Posted in Working Group

A Breed Standard is the guideline which describes the ideal characteristics, temperament and appearance of a breed and ensures that the breed is fit for function with soundness essential.  Breeders and judges should at all times be mindful of features which could be detrimental in any way to the health, welfare or soundness of this breed.


Watch and Companion Dog. 

Originally the Schnauzer was used in the region of Southern Germany as a stable dog as he felt particularly at home in the company of horses. He eagerly watched out for all rodents in order to kill them in a flash. This very early got him the appellation of ‘Rattler’ (ratter). When the Pinscher-Schnauzer Club was founded in 1895, he was entered under the name ‘rough haired Pinscher’. 

Medium sized, strong, stocky rather than slim, rough haired. 

Square build in which the height at the withers is nearly equal to the body length.
The length of the head (measured from the top of the nose to the occiput) corresponds to half the length of the topline (measured from the withers to the set on of the tail). 

Typical characteristics are his lively temperament, coupled with placid composure. Typical are his good nature, his playfulness and his proverbial devotion to his master. He loves children, is incorruptible, alert yet not noisy. Highly developed sense organs, intelligence, trainability, fearlessness, endurance and resistance to weather and diseases provide the Schnauzer with all the requirements to be an outstanding family, guard and companion dog, also endowed with the qualities of a working dog. 

Skull – Strong, long without markedly protruding occiput. The head should be in keeping with the dog’s force. The forehead is flat without wrinkling and parallel to the bridge of nose.
Stop – Appears well defined due to the brows.

Nose – Well developed nose leather with large nostrils, always black.
Muzzle – Ending in a blunt edge. Bridge of nose straight.
Lips – Black, smooth and tight-fitting to the jaws. Corners of lips closed.
Jaws / Teeth – Strong upper and lower jaw. The complete scissor bite (42 pure white teeth according to the dentition formula), is strongly developed and firmly closing. The chewing muscles are strongly developed but the cheeks must not interfere with the rectangular shape of the head (with the beard).
Eyes – Medium sized, oval, facing forward, dark with lively expression. Eyelids close fitting.
Ears – Drop ears, set high, V-shaped with inner edges lying close to the cheeks, evenly carried, turned forward towards temples. Folds parallel, should not be above the top of the skull.


The strong, muscular neck is nobly arched, blending smoothly into the withers. Strongly set on, slim, nobly curved, corresponding to the dog’s force. Throat skin tight-fitting without folds. 

Topline – Slightly sloping from withers towards rear.
Withers – Forming the highest point in topline.
Back – Strong, short and taut.
Loins – Short, strong and deep. The distance from the last rib to the hip is short to make the dog appear compact.
Croup – Slightly rounded, imperceptibly blending into tail set on.
Chest – Moderately broad, oval in diameter, reaching to the elbows. The forechest is distinctly marked by the point of the sternum.
Underline/Belly – Flanks not too tucked up, forming a well curved line with the underside of the ribcage. 

Natural: a sabre or sickle carriage is sought after. 

[*refer note below] 

General appearance: Seen from the front, the front legs are strong, straight and not close together. Seen from the side the forearms are straight.
Shoulders – The shoulder blade lies close against the rib cage and is well muscled on both sides of the shoulder bone, protruding over the points of the thoracic vertebrae. As sloping as possible and well laid back, forming an angle of appr. 50º to the horizontal.
Upper Arm – Lying close to the body, strong and well muscled, forming an angle of 95º to 105º to the shoulder blade.
Elbows – Close fitting, turning neither in nor out.
Forearm – Viewed from all sides completely straight, strongly developed and well muscled.
Carpal Joint – Strong, firm, barely standing out against the structure of the forearm.
Pastern – Seen from the front, vertical. Seen from the side slightly sloping towards the ground, strong and slightly springy.
Forefeet – Short and round. Toes well knit and arched (cat foot) with short dark nails and resistant pads.
General appearance: Standing obliquely when seen from the side, standing parallel but not close together when seen from the rear.
Upper Thigh – Moderately long, broad and strongly muscled.
Stifle – Turning neither in nor out.
Lower Thigh – Long, strong and sinewy, running into a strong hock.
Hock – Very well angulated, strong, firm, turning neither in nor out.
Metatarsus – Short, vertical to the ground.
Hind Feet – Toes short, arched and well knit. Nails short and black. 


Flexible, elegant, agile, free and ground covering. The front legs swinging as far forward as possible, the hind legs, ground covering and springy, provide the necessary drive. The front leg of one side and the hind leg of the other side move forward at the same time. The back, the ligaments and the joints are firm. 


Tight fitting over the whole body. 

Hair – The coat should be wiry, harsh and dense. It consists of a dense undercoat and a not too short top coat, lying close to the body. The top coat is rough and sufficiently long to allow the checking of its texture; it is neither bristly nor wavy. The hair on the limbs tends to be less harsh. Coat short on forehead and ears. Typical characteristics are the not too soft beard on the muzzle and the bushy eyebrows which slightly shade the eyes.

Pure Black with Black undercoat
Pepper and Salt.
When breeding Pepper and Salt, the aim is a medium shading with evenly distributed, well pigmented pepper colouring and grey undercoat. The shades from dark iron grey to silver grey are all permitted. In all colour variations there must be a dark mask which should adapt harmoniously to the respective colour, emphasizing the expression. Distinct light markings on head, chest and limbs are undesirable. 

Height at Withers                             Dogs and Bitches 45 to 50cm
Weight                                                 Dogs and Bitches 14 to 20kg. 

Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog.

Particularly :
Head altogether too small or too short
Heavy or round skull
Wrinkles on forehead
Short, pointed or narrow muzzle
Pincer bite
Strongly protruding cheeks or cheekbones
Light, too large or round eyes
Low set, too long or unevenly carried ears
Dewlap. Narrow crest of neck
Too long, tucked up or soft back
Roach back
Croup falling away
Tail set inclined towards head
Long feet
Pacing movement
Too short, too long, soft, wavy, shaggy, silky, white or spotted coat or other mixed colours
Brown undercoat
In Pepper and Salt : a black trace on the back of a black saddle.
Over or undersize up to 1cm.  

Clumsy or light build. Too low or too high on leg.
Inverse sexual type (i.e. doggy bitch)
Elbows turning out
Straight or open hocked hindlegs
Hocks turning inwards
Over or undersize by more than 1cm but less than 3cm. 

Aggressive or overly shy dogs

Any dog clearly showing physical or behavioural abnormalities shall be disqualified.

Malformation of any kind
Lack of breed type
Faulty mouth, such as over or undershot or wry mouth
Severe faults in individual parts, such as faults in structure, coat and colour
Over or undersize by more than 3cm
Shy, aggressive, vicious, exaggeratedly suspicious or nervous behaviour


Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum. 

Only functionally and clinically healthy dogs with breed typical conformation should be used for breeding.   

*Regardless of the provisions of the current KUSA-adopted standard, docked or formerly docked breeds may be shown at all FCI- and KUSA-licensed shows in South Africa, whether their tails are docked, or natural. Under no circumstances are judges permitted to discriminate against exhibits on the grounds of docked, or natural tails and equal consideration for awards must be given to either.(Fedco 12/2017 amended/DR 04/2018)