A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE MINIATURE SCHNAUZER
Color has changed a bit over the years for Miniature Schnauzers. The first standard (Germany) in 1884 allowed a wide range of colors, which is understandable, being very early in the distinct development of the breed. As type started to become more established, we see in the 1907 German Standard more clarification and definition, “All salt-and-pepper color shades or similar bristly equal color mixtures, and solid black.” “Faults - All white, speckled, brindled, red, or bran colors.” In the 1934 American standard, we find the emergence of our modern-allowed colors: “The color should be pepper and salt or similar equal mixtures, light or dark, and including the ‘red pepper,’ pure black, and black and tan.” The “red pepper” refers to the tan shading still allowed today. The black and tan color will gradually modify to become today’s black and silver. Any solid color other than black has always been unacceptable in our American Standard. Early breeders were diligent in stan- dardizing the allowed colors, and today we never see any but the three allowed colors in litters from show lines. Over the past couple of decades, we have been fighting a battle (as have some other breeds) to stop colors—from ques- tionable breeding—from creeping into our breed (i.e., white, liver, chocolate, parti, etc.). We are in the midst of changing our standard to make any color other than our three allowed colors (salt & pepper, black & silver, and black) a disqualification. From their initial development, Miniature Schnauzers have always been cropped and docked. This was done to protect the dogs while performing their functions of ratting and such. Our grooming is also reminiscent of our Schnauzers’ function. The beard/eyebrows and longer leg hair also protected the dog from the rat’s bite. We believe cropping and docking, as well as
our grooming, are essential parts of the history, heritage, and essence of the Miniature Schnauzer and must be preserved. The Miniature Schnauzer in the US is shown in the Terrier Group—and always has been. I believe the Miniature Schnauzer, while not strictly a Terrier by definition since they are not of British descent, is truly a Terrier. They are the German version of a Terrier. From earlier in this article you have seen that our Schnauzers have the same func- tions of many of the British Terrier breeds (i.e., Wheatens, Kerries, etc.). They were working farm dogs and ratters. They are constructed similarly to many Terrier breeds and have the typical wire coat. Sometimes the designation of not being a “real” Terrier hurts us in Group competition, although there are some judges who recog- nize us as the Terrier that we are. As a matter of fact, we have actually gone Best in Show three times at the world’s preeminent Terrier Show, Montgomery County Kennel Club: In 1955 with Dody’s Demtri, and in 1968 and 1969 with Ch. Mankit’s to the Moon. Our top Best in Show winner in the breed is Ch. Regency’s Twist of Fate with 11 all- breed Bests in Show. Our dogs still demonstrate their “terrier” attributes today by par- ticipating in Earthdog tests and by taking care of all sorts of varmints around our homes. In addition, they also serve as excellent guard dogs. (No one gets past our doors without the diligent alarms from our Schnauzers, of course!) While not an ancient breed by any means, our origins do go back almost 200 years. Miniature Schnauzers continue to be a popular breed in the US and around the world. This is due in no small part to their playful, loyal, and friendly temperament. They are ideal housedogs and there is none better as a companion.
*Reference AMSC Educational Materials
ABOUT JOHN CONSTANTINE-AMODEI (KENNEL – ADAMIS)
John first became involved in dogs when he was a teenager in the 1970s, working several dogs through to their Obedience titles. In 1979, John purchased his first Miniature Schnauzer. During the 1980s, he apprenticed under Schnauzer handlers Sue Baines and Jackie Hicks (Irrenhaus). During that time, he developed his Schnauzer line based on the Irrenhaus dogs. John developed his Brussels Griffon line based on a black smooth French import combined with the American Norkus, Canadian Lorricbrook, and UK Marquant lines. John became involved in Boston Terriers through his husband, Lloyd Constantine-Amodei. While maintaining a full-time job, John has been breeding Schnauzers and Brussels Griffons for over 40 years. Over those years, he bred over 125 champions, including Group and Best in Show winners, and has handled over 150 champions. He bred the top Miniature Schnauzer in the United Kingdom
in 2003 and the first duel USA/United Kingdom champion. He has judged the American Brussels Griffon Association National Specialty and the American Miniature Schnauzer Club’s National Specialty twice. John has judged many regional specialties in the US, and National Specialties in Japan, China, Finland, Czech Republic, Hungary, Canada, Denmark, and Argentina. He is presently approved to judge half of the Hound Group, the Terrier, Working, Toy, and Non-Sporting Groups, as well as Best in Show. John has served as the President of the American Miniature Schnauzer Club from 2005 until 2013, and again from 2019 to 2021. Previously, he served as Vice President for five years and had been a Board Member for over 15 years as well as assuming many committee positions over the years. He is currently the Judge’s Education Coordinator. John is also a member of the Montgomery County Kennel Club. He is a founding member and President of the Liberty Brussels Griffon Club. He is a member of the Boston Terrier Club of America and the Tri-Angle Boston Terrier Club as well as several all-breed kennel clubs, including Hatboro Dog Club and Penn Treaty Kennel Club, for which he has served as Show Chairman.
SHOWSIGHT MAGAZINE, FEBRUARY 2022 | 235
Powered by FlippingBook