Schnauzer: getting to know this great family breed

 Get to know Schnauzers

Schnauzers, the German breed originally bred for hunting, now make great family dogs.

Loyal, fun, inquisitive, free thinking, self-important (keep me involved!), energetic and intelligent, this breed will keep you entertained!


Schnauzers come in three sizes and, as a guide, weigh in the region of...

Mini Standard Giant
5-8kg 15-20kg  30-40kg


They come in three colours, black, salt & pepper and black & silver.

schnauzer guide to breed


Generally, Schnauzers are fun-loving and good tempered.  They make a great addition to the family and are good with children.

They are known for being a loyal breed and given their breed background (working/hunting) they tend to be alert, playful and curious souls. They can be attention seeking and love to be part of the action. Although, there are slight differences in the personalities between the three sizes.

They are a breed that like 'to do' stuff and will enjoy playing games with you.

They are known for being barky, it's just in their nature and part of their personality - they like to be heard.


Schnauzer breed information

In general (I'm always going to write 'in general' because obviously all dogs are different!) Schnauzers are good tempered and not aggressive toward other dogs.

They can be aloof with other dogs and although they may not like the attention of another dog, they are more likely to ignore them than to pick a fight.

Do you agree? Tell us about your Schnauzer's temperament in the comments!


Miniature: developed in the late 1800s by breeding the standard schnauzer with a smaller German pinscher. The miniature schnauzer was used as a working dog for hunting rats and vermin.

Standard: developed in the area east of the Rhine River in Europe (today called Germany) around the 14th century or maybe earlier. It was a great guard dog and was also used for herding and hunting vermin.

Giant: The giant schnauzer was developed later in the southern Bavaria area. It's a possibility that standards were bred with Great Danes, Bouvier des Flanders, or possibly the Doberman. Giant Schnauzers' primary purpose was to drive cattle.

*Do you know more about the history that you'd like to share in comments below?

get to know schnauzers

General Health

All breeds have various health issues, and Schnauzers are no exception. It's worth keeping in mind the general concerns with this breed so that you can be informed and aware of anything you can do to prevent any issues or help with your dog's wellbeing.

The PDSA  list the following health concerns for Schnauzers:

  • Cataracts (opacity of the lens of the eye – giving a 'cloudy' appearance)
  • Pancreatitis
  • Bladder stones
  • Atopy (hypersensitivity to certain allergens, causing itching and skin trauma)
  • Urolithiasis

Given the breed's propensity for pancreatitis and bladder stones, it's a good idea to feed Schnauzers a low fat diet and do try not to give them human food titbits - but that goes for all breeds.  No need to feed a dog human food, there are so many wonderful, yummy, good-for-you treats for dogs!

We have many, many low fat and healthy treat options at Be More Bob, including treats for dogs that have been diagnosed with Pancreatitis.

Having said that, Schnauzers are a hardy breed.

Exercise requirements

All three sizes of Schnauzer need daily exercise and play.

They do well with dog agility as they love to play and learn. They will enjoy long walks in a variety of places as they are inquisitive. 

Without proper exercise they may develop bad behaviours such as chewing or digging - but this goes for most breeds.  All dogs need stimulation, exercise and interaction.

schnauzer get to know the breed

Grooming and coat health

Schnauzers are classed as 'wire haired' which means short and course coat that doesn't shed.

This means that grooming is a must to keep your dog's coat in good condition.

Do you own a Schnauzer? How often do you groom your pal - let us know in the comments!

schnauzer facts

Schnauzer Charity

We love Schnauzerfest who help to re-home, foster and care for Schnauzers.  If you are thinking of re-homing a Schnauzer, they offer advice and links to reputable rehoming organisations. 

Have you rehomed a Schnauzer? Tell us your story in comments!



  • Hi our mini schnauzer is a whopper at over 14kg. He’s the biggest I’ve seen. Although he has epilepsy, he doesn’t let it spoil him having fun. His favourite pastime is barking.

  • Hi our mini schnauzer is a whopper at over 14kg. He’s the biggest I’ve seen. Although he has epilepsy, he doesn’t let it spoil him having fun. His favourite pastime is barking.

  • I had 2 minis one was a barker and wanted to play all of the time. He was fairly obedient and very loyal. My second one was very quiet, my father actually thought that she had a problem with her vocal chords and when she did bark he said it was anemic. She was obedient, loyal and adored my father. When he was in another room and called me she would run in for me and sneeze to get my attention. She was a funny, active, loving, and a bundle of joy. I miss her.

    Marie Barrese
  • I have 3 Mini’s, 2 are almost 13 and 1 aged 9. They are Barky but I believe they are protectors. Extremely loving & loyal with different characteristics & very funny.

    Christine Burt
  • We have two 9 year old Miniature Schnauzers, Holly and Jess. They are from the same litter but have quite different personalities. Holly isn’t really interested in other people, although she can growl if she sees a bigger dog. She was very I’ll last year (goodbyes were said) but recovered at the fantastic vet hospital. Jess is a “people person” with a particular interest in post men and women. If she sees one in the distance she squeals madly. They only bark if someone comes near the house. They are great dogs, full of fun and very loving, and well behaved when they are taken anywhere: people always comment on this. They are groomed about every 8 weeks. We keep their beards short to stop them turning into a food storage facility 😂


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