In the United States they have been trained to help people in such tasks as
hearing dogs, therapy dogs in medical centers and nursing homes,
search and rescue, explosives detection, and more recently, to sniff out
cancerous skin cells.
Please note that the Search and Rescue dog and the K9/Cancer Sniffing dog both have their AKC Championships. Not only are these dogs good workers, but they have also proved themselves as excellent examples of the breed.
We would like to show you some of the outstanding working dogs in our breed as they happily do their jobs. Whatever the task, they are enthusiastic workers.
The Standard Schnauzer has been noted as a reliable guard dog throughout the breed's history. Their loyalty, love of family, shrewd intelligence, and fearlessness make them dependable guards.
In the fifteenth and sixteenth century, tradesmen used Standard Schnauzers to protect their wagons of merchandise as they traveled from hamlet to hamlet. These hardy, reliable guard dogs were of a size not to take up too much space in the wagon, but were fierce enough to warn off filchers. The Germans began using the reliable Standard Schnauzer for police work around 1914. During the World Wars, they also used the Standard Schnauzer to carry dispatches, for guard duty, and as Red Cross dogs.
As a home guardian, the Standard Schnauzer excels. It accepts close friends of the family, but warns away strangers with a formidable voice which it saves for such occasions. And woe unto the attacker or intruder!
CANCER SNIFFING AND BOMB DETECTION
Ch. & OTCH Tailgates George VonPickel, UDX - is not just a pretty face - George has done it all. He gained his championship in the show ring and then showed his true nature as an outstanding WORKING DOG. George has excelled in obedience work, police work, and as a cancer sniffing dog.
In obedience trials, George has won close to 400 awards. In 1994, he was ranked first in the country in obedience among Standard Schnauzers.
Before retirement, George was a certified bomb-detection dog and served over 2 years with the Tallahassee police. George then went from sniffing for explosives to sniffing for cancer. He worked in an experimental program where he was trained to smell cancers, not only on the skin but in the lung as well.
George was featured the Spring of 1997 on Unsolved Mysteries with his owner/trainer. He was featured May 25. 1997, on the program Ultimate Guide Dogs on the Discovery Channel.
Standard Schnauzers are used in many ways to help people. Here you see a Standard Schnauzer serving as a therapy dog visiting in an nursing home.
SEARCH AND RESCUE
Ch. Barnaba von Krumchen - Bingo, who has now retired from Search and Rescue and the show ring, is an exceptional example of the working capabilities of the Standard Schnauzer. Bingo was given a special award in 1986 by the Standard Schnauzer Club of America for being the first Standard Schnauzer to be certified as a Search and Rescue Dog.
There are only about 200 certified teams in the United States and the training is lengthy and rigorous. In the past, only the larger breeds were used for search and rescue. Bingo changed all that - he demonstrated the advantages of using a middle sized breed. Bingo and his partner and owner were part of the team sent to Puerto Rico in 1985 to help search for victims of a mud slide. Also they have been often called upon in Virginia and Maryland to search for lost people.
In 1986 Bingo found an alzheimer's victim lost in the woods of Virginia. He searched through intense heat, humidity and a thunderstorm to find the victim alive and well after being lost for 16 hours.
Bingo is trained as an air-scent dog, as opposed to ground-sent dogs like Bloodhounds. He worked and trained with Dogs East where he was trained for three important attributes - endurance, independence, and agility. Endurance is essential on a long search during bad weather. Independence is essential since the dog works off lead out ahead of the trainer and must be able to make his own decisions. The dog must figure out "where that scent is coming from". Agility is essential. Speed and strength are not as important - it is agility that enables the dogs to scramble over rough ground and through damaged buildings. The size of the Standard Schnauzer is an advantage over larger dogs for getting into small spaces and being lifted up onto a ledge or the next floor of a demolished building.
Bingo didn't make it to the Mexico earthquake disaster and he was missed by the other Dog East Team members. "We wish the Little Guy had been there to search between some of the pieces of rubble that the big dogs wouldn't fit through", said his team members. Bingo is indeed an outstanding and brave "Little Guy".
CANINE COMPANION FOR READING
Ch. Centennial's Starfire Deneb, TDI is part of the PAWS to Read program at Centennial Park Library in Greeley, Colorado. Children sit in bean bag chairs and tell stories to trained therapy dogs such as Deni. The program provides a nonjudgmental ear that kids look forward to whispering into, prompting them to enjoy reading and improve their skills. Research shows that children who participated in similar programs improved their reading skills.