Are you considering bringing in a new four-legged friend for the family but unsure what to choose? Then you may want to look at one of the many different Schnauzer dog breeds.
Not only are Schnauzers great family dogs, but the various breeds also come in many types and sizes so that they’ll be at home no matter what sort of living situation you have.
With a bit of patience and research, you’ll be able to find just the right type of Schnauzer for you and your family.
We know that owning a new family dog can be stressful at first.
Here we have compiled a basic dog breed profile for the different Schnauzer breeds so that, hopefully, we can take some of the mystery out of finding the right type of Schnauzer for you.
Basic information and breed types
The common Schnauzer, as we know it, is small to a medium-sized dog that hails from Germany. It was initially bred to be a ratter (a dog that catches rats) and a watchdog.
The traditional Schnauzer is a purebred dog, but over the years, different breeds have been introduced to the purebred Schnauzer to create various sizes of Schnauzer.
The American Kennel Club currently recognizes three classifications of Schnauzer: the miniature Schnauzer, the Standard Schnauzer, and the Giant Schnauzer.
There are, of course, other crossbreeds of Schnauzer, but these are the ones we will be focusing on today.
We’ll go into the specifics of each size later in the profile, but for reference, the Miniature is the smallest size of Schnauzer and is officially classified as a small dog for both weight and stature.
The standard Schnauzer stands just a bit taller than the Miniature but can weigh up to 50 pounds, making it a small to medium-sized dog.
The giant Schnauzer is the largest of the three breeds by far, weighing up to 80 pounds and weighing 26 inches tall. They are typically a combination of Schnauzer and Great Dane or different breeds of sheepdog, giving them a larger frame and more squared face.
If you’re looking for a lap dog, you won’t find it with a Schnauzer, but depending on personality, plenty of affectionate Schnauzers are out there.
All three breeds share some characteristics, though there are also some key distinctions. The size and these distinctions will hopefully make it easier for you to find the right option.
Size and energy level
Here is a brief breakdown of the three breeds’ sizes, energy levels, and exercise requirements.
The Miniature Schnauzer stands about one foot tall and should weigh between 12 and 20 pounds. Despite their size, they are born protectors and fiercely loyal to their owners and family.
They are spunky and love to run around and be active.
A small yard or taking them on a vigorous walk is necessary to help them burn off this excess energy, but otherwise, they are content sitting around the house and being part of the family.
The Standard Schnauzer stands between 17 and 20 inches tall, and despite their shorter height, they can weigh between 35 and 50 pounds.
Because of this size difference, it is essential to differentiate between a Standard purebred Schnauzer and a miniature, as the Miniature can stand nearly as tall as a standard but weighs much less.
Like their smaller kin, the Standard Schnauzer is high energy and loves to run around and be happy.
One key difference is that standards are much less vocal than their smaller counterparts.
This is typically due to the smaller Schnauzer being protective and wanting to alert owners to a possible threat, but Standard Schnauzers are much less likely to do this.
The Giant Schnauzer lives up to its name.
They stand between 22 and 26 inches tall and weigh between 50 and 80 pounds. This means they can easily be two times the size of a standard Schnauzer and 2 or 3 times the size of a miniature.
Like their cousins, they are bred to be guard dogs, and their larger size makes them more intimidating. Though slightly less so, they are high energy like the other breeds and are not vocal like a Miniature Schnauzer.
Given their larger size, they typically need a bit more space to move around, but their exercise requirements aren’t that different from the smaller breeds.
Consider the space requirement carefully before choosing a Giant Schnauzer as your next family pet.
Health and lifespan
There are several commonalities between the three breeds of Schnauzer. The average lifespan between the 3 is 11 to 16 years, with the Standard Schnauzer having the longest lifespan of the three at 12 to 16 years.
Each breed is prone to size-specific health issues, such as joint health problems in the two larger breeds like hip dysplasia, heart problems among the three, and weight issues for the miniature breed.
Generally, it is a good idea to ensure they get the required amount of exercise and are fed a healthy age and size-appropriate diet to prevent weight problems and improve joint health and flexibility.
Some Schnauzers experience issues with gait and balance, which can be a sign of joint problems associated with age or more serious neurological conditions.
Vets and breeders recommend getting your dog’s DNA tested to learn the potential for these types of issues and other health problems that may arise.
Training and intelligence
All three breeds of Schnauzer are considered very intelligent, with the Miniature ranking the highest out of the three at 12 out of 138. Their ability to learn quickly makes the miniature one of the most popular breeds available.
Each of the three breeds is highly obedient thanks in part to their genetics and part to their loyalty to their owner.
This makes them eager to please and ready to learn.
Once trained, even the vocal Miniature becomes a calm and friendly family dog. They quickly pick up on tricks and discover behaviors their owner expects from them.
Depending on your preference, they can be kept as family pets or remain in their role as guard dogs.
One thing to note when considering a Schnauzer is that they are prone to chase cats. This is because of their history as ratters.
They see cats and prey and are inclined to chase them, but this behavior can be trained out of them, primarily if they are taught at a young age.
Their high intelligence and obedience make them an excellent dog choice for any family.
Schnauzer grooming needs
Schnauzers have a double coat; the outer is wiry, and the undercoat is soft and fluffy.
Regular brushing and combing and professional trimming every five to eight weeks should be done to keep your pup looking its best.
Not only that, but monthly baths, nail trims, and weekly ear checks for any debris or wax will ensure your Schnauzer looks sharp.
The dogs have three distinctive coat colors — salt and pepper, black and silver, and solid black. White Schnauzers are relatively rare and usually considered less desirable.
The Schnauzer’s distinctive beard and eyebrows helped protect the dogs from the vermin they hunted.
Final thoughts on Schnauzer dog breeds
This concludes our guide to some of the different breeds of Schnauzer. Though there are plenty of similarities, these three distinctive breeds offer enough differences that we hope you’ll be able to find the right option for your family.
Remember, owning a dog is a long-term commitment that should always be taken seriously. Before adding a Schnauzer to your home, talk with your vet and local breeders.
Alana Redmond is a content writer who specializes in law and consumer safety. She also works with The Law Office of Edward W. Sampson, a personal injury law firm specializing in dog bite injuries and accidents.