From Wikipedia: A schnauzer (plural schnauzers) is a German dog type that originated in Germany in the 1400s and 1500s. The term comes from “Schnauze,” the German word for snout, because of the dog’s distinctly furry muzzle. The type consists of three breeds: the giant, standard and miniature schnauzer. The original schnauzer was of the same size as the modern standard schnauzer breed, and was bred as a rat catcher, yard dog and guard dog. The miniature schnauzer is the result of crossing the original schnauzer. The word Schnauzer also means moustache in German.
Friendly and loving, Schnauzers become part of their families and can get along well with children if raised properly. They are protective , energetic and they will also alert members of the household to any potential danger. The breed is of average intelligence and can have a mind of their own, so it’s good to start training early and provide daily exercise.
The Schnauzer’s beard and leg hair should be brushed often to prevent mats from forming. The body coat should be “stripped” (loose, dead hair is plucked out) at least twice a year. Some schnauzers have wiry hair which is easier to shave but may have fuzzier soft hair which is harder to shave.
Standard Schnauzers are around 1 1/2 feet (46 cm) tall at the shoulder and weigh 26 to 37 pounds (12 to 17 kg). They are in the group of working dogs. Standard schnauzers have been used to catch rats and as guard dogs. They have also carried messages in times of war, helped the Red Cross and been police dogs.