Schnauzers come in three separate varieties, the Schnauzer, the Schnauzer (Miniature), and the Schnauzer (Giant). The names of these varieties are based on their size. Despite this classification, each of these varieties is a unique breed, which conceals their common ancestry.
History of the Schnauzer
Schnauzer Night-Watchman c 1620
German in origin, Schnauzer history dates back to the late 1400s when it was the guard and family dog of the working class in Southern Germany. In the 1600s Schnauzers were commonly used by tradesmen to protect their wagons of merchandise as they travelled from hamlet to hamlet. These reliable, hardy dogs did not take up too much room but were sufficiently fierce to intimidate rogues and vagabonds. Schnauzer-like dogs appear in works of art of several artists of this period including a tapestry by Rembrandt and a statue in Stuttgart. By the 1700s some Schnauzers became known in England.
The name 'Schnauzer' in meaning moustache or whiskers, described the Wire-haired Pinscher that first appeared in dog literature in 1842. This name was first accepted to describe this breed when it became a pure breed.
The Schnauzer becomes a Pure Breed
The oldest German Kennel Club was founded in 1878 when the German Stud Books began. By 1880, the first Breed Standard of the Wire-haired German Pinscher, Ratter or Rat-catcher described an alert dog with a rough, hard coat.
Schnauzer (Pepper and Salt)
By the 1880s the status of the Schnauzer went from a farm dog to a pure breed. By 1885, the blacks were becoming known and by 1890 the occasional Schnauzer with true salt and pepper colour was produced by mating blacks to reddish-coated dogs. With the breed well established in Germany by 1914 when World War 1 began, both the Germans and the Americans began using Schnauzers for Police work.
Although there are vague records of a common background between Schnauzers and the small German Reh Pinscher, the Schnauzer (Miniature) was more likely to be produced by crosses with the Affenpinscher. Certainly records reveal these two breeds had their origins in Southern Germany. These types of dog were probably mixed with the Schnauzer to create the Schnauzer (Miniature).
As outlined in the History of the Rottweiler, large dogs were known in Southern Germany since Roman times, and used for both for droving and carting and as herding dogs along the old trade routes. Indigenous hunting dogs like the German Boarhound and later, the Bullenbeisser were probably added to this mix. This large dog was likely to be mixed with the Schnauzer that was already known in this area, to create the Schnauzer (Giant).
History of the Schnauzer in Australia
Schnauzer bred by Anthea Cunningham
Although a couple of Schnauzers were introduced here by Anthony Horden in 1934, interest in the breed did not continue. In 1948, after World War Two had ended, Anthea Cunningham in Victoria imported Delaborde Mampe and Rodelia Bishopsten. She followed these two up with more imports. For many years, Anthea not only bred beautiful Schnauzers under the Urangeline prefix, she was always ready to assist any person with an interest in the breed.
Also in 1948, Patrick White (a Nobel Prize winning novelist) imported Schnauzers into NSW. This is the interesting wartime story of how Patrick and his partner became so significant in introducing Schnauzers into Australia.
Patrick's lifetime partner was Manoly Lascaris, an Egyptian officer in the Greek Royal Army. In Palestine, he bought a Schnauzer pup 'Franz' from a Jewish refugee. 'Franz' became a mascot with Greek Sacred Regiment in the Middle East and went to Tobruk and back during World War Two. When Manoly's regiment moved to Europe, his partner Patrick White collected the pup and took it to the British occupied Egyptian port of Alexandria.
After the War, Patrick took Franz back to England where, on the recommendation of a judge, the Kennel Club (UK) gave him a pedigree and officially registered him. Patrick then bought a Schnauzer bitch, Blacknest Brevity to keep Franz company during the long months the pair sailed on board a ship to Australia. Once here, Patrick and Manoly bought a second bitch, Blacknest Charity to keep Franz and Lottie company during their mandatory six-months quarantine period. Then Partick and Manoly the established the Grauvolk prefix and had Franz registered as Ironsides of Erehwon ('nowhere' spelt backwards).
They then imported Karen of Knells. Together with Franz, they produced many champions under the Graufolk prefix. Partick and Manoly were very successful in the showring. This put Schnauzers on the map here in Australia.
Deltone Deldario (Imp UK)
History of Schnauzer (Miniature) in Australia
In 1962, the first Schnauzer (Miniature) arrived here with June Rees of Casa Verde Kennel who brought into NSW English Champion Gosmore Wicker Keeper.
Later that year, Sylvia Cerini imported a son of Wicket Keeper as a birthday present for her husband Clem. This was the Schnauzer (Miniature) Deltone Deldario (imp UK) pictured on the right, who they called 'David'.
Jevinus Rigoletto (Imp UK)
Then the black Miniature Schnauzer Jevinus Rigoletto (imp UK) ("Brumus") pictured on the left followed. A year later, Clem and Sylvia Cerini also brought in Deltone Delsanta Delia (imp UK).
History of Schnauzer (Giant) in Australia
The first Schnauzer (Giant) to arrive here was in 1978 when Mavis Hawkins brought in the bitch, Ch Odivane Vyaren Velvet C.D followed by a dog Ch Paris Garden Diablio C.D also from UK.
Mrs Hawkins then trained Schnauzers of all three sizes to the title of Australian Obedience Champion. This surely epitomises how passionate Mrs Hawkins was in striving to demonstrate not just the Schnauzer's beauty, but also its reliability and intelligence. To attain this remarkable achievement, each dog had to gain titles separately in both Utility Obedience Trials and Tracking Dog Excellent Tests.
Her three Schnauzers that were awarded these titles were:
- Miniature Delderland Sweet Su Fi AOC,
- Schnauzer Ch Pejtal Honey Beetoo AOC
- Giant Ch Vayaren Easter Daizee AOC.
Despite the Schnauzer coming in 3 sizes, their heads have the following similarities:
- They are strong, of good length with parallel head planes with the skull is moderately broad between the ears.
- They have a medium stop which accentuates their prominent eyebrows.
- Their powerful muzzle with its bristly, stubby moustache and chin whiskers houses a normal scissors bite.
- Their eyes are oval, of medium size and set under bushy eyebrows.
- Their neat, V-shaped, set high button ears drop forward to temple.
Differences Between Schnauzer, Schnauzer (Miniature) and Schnauzer (Giant)
|General appearance||Sturdily built, robust almost squarely built||Sturdily built, robust and almost squarely built||Sturdily built, robust and almost squarely built|
Dogs 48 cm (19 ins) Bitches 46 cm (18 ins) Variation up to 2.5cm (1in) allowable
Dogs 36 cm (14 in) Bitches 33 cm (13 in) Small or like a toy not typical
Dogs 65-70 cm (25.5-27.5 in)
Bitches 60-65 cm (23.5-25.5 in)
Pure Black. Pepper and salt ranging from dark iron grey to light grey.
Pure Black. Pepper and salt ranging from dark iron grey to light grey. Black and Silver. White.
|Pure black. Pepper and salt ranging from dark iron grey to light grey.|
Double coated. Top coat harsh and wiry, sufficiently short for smartness.
Double coated. Top coat harsh and wiry, sufficiently short for smartness.
|Double coated. Top coat harsh and wiry, sufficiently short for smartness.|
|Characteristics||Strong, capable of great endurance||Smart, stylish and adaptable||Versatile, strong, capable of great speed and endurance|
|Temperament||Primarily a companion dog. Reliable and intelligent.||Primarily a companion dog. Reliable and intelligent.||Bold, reliable good natured and composed.|
|Body||Chest moderately broad, with breastbone reaching to the elbow. Back strong and straight but slightly higher at the shoulder than the loins.||Chest moderately broad, with breastbone reaching to the elbow. Back strong and straight but slightly higher at the shoulder than the loins.||Chest moderately broad, with conspicuous forechest reaching the elbow. Back strong and straight but slightly higher at the shoulder than the slightly sloping croup.|
|Schnauzer Pepper/Salt||Schnauzer-Mini Black/Silver||Schnauzer-Giant Black|
|Front||The neck should be moderately long with smooth shoulder muscles. The elbows should be close to the body. The strong bone extends right down to catlike feet which point forwards.||The neck should be moderately long with smooth shoulder muscles. The elbows should be close to the body. The strong bone extends right down to catlike feet which point forwards.||The neck should be moderately long with smooth shoulder muscles. The elbows should be close to the body. The strong bone extends right down to catlike feet which point forwards.|
|Hindquarters||Strongly muscled, the line from stifle to hock, in line with the extension of the upper neck line.||Strongly muscled, from stifle to hock, in line with the extension of the upper neck line.||Strongly muscled, from stifle to hock, in line with the extension of the upper neck line.|
|Movement||Free and vigorous, with balanced reach and drive in forequarters and hindquarters.||Free and vigorous, with balanced reach in forequarters and hindquarters.||Free and vigorous, with balanced reach and drive in forequarters and hindquarters.|
|Tail||Set on and carried jauntily and high||Set on and carried jauntily and high||Set on high and carried at an angle slightly above topline|
References and Further Reading
 Mary Cole Schofield 'The Standard Schnauzer' SSCA Source Book Vol 111', Published by the Standard Schnauzer Club of America on its 50th Anniversary 'The Standard Schnauzer - a History Pages 304 - 308
 Andrew Kidd, "The History of Purebred Dogs in Australia" published by OzDog Newspaper 1997 The Schnauzer Page 264
 National Dog - the Ringleader Way (Published by Sahjobe Pty Ltd, Menangle Park NSW ABN 86 075 412 761) Vol 11 No 11 November 2008 Page 6