The personality of the Standard Schnauzer can vary from dog to dog. Some are high strung, some are laid back and easy going, some don't like new people, others love anybody and everybody. The key to raising a happy and well-adjusted Standard Schnauzer lies in commitment to exercise and training from an early age. Properly trained Schnauzers make excellent family pets – reliable with children, properly mannered with strangers, respectful of boundaries. Improperly trained and exercised Schnauzers can be much more challenging. Experienced dog owners describe Standard Schnauzers as loyal, loving companions who bring them nothing but laughter and joy. They can be quite clownish and if silly behavior gets them a laugh and some attention, they'll pick up on that and become show-boaters. With Schnauzers, more so than other breeds, you get out of them what you put into them.
For people who aren't prepared to walk several times a day, the Schnauzer is not the right choice. For active people, he makes an excellent companion, as his daily activity requirements are moderate to high. Walking, or jogging are good ways to keep Schnauzers physically fit, and enrolling them in agility training can keep their minds sharp. Proper exercise not only keeps Standard Schnauzers physically fit, but it also helps maintain a steady temperament. High-strung Schnauzers are probably not getting enough exercise.
It is important to keep your Schnauzer's mind active, as well. They are intelligent dogs who bore easily, and when bored, they can become destructive. Agility or advanced obedience creates “thinking time” as well as extra bonding time with family.
Training a Schnauzer varies from individual dog to individual dog. Training should be begin as early as possible, and should be conducted with firm leadership, 100% consistency, and a lot of delicious treats. Schnauzers generally won't accept a wishy-washy trainer as a leader. Once basic obedience is mastered, Schnauzers should be graduated on to advanced classes and if possible, enrolled in agility activities where they almost always excel.
Schnauzers need more socialization than a lot of other breeds. They can be timid or shy around strangers, and this can often lead to snapping or biting. It is important to teach a Schnauzer early and often that new people can be trusted and new situations are nothing to fear.
Animal aggression is a common trait among Standard Schnauzers. Cats and small dogs should be kept away, as Schnauzers are prone to chase. They are best for one-pet homes, and their same-sex aggressive tendencies are high. Schnauzers should always be kept in a fenced yard and when out walking or jogging, should be leashed at all times. Proper socialization helps, but it's difficult to train aggression out of this breed, even if they are generally an even-tempered individual.
Destructive tendencies are also very common with Schnauzers, but this trait is also avoidable. A well-exercised Scnhauzer is a reliable housemate. A bored Schnauzer will destroy a home in record time.