Originating from Germany, the Schnauzer is a canine breed that is best distinguished by its bearded snout. They are perhaps best known for their bristly whiskers, and mustache paired with a set of arched eyebrows. The breed’s name is derived from the German word “schnauze” which actually means muzzle or snout. Although they are often regarded as Terrier-type dogs, schnauzers don’t actually possess the typical temperament of Terriers. Today, the breed excels in search, rescue, and performance competitions. They also make wonderful therapy dogs, trained to comfort and aid people in stressful medical situations.
Schnauzers range in size and are usually sturdy and athletic. The breed is actually categorized into three types which include the Miniature, the Standard, and the Giant. The Miniature Schnauzer was the product of crossing the Standard Schnauzer with the Affenpinscher and Poodle breeds. 
The Standard Schnauzers were utilized as guard and police dogs in the past. They were also used for catching rats. On the other hand, the Giant Schnauzers were products of crossing a Standard Schnauzer with the Black Munchener, Great Dane, Doberman, Rottweiler, Bouvier des Flandres, Boxer, and Thuringian Shepherd. They were bred to guard farms, and drive livestock to the market. 
Schnauzers are the type of dogs that are known for their ability to carry themselves with great deal of importance. In addition to their highly developed senses, Schnauzers are also noted for their impressive level of stamina, resistance, and courage. These athletic dogs also excel in performance shows such as herding, tracking, and agility. Schnauzers usually serve as excellent guard and watch dogs. 
In most cases, Schnauzers are regarded as loving and friendly dogs that get along well with children especially when they were trained to socialize starting at an early age. Also, these energetic dogs are known to be protective of their families. They would instantly alert the entire household whenever potential dangers are approaching.
The breed is normally lively, enthusiastic, spunky, and playful. They are also the type that constantly need human companionship. The breed is consistently noted for their above average level of intelligence. However, just like other dogs, they may become demanding, fearless, and willful without firm and consistent training. Nonetheless, they are admired for their impulse to protect people, places, and objects from interested parties.
The hairs on the legs and beard of this breed should be brushed regularly to prevent matting. Also, it is suggested owners must fully groom their Schnauzer every six to eight weeks. 
The Miniature Schnauzer has an average lifespan of 15 years while the Giant Schnauzer is expected to live 13.5 years.
 Dan Rice, Big Dog Breeds (Barron’s Educational Series, 2001).
 Margaret Fetty, Miniature Schnauzer: Whiskers (Bearport Publishing, 2010).
 Silvan R. Urfer, Kimberly Greer, and Norman S. Wolf, “Age-Related Cataract in Dogs: A Biomarker for Life Span and Its Relation to Body Size,” AGE 33, no. 3 (September 1, 2011): 451–60, doi:10.1007/s11357-010-9158-4.