History of breed

A popular theory of the origin of the Standard Schnauzer is that tradesmen, who traveled the countryside with carts laden with wares in the 14th century, sought and bred in Germany a guard dog of medium size, which would not take up too much room on the cart, yet be strong enough to do the job. To develop this Schnauzer, it is thought the tradesmen crossed the black German Poodle and the gray Wolfspitz with Wife-haired Pinscher stock. It is not known just how many years it took, but at least 50 years passed before the Standard Schnauzer breed was somewhat fixed. The Standard Schnauzer appears in many paintings from the 15th century and seems to have been in high favor as a household companion.

German farmers used the dogs to guard their wagons of produce while at or on the way to market, as well as to keep the stable, barns, and home free of vermin. They were excellent rat catchers.

Standard Schnauzers were used by both the Red Cross and the German Army in World War I as guard dogs and dispatch carriers. They were popular because of their dependability. They have also been used in police work.

The first Standard Schnauzer was imported to the United States around 1900. The first Standard Schnauzer is said to have been shown at Westminster Kennel Club in 1899. Once a part of the terrier group, the Standard was reclassified to the working group in 1945 where it remains today.

In 1925, the Schnauzer Club of America, first called the Wire-haired Pinscher Club, was formed, and in 1933, the Standard Schnauzer Club of America was formed. Like other breeds, the Standard Schnauzer has its official breed standard, established by the SSCA and AKC, which is used to judge the dogs in conformation competition. The breed can also be found competing in the obedience, rally, and agility rings; herding and tracking trials; and doing therapy work.

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