JUDGING THE STANDARD SCHNAUZER
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 f irm 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.”
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