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Standard Schnauzer

Guardian Dog Group

The goals and purposes of this breed standard include: to furnish guidelines for breeders who wish to maintain the quality of their breed and to improve it; to advance this breed to a state of similarity throughout the world; and to act as a guide for judges.

Breeders and judges have the responsibility to avoid any conditions or exaggerations that are detrimental to the health, welfare, essence and soundness of this breed, and must take the responsibility to see that these are not perpetuated.

Any departure from the following should be considered a fault, and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog and on the dog’s ability to perform its traditional work.


The Standard Schnauzer is the prototype of the three distinct Schnauzer breeds: Miniature, Standard and Giant. His ancestry dates back to the 1400s. The breed was probably a cross between the black German Poodle, the gray Wolfspitz and wirehaired pinscher stock. The breed was used as a guard dog and rat catcher.

The Standard Schnauzer was recognized by the United Kennel Club in 1948.

General Appearance

The breed is heavy set, robust, squarely built. It has a dense, harsh coat. Arched eyebrows, profuse whiskers and a bristly mustache are the hallmarks of the breed. Both cropped and uncropped ears are acceptable.


The Standard Schnauzer has a lively but composed temperament. The breed is loyal and devoted, and loves children. They are intelligent, trainable and fearless, and their natural resistance to the weather and to diseases makes them an outstanding family, guard and companion dog.


The head is elongated, strong and rectangular. The total length of the head is half the length of the back (measured from the withers to the base of the tail). The topline of the skull is parallel to the topline of the muzzle. The stop appears well-defined due to the eyebrows.


Long, moderately broad, and flat, with smooth skin and no prominence of occiput.


The muzzle is a blunt wedge. The bridge of the nose is straight. The lips are black, smooth and close fitting to the jaws, with tight flews. The jaw muscles are well-developed but must be smooth so as not to interfere with the rectangular shape of the head.


A full complement of strong, white teeth meet in a scissors bite. The upper incisors slightly overlap and engage the lower. The canine teeth are strong and well-developed. The lower and upper jaws are powerful and neither overshot nor undershot.

Serious Faults: Overshot bite. Undershot bite.
Fault: Level bite.


Medium size, dark brown and oval in shape, set in the skull to look straight forward. The eyelids are tight-fitting, and the expression is lively.


Large, with well-developed nostrils. Always black in color.


Evenly shaped, set high and carried erect when cropped. Uncropped ears are V shaped and dropped, with the inner edges carried close to the cheeks. The fold should not be above the top of the skull.


Elegantly arched and blending cleanly into the shoulders. Strong and slim with a clean throat.


The shoulder blades are long, well muscled and sloping, forming an angle of approximately 50 degrees to the horizontal. The upper arm lies close to the body and forms an angle with the shoulder blade of approximately 100 degrees.


Strong, straight and not close together. The elbows are close to the body. The pasterns are slightly sloping and springy.


Square and compact, with a moderately broad, oval chest that reaches to the elbows. The forechest is distinctly marked by the point of the sternum. The withers are the highest point of the topline, which slopes slightly downward. The back is short and firm and the loin is well-muscled, short and deep. The croup is slightly rounded, blending into the set on of the tail. The underline of the flank forms a curve, but is not too tucked up.


Broad and strongly muscled. Viewed from the rear, the legs stand well apart.


The upper thigh is moderately long and broad. The lower thigh is long and sinewy, running into a strong and well angulated hock. The rear pasterns are short and vertical.


Short and round with well-arched, tight toes. (Cat feet). Nails are short and black.


Set moderately high. If docked, the length is one to two inches. If natural, a saber or sickle carriage is preferred.


Wiry, harsh and dense, with a dense undercoat and a topcoat that is long enough to check for proper texture. The topcoat should lie close to the body and be neither bristly or wavy. The hair on the legs tends to be less harsh. The coat on the forehead and ears is short. There is a beard on the muzzle and there are eyebrows that partially shade the eyes.


The acceptable colors are Pepper and Salt, and Black.


The typical pepper and salt color of the topcoat results from the combination of black and white hairs and white hairs banded with black. All shades of pepper and salt, from dark iron gray to silver gray, are acceptable. Ideally they have a gray undercoat, but a tan or fawn undercoat is acceptable. A darker facial mask that harmonizes with the coat shade is desirable. The coat may fade to a light gray or silver white in the eyebrows, whiskers, cheeks, under the throat, across the chest, under the tail, on the leg furnishings, under the body and inside the legs.


The black should ideally be a true, rich color, free from fading, discoloration or a mixture of gray or tan hairs. The undercoat is also solid black. Increased age or continued exposure to the sun may cause a certain amount of fading or burning. A small, white smudge on the chest is not to be faulted. Loss of color due to scars is not to be faulted.

Size and Weight

Ideal height at the withers: 18½ to 19½ inches for males; and 17½ to 18½ inches for females.


At a trot, the gait is flexible, elegant, free and ground-covering. The stride is as long as possible. The back remains firm.

Eliminating Faults

(An Eliminating Fault is a Fault serious enough that it eliminates the dog from obtaining any awards in a conformation event.)

Males under 18 inches or over 20 inches in height. Females under 17 inches or over 19 inches in height.


(A dog with a Disqualification must not be considered for placement in a conformation event, and must be reported to UKC.)
Unilateral or bilateral cryptorchid.
Viciousness or extreme shyness.

The docking of tails and cropping of ears in America is legal and remains a personal choice. However, as an international registry, the United Kennel Club is aware that the practices of cropping and docking have been forbidden in some countries. In light of these developments, the United Kennel Club feels that no dog in any UKC event, including conformation, shall be penalized for a full tail or natural ears.

UKC Breed Standards: Standard Schnauzer

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Official UKC Breed Standard

Revised July 1, 2009

©Copyright 1992, United Kennel Club