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Schnauzer Dog Breed Information

Size 12-27 inches (30-70 cm)
Weight 30-44 lbs (14-20 kg)
Origin Germany
Color Black, “salt and pepper”
Lifespan 12-14 years
Suitable as Family dog, guard dog
Personality Docile, curious, attentive, brave, intelligent

Schnauzer Photo: Roman Zaiets/Shutterstock

Breed Characteristics

The Schnauzer looks a bit funny at first glance. Or is it just us? The long hair on its muzzle looks like a big mustache. Schnauzers have good manners. But they can become little rascals if they’re not challenged enough. If it becomes bored, it will even start destroying things. Therefore their masters have to be patient and firm to be a good “pack leader” for their Schnauzer. Otherwise the dog will take the lead!

They don’t get on well with unknown dogs. But they are always friendly and docile with “their people” as well as dogs (even cats) it has been raised with. The Schnauzer should be kept away from pets such as mice, rats and hamsters. His former "job" as a rat-catcher would be dangerous for them.


Schnauzer Photo: Roman Zaiets/Shutterstock

Discipline and Training

Schnauzers have an extraordinarily good sense of hearing. After all, they had to rely on this sense to perceive the quiet tapers of rats. For this reason they are often used for tracking. Schnauzers are also great in other dog sports such as obedience and agility. Schnauzers bark a lot - when they are in a good mood, when they are in a bad mood and when they are bored. Therefore, it is important to train a schnauzer at an early age so that it should only bark in case of emergency. Because they are prone to bark, they do make very good watchdogs.

Before you buy a Schnauzer, you should also know that the dog needs a lot of exercise - not only the Giant Schnauzer, but the Miniature Schnauzer, too. It is a good-hearted family dog, but it needs training and should be introduced to other puppys at an early age. Otherwise it can become suspicious of everyone. 

Top Activities

Trick Training, Frisbee Fetch, Agility

Schnauzer Photo: Debra Anderson/Shutterstock


Pros and Cons


  • Easy to train
  • Doesn't shed a lot
  • Gets along well with other dogs and cats
  • Good watch dog


  • Not a beginner dog
  • Needs lots of exercise
  • Need to be challenged mentally
  • Needs lots of grooming
  • Tends to bark often

Schnauzer Photo: Eudyptula/


There are three Schnauzers: the Giant Schnauzer (24-27 inches), the Standard Schnauzer (18-20 inch) and the Miniature Schnauzer (12-14 inches). All have a long, distinctive mustache and showy, long eyebrows. Their coat is not as cuddly as a Newfoundlands' coat, but rough and wiry. The colors are black, "pepper and salt", white and black-silver.

Health and Care

As long as you don't want to participate in dog shows with your Schnauzer, regular brushing is enough. The most important thing to watch out for is the beard and the legs, as they become matted quickly. Food can be entangled in its beard while feeding, Make sure to check it after every meal and remove the leftovers.

Schnauzer Photo: Pulikina Olga/Shutterstock

History and Origin

These dogs do not have mustaches because they look pretty. The Miniature Schnauzer was used as a rat-catcher. In particular, when the mustache was a bit matted, it could move its snout close to the ground in search of rats without injuring itself or being bitten. The Schnauzer comes from Württemberg (Germany). It appears in paintings by the Dutch painter Rembrandt and the German painter Albrecht Dürer and therefore exists at least since the 14./15. Century.

Where Does the Name Come From?

Schnauzer is a German word, means mustache and refers to the long hairs on its muzzle.

Fun Facts

Notable mustaches were more common (but not really common) in the 19th and 20th centuries. Emperor Wilhem II, the Spanish painter Salvador Dalí and the philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche wore one.

Comparable Breeds

Schnauzer Photo: catolla/Shutterstock


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