Dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) is the most common myocardial disorder of dogs, typically affecting large and giant breeds. The purpose of this study was to describe the clinical features of DCM in standard schnauzers. Medical records for 15 standard schnauzers diagnosed with DCM were reviewed. The median age at diagnosis of DCM was 1.6 yr, with all dogs developing left-sided congestive heart failure (CHF). The median age of onset of CHF was 1.6 yr, and was significantly shorter in males (1.5 yr) than for females (2.35 yr). The median survival time after diagnosis of CHF was 22 days, and was shorter in males (13 days) than females (62 days). The occurrence of early onset DCM in multiple closely related standard schnauzers suggests a familial predisposition in this breed. Pedigree analysis confirmed common ancestry for all DCM affected dogs with a most likely autosomal recessive mode of inheritance.