of A BRIEF HISTORY THE MINIATURE SCHNAUZER
BY JOHN CONSTANTINE-AMODEI
T he Miniature Schnauzer was developed from the German farm dog. These dogs were multi-purpose dogs used as herders, guard dogs, ratters, and general-pur- pose dogs for the working family farm in Germany. It was from these dogs that all pinscher-type breeds were developed. One of the earliest books on dogs in Germany describes the “bentchur” as this dog was called: “The dog has a… snout covered with rough-haired whiskers… His body is short, and his tail is usually docked. The topcoat is not too long but wiry…” In 1852, C.F.H. Weiss used the term “pinscher” when translat- ing the English word “terrier.” I think this is a good reference to the similarity of these Ger- man pinscher breeds to many of the British terriers in form, function, and temperament. By 1876, we see evidence of these dogs developing into distinct breeds. Fitzinger, in 1876, discusses many types of pinschers that we see today; the Miniature Schnauzer or rauhen pintsch , the Affenpinscher or seiden pintsch , the German Pinscher or glatten pintsch , the Miniature Pinscher or kleinen pintsch , and the Standard Schnauzer or grossen pintsch . By 1884, we see the first standard for the Rauhhaarige Pinscher or Rough-haired Pin- scher. This standard really encompassed a variety of Schnauzers, as the size ranged from 8 to 22 pounds. In his book, Les Races des Chien , Count Henri van Bylandt in 1894 described these farm dogs as being seen in both smooth and wire-haired coats, and ranging in size from 11-3/4” to 19-1/2” (18-36 pounds). We know that the smaller ones were typically used as rat catch- ers. This is also the first reference to the term Schnauzer, which he used to describe the wire-haired, bearded pinschers. In Germany, a Pinscher Club was formed in 1895. The first studbook was subsequently published in 1902. It contained a total of 353 dogs being born as far back as 1880. There were four distinct breeds, registered as follows: 248 Standard Schnauzers, 14 Miniature Schnauzers, 8 German Pinschers, 83 Miniature Pinschers. The small, wire-haired pinschers were shown in separate classes; one for Affenpinschers and one for the smaller version of the wire-haired pinscher. In 1903, the studbook first reg- istered Affenpinschers separately from the other wire-haired pinschers. By 1910, the separa- tion was complete; the breeds were known as Affenpinschers and Miniature Schnauzers. The first Miniature Schnauzers were imported to the United States around 1924. Origi- nally, in the US, Miniature and Standard Schnauzers were considered the same breed and the Wire-Haired Pinscher Club of America was formed in 1925, encompassing both breeds. In 1926, the breed was renamed to Schnauzer and began competing in the Terrier Group. In 1933, the Schnauzer was separated into two breeds, Standard Schnauzer and Miniature Schnauzer. AKC required the parent club to split into separate clubs. Thus, the American Miniature Schnauzer Club and the Standard Schnauzer Club of America came into exis- tence. Both breeds continued to compete in the Terrier Group until 1945, when the Stan- dard Schnauzer was moved to the Working Group. In 1945, the “Sire of our Modern Breed” emerged, Ch. Dorem Display. “Display,” while maintaining the substance and strength of the breed, possessed an elegance and refined out- line that made him more competitive in the Terrier Group. He was our first all-breed Best in Show winner and our first and only Westminster Terrier Group winner—in 1947. Virtually all Miniature Schnauzers from show lines trace many (to hundreds of) lines back to Display.
234 | SHOWSIGHT MAGAZINE, FEBRUARY 2022
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