“The first challenge of herding with Standards is that THEY ARE NOT CONVINCED YOU ARE NEEDED and, in fact, sometimes you are not.”
When Standard Schnauzer lovers gather at Schnauzapalooza it won’t take long before the stories of the breed’s exploits fill the group with laughter and amazement. Th e pet sitter who left two Standards unattended in a yard for sev- eral hours and returned to find that mole excavation had turned a beautiful lawn into a Martian landscape (with moles neatly piled on the patio). Th e breed’s sec- ond black AKC champion escaped from a show and was found 18 months later “joyously” leading a pack of feral dogs in the Chicago stockyards. Tales of homes and vehicles protected from thieves and children loyally escorted are too numer- ous to be surprising. Standard Schnau- zers have been trained to detect bombs, cadavers, cancer and missing people. Standards have taught themselves to alert their humans to medical issues in dogs and people, remind them that faucets
were left running outside, pick their own fruit, find dogs and children who are late for dinner, teach toddlers to stand, train cats and gather field data for researchers. If there is a job that is important and your Standard knows about it, then the odds are good they will try to find a way to help you with it. Particularly if you recog- nize that they are o ff ering help and praise them for it. If you are alone and 8 months pregnant when fifty 200- to 300-.lb sows break out of their barn and head for your garden, then there is no better dog to have on your side, even with no formal herding training. Th ese stories are true and illustrate the breed’s essential character. Standard Schnauzers are bold, intelligent, inde- pendent and self-motivated. Th ey are extremely trainable, but do not tolerate drilling and can be easily bored. Stan- dards are fantastic with children, but
without proper supervision they could easily become partners in crime and cre- ate an unfathomable level of destruction. Th ey protect their family and property, but their good judgment means that they rarely misjudge new acquaintances. Th eir pursuit of vermin borders on holy war, and to own a Standard is to expect a few casualties brought to you for comment and approval. Standard Schnauzers are incredibly healthy with very few inherited health problems. Farm dogs were not coddled and only healthy dogs that could live on limited rations survived. Even pampered show dogs were, and are, tough and har- dy. Many years ago a pregnant bitch got loose at a dog show in Chicago, was lost, and feared dead. She was found weeks later after she’d dug her own den, deliv- ered and started raising six healthy pup- pies (one of which is behind many of the dogs showing today). Standard Schnau- zers are tough and self-su ffi cient. A sense of fair play is woven into their fiber and once you set rules you must be consistent. Under the skin of every Standard lurks a sheri ff ready, willing, and able to enforce the rules and bring order. Don’t expect them to tolerate chaotic households, rude dogs or sketchy visitors. So how do you harness all this potential? Th ere are many organized activities that today’s Stan- dard Schnauzer fancier can do with their canine partner. Standards will be at work in the herding, obedience, rally and agil- ity rings at Schnauzapalooza this May. Th e first challenge of herding with Standards is that they are not convinced you are needed and, in fact, sometimes you are not. Standard Schnauzers are capable of taking the flock out in the morning and collecting them at night with no human help. Th e other prob- lem encountered training the breed,
Herding comes naturally to a Standard.
“Under the skin of every Standard lurks a sheriff READY, WILLING, AND ABLE TO ENFORCE THE RULES AND BRING ORDER.”
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