Any Color as Long as It’s Pepper and Salt, or Black

Of the trio of Schnauzers, the standard is the oldest and original member, and while wording about its colors is succinct in both the Canadian and UKC standards (the Canadian standard simply states: “The Standard may be either salt-and-pepper or solid black in colour,” and the UKC standard reads, “The acceptable colors are Pepper and Salt, and Black”), the AKC, and FCI standards are more detailed and go into topcoats, hair color combinations, and colors on various body parts). It’s likely that these colors were introduced in the mid-19th century when German dog fanciers made crosses with the gray Wolfspitz and black German Poodle that produced the distinctive pepper and salt and black colors. That said, there are other Schnauzer colors, and none are accepted by any of the aforementioned registries. Prospective Schnauzer owners should know that liver (recessive to Black), Liver/Tan (recessive to Black/Silver), Liver/Pepper (recessive to Salt/Pepper), parti, white and wheaten (genetically, an agouti, a more yellow/cream/red color that can come in both a Black nose/pad pigment and Liver nose/pad pigment) are among those colors. While these dogs can participate in AKC performance events, the conformation ring is closed to them.  We’ve read of a white Schnauzers, and our homework tells us that white is a hidden color (or masking gene), and that the gene that causes the white coat color actually suppresses the Schnauzers base color. As always, we defer to Schnauzer and color genetic experts since anything “Mendelian” is akin to wandering into the tall grass for us.

 “Three Sizes Of Schnauzers” by Katerina A Cechova is available as a print and card here.

3 thoughts on “Any Color as Long as It’s Pepper and Salt, or Black”

  1. This article is confusing when educating people on the colors of a Standard Schnauzer. The article is about the STANDARD Schnauzers but then covers Miniature Schnauzer colors… The FCI accepted colors for a STANDARD are Black and Pepper/Salt. Then all of the sudden (directly worded from my website–Riggs Miniature Schnauzers) it goes into the MINIATURE Schnauzer colors, lol. The Miniature Schnauzer FCI colors are WHITE, Black/Silver, Salt/Pepper and Black. FYI: Liver, Parti etc are non-standard colors in the MINIATURE but can be registered with the AKC in the USA.

    There are THREE distinct Schnauzer breeds. The article is covering one breed of Schnauzer (the Standard) and then goes into the great color debate for a different breed of Schnauzer (the Miniature) and that color topic. Totally confusing most people reading the article. The Miniature Schnauzer FCI color link is included vs the Standard Schnauzer colors via the FCI. Totally different breeds of Schnauzer and ones color debate has nothing to do with the other breed of Schnauzer. This article should be edited to focus on the Standard Schnauzer only. You can cover the Miniature Schnauzer color debate for that breed in your Miniature Schnauzer article.


    • We did ask for input, Daphne, so your comment is welcomed. That said, the discussion is about Standard Schnauzers, and it’s coincidental that the colors discussed also are found in miniatures.

      • What she is saying is those colors are NOT found in Standards. Only 2 colors. So putting the miniature schnauzer colors is confusing.

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