yourpurebredpuppy logo

Standard Schnauzers: What's Good About 'Em, What's Bad About 'Em

Standard Schnauzer temperament, personality, training, behavior, pros and cons, advice, and information, by Michele Welton, Dog Trainer, Behavioral Consultant, Author of 15 Dog Books

Standard Schnauzer dog breed

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 very intelligent – can learn 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.


Dog Breed Traits – Which Traits Are Right For You?

In this brand new series, I'll help you decide which dog breed traits would best suit you and your family, your home and yard, and your lifestyle, so you can choose the best dog breed for your family.

Keep in mind that the inheritance of temperament  is less predictable than the inheritance of physical  traits such as size or shedding. Temperament and behavior are also shaped by raising and training.

FREE eBooks by Michele Welton

dog icon"Respect Training for Puppies"  and "Teach Your Dog 100 English Words"  are free step by step guides to teaching your pup to be calm and well-behaved.

dog icon"11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy"  is a free guide to keeping your dog mentally, physically, and emotionally happy and healthy so you can enjoy a longer lifetime of companionship.

dog paw

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 are an active breed. They want and need daily opportunities to vent their energy and to use their busy minds to do interesting things. Otherwise they will become bored, which they usually express by barking and destructive chewing. Consider getting them involved in dog agility (obstacle course for dogs).
  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 is difficult to live with.
  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 small 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 and bossy. You must show them, through absolute consistency, that you mean what you say.

    In other words, you must teach your Standard Schnauzer to respect you. A dog who respects you will do what you say and will stop what he's doing when you tell him "No." Follow my free online training programs.

  5. Grooming. Standard Schnauzers require clipping and trimming every few months. Breed purists may say that schnauzer coats should never be clipped because it makes the coat softer and more prone to matting. Instead they advocate hand-stripping  (each dead hair pulled out so a new one can grow in its place). But in my opinion, stripping is too time-consuming and uncomfortable for the dog. Many groomers won't do it anymore. For pet dogs, I think clipping is just fine.

Michele Welton with BuffyAbout the author: Michele Welton has over 40 years of experience as a Dog Trainer, Dog Breed Consultant, and founder of three Dog Training Centers. An expert researcher and author of 15 books about dogs, she loves helping people choose, train, and care for their dogs.

My best-selling books – now available  FREE  on my website

book coverRespect Training For Puppies: 30 seconds to a calm, polite, well-behaved puppy is for puppies 2 to 18 months old. Your puppy will learn the 21 skills that all family dogs need to know. Click here to read for free.
book coverTeach Your Dog 100 English Words is a unique Vocabulary and Respect Training Program that will teach your adult dog to listen to you and do what you say. Click here to read for free.
book cover11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy helps your dog live a longer, healthier life. Get my honest advice about all 11 Things before you bring home your new puppy, because some mistakes with early health care cannot be undone. Click here to read for free.

Related posts you might enjoy