Showsight Presents the Standard Schnauzer

The breed originated in Southern Ger- many where they were farm dogs used to catch rats, herd cattle and guard the farm- stead. They were also used by itinerant peddlers to protect their carts and saw ser- vice in WWI as dispatch carriers behind the German lines. They are considered the oldest of the three Schnauzer breeds, the original or prototype. There are some misconceptions about their origins. Due perhaps to their wiry coats, they have sometimes been classed as descendants of British Terriers. There really is no evidence that they are related to the terriers of Great Britain. In fact, recent genetic testing has indicated that Schnau- zers likely evolved from the ancient herding and hunting dogs of continental Europe. It is also believed that the breed is very old, dating back as far as the 15th century. Dogs of this general type likely did exist then, but there is no written record of this breed that long ago. The oldest documented image comes from an 1812 German etching by Johann Klein. Organized dog shows began in England in 1859, encouraging interest in breeding purebred dogs. Schnauzers made their dog show debut in 1879 in Hanover, Germany when C. Burger of Leonburg entered his dog “Schnauzer” as a “Wire-haired Pinscher of German breeding.” Some speculate the name Schnauzer came from that first prize winning show dog. Whether it did or not is unclear. However, it did mark the begin- ning of an effort in Germany to develop this native breed. The result was the formation

of a breed club, writing of a breed standard and in 1902, the publication of the first Stud Book listing 248 Standard Schnauzers going back to birth dates as early as 1880. Breeders began importing Standard and Miniature Schnauzers in numbers in the 1920s. Established breeders, some with large show kennels, were among those buying breeding stock from Germany and Switzerland. Some of their imports were of high quality, many holding European titles

and a record of producing high quality get. One such import was Mrs. N. Tucker’s CH Claus von Furstenwall, winner of the first National Specialty and a multiple All Breed Best in Show winner. These quality imports helped build a strong foundation for the breed in this country. In 1925 they were shown in the Working Group, then moved into the Terrier group in 1926. In 1945 the Standard Schnauzer Club of America succeeded in having them moved back to

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