Schnauzers are well known to be very healthy dogs and there are not many hereditary defects or diseases in our breed. This is mainly due to the fact that Standards are not that common a breed and therefore it has not been bred simply to produce puppies for sale. I'm sure you will agree that some breeds are in serious trouble with diseases of the eye, blood, skin etc. and this is a very sad thing. A beautiful breed of dogs now becomes a potential health and temperament nightmare simply because of human greed and ignorance.
Standards are known to occasionally develop Hip dysplasia but it is somewhat controlled when breeders use only X-ray cleared Breeding Stock. Hip clearances should go back at least three generations. Some dogs can develop a hypothyroid condition so most breeders also do a full panel thyroid test on their breeding stock to insure that they are normal.
We as breeders are aware that there are some diseases that do appear occasionally in our breed and we are making efforts to ensure that we do not breed to any affected dogs. There are some schnauzers who have been reported to have skin problems, cataracts, or heart conditions. Diabetes mellitus, Factor VIII deficiency, Von Willebrand's disease and some gastrointestinal problems have also been reported. As with most breeds you will find the occasional dog with one or both testicles that have not descended or that have Malocclusions with their teeth.
Not all of these diseases listed above are hereditary and we hope you are not scared off the breed by their inclusion. We do think however, that you, as potential buyers should be as informed as possible. The list was compiled in the USA a number of years ago because there was at least one Standard Schnauzer that was reported to have that disease. For the most part our breed is one of the healthiest you will find and in all likelihood you won't experience any of these problems with your puppy.
The Standard Schnauzer Breed Standard states that ideally males must be between 18-20 inches when measured from the withers to the floor. Bitches are to fall in the range of 17-19 inches. Dogs over or under that height can be disqualified in Conformation Competition. Like any other breed, there are dogs that exceed or fall short of the requirements. This, in no way, makes the dog an unsuitable companion and these dogs can still earn an Obedience or other performance titles. Standards average in weight between 30 and 50 pounds. Some bitches who have fine bones may weigh 27 pounds and some dense boned, heavily muscled males may weigh as much as 50 pounds.
Standard Schnauzers are fairly long lived and it is not unusual to see dogs who are in their thirteenth year and still going strong. If the Schnauzer is well taken care of there is no reason why he should not live to this age. Our old girl, "Maggie"lived to be 15 1/2, her sire, AM/CAN CH Charisma Cafe Diable died at age 13 1/2 and his littermate AM CH Charisma Cappuccino, was also an active member of the Adel household until her death at over 14. "Maggie's" maternal grandparents are also long lived, AM/CAN CH Oberdorf's Friar Fagin was almost 16 when he died and CH Darling Ginny of Silberfell was over 14.