Your Purebred Puppy, Honest Advice About Dogs and Dog Breeds

Standard Schnauzers: the most honest dog breed review you'll ever find about Standard Schnauzer temperament, personality, and behavior.

standard schnauzer topics

Standard Schnauzer dog breed

Standard Schnauzer Temperament
What's Good About 'Em,
What's Bad About 'Em

By Michele Welton.
Copyright © 2000-2016

The AKC Standard says of the Standard Schnauzer, "His nature combines high-spirited temperament with extreme reliability."

The Standard Schnauzer's keen expression is what you may notice first. Some are "harder tempered," projecting boldness, seriousness, and vigor, while others are sweeter and more mellow.

Lively indoors and out, the agile, athletic Standard Schnauzer loves to play games and needs brisk walking every day and a chance to run several times per week.

Mental exercise (such as advanced obedience or agility) will satisfy his highly developed intelligence. Without structured activities, he will find his own amusements -- and his choices may change the appearance of your house or yard.

Most Standard Schnauzers are aloof with strangers, but with proper socialization are sensible and discriminating about who is a friend and who is not. Many Standard Schnauzers are aggressive with other dogs of the same sex.

One of the smartest of all breeds, and one of the best problem-solvers, the Standard Schnauzer is clever, strong-willed, and persistent. Unless you establish yourself as the alpha (number one), he can be demanding. Yet owners who know how to lead and who use upbeat training methods will find him eminently trainable.

This sensitive dog seems always aware of your moods and likes to be physically close to you and watching you.

If you want a dog who...

  • Is conveniently-sized and sturdy, yet also elegant, graceful, and light on his feet
  • Has a wiry coat that doesn't shed too much, and a whiskery face with a wise expression
  • Plays hard and thrives on vigorous athletic activities
  • Makes a keen watchdog and an effective deterrent -- stands firmly on the ground with boldness and confidence
  • Is versatile -- when well-trained, can learn and do almost anything

A Standard Schnauzer may be right for you.

If you don't want to deal with...

  • Vigorous exercise requirements
  • Rowdiness and exuberant jumping, especially when young
  • Destructiveness when bored or not exercised enough or left alone too much
  • Suspiciousness in some lines, or when not socialized enough
  • Aggression toward other animals
  • Strong-willed mind of his own, requiring a confident owner who can take charge
  • Regular clipping and trimming of the wiry coat

A Standard Schnauzer may not be right for you.

But you can avoid or minimize some negative traits by
  1. choosing the RIGHT breeder and the RIGHT puppy
  2. or choosing an ADULT dog from your animal shelter or rescue group – a dog who has already proven that he doesn't have negative traits
  3. training your dog to respect you
  4. avoiding health problems by following my daily care program in 11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy

More traits and characteristics of the Standard Schnauzer

If I was considering a Standard Schnauzer, I would be most concerned about...

  1. Providing enough exercise and mental stimulation. Standard Schnauzers MUST have regular opportunities to vent their energy and to use their busy minds to do interesting things. Otherwise they will become rambunctious and bored -- which they usually express by barking and destructive chewing.

  2. Providing enough socialization. Most Standard Schnauzers have protective instincts toward strangers. They need extensive exposure to friendly people so they learn to recognize the normal behaviors of "good guys." Then they can recognize the difference when someone acts abnormally. Without careful socialization, they may be suspicious of everyone, which could lead to biting. Some Standard Schnauzers go in the opposite direction -- without enough socialization, they become fearful of strangers, which can lead to defensive biting.

  3. Animal aggression. Many Standard Schnauzers are dominant or aggressive toward other dogs of the same sex. Some have strong instincts to chase and seize cats and other fleeing creatures.

  4. The strong temperament. The best Standard Schnauzers are versatile working dogs, capable of learning a great deal, but they have an independent mind of their own and are not pushovers to raise and train. Some Standard Schnauzers are willful, obstinate, and dominant (they want to be the boss) and will make you prove that you can make them do things. You must show them, through absolute consistency, that you mean what you say.

    To teach your Schnauzer to listen to you, "Respect Training" is mandatory. My Standard Schnauzer Training Page discusses the program you need.

book cover To learn more about training Standard Schnauzers to be calm and well-behaved, consider my dog training book, Teach Your Dog 100 English Words.

It's a unique Vocabulary and Respect Training Program that will make your Standard Schnauzer the smartest, most well-behaved companion you've ever had.

Teaches your dog to listen to you, to pay attention to you, and to do whatever you ask him to do.

book cover My dog buying guide, Dog Quest: Find The Dog Of Your Dreams, will teach you everything you need to know about finding a healthy Standard Schnauzer. Health problems have become so widespread in dogs today that this book is required reading for ANYONE who is thinking of getting a purebred, crossbred, or mixed breed dog.

If you'd like to consult with me personally about whether the Standard Schnauzer might be a good dog breed for your family, I offer a Dog Breed Consulting Service.

book cover Once you have your Standard Schnauzer home, you need to KEEP him healthy -- or if he's having any current health problems, you need to get him back on the road to good health.

My dog health care book, 11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy is the book you need.

Raise your dog the right way and you will be helping him live a longer, healthier life while avoiding health problems and unnecessary veterinary expenses.

Please consider adopting an ADULT Standard Schnauzer...

When you're acquiring a Standard Schnauzer PUPPY, you're acquiring potential -- what he one day will be. So "typical breed characteristics" are very important.

But when you acquire an adult dog, you're acquiring what he already IS and you can decide whether he is the right dog for you based on that reality. There are plenty of adult Standard Schnauzers who have already proven themselves NOT to have negative characteristics that are "typical" for their breed. If you find such an adult dog, don't let "typical breed negatives" worry you. Just be happy that you found an atypical individual -- and enjoy!

Save a life. Adopt a dog.

Adopting a Dog From a Dog Breed Rescue Group

Adopting a Dog From the Animal Shelter