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Brief history of schnauzers

Publicado el: Monday, May 15

As pets, Schnauzers are one of the most loved dogs by everyone. According to their history, these dogs originally came from Germany. Nowadays, you can find a Schnauzer anywhere in the world.

Y es que cuentan con un aspecto tan peculiar, además de su personalidad sociable y fiel que llama la atención de grandes y chicos. Ahora bien, ¿te interesa conocer más acerca de la historia de estas mascotas? Veamos, a continuación.


The Schnauzer is a breed of dog that originated in Germany approximately during the 15th and 16th centuries.

Therefore, its name derives from the German Schnauze which means “snout”, which is also related to Schnurrba which could be translated as “mustache“.

And let’s remember that these are two of the characteristic beards that begin at the top of the muzzle of this pet. This is how the Schnauzer was bred to chase and hunt.

Simply put, the Schnauzer comes from Württemberg, Germany, and this ancient origin is linked to medieval dogs such as the German Shepherd and some other local dogs.

Originally, Schnauzers were used in southern Germany as a stable dog, but since they began to hunt rats and mice, they were given the nickname rattler.

In the origins of their breed, the Schnauzer and the Affenpinsher were classified as the same type of breed.

The only difference was the structure of the coat. Subsequently, the separate standard of the Schnauzer types was imposed, so that the wire-haired animal, known as the rauhhaariger Pinscher, is today known as the Schnauzer.

A curious fact is that when the Pinscher-Schnauzer-Klub was founded in Germany in 1895, they were initially registered under the name “rough-haired Pinscher”. This is because their coat is rough, hard and dense on the outer coat and of medium hardness in the area of the legs, beard and eyebrows.

So, what are Schnauzers like?

From their origins we know that they are friendly and affectionate, the Schnauzer integrates well within the family nucleus, and, in the same way they get along well with children and other dogs. Of course, as long as they are properly socialized and trained.

Characteristically, they are protective, energetic and alert family members of any potential danger to which they are threatened.


Thus, the Schnauzer is always alert, making it an “excellent watchdog”. Although it is important to mention that their vigilant nature can lead them to bark persistently.

Therefore, some owners, in order to avoid disturbing neighbors and people around, try to stop their barking by means of a good training.

Due to the breed’s intelligence and independent nature, it is recommended to start such training and socialization from an early age, also providing daily exercise.

On the other hand, Schnauzers are known for their distinctive beards and long, bushy eyebrows. Some owners opt to remove dead hair manually, although the recommendation is always to visit a pet groomer.

In addition, it is traditional for them to keep their tails short and ears cropped to give an alert appearance. However, in several countries this practice has been prohibited.

It is worth mentioning that the miniature and standard varieties adapt well to life at home, as long as they are walked once or twice a day.

The giant variety, on the other hand, is too large and hyperactive to live in an apartment, so a larger space is recommended.

If you plan to have your Schnauzer with other dogs, it is important to have a good socialization when they are puppies, since they tend to be somewhat territorial.

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What is the Schnauzer’s origin?

Unfortunately, there is no accurate and unique written record of the origin of this breed. No one can say with absolute certainty when and how the Schnauzer was created.

However, most of the available evidence indicates that the Schnauzer breed originated in southern Germany between the 14th and 15th centuries.

Let us remember that at that time we lived in medieval times, which required the use of a working dog. This had to be a medium-sized, agile and versatile dog, which was not only able to accompany merchants and farmers, but also to help protect their loads.

Therefore, it is believed that the first Schnauzer was bred from a cross between the German black poodle, the gray wolfspitz and the wire-haired pinscher.

In addition, its physical appearance was very similar to the appearance of the pinscher, hence it was initially known by the same name.

pinscher resembles a schnauzer

They were even considered to be one and the same breed; however, the fact that their coat was somewhat different caused them to be classified as a separate breed later on.

As the story goes, in 1879, the third German International Dog Show was held. At that event, 3 wire-haired pinschers were registered, whose owner was C. Berger of Wurtemburg.

Curiously, the winner of the meeting was a dog named “Schnauzer”, an event that gave rise to the famous name. Gradually, all dogs of this breed began to be known as such.

Thus, the name comes from the German word “schnauze”, which means muzzle, and refers to the wonderful whiskers that stand out on the face of this dog.

Some Schnauzer historical curiosities

The Schnauzer breed turned out to be the perfect combination of working and hunting abilities.

Among its advantages are: extermination of mice and other pests, protection of family and property, breeding of flocks of sheep and cattle, as well as protection of farmers.

Their curiosities are as follows:

  • Although they look nothing alike now, Schnauzers and modern pinschers share the same ancestors. The original smooth-haired pinscher was bred to the smooth coat of today’s miniature pinscher and Doberman.
  • On the other hand, it is known that the German Army and Red Cross carriers used the Standard Schnauzer as a guard dog during the First World War.
  • It is believed that the breed first arrived in the United Kingdom and the United States around 1900. They were probably brought to England and the New World as a pet of immigrant families and returning travelers or merchants.
  • Art has been instrumental in determining the emergence of this breed. Thus, Schnauzer is represented in numerous artistic works of the period in which its origin is framed. For example, a statue in Mecklenburg (Germany) dating from the 14th century shows a hunter with a Schnauzer crouching at his feet.
  • In the beginning, there was the black Schnauzer and the salt and pepper Schnauzer. Despite this, today we can find other colors such as the silver black Schnauzer and the pure white Schnauzer.
  • In the middle of the 19th century, German dog breeders began to show great interest in this versatile native breed. Thus, the idea of crossing the medium Schnauzer with other breeds to obtain a miniature Schnauzer, and later, a giant Schnauzer.

When did Schnauzers first exist?

The schnauzer appeared in southern germany.

As mentioned above, there is no exact record of the origin of the Schnauzer. But one thing is clear, the earliest known record of a black Schnauzer is around October 1888.

So, in general, most sources agree that these dogs were developed in the mid to late 19th century in Germany.

It is believed to have been a cross between breeds such as the aforementioned pinscher.

In Germany they are known as an additional version of these dogs, but with particular characteristics such as the design of their beard and whiskers.

During World Wars I and II, dog breeding was a very difficult activity, particularly in Europe, where certain breeds were almost lost.

However, this did not put an end to the interest in the Schnauzer, on the contrary, its breeding began to gain momentum after World War I, becoming a very popular dog.

Since then, one of the characteristics that has changed the most is the range of colors.

Nowadays, the coat of most Schnauzers covers different shades of black and silver; however, in the beginning, reddish, black, yellow and tan specimens could be found.

Although in its origins this Schnauzer was used as a watchdog and mouser, just like its ancestor, it gradually became what they are known as today: a charming pet and a constant winner in dog shows.

Brief history of the Schnauzer

To recap, the history of the Schnauzer begins in the 14th or 15th century, when the breed is believed to have originated.

During the early days, the Schnauzer breed was often used as a guard dog by farmers and merchants.

Therefore, it could be said that they liked the protective nature of the Schnauzer and used them to guard their wagons.

Along with being a guard dog, the Schnauzer was also used as a ratting dog, that is, a dog that was used to chase and catch rats.

Other fun facts are as follows:

  • The Standard Schnauzer breed originated by crossing a black German poodle with a gray Wolfspitz and possibly a curly-haired pinscher.
  • An interesting aspect of the Schnauzer’s history is its name. The German word for “snout” is “schnauze”. The Germans decided to name the breed Schnauzer because of its distinctive muzzle.
  • Schnauzers were used as guard dogs for the German army during the First World War. This is something about the history of the Schnauzer that is not often known.
  • Although not proven, it is believed that the Schnauzer breed was brought to the United Kingdom and the United States in the 1900s. The breed was established in these countries after immigrants and traders brought them from Germany, to be used as family pets.
  • Although the Miniature Schnauzer breed was established in the 14th or 15th century, the Miniature Schnauzer breed did not originate until the 1900s. Today, the Miniature Schnauzer is one of the most popular dog breeds in the United States among families and childless individuals.
  • The last to originate was the Giant Schnauzer breed. At first, these large Schnauzers were used by farmers for herding purposes. However, they were also used as guard dogs, again, due to their protective nature.
  • Despite all the time that has passed, today the Schnauzer breed still displays many of the characteristics of their early ancestors. They are still very brave, protective and loyal. Because of this and much more, all of these traits make them a very popular pet choice.

The history of the Schnauzer can certainly be called colorful and interesting. It is because of this fantastic history that the Schnauzer makes a wonderful dog breed and a fantastic family pet selection.

schnauzer with a long beard

So, if you are thinking of adding a Schnauzer to your family, then you are definitely making the right dog breed choice.


In general, despite the fact that quite some time ago these pets arrived from Germany to our continent, the truth is that they have become the favorite breed for many people.

For the same reason, their importance lies in keeping them with the proper care and thus preserving their breed over time.

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