Origin of Schnauzers
Schnauzers are a German breed of dog. The Schnauzers have been a favorite farm dog of Germany for hundreds of years and even present day, most German farms will have a Schnauzer as a farm dog. Ancestors of today’s Schnauzers can be seen depicted in pictures dating back as far as the 14th century. The German farm dog had to be multi-talented, herding cattle, serving as guard dogs, ratting, and even pulling carts filled with produce going to the market.
The Schnauzer breeds are believed to be a product of early ancestors, which include German Poodles, German Spitzes, and other early hunting, Terrier and Pinscher types. The Schnauzer was originally referred to as the Wirehaired Pinscher. The name “Schnauzer” is from the German word for “muzzle,” or “schnauze,” a feature that, along with the characteristic facial furnishings of the mustache, beard, and brows, sets the breed apart from other wire-haired breeds.
The Standard Schnauzer is the oldest of the Schnauzer breeds, and is the originator of the Giant and Miniature varieties. All of the sizes possess the same excellent working abilities and good-natured companion qualities that make them the perfect all-purpose dog.
In the late 1800’s the Germans began to breed for a Miniature Schnauzer. A smaller version of the Standard Schnauzer was desired, to take less space, eat less and they believed that they could access more spaces than the larger size to get at the pests that plagued the family farms. A dog’s ratting abilities were essential to keeping the family safe from pest-borne illnesses. It is believed that this was a big reason for miniaturizing the Schnauzer.
To achieve this miniature size, it is believed that the Standard Schnauzer was bred with the Affenpinscher to create a smaller version of the breed. It is widely thought that at this time some Spitzes, Poodles, and Brussels Griffons were also bred in, in order to set the salt and pepper and solid black coat varieties.
Schnauzers are famous for their ability to be trained for different jobs and are still a popular farm dog in Germany today. They are intelligent, eager to learn and work, responsive to their owners and courageous. Miniature Schnauzers make excellent family pets or working dogs.