Learn about theses peculiar looking Germans, and the variety of coats they may have.
Are you one of those people who once met a Schnauzer and stopped to look at it? It is hard not to stop. The long beard, and the striking eyebrows, almost hiding the eyes, make up for a peculiar appearance, and give them a "distinct gentleman's look".
The Schnauzers are three different breeds, all from Germany: the Dwarf, called miniature by the Americans, and with a size close to the size of a Beagle. The Medium, or Standard, about 50cm tall, and the Giant, the biggest of them, as tall as a Dobermann. Except for the size, they have the same body frame, each with their own official standard. They don't mate among themselves, and are evaluated separately during beauty shows. The Medium, used as a sheep herder, was originally the only size, but through matings with other breeds, emerged the Giant (to herd cattle), and the Dwarf, as a companion, and barnyard ratter.
The two larger Schnauzers come in only two colors: the black and the "salt and pepper," which combines dark and light gray in each strand of hair, sometimes the light color in the tip, and the dark color at the root of hair, or vice-versa. The Dwarf can also be "black and silver," in which the black predominates, and white appears over the eyes, neck, chest, cheeks, paws and legs. Currently, FCI also accepts the white color for the Dwarf. These colors probably came from the other breeds used when the Dwarf was developed.
In the world, the most commonly bred Schnauzer is the Dwarf. In Brazil, the Dwarf is the 17th most registered breed. Though small, it is considered a guardian, too. Though it does not look intimidating, or doesn't have a powerful attack, it distinguishes itself for the attentiveness, and ability to raise the alarm. "Nobody will ever stop at your house's door without hearing insistent barking," tells us David Reis de Carvalho, from Kennel Sailer, in Brasília. Out of the three, it is the one that barks the most, but he obeys if told to be quiet. He likes to be close to the members of the family, even if playing by himself. He socializes with the owner's friends, and even asks to be caressed. Because of its size and easy adaptation, it is a good option for places with little space."
As for the larger ones, they are efficient guardians, more independent than the Dwarf, the type who will greet us with a "hello", and go back to "mind their own business." "They do not greet visitors; just lie down around them, and keep an eye on the," says Irene Alt, from Kennel Altstern, in Bragança Paulista, SP. They are also quieter. "They don't bark if someone stops at the gate, but if they touch it, then they start," comments Vânia Breim, from O'Breim Kennel, in Cotia, SP. If they have to attack, they are brave, but they do not become a menace because they easily accept the owner's commands.
The Medium Schnauzer is more active and agile than the Giant, and he is a good companion for walks or jogging. The quietest one is the Giant, with a more intimidating appearance, and an attack impact which can overthrow a man. With children, he shows a patience as big as its size.
It's possible to say Schnauzers have more than one type of coat. The one which originates in the German breeding, less common in Brazil, isn't dense, it's rough to the touch and with little featherings on his belly, beard and eyebrows, making it easier to treat, because hair tangles less and practically dismisses brushing. The American is more abundant and longer; hair is finer and smoother, tending to get more knots, but creating a more attractive look. "Mixing them it is possible to get something in between, with a denser coat like the Americans, but with a thicker texture, like the Germans," says Anita Alt, from Kennel Von Alstern, São Paulo. That way, it is possible to join beauty with less work.
Purchase of Puppy: Body must be square, dark
eyes and black topknot. Scissors bite. Puppies are born dark. If internal ply
coat is light, it is a salt-and-pepper and it will get lighter and lighter until
reaching permanent color around 8 months. If internal ply-coat is black, it is a
black individual, or in the case of a Dwarf, black and silver if it has the
characteristic markings. In the adult head measures around half of back.
Surgeries: According to standard, ears are optional, but tail must be cut at the 3rd vertebra by the 5th day.
Coat: Requires clipping or stripping periodically.
Height: Dwarf, 30 to 35cm. Medium, 46 to 50cm. Giant, 60 to 70cm.
Tecnical Information: CBKC Standards No. 181 / 04.94 (Giant), No. 182 (Medium) and No. 183b (Dwarf), translated from the FCI Standards No. 181c, 182b, 183c / 05.18.83. P.S.: In the CBKC standard, white color is not mentioned for Dwarf, but it was there in the original. The black and silver, mistenkenly mentioned on the Medium standard, is not there in the original.
Reading Material: Los Schnauzer, by Fabrizio Bonanno, Editorial di Vecchi, S.A., Barcelona, Spain.
We would like to thank the assistance of Suzanne Blum, from
Kennel House Viking, Cotia, SP, and the people interviewed. We thank them also
for the text review, also done by José Pedutti, CBKC all rounder judge.
Research and text: Flávia C. Soares
Picture: Fernando Torres de Andrade
Owner: Giant - Kennel Prety Von Flaros; Medium - Asta dos Pardais; Dwarf - Michel S. do O'Breim