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Whether you like a big, medium, or small this purebred, like their size, can also be different in their temperament. The Giant Schnauzer is known for their protectiveness, while the Standard and Miniature are every bit of a terrier personality. To help determine which size fits your lifestyle the best, it is important to understand their similarities, and differences.

Schnauzer Country of Origin

The Schnauzers were developed in Germany, with the Giant Schnauzer being developed from the Standard Schnauzer by farmers that desired a much larger dog for herding. Using the Standard Schnauzer and crossing it with the Great Dane, the Giant Schnauzer was developed. Later, they were used in WWI as a military dog for guarding breweries, and stockyards.

The Standard Schnauzer is considered the oldest of the three sizes developed in Germany. They were an all-purpose dog used as a messenger in WWI, hunter, guardian, retriever, and much more.

The Miniature Schnauzer is believed to be derived from the Standard Schnauzer using the Affenpinscher and the Poodle. Known today as a companion dog, the miniature was used to hunt rats in the early 19th century. They have a lot of the same traits as the standard offering different roles like hunter, protector, retriever, and more.

Three Different Sizes Means Three Different Needs

The Giant and Standard Schnauzer will require space. With the giant standing at approximately 27.5 inches tall, this dog takes up room and does not make a suitable roommate for apartment living. The Giant and Standard Schnauzer are playful, and gentle around people they know, but can easily be provoked. Because of their size they should be supervised aroundchildren, and other animals. They will not hesitate to protect their family.

The Miniature Schnauzer is better suited for families with young children. Like their bigger counterparts, they can resort to being overly protective. They are known for developingSmall Dog Syndrome, a syndrome where a smaller breed dog is running the show, so proper training and leadership helps the Schnauzer understand their role in their human pack.

All AreActive

All three sizes have a high energy level that will need proper channeling. They enjoy long dailywalks, agility, performing tricks, retrieving, and other types of physical or mental stimulation that will keep them happy.

By keeping the Schnauzer busy, this will help with the breed being well mannered in public and at home.

Love to hike? Fantastic! The Giant and Standard will be happy to sport a backpack carrying water, snacks, cell phone, and anything else needed. Hiking is a fantastic way to drain a dog's energy.

Work all day?Doggy Daycareis a great option for a well socialized Schnauzer. Drop off your Schnauzer in the morning, allowing them to romp and play with other dogs all day long. Picking up a tired, and happy dog on your way home from work is a win-win for both dog and human!

SocializingImperative for the Three Schnauzers

Known for their protective demeanor, all three sizes need to have proper socialization between other dogs, children, and adults. Even with early socialization, the Schnauzer's natural trait of protecting its family will still be a part of who they are. Socialization helps the Schnauzer display their friendly side.

The Giant Schnauzer is part of theHerdingandGuardiangroup, while the Standard and Miniature Schnauzers are part of theTerriergroup. With traits of the terriers, the standard and miniature are energetic, can be stubborn, and although not yappy, they make a low-howl like sound letting you know when they want something.

Loyal, Smart, Playful - All Common Traits

All three sizes are loyal to their human pack, extremely intelligent, and love a good play session. They do best with pet-parents that are already dog-savvy, or who have had a Schnauzer before.

Schnauzers are known for being silly, loving, responsive, friendly (when socialized), easy to train, and have an overall strong desire to be with their family as much as possible.

Teaching obedience, providing appropriate attention, and having a daily exercise program in place will help the Schnauzer be fulfilled. A lack of providing the necessary needs could result in unwanted behaviors like excessive jumping,barking, digging, counter-surfing, chewing,anxiety, and much more.

Grooming Guide

The three sizes share the same type of coat; wiry, dense, with a beard and heavy eyebrows. A professional groomer will help keep the Schnauzer looking clean, and prevent matting. Daily brushing of their coat, which comes in two colors, black or salt and pepper, is important. They are known not to shed, being an appropriate breed forallergy sufferers.

Although their ears are sometimescropped-a painful procedure that forces the ears to stay erect - they otherwise naturally fold forming a triangle shape pointing downward that truly is adorable looking!

Health Concerns

Thelifespanof each size is:

Giant Schnauzer - 12 to 15 Years

Standard Schnauzer - 15 Years or More

Miniature Schnauzer - 15 Years or More

The giant and standard are prone to Hip Dysplasia, tumors, cancer, and the giants are at risk of bloat and Epilepsy. The miniatures can suffer from liver disease and kidney stones, as well as skin disorders, von Willebrand's disease, cysts, and eye problems. They can gain weight easily, so a strict feeding schedule will help prevent diabetes, which they are also prone to.

Adopt First

As you begin looking for a Schnauzer please check with rescue organizations first. Every year there are millions of dogs being euthanized - not because they are bad dogs, but because there is no home for them and insufficient resources to care for them at rescue agencies. Byadopting a dog, you are truly saving a life!

At the very least, NEVER purchase any dog from a pet store. Unfortunately, those puppies almost always come from puppy mills. Instead, look for areputable breederto work with.

On a final note, it is important tospay and neuteryour puppy by 6 months old to have a healthy and happy pet for many years to come!

Do you like the idea of having a loyal, energetic, and protective guardian living in your home? The Schnauzer might be right breed for you!


Original Dog Bible, 2ndEdition byKristin Mehus-Roe

Dog Breed Info

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  • Another German dog? I need to collect them all!

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