A Schnauzer (German: "snouter") is a breed that originated in Germany from the 14th to 16th centuries. The term comes from the German word for "snout" and means colloquially "moustache", because of the dog's distinctively bearded snout. Originally, it was called the Wire-Haired Pinscher. "Schnauzer" was adopted in 1879.
There are three breeds: the Standard, Giant, and Miniature. The original Schnauzer was the same size as the modern Standard Schnauzer breed and was bred as a rat-catcher and guard dog. The Giant Schnauzer and the Miniature Schnauzer were developed from the Standard Schnauzer and are the result of crosses with other breeds.