Pet Advisor Blog

Schnauzers – Dog Breed Guide

Breed summary

Size: Large
Weight: 55 to 105 pounds
Height: 23 to 28 inches
Longevity: 12
Bark Tendency: Medium
Aggression: Low
Compatibility to other pets: Medium

Adopt Schnauzers, Dog Breed Guide


The Schnauzer dog breed’s name comes from the German word “snout” which pertains to the breed’s distinctive beard around its snout!

The Schnauzer dog family consists of three differently sized dog breeds:

The Standard Schnauzer is the prototype Schnauzer were the Giant and Miniature variety were bred from. Currently, there are Schnauzer dogs that are being marketed under the name Toy and Teacup Schnauzers. These are not included in the Schnauzer dog family and not recognized as separate breeds. These dogs are considered to be ill-bred Mini Schnauzers and called only as Toys or Teacup varieties for marketing purposes.


Official Name

This breed is also called the Giant Schnauzer, Standard Schnauzer, Miniature Schnauzer. Mini Schnauzer, Riesenschnauzer, Zwergschnauzer, Mittelschnauzer, Mini Schnauzer and the Dwarf Schnauzer, depending on the size.


Date – Between the 19th and 20th Century
Country – Germany
Family / Group – Herding, Working, Terrier

Recognized By:
Continental Kennel Club
Fédération Cynologique Internationale
American Kennel Club
United Kennel Club
Kennel Club of Great Britain
Canadian Kennel Club
Australian National Kennel Club
National Kennel Club
New Zealand Kennel Club
American Pet Registry, Inc.
American Canine Registry
Dog Registry of America, Inc.
North American Purebred Registry, Inc


This is a dog breed that originates in Germany during the turn of the 20th century. There are three recognized varieties of the Schnauzer breed that differs only in sizes. The original Schnauzer is exactly the same sizes as the modern Standard Schnauzer breed. They were originally created to be ratters as well as guard dogs.

The Giant Schnauzer or Riesenschnauzer is that largest and youngest variety and was developed in Germany’s Bavarian and Württemberg regions. They were developed to produce a larger dog than the Standard sized Schnauzer. The foundation stock of the Giant Schnauzer includes Bouviers des Flandres, local rough-haired sheepdogs and Great Danes which were crossed with Standard Schnauzers.

The Miniature Schnauzer is the bred down variety of the modern Standard Schnauzer. They were first bred to be miniature varieties of the original breed during the 19th century. The Mini Schnauzers were used as a ratter but also worked as small farm utility dogs. Unlike other terriers, the miniature variety was specifically bred to go to the ground. The foundation stock of the Miniature variety includes Poodles and Affenpinschers.

The Standard Schnauzer is the first and considered the original Schnauzer breed. It is the oldest among the three varieties and was created to be a multitasking farm dog that can guard, serve as a ratter and also kept as a companion. The most common task that these dogs were put to was to guard farmers’ carts while at the public market. The foundation stock of the Standard Schnauzer includes the Wirehaired Pinscher, black German Shepherds and gray Wolfspitz.


Giant Schnauzers are large and powerful giant dogs known to be alert and very protective. Giant Schnauzers are also one of the most even-tempered breed in the Schnauzer dog family. They show high intelligence and very brave when the situation needs it. They are gentle giants that will be very playful, by this large dog breed will react once provoked. It is advisable to have them supervised when around children and other animals.

Miniature Schnauzers are known to be intelligent, alert and highly spirited dogs. They are known to display loyalty and eagerness to please when around family. These dogs will get along with other dog breeds as well as strangers. They are also great watchdogs as they react to the slightest sound and movement. The Mini Schnauzers are terriers known to be one-person dogs.

Standard Schnauzers are very intelligent and highly trainable. This is a muscular breed famous for their playful and mischievous ways. They are very lively but also very affectionate and show devotion when around family. Standard Schnauzers are natural guard dogs which will be territorial and always wary when strangers are around. It is okay to have around children but should be supervised with small animals because these dogs have very strong prey drive.

Bred For

Standard Schnauzers were bred to be an all-purpose farm dog that can guard, serve as a ratter and be companion dogs.

Giant Schnauzers were bred and used as a cattle driving dog in Bavaria, and as a guard dog by the police and military and excels at Schutzhund.

The Miniature Schnauzers were bred to be hunters, trackers, ratters, watchdogs as well as athletes in competitive obedience. They are also dogs that can be trained to perform tricks.


Standard Schnauzers are very adaptable dogs. They can live in the city or in the country. These dogs are also good to have as apartment pets as long as their exercise needs are sufficiently met.

The Giant Schnauzers are not suited for apartment life. It is fairly active indoors and will do best homes that have spacious yards.

The Miniature Schnauzers will be good apartment dogs. They will show calmness when inside. Their owners just have to make sure that these dogs will be sufficiently exercised.


The Standard Schnauzers are quite demanding when it comes to grooming. They should be brushed weekly and should be professionally trimmed every 3 months.

Giant Schnauzers have wiry coats that are reasonably easy to groom. They are dogs that have an undercoat that is dense and will become matted unless it is combed or brushed at least once a week. These Schnauzers have no doggie odor and shed little to no hair.

The Miniature Schnauzer dog breed is not that hard to groom. Grooming may be easy but should be done regular and requires special attention. They are dogs that shed hair in little amounts or none at all. The Mini Schnauzer is also great for people who have allergies.


The Standard Schnauzers are very intelligent and able to learn lessons easily and quickly.

Giant Schnauzers are dogs that are easy to train. They will be more responsive with a positive, firm, calm and consistent training method.

Miniature Schnauzers can be well trained by experienced dog owners. First time dog owners will find them a bit hard to housebreak as these dogs are known to be independent. They have high energy even when training which will be troublesome to first time dog owners. They are naturally obedient so training would be possible but patience is required.


The Standard Schnauzer variety is fairly healthy and known to be plagued by hip dysplasia, but asides from that there are no other alarming medical issues to be concerned with.

The Giant Schnauzers are more prone to have cancer, with a tendency to develop toe cancers. Hip dysplasia is rampant; epilepsy is common and has high risks of getting obese.

The Miniature Schnauzers are plagued with a lot of medical conditions from various allergies, eye disorders and even kidney diseases. Diabetes and liver problems are also common to this breed. They are also at high risk on developing von Willebrand’s disease. Obesity is also rampant for this dog breed.


The Standard Schnauzers are energetic dogs that should be given as much exercise that their owners can provide. Taking them on daily walks and giving them ample time to play, swim and training is highly recommended.

Giant Schnauzers have a huge need for exercise. These are dogs that need vigorous activities done twice every day. It is highly recommended to take them on daily, brisk, long walking, jogging or running sessions.

The Miniature Schnauzer should be taken on long and brisk walks or jogging every day. Play time should also be added to their activity schedule.