There are many important things to consider before you decide upon which variation of schnauzer breed – miniature, standard, or giant – is right for you. Finding the right dog and finding the right companion animal from a rescue group or breeder involves exploring a breed’s characteristics, personality and lifestyle.
These elements should match the commitment you are able to make to your fur baby. Consider that the history, breeding, and environment all play a role in the dynamics of your pet’s character.
All schnauzer dog breeds are German-natives and working dogs. The Schnauzer dog breed, regardless of size usually has a docked tail and cropped ears. These dogs have very tiny feet and a distinctive mustache, beard and bushy eyebrows that distinguish them and make them recognizable. Schnauzers are named after their muzzle, or German word “schnauzer.”
Subtypes of Schnauzers
Standard schnauzers have been around the longest and were first developed around the 14th Century as guard dogs over 700 years ago. The standard size dogs were vital for hunting rodents and other vermin.
More than 500 years later, the miniature schnauzer was created by breeding Schnauzers with smaller German Affenpinschers. The miniature dogs were warmly welcomed into the farmhouses and excelled at hunting rats.
Schnauzers hunt prey instinctively and have such excellent herding skills, that next came the Giant Schnauzer breed. In Southern Bavaria, the Giant Schnauzers may have been a mixture of Great Dane, Rottweiler and Doberman Pinscher dogs and were created for the purpose of driving cattle.
When deciding upon the right schnauzer breed for you and your family, size can be a big consideration. A standard schnauzer is around 40 pounds. Miniature schnauzers run an average of 15 pounds, with wide variations. The Giants can weigh anywhere from 55 or 60 to 80 or more pounds.
Choosing the Right Schnauzer for You and Your Family
Additionally, if you are considering a schnauzer as your pet, it will be really important to research the individual animal’s behavior in rescue or check out the breeder’s credentials. A rescue dog is often traumatized from his previous living situation and from ending up in a shelter and then a foster home. They can need some training and a little time to adjust, but they make wonderful pets.
At the same time, after a couple of weeks in a foster home, the rescue mom can usually tell you a lot about how the particular schnauzer interacts with other dogs, cats, children, and adults. This can prepare you to make an informed decision about not only the breed and size of schnauzer, but also the potential of the specific adopted new member to fit into your lifestyle and family situation.
If you get a puppy from a good breeder, they will pre-test the parents for certain health issues like hip dysplasia and will maintain Orthopedic Foundation for Animals certification records. While Schnauzers have a generally good temperament, a dog without proper breeding or with past environmental traumas may have heightened aggression in certain scenarios and possibly undesirable personality traits.
Miniature Schnauzers are wonderfully affectionate dogs and display somewhat more devotion and attachment to their owners than other breeds. While they maintain an independent personality, they are also remarkably great companions. Miniatures are inquisitive, smart, and instinctively alert. They can be a perfect dog for older children since they are fairly strong. Minis may be too hyper around very young, small children. Large families and even single adults that seek companionship also love miniature schnauzers.
Standard Schnauzers are adventurous, heroic, and all around fun-loving. While all three categories of Schnauzers need daily exercise, and a lot of it, these breeds love to play and simply engage with their owners frequently. The Standard size schnauzers were popular for guarding farmers’ carts historically and were also used as aides in World War I.
Both the Standard and Giant Schnauzers have been used as police dogs and make excellent guard dogs. Anyone who has a miniature schnauzer will tell you that the minis are excellent guard dogs too – it is just that they think they are bigger than they may look to an intruder.
The Giant Schnauzer is a reliable, energetic and working breed of dog. With their substantial height and weight, nothing on your tables, counters, and desks is necessarily safe from them curious natures. They have a reputation for being on the rambunctious side. Long walks and spirited play are essential with these dogs. Without proper exercise bad behaviors may quickly develop. As with any working dog breeds, giving them a job to do is very important for their emotional well being and your possessions.
Schnauzers can have the potential to be stubborn yet, fortunately, are easy enough to train. All schnauzers respond excellently to positive reinforcement techniques. Overall, schnauzers are also non-aggressive towards other dogs and tend to prefer ignoring rather than engaging them. But, any dog lover knows that each canine has his or her own unique personality and temperament.