Schnauzers are a dog breed known for their bushy eyebrows, beards, and mustaches. Their name has been derived from the German word schnauze, meaning snout. There are three types of Schnauzers, standard, giant, and miniature. All sizes of Schnauzers are known for their intelligence and affection towards their human; hence, they have become a popular family pet.
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Types of Schnauzers
All three types of Schnauzers originated in Germany and were used as farm dogs. The standard Schnauzer is a moderate-sized dog that can be as tall as 17 1/2 to 19 1/2 inches and can weigh about 30 to 50 pounds. This is a protective dog breed that can get attached to the family and love children. They are high-energy dogs needing regular exercise. They are intelligent; hence training them is easy when done by the pack leader.
Giant Schnauzers were bred to drive large livestock such as cattle. This variety is bred to be working dogs and is highly intelligent and energetic. They can be as tall as 23 1/2 to 27 1/2 inches and weigh 55 to 105 pounds. They need to be well trained at a young age and should be socialized early to avoid them from becoming dominant. They need a pack leader to remain disciplined. These are not apartment dogs as they need an open space to exercise. These are affectionate dogs and can become family dogs if trained well.
Miniature schnauzers were originally bred to be ratters to hunt vermin on farms. These little dogs are the most popular of the three types. They are smart, affectionate, and fearless, hence make good watchdogs. They are lively and playful, but they need a strict owner who can be in charge. They love children and are devoted to the family. They are as tall as 12 to 15 inches and weigh about 10 to 15 pounds. They may look like lap dogs, but they are working dogs, so they need to exercise every day.
Here are a few characteristics and facts about Schnauzers you should know before adopting one.
Schnauzers have a double coat that requires you to groom and maintain it using a slicker brush several times a week to avoid tangles and mat in the undercoat. They do not shed much; hence you need to remove the dead hair so that it does not get knotted. They do not require frequent baths, and you can just bathe them once a month or when they get dirty with a gentle shampoo designed for dogs. Trimming their hair can be done at home by calling professional groomers, or you can learn to do it yourself with the help of a trimmer or scissors.
Schnauzers are affectionate dogs ready to please their pack leader in every step. They are also highly intelligent; this only means they can be easily trained if done the right way. Though they may get bored with the same training routine because of their intelligence, which is why they keep changing the training routines to make it look interesting. Socialize them as early as possible to reduce their dominance. This will make them more obedient as they grow. They seem to have a strong prey drive hence put up high fences around the compound. When there is no fence, never leave them off-leash for their own safety.
Schnauzers are quite an active dog that requires daily exercise. Especially if you have a standard or a giant breed, they need more space. A miniature version of this breed can be kept in an apartment but remember to take them for walks. As they are highly intelligent, if they are not exercised well, they can become destructive. A fenced backyard is the best place to keep the dog in the daytime where they can play around and burn all their energy, but if you live in an apartment, then play with them more or take them out for several walks to tire them off.
They are lively dogs and love challenges. But monotonous tasks can bore them. To keep their mind active, use puzzle feeders to keep them occupied. They have limited focus at times; hence, you need to be patient around them. If they consider you the pack leader, then they will be obedient around you.
They are a friendly dog breed that can get along with all the family members. They are good around children and other dogs, too. They are working dogs but make a good watchdog as well, ensuring your family’s safety. Miniature schnauzers can be apartment dogs due to their small size, as well as can comfortably live on a farm as they are ratters.
This breed has a sturdy built, including the miniature breed, and walks with confidence. They have bush eyebrows and a comical beard, making them look like a dog that knows everything. Their coat comes in a combination of three colors- solid black, salt and pepper, and silver. They hardly shed and are considered hypoallergenic.
Health and Life Span:
Miniature schnauzers are prone to liver disease, kidney stones, diabetes, skin disorders, von Willebrand’s disease, cysts, and hereditary eye problems. The giant breed is prone to cancer, especially toe cancer, as well as bloat, hip dysplasia, and epilepsy. Whereas standard schnauzers can be prone to hip dysplasia and tumors. Their average lifespan is 12-15 years.
Getting a Schnauzer Puppy:
Choosing to adopt a Schnauzer or get one through the breeder is a personal choice. Many prefer to get a puppy from the breeder as this breed needs to understand that you are the pack leader to be obedient, and that means you can train them in their puppy phase. This breed is expensive if you plan to get it from a breeder; hence check out standard Schnauzer for sale to get one at an affordable price.
The Bottom Line:
Schnauzers were originally bred to be guard dogs and ratters on German farms, and their protective nature made them a perfect family pet and a companion dog as well. But you should also note that they are territorial and stubborn dogs with high energy and intelligence. If you are an inexperienced dog parent, maybe they are not the right-first-time pet for you. But if you have some experience in parenting a dog, they can become an indispensable part of your family.