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History of the Standard Schnauzer

​The Schnauzer is a German breed, which in the 15th & 16th centuries must have been in high favor as a household companion, for his portrait appears in many paintings of the period. A portrait of a Standard Schnauzer appears several times in the works of Albrecht Durer, an artist, between the years of 1492 and 1504.

As far as can be determined, the Schnauzer originated in the crossing of the black German Poodle and the gray wolf spitz upon wirehaired Pinscher stock. From the Pinscher element derives the tendency to fawn-colored undercoat, and from the wolf spitz is inherited the typical pepper and salt coat color with its harsh wire character. We do not know how many years of breeding were necessary to establish the Standard Schnauzer, but we do know at least 50 years passed before the breed was somewhat fixed. Solid black Schnauzers, although fairly common in Germany, are not as popular as the pepper and salt in the United States.

​German breeders have always classified the Schnauzer as a working dog. By using the Schnauzer as a rat catcher, they were able to keep stable or farmyard clear of vermin. Before WWI, Germans used the Schnauzer to guard carts of farm produce in the market place while the farmers rested themselves and their teams at inns. The German tradesman particularly liked the Schnauzer because of its medium size: they wouldn’t take up much space on the wagons, and yet was strong enough to do the job of guarding. Breeders in the land of their origin hold the Schnauzer second to none for sagacity and fearlessness. Owing these characteristics, “the dog with the human brain” (as their owners proudly call them) were used by the army during the war as dispatch carriers and Red Cross aides; they were also employed in Germany in police work.

​The first Standard Schnauzers in Canada were bred in Montreal from the Kalenia line from the Eastern U.S. In the 1970’s four Standard Schnauzer kennels were formed: Oberdorf Kennels, Kaiserbart Kennels, Silberfell Kennels and Rosehill Miniature Schnauzers. Silberfell Kennels still breed Standard Schnauzers today.

The Standard Schnauzer Club of Eastern Canada was recognized by the Canadian Kennel Club in 1987. In 1993, it became the Standard Schnauzer Club of Canada.

Once a part of the terrier group, the Standard Schnauzer was reclassified to the working group in 1945, where it remains today.