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.