10 Dog Breeds Similar to the Schnauzer


The Schnauzer is complicated. For instance, it is clever and capable. However, it is so strong-willed that the AKC says first-time dog owners might be overwhelmed. As a result, if you aren’t sure about the Schnauzer, you might want to check out do.

Airedale Terrier

1. Airedale Terrier

Chances are good that you can guess the Airedale Terrier received its name from its place of origin. After all, the name refers to the valley of the river Aire running through the English county of Yorkshire, which has a surprising connection to its nickname of “King of Terriers.” As Wikipedia tells it, the local inhabitants liked to hold sporting events in which competitors would use ferrets to flush out river rats and then use terriers to hunt those same river rats. Over time, they produced a bigger-than-normal terrier because they prized the ability to kill prey over the ability to flush out prey. Indeed, the Airedale Terrier is the biggest of the terriers at an average of 40 to 50 pounds for male dogs and 35 to 40 pounds for female dogs, thus explaining its nickname “King of Terriers.”

Of course, Airedale Terriers wouldn’t have survived to modern times if they were limited to a single role. Initially, they served as hunters and retrievers. Later, they went on to work in everything from search and rescue to carrying messages in wartime. The BBC mentions a famous example of an Airedale Terrier named Jack delivering his message before dropping dead on the spot, which was particularly remarkable because he was so previously injured that he had to drag himself for the last stretch. Nowadays, some Airedale Terriers continue to serve as hunting dogs and working dogs, while others are now companion dogs.

If you are interested in Airedale Terriers, you should know these are intense, independent-minded dogs. In that respect, Airedale Terriers are similar to Schnauzers, meaning they aren’t necessarily a good choice for people who can’t handle that. Please note that these dogs are also high-energy dogs. As a result, you should look elsewhere if you can’t give them the daily exercise they need. Otherwise, you are just making trouble for yourself.

Bearded Collie

2. Bearded Collie

Generally speaking, Bearded Collies are shaggier-looking dogs than Schnauzers. However, people sometimes give these dogs shorter haircuts. When that happens, there is a much stronger resemblance between Bearded Collies and Schnauzers. You might wonder whether the two dog breeds are related. If they are, it would be a somewhat distant relationship because the Bearded Collies is supposedly a Scottish dog breed with some Polish heritage. In contrast, Schnauzers have German roots.

Bearded Collies originated as herding dogs. Reportedly, people bred them for maximum hardiness, which was useful for working with challenging livestock under challenging conditions. What was true in the past is by no means guaranteed to be true in the present. Like some other working dogs turned companion dogs, Bearded Collies have diverged into working lines and show lines. People breed the latter for their looks rather than their working ability, meaning those dogs aren’t necessarily capable of doing the same jobs as their ancestors.

Still, you might find both kinds of Bearded Collies very likable. These are enthusiastic dogs. Indeed, people sometimes describe them as bouncy dogs, which is true in both the literal and metaphorical sense. Once upon a time, these dogs worked in thick brush, so they would bounce up to see where their charges were. Regardless, you shouldn’t get a Bearded Collies unless you are prepared to meet its demanding needs. Their high energy levels are one reason for that. Another would be how Bearded Collies need regular grooming to keep their coats free from matting.

Black Russian Terrier

3. Black Russian Terrier

Sometimes, dog breeds have wonderfully straightforward names. For instance, consider the Black Russian Terrier. Dogtime says these dogs came into existence in the late 1940s and early 1950s because of Soviet dog breeding efforts. They have either black coats or black coats with gray hairs. Furthermore, these dogs look like giant-sized terriers, which to be fair, might be because they have some terrier in their ancestry.

In modern times, some Black Russian Terriers serve as companion dogs rather than working dogs. Even so, they are one of those dog breeds that need something to do. Without that, they get bored, which is a huge problem because they average 110 to 130 pounds for male dogs and 99 to 110 pounds for female dogs. Small dogs can turn into terrors when bored; large dogs are even worse. Besides this, you need to keep a couple of other potential issues in mind. First, Black Russian Terriers tend to bond with a single individual, so they tend not to do so well when separated from that single individual. Two, Black Russian Terriers tend to be less than enthused about strangers getting too close to either them or their loved ones, meaning early training and socialization are critical for preventing excess excitability.

Brussels Griffon

4. Brussels Griffon

The FCI says Brussels Griffon can refer to either one or three kinds of dogs. That is because the three kinds of dogs may or may not be considered three separate dog breeds depending on the exact kennel club. The first of the three is the Brussels Griffon, the second is the Belgian Griffon, and the third is the Petit Brabançon. Unsurprisingly, the three kinds of dogs share a common ancestor in a small terrier-like dog called a Smousje.

Appearance-wise, the Brussels Griffon and the Belgian Griffon resemble terriers with huge beards. In contrast, the Petit Brabançon looks more like a strange-colored Pug. These dogs have a lot of similarities when it comes to their personalities. For instance, they are playful creatures that can get along surprisingly well with other animals. Unfortunately, they sometimes get into trouble with other dogs because they sometimes try to exert dominance over other dogs with little consideration for size disparities. That works on some dog breeds. To others, well, suffice it to say that some dog breeds react very poorly to this kind of thing.

Giant Schnauzer

5. Giant Schnauzer

There isn’t a single kind of Schnauzer. Instead, there are three of them. Naturally, the Giant Schnauzer is the biggest of the three at an average of 77 to 104 pounds. Once upon a time, it was limited to Swabia. There, it served as a working dog for farmers before serving as a working dog for city-dwellers. Later, it spread beyond its home region because it became well-known as a military dog during the two World Wars. Nowadays, the Giant Schnauzer remains a working dog. Interested individuals can find it doing everything from policing to search and rescue.

It is interesting to note that the Giant Schnauzer is both more convenient and less convenient than its standard-sized counterpart in some ways. On the one hand, it is easier to train; on the other hand, its sheer size means it comes with extra complications. As a result, the Giant Schnauzer isn’t fond of strangers. Still, it is on the quieter, more reserved side of things, meaning this shouldn’t be too much of an issue unless it fails to receive the proper training and socialization. Be warned that this dog is every bit as energetic as its standard-sized counterpart, so insufficient activity can have very bad consequences for its surroundings.

Lhasa Apso

6. Lhasa Apso

The Lhasa Apso is a funny-looking dog. After all, it looks a lot like an old man, particularly when its coat is either gray or white. With that said, the Lhasa Apso is more formidable than it looks because Hill’s Pets states it was a guard dog as much as a companion dog.

If you are interested, you should know these dogs need a fair amount of maintenance. Most of that is because of their coats. However, they also need a moderate amount of daily exercise because they are on the smaller end of things. These dogs are affectionate with their human family members but are suspicious of strangers. Oftentimes, they don’t get along with other animals, though it might be possible to curb any hostile tendencies through training and socialization.

Mini Schnauzer

7. Miniature Schnauzer

Just like how the Giant Schnauzer is the biggest of the three Schnauzers, the Miniature Schnauzer is the smallest. Once again, it originated as a working dog, meaning the records of its creation are incomplete. One theory says they came into existence because of people breeding the smallest of the Standard Schnauzers together. Another theory says they might have some ancestry from other small dog breeds from Germany. Whatever the case, the Miniature Schnauzer was a multi-purpose working dog that did everything from ratting to herding.

The Miniature Schnauzer has certain similarities to terriers. Even so, it is reputed to be a more biddable, more peaceful animal. That doesn’t mean that these dogs will get along with everyone though. Generally speaking, the Miniature Schnauzer doesn’t like strangers very much, though its opinion can reverse with surprising speed when its human family members are there to provide an introduction.


8. Scottish Terrier

Scotland is home to multiple breeds of terriers related to one another. Even worse, several of those terriers once shared the name of Skye Terrier, which makes it rather difficult to tell exactly when each of them came into existence. Regardless, the Scottish Terrier has a close association with the Fourth Earl of Dumbarton. Shinga Pet says he nicknamed them Diehards because of their courageous nature. After this, he named his military regiment after them.

As such, it is unsurprising that Scottish Terriers are very feisty dogs, so much so that they manage to stand out in this regard even though terriers are notorious for being so. In a lot of ways, these dogs are much like what people expect from terriers. They are affectionate but stubborn. Similarly, they are confident, playful, and attentive to their surroundings.

Shih Tzu

9. Shih Tzu

Shih Tzus are companion dogs. People theorize that they descend from the Pekingese and the Lhasa Apso, but if so, that happened far back enough that it would be difficult to determine the truth of that theorization one way or the other. What is clear is that the Shih Tzu remains a popular companion dog in modern times. Essentially, it is a lively dog with a great deal of charm and affection. As a result, this dog breed is quite good at endearing itself to families.

As always, if you are interested in these dogs, you should pay attention to what kinds of health problems they are prone to. The Shih Tzu isn’t one of the dog breeds notorious for their health problems. Alas, it still has certain issues it is particularly likely to experience. For instance, the Shih Tzu often experiences eye problems, with the chances of that happening steadily going up as it ages. Good breeding plus regular check-ups can help out.

Yorkshire Terrier

10. Yorkshire Terrier

Airedale Terriers aren’t the only terriers from Yorkshire. After all, there are also Yorkshire Terriers, which are more in line with the general image of terriers when it comes to their size. These dogs are tiny, so much so they aren’t supposed to exceed a weight of 7 pounds.

Originally, Yorkshire Terriers were yet another dog breed developed for ratting. They are somewhat unusual in that they didn’t come into existence because of farmers. Instead, they are a product of Scottish workers bringing their terriers with them to English mills. It wasn’t too long before people started breeding these dogs for aesthetics as well. Thanks to that, Yorkshire Terriers are now one of the most popular companion dogs on the planet.

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