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Hip Dysplasia in Standard Schnauzers

Standard Schnauzers are big-boned and muscular with square, medium-sized frames which would cause a person to assume that hip dysplasia in Standard Schnauzers would not be a problem.

Standard Schnauzers

Standard Schnauzers are enjoyable dogs to have as pets but they need a lot of positive guidance to offset their forceful personalities.

Before committing yourself to owning a Standard Schnauzer you should be aware that they require a lot of playtime with their owner and strong obedience training and exercises.

They are robust, hard-working dogs but also affectionate and cuddly when they feel like it. Schnauzers make good family dogs and love to be involved in all your family’s activities.

Schnauzers are playful, patient, and very protective of their child companions. They are world-class watchdogs, determined, but with a keen sense of control. They will bark loudly when they sense a threat to their household, but they don’t bark randomly or excessively.

Standard Schnauzers are high-energy dogs needing lots of exercise and activity. You’ll need to take them on daily walks or jogs. Too little exercise can lead to destructive behaviors like chewing on your furniture or clothing, or digging holes in your backyard.

You need to exercise caution on your walks as they will often challenge and threaten larger dogs they meet. Always walk them on a leash. As they grow older they become very territorial.

Schnauzers need to be brushed regularly to avoid matting of their coat. They really should have regular professional grooming to keep them looking their finest.

The Standard Schnauzer dates back to 15th-century Germany, and is the basis for both the Miniature Schnauzer and the Giant Schnauzer.

They were originally bred to keep rats out of barns and also made good guard dogs for traveling merchants who needed protection for their wagons at night.

Standard Schnauzers have thick, wiry coats. They have elongated heads with bushy mustaches, beards and eyebrows. Their eyes are oval-shaped, and their ears V-shaped and bent forward. They come in solid black and salt and pepper coloring.

Healthy Standard Schnauzers can live 15 years or longer.

They are not susceptible to a wide array of diseases but they often develop health complications like cataracts, and a small percentage develop hip dysplasia as they age.

Hip dysplasia in Standard Schnauzers

Hip dysplasia is a genetic disease that primarily affects large and giant breeds of dogs but can also affect medium-sized breeds and occasionally small breeds. It is primarily a disease of purebreds, although it can also occur in mixed breeds.

To understand hip dysplasia in Standard Schnauzers and the resulting arthritis, you need a basic understanding of how the dog’s hip joint is affected.

The hip joint is comprised of a ball and socket that forms the attachment of the hind leg to the body. The ball portion is the head of the femur and the socket is located on the pelvis.

In a normal hip joint the ball rotates freely within the socket. The bones are shaped to perfectly match each other with the socket surrounding the ball.

To strengthen the joint, the two bones are held together by a strong ligament. The joint capsule, a strong band of connective tissue, circles the two bones to provide added stability.

Example of a normal hip joint:

Hip dysplasia is linked to abnormal joint structure and a laxity of the muscles, connective tissue, and ligaments that would normally support the dog’s hip joints.

As the disease progresses, the articular surfaces of the two bones lose contact with each other. This separation of the two bones within the joint causes a drastic change in the size and shape of the articular surfaces.

Example of an abnormal hip joint:

Most Schnauzers who eventually develop hip dysplasia are born with normal hips, but due to their genetic make-up the soft tissues surrounding the joint develop abnormally. This leads to the symptoms associated with hip dysplasia. The disease may affect both hips, or only the right or left hip.

The symptoms of hip dysplasia in Standard Schnauzers cause afflicted dogs to walk or run with an altered gait, similar to a bunny-hop.

They begin to resist any movement that requires full extension or flexion of the rear legs. They will experience stiffness and pain in their rear legs after exercising and on first rising in the morning. Climbing stairs becomes difficult if not impossible. Some dogs will limp and are less willing to participate in normal daily activities, including walks they formerly enjoyed.

It appears that the amount of calories a dog consumes, especially during its fast-growth period from three to ten months, has the biggest impact on whether or not a dog genetically prone to hip dysplasia will develop the disease.

Obesity can increase the severity of the disease in dogs that are genetically susceptible and the extra weight will intensify the degeneration of a dog’s joints and hips.

Dogs who are genetically prone to hip problems -like a Standard Schnauzer- and who also overweight, are at a much higher risk of developing hip dysplasia and eventually osteoarthritis.

Exercise can be another risk factor. Dogs genetically susceptible to hip dysplasia may have an increased incidence of the disease if they are over-exercised at a young age. Moderate exercise like running and swimming is best for exercising young dogs.


Because hip dysplasia is primarily an inherited condition, there are no products that can prevent its development.

Through proper diet, exercise, and a daily regimen of Winston’s Joint System, you can slow, and sometimes halt, the progression of these degenerative joint diseases while providing your dog with relief from its pain. Winston’s provides many of the raw materials essential for the synthesis of the joint-lubricating synovial fluid as well as the repair of articular cartilage and connective tissue.

You might also want to consider providing your dog with an orthopedic bed like the Canine Cooler Bed which distributes the dog’s weight evenly and reduces pressure on its joints. The Canine Cooler Bed uses revolutionary SoothSoft Technology to give your dog the very best in comfort, and the fluid-enhanced design offers a dry, cooling effect with superior cushioning and support. It’s perfect for dogs with hip dysplasia or arthritis.

There are different opinions on how to prevent the progression of hip dysplasia in Standard Schnauzers.

Poor nutrition, inadequate or improper exercise, and increased body weight may all contribute to the severity of osteoarthritis after the hip dysplasia has developed.

Watching the calories your puppy or young dog consumes and preventing obesity in your dog, allowing only non-stressful types of exercise, and a daily regimen of Winston’s Joint System, are the best things you can do for your dog.

Since 1990, Winston’s Joint System and Winston’s Pain Formula have helped heal over twenty thousand dogs from all over the world. Our staff specializes in hip dysplasia, arthritis and all joint, pain and mobility issues.

There is an excellent chance we can help your dog, so please contact us at: or call our toll free number at 888-901-5557.


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