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Schnauzer Facts

Origin: Germany
Lifespan: 13-16 years
Breed Group: Working
Coat Type: Double coat with wiry outer hair
Coat Colours: Salt and pepper, black, black and silver
Temperament: Alert, Spirited, Friendly
Height: 30-35 cm (12-14 inches)
Weight: 5-9 kg (11-20 lbs)

Introduction

Schnauzer for Sale Ireland

The Schnauzer, recognizable for its distinct beard and bushy eyebrows, has a long-standing reputation as a versatile, alert, and intelligent breed. This German-originated dog has found its way into the hearts and homes of many Irish families. With its range of sizes, this breed caters to different preferences and lifestyles, making it a popular choice for many. Whether you’re looking for a watchdog or a loving companion, the Schnauzer has a lot to offer.

A Brief History

Originally from Germany, the Schnauzer got its name from the German word for “snout,” which aptly describes its distinct facial features. The breed was primarily used as a rat-catcher, guard dog, and even as a draught dog in its early days. The Schnauzer’s legacy spans several centuries, and over the years, it has been diversified into three primary categories: Miniature, Standard, and Giant.

Origins and Early Days

The Schnauzer’s history is murky and uncertain. Despite its long history spanning over 500 years, the exact origins of the Schnauzer remain a topic of debate among experts. Current beliefs posit that the Schnauzer originated in Southern Germany during the 14th or 15th century. Designed to assist farmers and tradespeople with cart guarding and vermin control, early Schnauzers likely resulted from crossing Black German Poodles, Grey Wolfspitz, and Wire-Haired Pinschers. These dogs closely resembled today’s Standard Schnauzer and were primarily working dogs.

Breed Development

Before the late 1800s, dogs were recognized by ‘type’ rather than specific breeds. The first dog show occurred in 1859, but without standardization, confusion reigned. In 1873, The Kennel Club was established in England to bring some order to the process. By 1874, the Stud Book was introduced, registering competition dogs by breed. Presently, pedigree Schnauzers come with documentation detailing five generations of lineage.

The Schnauzer-Pinscher Connection

The Schnauzer Family Tree by the American Kennel Club highlights the shared ancestors of modern Schnauzers and Pinschers, even though they look distinctly different now. German Pinschers were initially known for their vermin-hunting prowess and their protective nature. Schnauzers were once termed Wire-Haired Pinschers. These breeds were so intertwined that smooth-coated and rough-haired pups from the same breed could appear in a single litter. The distinction became clearer in the late 19th century, with all Wire-Haired Pinschers eventually adopting the “Schnauzer” name after a specific dog called “Schnauzer” won a German show in 1879.

Standard Schnauzer

The original breed, Standard Schnauzers, has roots dating back to the mid to late 19th century. They gained recognition when Wire-Haired Pinschers, which are now known as Standard Schnauzers, were showcased at the Hannover show in 1879. These dogs were later used by both the German Army and the Red Cross during World War I.

Miniature Schnauzer (Mini)

The first Miniature Schnauzer, Findel, was recorded in 1988. It is a small-sized breed of dog that originated in Germany. The Miniature Schnauzer’s development involved crossbreeding the smallest Standard Schnauzers with Affenpinschers, grey Spitz, and black Poodles. These were considered variations of the Standard Schnauzer until 1899 when they were recognized as separate breeds in Germany. The breed was created with the purpose of having a smaller-sized Schnauzer that could efficiently hunt rodents on farms.

Perfect for apartments or smaller living spaces, the “Mini” is an ideal companion for those who may not have a vast expanse of outdoor space.

Giant Schnauzer

At the other end of the size spectrum lies the Giant Schnauzer. Though there are claims that Giant Schnauzers existed a millennium ago, concrete information traces them back to the 17th century. Bavarian farmers wanted a larger version of the Standard Schnauzer to assist with herding and protection. The breed’s development likely included genetic contributions from the Standard Schnauzer and the black Great Dane, with potential influences from the Bouviers de Flanders and the Rottweiler.

They’re great as working dogs, but with the right training and socialization, they can also be loving family pets. In Ireland, the Schnauzer has seen increasing popularity, partly because of its rich history and diverse uses, but mainly for its adaptability to both urban and rural Irish settings.

Schnauzer Puppies

The charm of Schnauzer puppies is undeniable. With their playful demeanour and curious nature, they can light up any household. If you’re considering getting a Schnauzer puppy in Ireland, it’s essential to ensure that you purchase from a reputable breeder who prioritizes health and temperament.

Size and Weight

Miniature Schnauzer

  • Size: 30-36 cm (12-14 inches)
  • Weight: 5-8 kg (11-18 lbs)

Standard Schnauzer

  • Size: 43-51 cm (17-20 inches)
  • Weight: 14-20 kg (30-44 lbs)

Giant Schnauzer

  • Size: 60-70 cm (24-28 inches)
  • Weight: 25-48 kg (55-105 lbs)

Coat & Colours

The Schnauzer boasts a double coat that’s wiry on the outside and soft on the inside. Regular grooming is recommended to keep its coat in top shape.

Traditionally, Schnauzers come in pepper and salt, black, black and silver, or pure white. The coat’s unique texture and colour combinations set the Schnauzer apart from many other breeds.

  • Salt and Pepper:
    • Description: A mix of black and white hairs, resulting in a salt and pepper appearance.
    • Distinctive Features: The coat has a peppered look, and the colouration can change in intensity as the dog ages.
  • Solid Black:
    • Description: The coat is entirely black without any other coloured markings.
    • Distinctive Features: The uniform black coat highlights the dog’s facial features like their beard and eyebrows, giving them a sleek appearance.
  • Black and Silver:
    • Description: The coat is primarily black, with silver or grey hairs on the eyebrows, muzzle, and legs.
    • Distinctive Features: The contrasting colours give the dog a sophisticated appearance.
  • Other Color Variations:
    • Description: Some rare colour variations exist, such as white or parti-colour.
    • Distinctive Features: These uncommon colours provide a unique and attention-grabbing look.

Temperament

Known for its vibrant personality, the Schnauzer is a loyal and protective breed. They’re naturally suspicious of strangers but are incredibly affectionate towards their family. They’re also highly intelligent, which means they can be trained easily, but it also means they need regular mental stimulation. Schnauzers can get along well with children and other animals, especially if they’re introduced at a young age.

With Kids

Schnauzers really do make excellent family pets, with one proviso: You have to be willing to devote enough time to meet your Schnauzer’s needs in terms of attention, training, grooming and – once they are grown – exercise. Schnauzers do form very strong and loving bonds with children, once both have learned respect for each other. However, a new puppy may not be suitable for all families with very young children. Their co-ordination skills are not fully developed and there can be an accidental risk of injury – or a puppy nipping a pestering child – if left unsupervised.

With Other Pets

However friendly your puppy is, other pets in your household may not be too happy with a new arrival. Socialised Schnauzers can get on well with other animals, but it might not be a good idea to leave your pet hamster or rabbit running loose… Standard and Miniature Schnauzers were bred to hunt rodents and have quite a bit of Terrier ancestry, so many have strong prey/chase instincts. Giants were not bred specifically as hunters but can be territorial and appear threatening.

Pros of Schnauzer Ownership

  • Appearance and Appeal: Schnauzers are instantly recognizable and stunning dogs with universal appeal.
  • Companionship: They love being with their humans and form strong bonds with their owners. They are extremely loyal and can be a canine companion second to none.
  • Intelligence and Learning: These dogs are intelligent, alert, and learn quickly when rewarded. They respond well to treats and praise, and most Schnauzers are big praise-seekers who like to show off.
  • Exercise and Activity: Schnauzers of all sizes are robust and athletic, enjoying outdoor exercise. Many excel in canine competitions due to their athleticism and eagerness to please.
  • Watchdogs: They make good watchdogs and will alert homeowners to any visitors.
  • Sociability: They are inquisitive and want to be at the heart of things. They are playful, enjoy games, and get along well with other Schnauzers.
  • Child-Friendly: Generally, they are good with children when both are appropriately socialized.
  • Hypoallergenic: Many people with allergies can live alongside Schnauzers as they are considered hypoallergenic.
  • Grooming: Schnauzers have a double coat which requires maintenance but they hardly shed.
  • Health and Resilience: All sizes of Schnauzers are hardy. They love various weather conditions like snow and are generally regarded as healthy breeds.
  • Living Conditions: They should live in homes at the heart of the family, reinforcing their status as family pets.

Cons of Schnauzer Ownership

  • Independent Mindedness: They can be independent-minded and might occasionally test an owner’s patience or sense of humour.
  • Training: Schnauzers know what you want them to do but might need bribing. They have a low boredom threshold, so playtime and training sessions should be kept short.
  • Vocalization: If not properly trained, some Schnauzers might be too vocal or can become territorial.
  • Socialization Needs: Early socialization is crucial, especially for Giants and Standards, to ensure they are relaxed around other dogs.
  • Prey Drive: Many have a strong prey drive and might chase livestock or other animals.
  • Road Sense: Schnauzers lack road sense, which might require owners to be extra cautious.
  • Grooming: Their double coat needs regular clipping or hand-stripping.
  • Living Conditions: Schnauzers, even Giants, are not suited for outdoor living and should be housed inside with the family.

Schnauzer for Sale in Ireland

As the Schnauzer’s popularity continues to rise in Ireland, it’s crucial for potential owners to be discerning about where they get their pets. It’s advisable to buy from breeders who conduct health tests, prioritize the breed’s standards, and are registered with recognized institutions. For those in Ireland, the demand for Schnauzers has led to the establishment of numerous breed-specific clubs and organizations. These can be excellent resources for those looking to adopt or purchase a Schnauzer.