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The Schnauzer - What New Owners Need to Know

A black schnauzer in the snow
Amber LaRock Author of The Schnauzer what owners need to knoiw
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The Schnauzer is a treasured breed that truly has it all! With their wonderful personality, outgoing personality, and unique appearance, it’s no wonder so many dog owners adore this breed. 

The Schnauzer has been around for quite some time, and they have a list of unique traits that set them apart from other dog breeds. In this article we’ll dive into the details of the Schnauzer, and what new owners need to know!

History Of The Schnauzer

While the Schnauzer can now be found in an array of sizes, the breed was originally created in their Standard size (30-50lbs.) Originally created in their homeland of Germany, local German dog owners were in need of versatility among the standard breeds that could typically be found in the area. They were in search of the perfect farm dog, and thus created the “wire-haired pinscher”, or the Schnauzer.

While many of our Schnauzers today enjoy their time spent lounging around with their family, they were originally bred to showcase impressive qualities that set them apart from other breeds in the area.Schnauzers were used to guard farm families and livestock, herd livestock, chase away vermin, and protect their owners as they traveled to market.

Once the Schnauzer gained popularity in the region, they were showcased in local dog shows. Records show that the first Schnauzer likely made their way to the US in the early 1900’s, where the breed began to be tweaked when it came to size and color.

These days the Schnauzer is often found in a miniature size and has even been crossbred to create the Giant Schnauzer. Schnauzer lovers can now find all of the lovable qualities they adore in this breed in virtually any size. Due to this, the Schnauzer is one of the top 10 most loved breeds in the US.

Personality & Training

While the Schnauzer is an impressive breed, this is not a breed for first-time dog owners. Their dignified intelligence leads to them being quite stubborn, making the training process a bit challenging. While you will need to have a firm approach to their training process, they are a loyal and trustworthy breed once you work through these training hurdles.

Since the breed is incredibly stubborn, it’s important to start your training and socialization from the moment they enter your home. The ideal time to begin their training process is between 2-4 months of age, but can, of course, be started at any point they enter your life.

Once you have conquered the training process with your Schnauzer, you will have a lovable and friendly member of your family. The Schnauzer is known to incredibly kid-friendly around children that understand canine boundaries, making them the perfect companion for older children. Since they are a fairly energetic breed, you can rest assured that your Schnauzer will be happy to provide hours of entertainment with the children in your home.

If you don’t have any children to entertain your new furry friend, just make sure that you are ready to implement daily exercise yourself. The Schnauzer benefits greatly from daily one on one playtime with their favorite person or stimulating toys or games to give them a mental workout.

Any time you have an intelligent breed in your home, the best way to prevent any undesirable behaviors is through daily exercise and mental stimulation. In order to help your Schnauzer be the best companion, they can be, be ready to put in the work to keep them occupied!

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If you are interested in owning a Schnauzer, you’re likely aware of their grooming needs. The Schnauzer is a bit more high maintenance when it comes to their grooming habits, and there are a few things to keep in mind in order to keep their coat shiny. 

While many believe that clipping is the only way to go when it comes to dog grooming, the Schnauzer actually benefits from hand stripping versus standard clipping.The difference between clipping and hand stripping is that not only is hand stripping done by the hand of course, but it removes coat from the root, and not just the top layer of fur. 

Each time you clip a dog’s coat instead of hand stripping, you are just removing the top layer of dead fur rather than removing it from the roots. Hand stripping allows for an entirely new coat to grow, making their fur shinier and healthier. Hand stripping should be performed every 4-6 months. 

Special attention should also be paid to their beard and the feathering around their legs. These areas of the fur can easily become tangles and benefit greatly from weekly or even daily brushing. The more often you maintain this fur, the easier it will be to manage. 

Health Information

While the Schnauzer can live a generally healthy life of up to 16 years, they are more at risk of certain medical conditions. The Schnauzer requires a higher health standard than other breeds due to these conditions, so it’s important to be aware of the things you should look out for.

Some common health conditions that Schnauzers struggle with include:

  • Hip dysplasia
  • Cataracts
  • Cardiac disease
  • Pancreatitis and other gastrointestinal sensitivities

Due to these possibilities, it’s important to be diligent about your Schnauzer's yearly veterinary exams. At these exams, it’s important to have your veterinarian perform a routine eye exam, hip evaluations, monitor for any evidence of heart disease, and stay on top of their routine blood work. As long as you are aware of these medical possibilities in your pup, you can be prepared for them as they come!

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Fun Facts

Before we end our Schnauzer discussion, let’s dive into some fun facts about the Schnauzer breed!

  • Their beards are meant to protect from vermin that they use to hunt on farms
  • The name Schnauzer literally means “snout” in German
  • Worked for the German Army during WWI
  • Their wire hair helps to repel dirt
  • They came to the US with immigrants and travelers
  • They are considered one of the most loyal family dogs out there.

The Schnauzer is an incredible pup that has so much to offer its potential families. Now that you understand their unique traits, you are ready to welcome this lovable breed into your home.

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Meet The Author 

Amber LaRock

Amber is a Licensed Vet Tech with a degree in Veterinary Technology. Recently she has specialized in veterinary and animal-related content creation and social media management. When she is not working she loves spending time with her furry friends exploring the outdoors.

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