The Standard Schnauzer is a medium-sized, rugged, robust dog with bushy eyebrows, whiskers, and beard. Ideally, the dog's height should be the same as his length, resulting in a square impression. The head is long and rectangular, with a pronounced stop and a strong muzzle. The nose is black. The eyes are oval and dark brown. The teeth should form a scissors bite. The catlike feet are small, with arched toes. The tail is generally docked. Cropping the ears is optional; if uncropped, they should be V-shaped and break forward at skull level. The forelegs are very straight. Any dewclaws should be removed. The topline slopes slightly downward from the withers to the rump. He has a harsh, wiry outer coat and dense, soft undercoat. The coat comes in salt and pepper or solid black.
The Standard Schnauzer is probably the oldest of the three Schnauzer breeds. The name is derived from the German word "Schnauze," or nose. The Schnauzer was developed in Germany and used to accompany coaches, as a messenger in World War I, and as a vermin hunter and guard in stables and on farms. The breed was used to watch children, and even was given the name "kinder watcher." Schnauzers also have been trained successfully as livestock guardians and as retrievers. The breed has been portrayed in paintings and tapestries of several European artists, including Rembrandt and Durer, who owned one. Today the breed serves primarily as a family guard and companion.