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Schnauzer History


The Schnauzer

The Schnauzer originated in Southern Germany in the 14th or 15th century. The tradesmen and farmers who travelled the countryside selling their goods and produce at markets, needed a medium sized dog that was strong enough to guard their carts, but not too large to be able to travel and live in that cart.

The breeders involved in creating the Schnauzer probably crossed the black German Poodle and the gray Wolfspitz with more than a pinch of Wire-haired Pinscher.

Origin of the Name

The word Schnauzer should be pronounced "sh-now-tser" with the German Z sounding like TS - as in Mozart, which is spoken "Motsart." It comes from the German word "Schnauze" meaning snout. This obviously refers to the beards which are the trademark of all Schnauzers and give them such a distinctive look.

In the early days of Schnauzer history in Germany, the first Schnauzers as we know them were referred to as Wire-haired Pinschers. At the 3rd German International Show in 1879, three Wire-haired Pinschers, owned by C. Berger from Wurtemburg, were entered. The winner was a dog called "Schnauzer". From then on, all dogs of this breed were called Schnauzers.

Germany and beyond

In the mid-19th century, German dog breeders began to show an interest in this native breed. The medium-sized dogs were also being crossed with other breeds to create the Miniature and, later, the Giant Schnauzer. Apart from a few individual examples imported earlier, the first Schnauzers were brought into the UK and America around 1900. They were probably brought to England and the New World as beloved pets of immigrant families as well by travellers returning home.

During World War I, Standard Schnauzers were used as guard dogs by the German Army and also as dispatch carriers by the Red Cross. It was, however, soldiers returning from the First World War who brought back Schnauzers in greater numbers. These fighting men greatly admired the courage and spirit of these dogs.

Miniature Schnauzer History

The Miniature Schnauzer was exhibited as a distinct breed at early as 1899. It's thought to have been produced from breeding the smallest of the Standard Schnauzers with Affenpinschers,Gray Spitz, and black Poodles in a highly selective breeding program. Four Miniatures imported by Mrs. M. Slattery of the Marienhof Kennels in 1924 were the foundation stock for the breed in America. Miniature Schnauzers were first registered as a separate breed in 1926. The following year the first American champion was Mrs. Slattery's Ch. Moses Taylor. Today the Miniature Schnauzer's popularity has grown and is now one of the popular breeds in America.

Giant Schnauzer History

In Germany the "Riesenschnauzer" (meaning "Giant Snouter" in German) was initially bred and used to drive cattle and sheep. Additionally it was used as a guard dog. The father of the Giants was the great "bear Schnauzer" of Munich.This was a dog breed with long shaggy hair related to the Old German shepherd dog. It was likely that this was crossed with the black Great Dane, giving strength and power to the Giant, as well as the instinct to protect. This breeds intelligence, strength and versatility have been put to many uses.

The Odivane Kennel of Mary Moore was one of the first importers of Giants into the UK, whilst the breed was imported into the USA in the 1930's. Only around 50 Giant Schnauzers a year registered in America until the 1960's. Word of mouth endorsements of the breed, have driven upwards the popularity of the Giant Schnauzer over the last 40 years.

Why fit in when you were born to stand out"Dr Suess"