JUDGING THE STANDARD SCHNAUZER
by ARDEN COE HOLST
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.
300 • S HOW S IGHT M AGAZINE , A UGUST 2015
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