Why do schnauzers bark a lot
In the Schnauzer family, which also includes the Giant Schnauzer and the Miniature Schnauzer, the Medium Schnauzer embodies the most original breed type. Despite its long breed history and its great popularity, especially in its home country Germany, it has retained its rustic appearance and rustic character to this day.
Schnauzers have a strong personality with numerous character traits that seem to contradict one another. They are extremely lively, but inwardly very balanced, they are affectionate, but also headstrong, they are courageous and watchful, but also playful. This versatility makes them adaptable all-round dogs who feel comfortable in the role of loyal family dogs as well as intrepid guard dogs or enduring working dogs. Provided that they have a confident owner at their side who knows how to adequately deal with the various Schnauzer characteristics.
Athlete, playmate and stubborn
Schnauzer owners should be aware that their dog naturally has a very lively temperament and enormous endurance. Long walks or attending a dog sports school should definitely be on the agenda. Dogs that are underutilized often develop undesirable behaviors. Due to their pronounced self-confidence and their cleverness, some Schnauzers tend to dominate and like to take command if they feel that their owner is not in control of the situation. On the other hand, they will willingly follow an owner who knows how to keep his dogs busy mentally and physically and who leads them lovingly but consistently. With the right attitude and upbringing, Schnauzers prove to be extremely affectionate and obedient dogs who are loyal to their families.
Vigilant family dog
Schnauzers love their people and prefer to be with them all the time. The good-natured and playful dogs get along very well, especially with children. It goes without saying that the social four-legged friends are absolutely unsuitable for being alone for a long time or even in a kennel. Thanks to their high level of vigilance and their healthy distrust of strangers and situations, Schnauzers are not only ideal family dogs, but also excellent guard dogs who would brave and fearlessly defend their people in case of danger, but never act excessively aggressive or nervous.
The most recognizable features of the mustache are undoubtedly its bushy eyebrows and strong mustache. The rough-haired coat distinguishes it from the German Pinscher, to whose breed the Schnauzer originally belonged. The hard and wiry-looking top hair with the dense undercoat is available today in pure black and in pepper-and-salt, according to its standards. Color nuances from dark iron gray to silver gray are permitted. All color variants should have a dark mask that harmonizes with the respective coat color and skillfully emphasizes the typical expression of the Schnauzer.
Differentiation from miniature and giant schnauzers
The medium schnauzer belongs - as the name suggests - to the medium-sized dogs. It reaches a height of 40 to 50 cm at the withers and weighs an average of 14 to 20 kg. The size is also the most important differentiating criterion between dwarf, medium and giant schnauzers, all of which are very similar in nature. The medium or standard schnauzer corresponds most closely to the ancestral form and has not changed significantly in the course of its breed history. Although the hairstyle and color as well as the shape of the head and back were slightly modified, the Schnauzer was able to retain its rustic look.
Rustic nature boy of strong stature
The "rough-haired pinscher", as the dog was originally called, owes its rustic exterior to its hard, rough and moderately long fur, which should not be shaggy or wavy. In keeping with this, he has a compact, square and muscular build with a strong and elongated skull. The V-shaped hinged ears are set high and close to the body. Its back sloping backwards with a medium-high set sickle or saber tail is also typical today.
The schnauzer, originally the wire-haired variant of the pinscher, has its origin in southern Germany and has been proven to have existed for at least 500 years. As a so-called "ratter" he kept rats, mice and other vermin away from his master's stables and barns. But the robust and courageous dog not only drove away rodents, barking loudly, but also many a robber who approached the courtyard. This extremely reliable and versatile “Stallpinscher” was found in almost every place in southern Germany in the 19th century. His great perseverance, his vigilance and his close connection to horses, in the vicinity of which the pinscher always feels comfortable, also earned him another task: guarding travelers. For days he accompanied the carriages on their long routes through meadows and forests and protected them from attacks. Often his bark was enough to drive attackers to flight.
From stable pinscher to pedigree dog
This original German farm dog owes the leap from Stallpinscher to recognized pedigree dog above all to the dog breeder Max Hartenstein from Württemberg, who began targeted breeding of the Schnauzer in 1882. 13 years later, in 1895, the first breed club was founded in Nordhausen, which looked after all varieties of the Pinscher breed and dubbed them, depending on the condition of the coat, as "smooth-haired" (today German Pinscher) or as "rough-haired Pinscher" (today Schnauzer). At the urging of the Bavarian Schnauzer Club, which was founded in Munich in 1907, the two breeds were separated and the wire-haired dogs were given the now well-known breed name "Schnauzer". In contrast to his big brother, the giant schnauzer, and his little brother, the miniature schnauzer, he was also referred to as the "medium schnauzer".
Despite their recognition as an independent breed, Schnauzer and Pinscher are still managed together in the German "Pinscher-Schnauzer-Klub 1895 e.V.", which is also responsible for the FCI standard. In the Fédération Cynologique International (FCI) there are different breed standards for all three Schnauzer variants (dwarf, medium and giant schnauzer). The medium schnauzer is listed under the standard number 182 and belongs to group 2, section 1 of the "Pinscher and Schnauzer". While the medium schnauzer in particular enjoyed great popularity in the beginning, it was overtaken on the popularity scale by the giant schnauzer in the 1930s. After the Second World War, the miniature schnauzer in particular gained a large fan base.
Breeding and Health
While some dubious breeders, especially in the USA, provided the Miniature Schnauzer with adventurous hairstyles and thus degraded him to a show dog, the Medium Schnauzer has been largely spared such fashionable breeding trends. For most Schnauzer breeders, the robust nature and good health are in the foreground, so that the original Schnauzer type, which is characterized above all by its rustic appearance, its endurance and its inner balance, has been preserved.
Steer clear of cute puppies at ridiculous prices
Nonetheless, there are of course "black sheep" among Schnauzer breeders who are primarily concerned with an extravagant appearance and quick profit than with health and strength of character. If you are toying with the idea of buying a Schnauzer, you should therefore carefully consider the selection of potential breeders. Breeders who offer their puppies without papers, who lure them with cute puppy photos on the Internet or who sell the puppies at ridiculous prices and do not care exactly which hands they end up in should be crossed off your list right away. You are definitely not the right choice when it comes to adding a healthy and socially acceptable dog as a new family member.
How do I find the right Schnauzer breeder?
A good first step is to contact the nearest official Schnauzer breed club. Here you can get information about registered breeders and the puppy status as well as general information about the breed. Since Schnauzers have a large repertoire of character traits, the breeding focus can vary from breeder to breeder. While some place more value on maintaining a durable and robust working dog, others specifically promote the social and family-friendly characteristics of the breed, such as good-naturedness and willingness to learn. So before buying a puppy, you should be aware of what expectations you have of your Schnauzer and whether these match those of the breeder.
Other references to a reputable breeder include:
- The breeder welcomes you at home and willingly shows you his kennel and the mother. By the way, existing puppies are often not shown at the first visit - simply to avoid rushing the purchase at the sight of such a cuddly puppy.
- The breeder adheres to the official breeding specifications and has all the necessary papers with the official FCI logo. He has carried out all the prescribed health checks for his dogs and, if necessary, has had other voluntary tests carried out. All dogs are vaccinated and chipped.
- The breeder asks you in detail about your life situation and checks carefully whether you are a suitable owner of a Schnauzer. This includes, for example, questions about your family, your job, your health and your place of residence. He will also want to know if you are familiar with the breed and its housing requirements.
- Under no circumstances should the breeder want to “sell” his puppies to you. Responsible breeders who breed for the love of the dog breed want their pups to be in good hands.
Why a pedigree dog?
A clear advantage of a pedigree dog from reputable hands is certainly its health. Comprehensive health tests before breeding use reduce the risk of hereditary diseases. The Schnauzer is still a fairly healthy and robust dog breed, with which you usually do not have to fear any serious health problems.
What are the typical diseases of the breed?
Like all medium-sized to large dog breeds, the dreaded hip dysplasia (HD) can of course also occur in the medium schnauzer. An examination of the hip is therefore mandatory for all breeding animals. In addition, Schnauzers seem to be generally susceptible to tumors that develop on the toes or the oral mucosa, for example. Cases of the eye disease PRA (progressive retinal atrophy) and heart disease are also known in Schnauzers. You should also note that neutering this breed should not be done without a health need. Many Schnauzers suffer more than average from obesity and urinary incontinence after an operation.
Discover our selection of dog food especially for Schnauzers!
Of course, the health of a Schnauzer does not only depend on whether it comes from a reputable breed. As a keeper, you can also significantly influence the health of your animal. In addition to a species-appropriate attitude, this also includes a balanced and healthy diet that provides your four-legged friend with all the essential nutrients and promotes their vitality. The nutrients your dog needs depends less on the breed than on its age, activity level and weight. For example, puppies or growing dogs need a different food than adult dogs and senior dogs, who have become calmer and move less, need a different composition than adult dogs who spend several hours every day on the dog sports field.
How much food does the Schnauzer need?
As a guideline for the amount of feed you can count on about 15 g of meat, 7.5 g of vegetables and 7.5 g of rice per kilogram of body weight. A Schnauzer weighing 15 kg therefore needs around 230 g of meat per day. No matter how much your dog begs, stick to the amount of food recommended by your breeder or veterinarian. Some schnauzers have a "healthy appetite" and if they eat the wrong diet they can become overweight, which can cause many health problems. When it comes to the question of how you feed your dog, whether with dry food, wet food or with self-cooked or raw food, there are basically no restrictions. Each form of feed has its advantages and disadvantages and ultimately also depends on your attitude and your options. With wet food, you should at most note that a large amount is likely to get stuck in the mustache's beard.
The wiry, hard hair of the Schnauzer requires appropriate care. The strong beard and pony hair should be combed regularly to remove dirt and avoid matting. Otherwise, it is enough to trim your dog's coat two to three times a year. You can either learn this yourself in special courses or you can visit a dog salon that is experienced in trimming Schnauzer hair.
Is the Schnauzer the right dog for me?
Its positive character traits, its robust health and the relatively manageable amount of care required make Schnauzers popular family dogs. If you're looking to get a Schnauzer as a new member of the family, however, there are a few more things you should be aware of. Schnauzers are very lively and self-confident dogs that are sometimes quite headstrong and like to fight. They therefore need early socialization and consistent upbringing as well as sufficient exercise and activity in order to be fully utilized.
Attitude and upbringing
Schnauzer owners should share their dogs' enterprising spirit. You should be physically active and have enough time to give your endurance dog enough exercise. Dog sports such as agility, obedience or even mantrailing are good ways of promoting intelligent and active four-legged friends both mentally and physically. If Schnauzers get enough exercise and activity, they can even be kept in a city dwelling. However, you should be aware that Schnauzers are very vigilant dogs that quickly give a loud “message” as soon as they perceive a strange noise. With targeted training, however, it can be possible to get a grip on the joy of barking and avoid trouble with neighbors.
Schnauzers can be trained well with loving consistency and patience. Even their occasional rowdiness can be stopped with the right guidance. Schnauzers willingly subordinate themselves to a confident handler and prove to be very obedient and loyal dogs who will certainly bring a lot of joy to your family - whether at home on the sofa or outside in nature, during dog sports or during joint activities.
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