The Schnauzer was bred and developed in Germany. The name is German for muzzle or snout, referring to the distinctively shaped snout and flared-out facial whiskers.
There are actually three distinct breeds of Schnauzer: the Giant Schnauzer, Standard Schnauzer, and Miniature Schnauzer. Breeders have mixed the different types of dogs together to create the compact size. They combined the Poodle and an Affenpinscher with a standard Schnauzer to develop the miniature version of an already popular dog. By the late 1800s, the Miniature Schnauzer was recognized as its own breed and becoming a common household pet. Amazingly, the three breeds share a resemblance with the exception of their noted variation in size.
By far in the US, the Miniature Schnauzer is the most popular. Schnauzers are actually terriers. Most terriers were bred to burrow in the ground to hunt rodents and small prey. By nature, terriers tend to be aggressive. The Schnauzers were not bred to burrow into the ground so while they are excellent hunters, they tend not to be as aggressive as other terriers.
Some breeds attach themselves to one person quickly; Schnauzers are great family dogs. They love and appreciate all members of their family. Due to their playful nature, they are generally great with children. In the past, many Schnauzers lived in farmhouses and were bred to be guard dogs. Indeed, they can make an excellent watchdog for your home.