UPDATED! Schnauzer: Breed of the Week
Are Schnauzers Good City Dogs?
There are three breeds of Schnauzer: Miniature, Standard, and Giant. We will look primarily at the Standard because it’s the one the led to the others. That makes the Standard a great place to start!
Most people have seen or come in contact with a Schnauzer at some point. Their very recognizable heads and coats make them a standout. Their long snout, bearded face gives them an almost regal human face.
The Schnauzer, as the name sounds, is a German breed dating back to the Middle Ages. The word Schnauzer comes from the German word for beard or moustache. Their origin is unclear but there are many ancient paintings that include Schnauzers. Rembrandt painted them and there is a tapestry dating back to 1501 that includes a Schnauzer. Schnauzers were breed to be a general, multi-purpose dog. They herded livestock, chased, hunted vermin, and protected their owners.
As I mentioned earlier there are three breeds of Schnauzer all stemming from the Standard. The Miniature weighs from 10 to 15 pounds and stands about 14 inches at the shoulder. That makes it a little smaller than the Standard Schnauzer, which can weigh up to 50 pounds and stand 18 inches. They are both dwarfed however by their larger cousin, the Giant Schnauzer, which can weigh up to 100 pounds and stand 28 inches at the shoulder. Truly a giant!
Although their sizes very wildly enough, they have quite similar personalities. They are intelligent dogs that can be taught to do a variety of tasks. Good with kids, they make great watchdogs and or family pets. Another thing they all share is the need for exercise. Even the Miniature requires brisk walks and the larger two should be given plenty of exercise so they don’t become destructive.
The Schnauzer comes in only a few colors: salt and pepper or black. They all have a wiry coat with an undercoat and need weekly brushing to keep them from matting. Clipping a few times a year is also necessary
Do your homework when you’re looking at the various Schnauzer breeds. Each type is susceptible to a variety of ailments: the Miniature is prone to kidney disease, and the Giant is prone to toe cancer, which according to Dog Breed Daily website, kills many giants every year. The Standard has the fewest health issues of the three.
Do Schnauzers Bark?
Will a Schnauzer be a good Urban Dog for you? Probably! If you are looking for a smart dog that doesn’t shed much, the Schnauzer may be for you. And since they come in three three sizes, Miniature, Standard and Giant, I am sure you can find one that fits your lifestyle
Training for city dogs is super important. You want your pooch to obey you when you tell her to behave in your building’s public areas. Giant Schnauzers score “Above Average” when it comes to understanding new commands. They obey first commands about 70% of the time or better according to Stanley Coren, a professor of psychology at the University of British Columbia who studies dog behavior. That means it takes about 15 to 25 repetitions for them to learn new commands. Miniature and Standard Schnauzers are even smarter! They score “Excellent,” which means it takes them five to 15 receptions to learn a new command, or they learn new commands about 85% of the time.
Miniature Schnauzers are barkers. UC Davis researchers Benjamin and Lynette Hart devised a chart ranking dogs by the likelihood of barking at inappropriate times. On a scale of one to ten — with one being the least offensive barkers and ten the most excessive barkers — they get a ten rating. We did a little research and the Miniature’s bigger relatives have a tendency to bark as well. Click here for more on Urban Dog’s take on barking.
For tips on how to find a pet-friendly apartment in New York and other cities read Urban Dog’s guide. Big dogs pose a particular challenge, but don’t worry, you can find places that accept large breed dogs.
Follow this link to the American Kennel Club to learn more about Schnauzers.