Schnauzers have a look that is unique to their breed. These bearded canines have a regal look that makes them come off as being snobby with a sense of elitism, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. They have a distinguished appearance, but they are actually friendly and very loving pets who truly love to entertain. What’s really cool about the breed is that they come in three different sizes and a variety of colors. The giants are the largest, followed by the standards which are medium sized dogs, and the miniatures for people who prefer a smaller dog but love the look and temperament of the breed. If you’re considering becoming the owner of a schnauzer, there are a few things that you need to know. We’ve put together a list of 20 things that only schnauzer owners would understand. If you’re already a fan, then you’ll smile and agree with these entertaining and informative facts about these amazing dogs.
1. The neighbors may think you’ve adopted a walrus
There is something that is so cute and endearing about the beard that distinguishes a schnauzer from other types of dogs. They do slightly resemble a walrus in the face, because of their big bushy mustaches, but this is where the resemblance ends. Schnauzers are far more attractive. Their bearded faces have a regal look about them. This is a dog that fits in very well in royal and prestigious circles. We weren’t kidding about the walrus remark, but their bodies are much leaner and well-muscled.
2. You’ll never be alone
Your schnauzer will become your shadow. He will take an active interest in where you’re going and what you’re doing. He’ll follow you into the bathroom if you allow it. He’ll be waiting on the mat when you go into the shower, and he’ll be in the same place when you get out. If you don’t let him in the room with you, it’s almost certain that he’ll be waiting for you outside the door. It’s only because he loves you so much that he wants to be near you most of the time. Loneliness is a thing of the past when you’re the proud parent of a schnauzer.
3. He’ll entertain you
If you enjoy laughter, this dog will become the star of your show. These dogs have extraverted temperament and they love to play. Their big personalities simply cannot be hidden. They’re hams who love to perform in front of an audience. There won’t be many dull moments with a schnauzer in the house because they are born entertainers. They are easy to train and teach tricks, which makes them even funnier. The mustache is the perfect touch that makes his show complete and seems to add a human component. He’ll zoom around the house and land squarely in your lap when he’s feeling energetic and funny. We’re not quite sure if he’s actually laughing with you, but you’ll swear that you see him smile every now and then.
4. Your dog will stalk the cat
Schnauzers have a natural instinct to stalk smaller animals as prey. If you have a family cat, then it’s going to be important to start socializing your schnauzer, so he understands that the cat belongs in the home and he is not to be trifled with. Although easy to train, there are few schnauzers who can resist the urge to run the cat up the draperies in the house, or up a tree if they’re outside. It’s best to discourage this behavior while your schnauzer is still a young puppy. It’s not a good idea to leave him alone with smaller animals until you are certain that he understands that they are not fair game for him to pursue. This can be an issue with giant or standard sized schnauzers more so than with the miniatures.
5. You’re going to have a dog in your lap
Schnauzers are very affectionate pets and they truly enjoy human contact. Be prepared for a lap dog, and if you happen to go with one of the larger versions, he could get heavy. The minis are small enough for comfort but giant and standards love the attention of their pet parents just as much as their smaller counterparts. You can train your schnauzer to stay down, but you can bet that he will curl up at your feet and brush up against you just to feel you and know that you are near him. This dog needs to have contact and loves to cuddle. You’ll make him happy every time you brush his coat or give him love and hugs.
6. His feelings are easily hurt
Your pup will love you unconditionally, but if you ignore him, he’ll get his feelings hurt. He’ll still be loyal to you, but one of the more humorous things that a schnauzer will do is to ignore you if you have in any way offended him. This comes from his high intelligence and outgoing personality. Although it’s funny when you try to talk to him and he turns his body away from you, it’s also a little sad. He will let you know when you’ve crossed the line with him and it may be a little while before he is willing to forgive you, but he doesn’t hold a grudge for long. An hour after he’s given you the cold shoulder, he’ll be back at your feet begging for some attention. It’s best to give it to him and make him feel secure about the fact that you still love him.
7. Your schnauzer will not tolerate punishment
When it comes to training, schnauzers are highly intelligent dogs and they do learn quickly. The best way to train them is to use positive reinforcement. A system of rewards for good behavior followed by firmness and redirection when he’s doing something wrong is the best formula for success. Physical punishment or yelling at a schnauzer is demoralizing and it could break their spirit. Any dog that is physically abused will become distrustful and schnauzers are no exception. Your dog is eager to please you and he will do his very best to learn what you want from him and to do it. In the same regard, you must remember that while he’s doing his best, he will make mistakes along with way. Don’t be too hard on him, but do be clear about what is okay and what is not, and be consistent. By doing this, you’ll prevent him from becoming confused about what you want from him. It takes a while for dogs to learn just like it does for people so be patient and love him throughout the training process. Follow these tips for a well-rounded dog that will make an amazing house pet.
8. Give him toys or pay the price
Schnauzers are fond of play, but they do tend to become restless when they are bored. These dogs need distraction and amusement. If you don’t provide them with their own dog toys, they will search for household objects that make them happy. Schnauzers without their own toys tend to become destructive. They can be energetic and rambunctious, especially the smaller dogs, so it’s in everyone’s best interest to make sure that they are properly entertained.
9. They love to chew
There are dog toys to play with and then there are chew toys. Schnauzers have a natural instinct that drives them to chew. If they don’t have doggie bones to chew on, they’ll find something else to satisfy this urge. Puppies need this even more than more mature dogs because they have new teeth coming in for the first year of their lives and beyond. This causes the gums to itch and ache. Chewing offers relief from this discomfort and it also helps the new teeth to emerge more quickly. If your pup chews on the leg of an end table and you have already given him chew toys, be firm with him, and redirect his attention to his chew toys. You’ll find that doggie chew toys are remarkable training tools when it comes to breaking your dog of unwanted chewing behaviors.
10. Your dog is suspicious of strangers
When somebody new comes to the house, your dog isn’t likely to warm up to them quickly. He will love and absolutely adore his pet family, but when it comes to strangers, he is distrustful until they prove their worth to him. It’s a good idea to be present when you introduce him to people that he hasn’t met before. While he’s not a vicious dog by nature, his natural distrust may put him on high alert and he may not take kindly to joking gestures that could be perceived as being a threat.
11. Your schnauzer may remind you of a human
Schnauzers are very smart dogs that have big personalities. You’ll see your schnauzer exhibit a range of emotions from hurt feelings to total exuberance and playfulness. The mustache just adds to the human qualities that are easy to see in these dogs. The fact that they are outgoing with their family members makes them seem like much more than a dog. Be careful that you don’t expect too much of him though. He has his limitations even though you may not think so.
12. He has the heart of a hero
Schnauzers are currently used to perform heroic deeds for government agencies. These intelligent and highly trainable dogs perform well in dangerous tasks that require expertise and a keen nose. They are used in bomb detection and they have the unique ability to detect lung and other types of cancers in people. It is unknown exactly how they do it, or what mechanisms give them this very special gift, but it’s been confirmed as a fact. They are also used as integral parts of search and rescue teams. This breed does well when used as a working dog because of his high trainability and ability to follow commands. They not only look human, but in many regards, they behave like us as well. Your schnauzer could end up being the next neighborhood hero.
13. Your dog will guard your home and family
Although not bred specifically to be a guard dog, schnauzers have acute hearing as well as a sense of alertness. They remain aware of their surroundings and can hear things that you may not be able to hear. Combine this with their distrustful nature and you have the ingredients for a great guard dog. He’ll also let you know when something isn’t right. If your schnauzer is on the alert, then it’s a good idea not to ignore him. It may just be a stray cat in the yard, but it’s best to be safe. This dog is not likely to let you rest in peace unless you prove to him that there is no present danger. While this is a good thing, it can also become annoying.
14. The minis are the biggest hams
With schnauzers, the smaller the dog, the bigger the show. Each size of tis breed has a slightly different temperament. The smaller dogs are the most playful and they will put on a good show for practically any audience. The standard size is energetic and have big personalities as well. They are fonder of entertaining their family than the giant schnauzers who are a bit more reserved and distrusting of strangers. The larger size is also the most destructive when they become bored.
15. He’ll bring you the leash and serve notice
Schnauzers are dogs that need to have vigorous exercise daily. They do the best when there is an open space for them to run around and work their muscles. Lack of exercise can lead to depression and overall poor health. It’s not a good idea to own a schnauzer in a small area with no space to run and play. It’s okay to have the smaller version in an apartment so long as you provide them with their daily walk. In fact, if you forget, don’t be surprised when your schnauzer brings the lead to you if it’s within his reach. The major benefit of this is that you will both get a daily dose of healthy exercise. Studies show that dog owners are healthier because they are more active than their counterparts without dogs who tend to be more sedentary. Did we mention that schnauzers can be bossy in whatever size they come in?
16. Your dog requires a challenge
Schnauzers have a higher mental capacity than some other dog breeds. Because of this high intellect, they require challenges and mental stimulation. They are outgoing and extroverted animals who do well when their owners teach them new tricks or play games that require them to solve problems. No, we’re not talking about calculus here, but games that require finding an object or some task along these lines help to keep them amused. This is one dog breed that can become easily bored if they are left alone or not provided with toys and stimulation to satisfy their need for a good challenge. Before becoming a schnauzer owner, this is an important consideration that should be made. They are not animals that do well as outside dogs. Leaving them alone all day can lead to destructive behaviors as well as depression. Make sure that you have the time that your dog will require of you before making the commitment to become his owner.
17. He’s your new helper
Any schnauzer owner will tell you that it doesn’t really matter what they are doing, the dog is interested in being a part of it. If you’re gardening, he’ll either have his nose to the ground in front of you, or he’ll lie in the spot you need to work in next. He likes to be a part of whatever it is you have going on. If you’re playing a game of catch in the yard with the kids, you’d better plan on counting him in. It’s not a good idea to leave him out and locked in the house where he can watch you through the window. If you do, he’s apt to have an attitude when you come back in. He knows when he’s being left out, and if he was in the mood to play and you ignored him, he’s apt to give you the cold shoulder and silent treatment for a while. Remember that he just wants to be a part of your life and he really does need something to keep him busy. This is not the kind of dog that is content to lie around the house and get fact. He needs to be active and busy to be truly happy.
18. Your dog enjoys being the center of attention
This may apply to a smaller degree for the giant Schnauzers, but the standard, and especially miniature schnauzers love being the center of attention. They thrive on cuddles, hugs, and making their owners laugh. If you’re not giving your pup the attention that he thinks he deserves, he’s going to let you know all about it. Schnauzers are the kind of guys that will touch noses with you to make sure that they have your full and undivided attention. This isn’t something that is easy to train out of them because of their extroverted personalities. Once in a while you may get a schnauzer that is a little more reserved, but this is the exception to the rule. Ignore this dog, and you’re going to hear about it.
19. You need a strong leash to control your schnauzer
It is common knowledge among schnauzer owners that walking the dog can quickly become a long and hard chase for the owner. Schnauzers are known for chasing small animals and to be blunt about it, they are out for blood in most cases. When you’re walking your dog, you must be prepared for a sudden darting after his prey. If your leash is weak he may break it and get away from you. Even if he can’t break the leash, he could jump and give chase so quickly that he pulls you right along with him. It’s no fun to get whiplash because the dog decided to take off fast without any warning. You can consider this to be your official notice that you can’t trust a schnauzer to be on his best behavior, at all times, when you’re taking a walk in the park. He’s not trying to be a bad boy, but when his instinct is triggered, he’s going to follow it more often than he’s not.
20. They can be mischievous
We mentioned what can happen when a schnauzer becomes bored, but there is more to it than just boredom. Schnauzers are known to take out their frustrations on house plants or the local newspaper that has been left on the end table. This is more common in dogs that have to yet be socialized or trained, but it can also happen in adults who are upset with their owner, just not as commonly. Schnauzers can be the perfect little angels one day and up to no good the next. They seem to develop an attitude problem with reminds you of a teenager that didn’t get his or her way. It’s vital to start training from the time that they are young puppies when it comes to obedience and learning basic commands. If you come home and the entire roll of toilet paper is strewn about the living room, it’s one of two things. Either your schnauzer became bored out of his mind and needed something to do, or he was upset with you for leaving him all alone in the house. Any schnauzer owner will know precisely what we’re talking about. These dogs aren’t up to mischief all the time, and for the most part, if you satisfy their basic needs and give them plenty of love, there is a smaller chance that they are going to do something naughty.