt Standard Schnauzers have a gray undercoat, but a tan or fawn undercoat is not to be penalized. It is desirable to have a darker facial mask that harmonizes with the particular shade of coat color. Also, in pepper and salt dogs, the pepper and salt mixture may fade out to light gray or silver white in the eyebrows, whiskers, cheeks, under throat, across chest, under tail, leg furnishings, under body, and inside legs. Black - Ideally the black Standard Schnauzer should be a true rich color, free from any fading or discoloration or any admixture of gray or tan hairs. The undercoat should also be solid black. However, increased age or continued exposure to the sun may cause a certain amount of fading and burning. A small white smudge on the chest is not a fault. Loss of color as a result of scars from cuts and bites is not a fault. Faults - Any colors other than specified, and any shadings or mixtures thereof in the topcoat such as rust, brown, red, yellow or tan; absence of peppering; spotting or striping; a black streak down the back; or a

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black saddle without typical salt and pepper coloring - and gray hairs in the coat of a black; in blacks, any undercoat color other than black. Gait: Sound, strong, quick, free, true and level gait with powerful, well angulated hindquarters that reach out and cover ground. The forelegs reach out in a stride balancing that of the hindquarters. At a trot, the back remains firm and level, without swaying, rolling or roaching. When viewed from the rear, the feet, though they may appear to travel close when trotting, must not cross or strike. Increased speed causes feet to converge toward the center line of gravity. Faults - Crabbing or weaving; paddling, rolling, swaying; short, choppy, stiff, stilted rear action; front legs that throw out or in (East and West movers); hackney gait, crossing over, or striking in front or rear. Temperament: The Standard Schnauzer has highly developed senses, intelligence, aptitude for training, fearlessness, endurance and resistance against weather and illness. His nature combines high-spirited temperament with extreme reliability. Faults: Any deviation from the specifications in the Standard is to be considered a fault and should be penalized in proportion to the extent of the deviation. In weighing the seriousness of a fault, greatest consideration should be given to deviation from the desired alert, highly intelligent, spirited, reliable character of the Standard Schnauzer, and secondly to any deviation that detracts from the Standard Schnauzer's desired general appearance of a robust, active, square-built, wire coated dog. Dogs that are shy or appear to be highly nervous should be seriously faulted and dismissed from the ring. Vicious dogs shall be disqualified. Disqualifications: Males under 18 inches or over 20 inches in height. Females under 17 inches or over 19 inches in height. Vicious dogs.

Approved January 10, 2022 Effective March 30, 2022


U nderstanding a breed standard is not always as easy as it seems. It really involves the magic trick of transferring words into a mental picture, then applying that picture to a living thing. Sometimes synthesizing an attribute into a single word or phrase can be helpful for remembering the distinct structures or traits of the different breeds. Sometimes it can be misleading. At the begin- ning of the breed standard for the Standard Schnauzer, square-built, robust, and heavy- set are used to summarize the breed's appearance. So, how accurate are these adjectives and how should they be applied? We all have a good idea of what a square looks like. With the Schnauzer, as well as the other square-built Working breeds like the Doberman Pinscher, Boxer, and Great Dane, the “square” frames the body mass from the breastbone to the point of the rump, and from the withers to the ground. It's a simple way of visualizing whether the height, mea- sured from the withers to the ground, equals the length from the front piece to the point of the buttocks. To achieve this proportion, the loin needs to be short, which results in a strong, compact body. In the ideal Standard Schnauzer, the shoulder is well-laid-back, the back is short, and the croup slopes slightly to the set-on of the tail. “Robust” is also a pretty easy fit for describing the Standard Schnauzer. The word itself means strong, healthy, vigorous, rugged, and sturdy. It can also be applied to indi- viduals who are strong in constitution, with enduring good health in body and mind. This seems pretty accurate for this breed, which traces back to working farm dogs in 18th century Germany. They proved their stamina and endurance by guarding the farmyard, keeping the stable free of rats, and herding cattle to market. They showed their courage and intelligence while working as messenger dogs for the German Red Cross during the first World War. Today, they show their strength and stamina in the agility ring and other performance events. They have also been used in search and rescue, and to detect everything from contraband to cancer. “Heavy-set” is used along with robust and square-built to describe the breed. The term appears only once at the beginning of the breed standard, and I believe the authors meant it to mean that the Standard Schnauzer has good bone and is well-muscled. How- ever, heavy-set in the dictionary is a synonym for chunky, squat, thick-set, and fat. Santa Claus is heavy-set. I don't think that's what the authors meant when they attributed the phrase to the Standard Schnauzer. The term is not an ideal description of this medium- sized, active, athletic dog. Though good bone and solid muscling are attributes of the breed, Standard Schnauzers should be neither course, stocky nor fat. Instead of heavy and round, their body shape is oval, with good depth of chest. They should be well- muscled and athletic, much like the other square-built Working breeds. The breed standard defines the breed as being of medium size. The designation puts them between the smaller Miniature Schnauzer and the much larger Giant Schnauzer in size. They were the original prototype for the Schnauzer breeds, the useful dogs that were large enough to ward off strangers, but not so large as to consume too many of the German farmer's resources. Modern breeders, to maintain the breed’s modest size, made height limits a requirement, earning a disqualification if not met. Males must measure between 18 and 20 inches at the withers; females must measure 17 to 19 inches. The inch in the middle, 18-1/2 to 19-1/2 for males and 17-1/2 to 18-1/2 for females, is considered ideal.



The eyebrows, mustache, and beard are called the "hallmark of the breed." They are like the signpost out front, announcing that here comes a Schnauzer. The coat texture is also considered a hallmark, and coat tex- ture is very important. Ideally, the topcoat should be tight, hard, wiry, and as thick as possible. The hairs of the topcoat have a stiff, wire-like texture, and they “lift” slightly off the back. They are maintained by hand-plucking. Underneath that wiry exterior is a soft undercoat that acts as insu- lation. Pepper and salt dogs ideally have a gray undercoat, but a tan-colored under- coat is allowed. Black dogs have a black undercoat. Furnishings on the legs are usually longer than the coat on the body, in part, because they are scissor-trimmed rather than stripped. The breed standard states that although usually longer than the body coat, furnishings should not be so long that they detract from the working capability of the dog Pepper and Salt Color? To get an idea of this, just sprinkle a bit of coarsely ground salt and black peppercorns on a piece of grey paper and you'll get a sense of the look. The color you see in pepper and salt dogs comes from the hairs in the topcoat that are banded black and white. Nearly every hair has a band of both colors, and the overall shade of the coat is determined by the pro- portion of black to white and on the posi- tion of the bands on the hairs. To allow a closer look at the breed stan- dard, the Standard Schnauzer Club of America's approved Judges Study Guide is available on the AKC website. To locate it, Google “AKC Judges’ Study Guides.” (A blue banner with this heading will appear.) Scroll down past the Group listing and three other headings to the complete, alphabetical list of AKC recognized breeds. Under Stan- dard Schnauzers are several options. Click on Judges Education Seminar. A note to judges: In years past, the Standard Schnauzer was always examined on the floor or ground. A judge may now request that they be examined on a ramp.

Pepper and Salt Coat = Banded Hairs-Black and White

ABOUT ARDEN COE HOLST Arden Coe Holst, with her husband, Earl, has been an owner/breeder/exhibitor of Standard Schnauzers for over forty years. During that time, their home has never been without Schnauzers in residence. Though they have been relatively small volume breeders, their “Pepper Tree” line has produced numerous AKC Champions, plus Obedience, Agility, Herding, and Tracking titleists. Included among them are three AKC #1 Ranked Standard Schnauzers, National Specialty, Group, and Best in Show winners. As a member of the Standard Schnauzer Club of America, Arden has served in various positions, including six terms as President, 14 years as Columnist for the AKC Gazette, and Editor of The Standard Schnauzer, SSCA Source Book III . Arden currently chairs the SSCA Judges’ Education Committee.



Standard Schnauzers IN AMERICA



T he bold, bewhiskered Standard Schnauzer is a high- spirited farm dog from the area around Bavaria and Württemberg in Germany. A breed of great antiq- uity, recognizable Standard Schnauzers appear in art as early as the 15th century. The Standard Schnauzer ( Mit- telschnauzer , or medium Schnauzer) is the prototype for two Schnauzer breeds developed much later—the late 19th century Miniature Schnauzer ( Zwergschnauzer ) and the mid-20th cen- tury Giant Schnauzer ( Riesenschnauzer ). Schnauz , the German word for “snout,” colloquially means “moustache” or “whiskered snout.” The correct pronunciation of the “z” is “ts” (as in “Mozart”), but rarely is it heard in the US. TYPE AND TEMPERAMENT Hallmarks of the breed (type) include a wiry, tight-fitting, pepper-and-salt or pure black coat with a soft, short undercoat of gray or fawn, or black for black coats; a robust, square-built frame; an elongated (rectangular) head furnished with arched eyebrows and bristly whiskers that frame oval, dark brown eyes gleaming with keen intelligence. A courageous “stand-firm- against-all-comers” attitude is part of Standard Schnauzer type as well—no wimps need apply here. Speculations from the breed’s distant past say that the Schnau- zer, then called the rough-coated Pinscher, originated by out- crossing the black German Poodle and the gray Wolfspitz with rough-coated Pinscher stock. The Pinscher element brings in the fawn-colored undercoats, and the Wolfspitz contributes the typi- cal pepper-and-salt coat color with its harsh, wiry character. Researchers at the University of California at Davis who have been studying the genetic inheritance of canine coats say that the arched eyebrows, bristly mustache and whiskers of the Schnau- zer come from a dominant variant of the R-spondin-2 gene.

Acceptable SS coat colors (salt-and-pepper or solid black) result from the Agouti Signaling Protein (ASIP) gene. Salt-and-pepper coats express the dominant allele of the agouti gene. The dark coat has eumelanin pigment bands (black/brown presented as black), and the lighter coat has pheomelanin pigment bands (red/ yellow faded to cream/white), both of which occur on the same hair shaft. These bands appear on the dog’s neck, shoulders, back, and rump, usually looking lighter on the chest, belly, and inside the legs. The recessive all-black Schnauzer coat originally resulted from mating two dogs carrying the ASIP gene’s recessive black allele; Schnauzers with this genotype will have a solid black base coat (no cream/white), which they pass on to all of their offspring. PURPOSE: THEN AND NOW In the Middle Ages, Schnauzers evolved in the fertile farm country of Bavaria when farmers and herders needed a reliable, fearless, all-purpose farm dog. Multitasking Schnauzers earned their keep as ratters, herders, guardians, and hunters: • protecting the farmer, his family, and farm workers; • herding livestock (and occasionally children); • protecting livestock from predators, both two-legged and four-legged; • hunting and ridding the farm of vermin; and • guarding people, property, and merchandise going to and from markets. The Schnauzer’s medium size fit perfectly into market carts without occupying space for wares. His over-large, sharp, gleam- ing teeth and his loud, deep, hearty bark—the bark of a much bigger dog—served as powerful deterrents to those who were up to no good. The Schnauzer is called “the dog with the human brain” by virtue of his intelligence and fearlessness.



EARLY ART WITH SCHNAUZERS In Mecklenburg’s marketplace stands a statue dating back to the 14th century of a hunter with a Schnauzer crouching at his feet. The breed is featured in several paint- ings by Albrecht Durer (1471–1528). He probably owned a Schnauzer himself— several of his paintings look like the same dog at different ages. “Crown of Thorns,” a tapestry from 1501 by Lucas Cranach the Elder (1472– 1553), contains a dog that looks like a Schnauzer. In Stuttgart, a Schnauzer appears at the base of a sculpture called “Nachtwaechterb- runnen,” or in English, “The Night Watch- man.” At the feet of this bronze watchman is what most Schnauzer fanciers believe is a Standard Schnauzer. Because it is dated 1620, viewers think the piece underscores the breed’s antiquity. However, this isn’t true, since the sculptor, Adolf Fremd, was born in 1853. The English painter Sir Joshua Reynolds (1723-1792), known for “The Grand Style” of portraiture, included in some paintings dogs that are Schnauzer- like, although most are Spaniels. The most famous artwork claimed to include a Schnauzer is “The Night Watch” (1642, oil on canvas, 379.5 x 453.5 cm), arguably the best-known painting by Dutch master Rembrandt Harmanszo- on van Rijn. Originally named “Militia Company of District II under the Com- mand of Captain Frans Banninck Cocq,” it depicted a daytime assembly, but after layers of dirt and varnish had darkened the painting, it was renamed “The Night Watch.” In the painting’s lower right, to

Remastered “The Night Watch,” Rembrandt Harmanszoon van Rijn

the left of the drummer, is a scruffy gray dog looking Schnauzer-like. Years ago at a SSCA National silent auction, I bought a digitally-remastered print of “The Night Watch” in which Willy Hakonsen (herself a van Rijn) replaced the gray dog with two groomed, show-ready Park Avenue Stan- dard Schnauzers. My print hangs in our dog room; Rembrandt’s original hangs in Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum. KENNEL CLUBS & REGISTRATIONS The first German Kennel Club (est. 1878) began holding regular dog shows in 1879. Wire-haired Pinschers were shown for the first time at the Third German International Show in Hanover (1879). Schnauzer, a dog from Wurttemburg Ken- nels in Leonburg, won first prize. The American Kenne Club (est. 1884) and the Canadian Kennel Club (est. 1888) were not far behind their German breth- ren. The Sport of Purebred Dogs was off and running. Prior to World War I, a small group of wealthy fanciers introduced Schnauzers to America. Together, they imported a num- ber of top Schnauzers from Europe. Later (1922), Mrs. Nion Tucker bought Sgr. & Ch. Claus v Furstenwall for $7,000 in the currency of today. During World War I, Standard Schnauzers served as dispatch carriers for the Red Cross and as guard dogs for the German Army. Both sides valued Standard Schnauzers for their unswerving loyalty,

ability to follow orders, and intelligence to make independent decisions in the field when conditions warranted. The first Standard Schnauzer (SS) regis- tered in the United States was a dog named Norwood Victor (Schnauzer x Schnauzer), a salt-and-pepper male whelped in 1901 and listed by the AKC in 1904. From Norwood Kennels (Philadelphia), he won Open Dog First in New York and Philadel- phia. Unconfirmed reports tell of Schnau- zers shown in the Miscellaneous Class at Westminster and other shows in the late 1800s, but Victor was the first AKC-regis- tered Standard Schnauzer shown.


Ch. Sgr. Rigo v Schnauzerlust



In Terriers, the humerus is shorter than the scapula, so front angulation is steeper and the chest is flatter as a result. Once a good front (defined as correct equality in length of scapula and humerus) is lost, it takes generations to repair the damage enough to get a decent front to return. The biggest issue that Standard Schnauzer people would like to convey to judges is that the Standard Schanuzer is NOT a big Terrier and shouldn’t be judged as a Terrier. He’s a Working Dog and should be judged as such. A MAJOR CONFLICT In 1929, troubles were brewing in Schnauzer- dom. The last Specialty was in 1927. Anti-cropping laws had become a major conflict in the Schnauzer Club of America (combined Miniatures and Stan- dards). Entries at the shows were down. Those in power favored the English position against crop- ping ears, while many others, especially in the Midwest and in California, preferred the German tradition of cropping. In 1931, the AKC canceled the wins of all cropped dogs born after September 1, 1929. Bad feelings ran rampant in the club, dividing it into two camps—those who preferred to crop and not show versus those who preferred to show and not crop. In 1933, a rule change allowed cropped and uncropped dogs to be shown equally in accordance with state laws, and titles were restored. But the bickering so unsettled exhibitors that the breed’s prominence in the Group and Best in Show rings was lost. A LEGACY CONTINUES A new day dawned in Schnauzerdom in 1933 when the AKC ruled that a specialty club could list only one breed, which brought about the dis- solution of The Schnauzer Club and the forma- tion of the Standard Schnauzer Club of America (SSCA) and the American Miniature Schnauzer Club. With the establishment of the separate breed clubs came separate registration as well. The Standard Schnauzer had finally had come into its own. The old Standard Schnauzers of half a mil- lennium ago may have vanished into the mists of time, but their legacy continues to burn bright even today.

left to right: Ch. Sgr. Mampe v Hohenstein, Ch. Sgr. Prinz Schnurl of Wurzburg, Ch. Sgr. Rigo v Schnauzerlust

EARLY SIRES & DAMS Four important matings are behind the modern Schnauzer, both in America and Europe, and most of today’s Schnauzers reach back to all four. The first was Sgr. Rex v Gunthersburg to Jette v d Enz, which produced Sgrs. Rigo v Schnauzerlust and Rex von Eglesee. The second mating was of Sgr. Prinz Schurl of Würzburg to Jette v d Enz, producing Hanna, Hexe, and Hummel v d Enz (1912). Next was Sgr. Prinz Schurl of Würzburg to Russi, producing Lore v Würzburg (1913). Last was Sgr. Prinz Schurl of Würzburg to Fanny 750, from which came Friederle (1914). When serious efforts were made to establish Schnauzers in America (1924- 1927), there were 61 males used at stud with 102 producing bitches. Of the males, 42 were sons or grandsons of three great sires: Ch. Sgr. Rigo v Schnauzerlust, Ch. Sgr. Rex von Eglesee, and Ch. Sgr. Mampe v Hohenstein. Fifty-two of the produc- ing bitches were male-line descendents of these three influential males. AMERICAN FIRSTS The Schnauzer Club of America (first known as the Wire-Haired Pinscher Club) formed in 1925 for both Standard and Miniature Schnauzer fanciers. George D. Sloane was the club’s first President. Both breeds were exhibited as Working Dogs, and it was not unusual to see a Miniature take Best of Breed one week and a Standard win BOB the next, both often placing in the Working Group. Schnauzers did well in the Working Group ring. In 1925, Group wins went to Chs. Clea Gamundia (first SS Group win on record), Bella v St. Johanntor, Fred Gamundia, Butz Saldan, and Claus v Furstenwall. (Claus was the first National Specialty winner). Fred, Claus, and Butz also went on to win Best in Show. A WORKING DOG In 1926, Standard Schnauzers changed from the Working Group to the Ter- rier Group, but confusion in Schnauzer records show Schnauzers winning in both Groups. Why the Schnauzer moved from the Working to Terrier is an unsolved mystery. The move caused type changes in the breed that concerned breeders. Not the least worrisome issue was that Terrier structure is significantly different from Working Dog structure, particularly shoulder assembly: the shoulder blade (scapula) and the upper arm (humerus) should be equal in length, and front angula- tion (the angle between the scapula and the humerus) is 45-degrees. This produces the prominent breastbone, or post sternum, located in the middle of the chest. In most Working, Sporting, and Herding Dogs, a protruding post sternum is desir- able, indicating a large chest cavity that will allow the heart and lungs plenty of room to expand.

BIO Suzanne T. Smith, a former Los Alamos National Laboratory research scientist, has bred and shown Standard Schnauzers since 1967. She edited The Standard Schnauzer in America: Sourcebook II (1973), is an AKC Breeder of Merit, an active member of the Standard Schnauzer Club of America, and an active or past member of a dozen other dog clubs. She writes the quarterly Standard Schnauzer breed column for the AKC Gazette. SSCA awarded her and her husband, Ron, the AKC’s Outstanding Sportsmanship Award in 2009. Suzanne grooms their Standard Schnauzers, who love to travel and grudgingly consent to Ron’s handling them at random dog shows and performance trials.


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! s with most breeds, the precise origin of the Standard Schnauzer is lost in time. We know that medium sized, rough-coated dogs were widespread in Europe in the Middle Ages, as they were often depicted in art of the period, e,g, this 15th century woodcut by Albrecht Dürer (see Figure 1). Th is ances- tral schnauzer was large enough to pro- tect the home and farm, take livestock to market, and dispatch vermin, but not so large as to consume scarce resources. For hundreds of years, they were bred only for their utility to man. No one paid particu- lar attention to a dog’s exact size or con- formation as long as it could do its job. Th ey were tough, wiry, hardy, biddable dogs tending to a medium size. Although a distinctive “type”, they were not yet a breed and were not “purebred” in any modern sense of the word. In 1832, Johann Baumeister described the bentchur (pinscher) or rattenfänger (rat catcher) of southern Germany, the modern schnauzer’s immediate ancestor: “ Th e dog has a rather round head with lively eyes, an excellent bite, and a snout covered with rough-haired whiskers. His legs are strongly muscled and equipped with strong nails. His body is short and his tail is usually docked. Th e topcoat is not too long, but wiry…” German dog books of the time also displayed illus- trations of the rauhhaarige pinscher — Wire-haired Pinscher. At first the European leisure class had little interest in this rough, utilitarian dog of the countryside. But by the mid-1800s they attracted the notice of German dog fanciers and became more systematically bred. Dogs of that era were initially quite variable in appearance, with rough and

smooth coats in the same litter, a wide range of height and weight, odd colors and so forth. In the late 1870s, with the estab- lishment of the German national kennel club, the two coat types were o ffi cially sep- arated into wire and smooth pinschers and the first breed standards written. Color and size also began to be stabilized; cross- es may have been made at this time with gray Wolfspitz and black German Poodle to produce the distinctive pepper/salt and black colors seen in today’s Schnauzers. Wire-haired Pinschers were first exhib- ited at a Hamburg dog show in 1879. By the turn of the century, they had become almost universally known as Schnauzer; either a reference to the breed’s hallmark— a muzzle (German: schnauze ) sporting a bristly beard and moustache—or to an early show winner of that name. Although recognizable as Schnauzers, they di ff ered significantly in structure and appear- ance from what we would consider ideal today (see Figure 2). Most had rather short heads, long bodies with uncertain toplines, and possessed steep fronts and long hocks. Grooming was of the “rough and ready” sort and coats ranged from very tight and hard to loose and tousled. Standard Schnauzers from the 1920s still look old-fashioned, but by the 1930s, dogs of more modern type and structure began to appear, e.g. the German Seiger Dolf von Glockenspiel (see Figure 3). In this decade the German Pinscher-Schnauzer Klub pro- duced a figurine of the “ideal Standard Schnauzer” (see Figure 4) to guide judges and breeders. Fanciers today would agree that this square, robust, well-angulated dog with good forechest and arched neck displays desired features for Schnauzers of any era. Th e sparse furnishings (preferred in Germany at the time) only accentuate the dog’s correct structure and proportions.

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quickly amassed enviable show records. Mrs. Nion Tucker imported the German Seiger Claus von Furstenwall for then- unheard-of sum of $7000; Claus won ten Bests in Show from 1925 to 1929, a record unbroken for decades. Photos of Claus show a dog typical of the Twenties, but the next two decades would show tremendous evolution in breed quality and type. After the Great Depression these ear- lier kennels were replaced by names that would come to dominate competition and breeding for several decades. Two imports arrived whose descendents had widespread influence in this country. In 1935, Sei- ger Nickel St. Gallus (see Figure 5) was imported by Mrs. Joseph Sailer. He was an outstanding show dog “in his coat of light gray”, winning groups on both coasts. Th e product of a brother-sister mating, he also proved a fabulously prepotent sire. Nickel’s influence persists to this day, primarily through his linebred son Ch. Chief of Sta ff owned by showman Bobby Burns Berman, and grandson Ch. Major Pfe ff er (see Figure 6) owned by Mary Nelson Stephenson.

Top kennels of the 50s and 60s in the West included Stone Pine (Aronstams) and RickNPat (Dankwerths), both based on Nickel’s lineage. In the east, Seiger Arco v. Konigshof was imported by Winifrede Atkinson and from him sprang the influential Winalesby line. Atkinson’s kennel dominated show competition of the era, with multiple BIS dogs and National wins. Her dogs formed the foundation of many famous kennels, primarily through Arco’s son Ch. Arno of Langhurst, grandson Ch. Winalesby Volsung and his two sons Ch. Winalesby Reital (see Figure 7) and Ch. Winalesby Volzeck. Th ese bloodlines were the foun- dation for the very influential Von Volken line (Boynton) and other top Eastern ken- nels of the 50s and 60s. A Reital daughter, Ch. Pfe ff er von Volken made history when her owners, Virginia and Rudy Rothe, moved to Germany. Winner of the SSCA National in 1955, she topped the PSK National at the age of eight. So impressed were the German breed authorities that they persuaded the Rothes to breed her

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!"#$%&'("')#*+$,- Th e first importations of Standard Schnauzers to the United States occurred around 1900, but only after World War I did the breed reach this country in any significant number. Th ese earliest imports were made by a small number of wealthy dog fanciers who recognized the worth of the wiry German breed and who laid the groundwork for the Standard Schnauzer in America. Schnauzers (standard and min- iature were then considered varieties) were first shown in the Working Group and


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once more to a top German sire. From her litter came two dogs that would make major contributions to the breed, both here and in Europe: Int. Chs. Fürst and Flicka von Hahlweg. Black Standard Schnauzers first arrived on this continent when Ch. Brock v. Lubich was imported in 1935. He became the first AKC black champion and was the sire of both black and pepper and salt champions, including several for Wina- lesby. Interestingly, Brock was, through a black daughter, the great-grandsire of Ch. Chief of Sta ff . Th e breed was evolving quickly as breed- ers utilized these imports to develop dis- tinct American lines. Dogs of the 30s and 40s were approaching modern type, and the best dogs of the 1950s, such Ch. Roberto’s Conquistador, winner of the 1958 SSCA National (see Figure 8) would hold their own today. Breeders were striving for short- er, more robust bodies with the angulation and movement correct for a working breed. !"#$%&'()*$+ Th e final decades of the 20th century saw the emergence of a new kennels, many still active today. Two imports and a home-bred were among the show stars of the period. Int. Ch. Pavo de la Steingasse, a Swiss black imported by Margaret Smith,

won the SSCA National in 1970 and 1971 but topped that with an historic Group First at the 1971 Westminster. Th e Adel’s home-bred, Ch. Charisma Café Diable (see Figure 9), was a multiple BIS winner of the late 70s and early 80s; he is a direct descendent of Ch Pfe ff er von Volken on both his sire and dam’s side. Th e second import soared to even greater heights— Ch. Parsifal di Casa Netzer, an Italian dog bred by Gabrio Del Torre and owned by him and Rita Holloway, won Best in Show at Westminster in 1997. “Pa” amassed an enviable show record, and is in fact one of the top Working Dog winners in AKC his- tory. In the decades following, a number of Standards have been consistent Group and Best in Show winners; all trace their ancestry directly back to the top winners and producers of the last century. While breeders continue to import dogs from abroad, American-breds also have gone back “across the pond” to make their mark as show dogs and producers. Standard Schnauzers have fortunately not evolved into distinct “American” and “European” types, although we do disagree on groom- ing! (What the impact of tail-docking bans will have in the future is, at present, unknown.) Th e annual AKC registration of Standard Schnauzers remains stable at about 600 a year, with active breeders throughout

the country. Th e breed remains one domi- nated by the small owner-breeder-exhibitor, continuing the Standard Schnauzer’s role, through the centuries, as a hardy, reliable, a ff ectionate and trustworthy family dog. !"#"$"%&"'( !"# $%&'()*+(,-# ./0%11"# !234"# !"#$ %&'()$ *+($ ,+(#-#$ .*+(#$ "+$ ,//#+$ 01-#+$ 2#-1&/34"55#+6$ 7/4 -#5(,'%16" 4"# 5%77%1+-# ./0%11"# !889# 81#$ 9:-/($ :;$ <=1+&*>#-5? #:7;)1(#<&=7)>%+)/1*-#?/@(7%1A#BC"# 4DE#;;" 3"# F+%1A%,A# F>01%&G(,# B7&=# /H# :'(,)>%-# I1>"# <:*-=#$@::A$2 #J4D!DK"#<%+#?/'=%,A)-#LA)+/,-#MEM# ;;"#NNN"*+%1A%,A*>01%&G(,"/,O"# BIO Gail B. Mackiernan got her first Stan- dard Schnauzer in 1959, as a birthday present. He was also her first Champion (as well as the victim of many grooming experi- ments) and the foundation of Katahdin Standards Schnauzers. Twelve generations on, Gail has no plans to retire, although she now breeds infrequently. She is currently Breed Education chair for the Standard Schnauzer Club of America, as well as cur- rent 1st Vice-President for that organiza- tion. She did the artwork for the breed’s award-winning “Illustrated Standard” in 1973 and over the years, has contributed to many other materials for SSCA breed and judges education. Gail is also one of the founders of the Potomac Valley SS Club (in 1962) as well as past President.




By Arden Holst

Schnauzer Essentials Echo’s from the 1907 Standard can be heard in comments from today’s breeders: “ Th e breed should be structured like other square-built working breeds... robust, sturdy, well-muscled, but not bulky or overdone, moderate in size. Harsh coat and alert, lively and confident deportment rounds it out.” “Coat (should be) harsh, harsh, harsh. To know the true beauty of the correct coat is seeing your dog repel dirt and water.” “Judges should be reminded that this is a Working Breed that should have sub- stance, bone and have a ground covering gait with reach and drive. Th ey should be square built with a hard wire coat and have a confident, alert temperament.”

tandard Schnauzers origi- nated in the farming and livestock raising area of southern Germany, a com- mon dog of local farmers and merchants valued for

Th e alert expression is centered in the very dark brown, medium-sized oval eyes, turned forward and not obscured by too long an eyebrow. Ears, if cropped, should stand straight up when the dog is alert with the inner edges parallel to one another and perpendicular to the skull. Uncropped ears are of medium size and break forward in a line with the top of the skull with the inner edges lying along the cheek.

their economic size, hearty good health and loyal temperament. Structure and temperament were determined by their use. For the medium-sized Schnauzer, his tasks required a sturdy build, quick, e ffi cient movement and an alert, deter- mined temperament to succeed. Th ese hearty fellows herded livestock to market, chased out the unwelcome intruder and dispatched pesky vermin. Th ey accompanied itinerant peddlers, protecting their wares as they traveled from town to town. Th ey worked as guard dogs for the German army during WWI, and as dispatch carriers for the Red Cross. From the German Pinscher Klub Standard of 1907: “The Schnauzer shows himself in every aspect as a real working dog (never a fashion or luxury dog). His looks emphasize this state- ment: a sinewy, compact, and square body of a working-oriented medium- sized dog, with firm legs and feet, a powerful jaw carrying a healthy bite, lively dark eyes and black nose, bush eyebrows and harsh whiskers, a water- resistant wiry coat... a perfect balance of power and nobility.”

Compact, Medium-Sized & Well-Muscled Body

Th e body shape is basically square, with the height at the withers approximately the same as the distance from the chest to the rump. Height that is over or under the size limits is a disqualification. Males must NOT be under 18" or over 20"; females must NOT be under 17" or over 19". Th e middle one-inch range is considered the ideal. Th e neck is well arched and flows smoothly into a short, firm back. Th e backline is straight, but slopes slightly to the set on of the tail. Th e tail is docked to between 1" and 2" in length and set moderately high, at about 1-o’clock when the dog is alert. Th ough a docked tail is preferred, an undocked tail is not a reason ignore or dismiss a quality exhibit. Th e Standard calls for the shoulder blade and upper arm to be equal in length and set as close as possible to a 90-degree angle. Shoulders should be smooth and

Rectangular Head Shape & Expressive Dark Eyes

Head is an important aspect of type. Shaped like a blunt wedge, it narrows slightly from ears to eyes to nose, which is large and black. Add beard and whiskers, and the head shape appears rectangular. Th e topskull is moderately broad between the ears, flat and unwrinkled. Top of the skull and muzzle are equal in length and parallel, divided by a slight stop. Muzzle is strong with good fill under the eyes. A scis- sors bite is favored, though a level bite is not considered as serious a fault as an undershot or overshot bite. Length of the head is about one-half that of the back.

“To know the true beauty of the correct coat is SEEING YOUR DOG REPEL DIRT AND WATER.”

t4 )08 4 *()5 . "(";*/& " 13*- 

hair can be found in the best of coats. Pepper/salt coloring is unique to the breed and comes from the hairs of the topcoat being banded black and white. Shade var- ies depending on the amount of black banding on the white hairs. Faults in the pepper/salt dogs are lack of black and white banding or rust and brown color in the guard hairs.

Alert, Highly Reliable Temperament

Today’s Standard lists the following breed traits as desirable: highly developed senses, intelligence, aptitude for training, fearlessness, endurance and resistance against weather and illness. “His nature combines high-spirited temperament with extreme reliability.” In judging, it admon- ishes that, “In weighing the seriousness of a fault, greatest consideration should be given to deviation from the desired alert, highly intelligent, spirited, reliable charac- ter of the Standard Schnauzer.” As owners are quick to tell you, they love that Schnauzer temperament. Th ough judges can’t thoroughly evaluate this intangible, they should seriously fault an obvious deviation. BIO Arden and her husband Earl have owned and bred Standard Schnauzers for forty years. Th eir Pepper Tree line has produced sixty plus champions that include three AKC ranked #1 in the breed, multiple specialty winners and titlists in obedience and agility. Arden has served the Standard Schnauzer Club of America in various positions includ- ing six terms as President, fourteen years as breed columnist for the AKC Gazette and editor of the SSCA’s Source Book III . Arden currently chairs the SSCA Judges Education Committee. Thanks go to members of the SSCA Judges Edu- cation Committee for their insights and com- ments that contributed to this article. --AH

well muscled. An oval chest extends to the elbow, allowing for good heart and lung room. Th ere is a prominent proster- num (forechest) and the brisket extends back, well past the elbows. Tuck up is moderate and the loin is short and well developed. Th e body is strong and ath- letic without being coarse. Stance is four square. Viewed from the side, the front legs appear straight, in a line with the rounded end of the shoul- der. In the rear, thighs are broad and sti- fles are well bent. Rear pasterns are per- pendicular to the ground and hocks well let down. A compact cat’s foot, which favors endurance, is preferred.

ment, which in turn increases e ffi ciency of movement. Viewed from the side, movement should appear smooth and e ff ortless with good reach in front and propulsion from behind. Th e topline should remain firm and there should be no bounce nor roll from side to side. Th e croup should not appear higher than the shoulders. A Wiry, Weather-Resistent Coat Th e wire topcoat is a hallmark of the breed. Either black or pepper and salt in color, the wiry outer coat gives excellent protection from the weather. Schnauzers are double coated so they also have a soft, insulating undercoat. Grey undercoat is preferred in pepper and salt dogs, but a tan undercoat should not be faulted. Black dogs must have a black undercoat. Furnishings on the legs are somewhat longer than the coat on the body; however, they should be wiry and never so long or profuse as to detract from the working capability of the dog. Only two colors are allowed in Stan- dard Schnauzers: black and pepper and salt. Black dogs should be a deep, rich black all over, though an occasional white

Long-Strided, Efficient & Ground Covering Gait

Viewed from the front and from the rear, when the dog stands naturally, the legs should appear to form a straight col- umn of support from point of shoulder to the feet in front and from the buttocks to feet behind. At a trot, a straight visual line remains, but rather than the legs remaining parallel, the feet converge to the center of gravity, close to forming a “V.” Tracking in reduces lateral displace-


t4 )08 4 *()5 . "(";*/& " 13*- 



T heir wiry coat, compact body and ratting skills may suggest the Standard Schnauzer is a terrier, but that is not the case. Their ancestry, use and structure are quite different from the long legged terriers of Great Britain. Recent DNA testing suggests they are instead most closely related to the early hunting and herding dogs of Continental Europe. Historically a common farm dog in Southern Germany, Schnauzers herded livestock, dispatched vermin in the stable and guarded property. They fol- lowed and guarded peddler’s wagons

across the back roads of Europe and during World War I served as dispatch carriers for the Red Cross and as guard dogs for the German Army. They made their way from farmyard to show ring in 1879 and were later grouped with the six Pinscher-Schnauzer breeds of Ger- many and registered with the Pinscher- Schnauzer Klub (PSK) in 1895. The first breed standard published by the PSK provides a verbal snapshot of the ideal Standard Schnauzer of 1907. “The Schnauzer shows himself in every aspect as a real working dog (never a fashion or luxury dog). His looks emphasize this statement: a sinewy,

compact and square body of a working- oriented medium-sized dog, with firm legs and feet, a powerful jaw carrying a healthy bite, lively dark eyes and black nose, bush eyebrows and harsh whis- kers, a water-resistant wiry coat… a perfect balance of power and nobility.” Though published over 100 years ago, that description applies today. Schnauzers began arriving in num- bers in the United States in the 1920s. They are now shown in the Working Group, one of the square-built work- ing breeds that include the Doberman Pinscher, Boxer, Great Dane, Giant Schnauzer and German Pinscher.


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