The Standard Schnauzer is generally a very robust breed, some living up to 18 years. Very often people buy a puppy from us when their dog is getting on or has passed over, having lived usually to somewhere between 13 and 16 years.
It needs to be pointed out that the Standard Schnauzer is a totally separate breed from Miniature and Giant Schnauzers, and that therefore health issues applicable to those breeds are not usually relevant to the Standard Schnauzer.
In Australia there are therefore no mandatory requirements for health testing for the Standard Schnauzer through the ANKC or the state bodies regulating purebred dog breeding.
Any sires we use by frozen semen from Europe however have to undergo a process to pass breeding approval, which includes requirements for hip and eye testing. Any semen we import is therefore from dogs that have had health clearance in this regard.
We have so far had feedback about 3 of our dogs that have passed away, one by being run over, another by injuring its spine during play, and a third having fallen over dead suddenly and of unknown cause at 6 years old. Pretty good going given the amount of puppies we have bred by now. The oldest female we have owned is now 13 years old and still going strong, and a male from our second litter has just produced a large litter of pups at 11 years old.
As far as is known, there is one known hereditary disease that affects Standard Schnauzers. It is called Dilated Cardiomyopathy, DCM in short, and is a disease in which the heart muscle becomes inflamed and doesn't work as it should. The term "cardiomyopathy" literally means "sick heart muscle." In Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM) the chambers of the heart increase in size and the muscles that form the walls of the heart stretch thinner. Canine DCM is one of the causes of Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) and is the more common type of cardiomyopathy in dogs. More information is available at the AKCCHF.
In early 2014 a genetic marker has been found and a DNA test has become available to test for DCM. Results need to be sent off to the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals in the USA. A lot of breeders in Europe and the USA have started to test their animals for this gene, so that matings between two carrier animals can be avoided. We have and will send the DNA of our females off for testing, and Aust Ch Klabauter Kenya (AI), Aust Ch Klabauter Made in Oz, Aust Ch Klabauter Odyssey to Oz and Aust Ch Klabauter Orbit around Oz have so far been returned as negative, which is great, they are not carriers.