Mittelschnauzers or Mittels are sturdy, medium-sized dogs with well-developed muscles and a strong skeleton. A distinctive feature of this breed is its bushy eyebrows, mustache, and beard.
- Life Expectancy: 13-16
- Litter: 3-6
- Group: Room-decorative
- Recognized by: CKC, FCI, AKC, UKC, ANKC, NKC, NZKC, APRI, ACR
- Coat color: Black, “pepper and salt”
- Coat length: Short, medium
- Molting: Slight
- Size: Small
- Male height: 46-51
- Male weight: 14-20
- Female height: 43-48
- Female weight: 14-18
The head of the Mittels is large and massive, it is oblong and has a square outline. The dog’s eyes are dark. The ears are small, semi-erect, hanging down on either side of the head. The nose is large enough and black. The tail of mittelschnauzers is most often docked, usually up to 3-4 vertebrae. But, some owners leave it naturally long.
The front and hind legs are straight and well-muscled. The hind feet are set slightly wider than the front ones. The rib cage is moderately wide and deep, reaching down to the elbows. The shoulders are set obliquely, with well-developed relief muscles. The elbows look straight back.
The Mittels’ coat is short and thick, it consists of an undercoat and an upper outer layer. The color is of two types: black and the so-called “pepper and salt”, that is, almost ashy. The hair on the paws and muzzle is slightly longer than on the body.
Mittelschnauzer is an intelligent, loyal friend, though not devoid of a healthy dose of pride and leadership qualities. Energetic and sociable, the Mittel will never let its owner get bored or even just relax, therefore, bringing such a dog into the house, you automatically sign up for maximum interaction with it and regular walks in any weather. At the same time, if you come up with some “important mission” for a four-footed companion, such as protecting the territory, the Mittel schnauzer will easily curb his own emotionality, because work and service to a person for this breed is almost the meaning of all life.
History of the Breed
For three breeds of schnauzers: miniature, standard, and giant, each of which is registered as separate, the standard (medium) was the prototype. This ancient breed appeared in Germany in the XV-XVI centuries. She must have been very popular as a home companion because images of standard schnauzers are often seen in portraits of the time. It is known that one of them lived with Albrecht Durer for at least 12 years since he depicted the same dog in his portraits from 1492 to 1504. They were painted by Rembrandt, one was depicted by Lucas Cranach the Elder on a tapestry dating from 1501, and in the 18th century, the schnauzer appears on the canvas of the English artist, Sir Joshua Reynolds. In the German town of Mechlinburg, there is a 14th-century statue of a hunter with a dog crouched at his feet, which is very reminiscent of the modern standard. The Schnauzer is a compact, wiry dog of a square format, strong and energetic, with a tough, bristly coat, long eyebrows, and a beard. It combines liveliness and extraordinary intelligence and reliability. It occupies a middle position between large and miniature dog breeds. As far as it was possible to determine, the Schnauzers are descended from the crossing of a black German poodle with a gray wolf spitz and a wire-haired pinscher. From the Pinscher they got a fawn-colored undercoat, from the Wolfspitz they inherited the typical “pepper and salt” color and harsh character. The solid black color, although common in Germany, is still quite rare in the United States. ‘In America, the breed was initially classified as a terrier, and in Germany, breeders have always viewed the Schnauzer as a working dog. His main occupations were rat-catching and guarding. Before World War I, 90% of the dogs guarding farmers’ carts in the markets were typical schnauzers. German breeders believe that the schnauzer has no equal in intelligence and fearlessness. Due to these characteristics, “dogs with a human mind”, as their owners proudly call them, during the war served in the army as a mail and sanitary dogs; in Germany, they were also used as police dogs. In the United States and England, schnauzers were used primarily as bodyguard dogs and companion dogs. For these purposes, their loyalty and courage, combined with an extremely developed presentiment of impending danger, is the best suited. They swim well and can work as retrievers, and in the Western United States, on at least one farm, they have established themselves as the best breed for protecting sheep herds from coyotes. Schnauzers were first demonstrated in 1879 at the German International Dog Show in Hanover in the wire-haired pinscher ring. In 1880 the standard was published and the breed quickly became an exhibition breed. The first specialized exhibition was held in Stuttgart in 1890, an unusually large number of dogs took part in it – 93. In 1895 the Pinscher Club in Cologne was founded, and in 1907 – the Schnauzer Club in Munich. In 1918, the Pinscher and Schnauzer clubs merged to become the official representative of the breed in the German Kennel Club. Today the interests of the breed are represented by clubs in Holland, Austria, Switzerland, Czechoslovakia, England, and America. There are two main bloodlines leading to two unregistered males, Schnauzer and Zeppel, and the two most famous bitches were called Zettchen and Jetta von Enz. Zettchen is a descendant of Schnauzer, she was mated to a male from the Zeppel line named Prince Hartmut. From the litter that followed this mating, Sieger Rex von Den Güntersburg should be distinguished, who, in turn, became the father of Sieger Rigo Schnauzerlust. These two males, Rex and Rigo, influenced the development of the breed more than any other dog registered in the Studbook. Yetga von Enz was Rigo’s mother, her lineage going back to Zeppel. Rigaud’s half-brother, Rex von Egelsee, also appears frequently in older documents and pedigrees, with especially successful results from the inbreeding of these two dogs. The fact that both Rigo and Rexa knitted successfully at the age of 12 speaks volumes about the extraordinary vitality of the schnauzers. Schnauzers did not become widely known in the United States until after World War I, but one dog is said to have been shown at the Westminster Mixed Class Show in 1899. The first registered imported dog was Mr. Lishing’s Fing-al of Rochester, New York, who was brought to the United States in 1905. The American Schnauzer Club was founded in 1925. The first American champion was the Swiss bitch Rezi Patricia, brought by Mrs. Newton. She also received from Rezi Patricia the first American champion bred in the United States, Frakas Franconia. The first Sieger Show champion, Holm von Egelsee, was imported to the United States by William D. Hoff. In Germany, all schnauzers have their ears cropped, but since cropped ears are illegal in some states in the United States, the American Kennel Club standard allows both cropped and uncropped ears.
Head. Large, long (half the height of the dog at the withers), rectangular, which emphasizes the beard, proportional to the body and size of the dog. The skull is flat, the transition from the moderately wide forehead to the muzzle is well defined, but not sharp. The occipital protuberance is poorly expressed. The illusion of a sharp transition and a maliciously wary expression is caused by bushy eyebrows. The lines of the skull and nasal bridge are parallel. The muzzle is massive, strong, well filled under the eyes.
Ears. Undocked ears of medium length, raised on the cartilage, set high, mobile, the part of the ear canal falling on the sides of the head is turned forward, dropping with the inner edge along the cheek. Sharply cropped in harmony with the head “, stand parallel to each other.
Eyes. Oval, medium in size, dark, sparkling, straight, and low set. The eyelids are dry, tight-fitting, black. The expression is attentive, lively.
Teeth. Large, white, complete, incisors in line; scissor bite.
Disadvantages. Small teeth, the presence of diastemas, with a yellow coating, worn out not forage.
Neck. Strong, muscular, of medium length, with a nice nape, set high, dry, widening, and merging into the withers.
Withers. Well pronounced, raised above the straight topline, sloping slightly towards the croup, well muscled. The shoulder blades are long, set obliquely, and tightly attached to the back.
Back. Strong, muscular, firm, wide enough.
Small of the back. Broad, short, muscular, slightly arched.
Tail. Set high, docked.
Chest. Moderately wide, deep, long, spacious, with prominent ribs.
Stomach. Moderately fit.
Front limbs. Strong, muscular, straight, parallel to each other.
Hind limbs. Strong, muscular, straight, and parallel to each other, set slightly wider than the forelegs.
Paws. Short, feline, with strong dark nails and hard pads.
Movement. Light, free, energetic. The characteristic pace of movement is a sweeping, free trot.
The schnauzer has a very developed sense of smell, sight, hearing, intelligence, a tendency to train, fearlessness, endurance, and resistance to disease. He is brave, energetic, and loyal. Vices: In assessing faults and their materiality, the greatest consideration should be given to deviations from the desired alert, energetic, and devoted character of the Schnauzer and from its extreme intelligence. Dogs showing timidity or nervousness should be removed from the ring.
The most common arthritis of the shoulder and hip joints.
It is necessary to comb it out with a brush daily and to cut once every 3 months by a professional hairdresser.
The coat is dense, stiff, wiry, and as dense as possible, consisting of a soft, close-fitting undercoat and a coarse outer coat, which is not close to the body. The topcoat is trimmed only to emphasize the lines of the body. The structure of the coat is of great importance. The dog may be shown in the show ring with 2 to 5 cm long hair on the back. The hair on the ears, head, neck, chest, belly, and under the tail is trimmed to give the dog its characteristic breed appearance. On the muzzle and above the eyes, the hair is long, forming a beard and eyebrows; the hair on the legs is longer than on the body. The coat on the beard, mustache, and eyebrows is coarse and coarse, but not so profuse as to disturb the dog’s neat appearance or hinder his working ability.
Due to their serious and independent disposition, mittelschnauzers can perceive the efforts of non-professional trainers with distrust and refuse to obey. They often require increased attention. If left alone for a long time, Mittelschnauzers become restless and stir up a fuss.
Suitable for keeping in an apartment. Regular walks and exercise are essential. Also, if possible, you should provide a separate training space for the dog.
Mittelschnauzers are still used in a number of places as wonderful herding dogs.
On the hunt, Mipelschnauzers bring the game with equal ease – both fallen to the ground and caught in the water.