THE ROBUST ARISTOCRAT: THE STANDARD SCHNAUZER
MARY LOU JUST I live in Auburn, California with my husband of 56 years and four Standard Schnauzers. Our other hobby is winemaking and we have won medals at the California State Fair and other competitions in the home winemakers’ division. I have always had a dog, but we got our first Stan- dard Schnauzer in 1969. He was from a show line but was oversized and shown in obedience to a Utility title. In the early 70s, we got our first conformation dog and began competing in the breed ring. She got her CH, her UD and was the first Standard Schnauzer to earn a Tracking Dog Excellent title. We also have the first Standard Schnauzer to earn a Herding Trial title and the first Standard Schnauzer to get the Grand Champion title. GAIL MACKIERNAN I live in Silver Spring, Maryland. I am a marine biologist whose specialty is the Chesapeake Bay, though now retired from the University of Maryland. I got my first Standard Schnauzer in 1959, have been showing dogs since 1960 and breeding since 1963 under the Katahdin kennel name. I am not an AKC judge, but have judged Sweepstakes at both the SSCA National and local Standard Schnauzer clubs. In the 1960s, I served on the committee that did the major revision of the Standard Schnauzer breed standard and was also on the committee for the Giant Schnauzer standard revision later that decade. Currently, I am First Vice-President of the SSCA and also, Breed Education Chair. 1. Describe the breed in three words. MLJ: Three words (alphabetized, as I consider them equal): robust, square and wire-coated. I truly want to add a fourth—bright and aware of its surroundings. GM: I found this very hard, thus I decided to go with this: rugged, reliable and intelligent. 2. What are your “must have” traits in this breed? MLJ: Add to the above; efficient movement, covering the most ground with the least effort. GM: Square-built, sturdy, with correct Working dog struc- ture and movement, well-balanced, hard wiry coat, alert, energetic and outgoing. Tending to robust body type, but with an air of elegance in the arched neck and poised outline. Old-time Standard Schnauzer fanciers use the term “cobby”, a reference to the “Cob”, a compact, short-coupled, robust small horse of great versatility.
Either color is acceptable, the unique pepper/salt or the glamorous black. Finally, the breed is affectionate and happy, this should show in their expression and demeanor. 3. Are there any traits in this breed you fear are becoming exaggerated? MLJ: The strengths and weaknesses vary in any breed from area to area and from time to time depending upon the vision of those who are actively breeding at the time. But in the last few years I have noted more being shown that are “heavy on their feet” and it is not unusual to see almost hackney-like front movement and a high kick in back—none of these are efficient. GM: We need to watch for over-angulated rears, squirrel tails and too-heavy fronts (the latter somewhat more common in Europe). These all are indicators of incorrect structure. The breed is square because it is short-backed and close-coupled, with an obvious forechest and strong rear structure. Moving, Standard Schnauzers show good reach and drive and should be sound fore and aft. Watch out for flashy, but inefficient movement. The coat is stripped, harsh and wiry; we don’t need to see a profusion of soft furnishings. The breed should look workmanlike, not glamorous. Size should always be kept in mind, we do have a size disqualification and judges should not be afraid to wicket dogs if they feel they are too large or too small. Dogs should be masculine and bitches feminine.
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