Miniature Schnauzer breed information - Temperament & Exercise Needs

The Miniature Schnauzer is a smallest dog in the Schnauzer breed and originated in the mid-to-late 19th Century from Germany. The Miniature Schnauzer is a cross between the Standard Schnauzer and other smaller breeds such as the Poodle. A miniature Schnauzer is a spunky, but aloof dog who does things their own way. They tend to be good guard dogs without the tendency to bite.
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Joined: 03 May 2021, 18:16
First Name: Carol

Miniature Schnauzer breed information - Temperament & Exercise Needs

Post by ccolonneely »


My family and I are thinking about adopting a Miniature Schnauzer. I would like to know more about their temperament, if they are child friendly, dog friendly and their exercise needs. I have been reading about the breed. There are some contradictng information on the web. Some websites say that they need moderate exercise, others say that they need lots of exercise (walked 2 to 3 short walks with one long walk daily - 60 minutes). I would like to know what is realistic to keep them content in the house and for them not to be destructive.

The breed standard says that "The typical Miniature Schnauzer is alert and spirited, yet obedient to command. He is friendly, intelligent and willing to please. He should never be overaggressive or timid." However, I know of a dog that growls when you get near his owner. I want her to be loving to all family members, not just one.

What is their energy level? How do they behave inside the house? Are they yappy, jump a lot, bite, chew? Can they be relaxed?

I want to make sure that we find a companion that is compatible with our family.

All information will be helpful.

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Re: Miniature Schnauzer breed information - Temperament & Exercise Needs

Post by Oscar 12345 »

Firstly puppies are typical puppies, they chew, have a bite phase and can be destructive if they don't receive the proper stimulation. They can be very vocal/barky, highly strung, reserved with strangers and not welcoming to visitors, protective of their territory be it house or garden or owner and have a fear of children. Some can be nervous of dogs and might react by hiding behind legs or growling. Some are very cuddly, others like their own space. As you can see, kind of the luck of the draw with risks reducing by very careful breeder selection and advice from the breeder about the pup that bests suits you. I have probably painted an undesirable set of characteristics so worth remember that when I say some schnauzers have these traits, lots don't. In my experience, they need a lot of the right socialisation far more than physical exercise so a walk to see stuff, experience stuff, observe stuff is what they need rather than lots of physical exercise. Having said that they are strong dogs and 1 or 2 hour walks for an adult dog is no problem at all. One of the things that is really important to know with a schnauzer is that combined with their sometimes nervous character they are also prone to gastric issues if their diet is not one that is suitable for a dog. A good way to get an inside view of life with a schnauzer is to also join some of the Mini Schnauzer Facebook groups and lurk at the posts.
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Re: Miniature Schnauzer breed information - Temperament & Exercise Needs

Post by zeta1454 »

Hi Carol and welcome to the Forum :)

Online breed resources can be confusing at times but to answer your queries with a general comment initially:
As a general rule and as with any breed of dog, much depends on the quality of the breeding and of the breeder. A healthy, well bred puppy from a responsible caring breeder will have had the best start in life in terms of being raised to be healthy, self confident, sociable with people and other animals and used to the sounds and sights of a family home. Check out the following links for more information of the kind of background work you need to be looking for from a breeder: ... JEPIC14WfA

The work that has been done by the breeder before you adopt your puppy then needs to be built on by you and your family as your puppy matures into a well rounded, happy and confident adult dog.

Miniature schnauzers are an ideal family dog in many ways as they are sociable, active, companionable and want to be part of everything you do. They are lively as puppies and often this can continue into adult life with some really enjoying long walks and running off lead. However, as puppies, exercise must be limited while their bodies are developing and you would not be taking them on extended walks at this stage: ... exercise-1

Even as adults, many mini schnauzers prefer to potter around, sniffing and exploring rather than running or extended walks although they are able to keep going if required. There is additional information on the Miniature Schnauzer Club website which is worth checking out as there is plenty of good general information about the breed there too: ... d-for-you/

Miniature schnauzers are a vocal breed which means they are likely to bark when the post comes and at passers by through the window if allowed to watch out but they are not yappy or ‘barking at nothing’ kind of dogs. They were bred originally from watchdogs and vermin hunters so they can have a strong prey drive for small birds, mice etc. This is not universal though and there are differences between individual dogs even from the same litter.

Friendliness towards children and other dogs is often very much dependent on early experiences from the birth home and the work done by the breeder and then continued by the new family. A puppy does not need to have been born in a household with children or many other dogs but it does need to have been raised to be self confident and resilient with new experiences and not have had a bad experience with a child or a dog as early negative experiences can have a long lasting effect on a puppy. This is why it is so important to find a reputable breeder you trust and have confidence in as regards their knowledge and understanding of the breed and raising puppies. Do try to get to know as much as possible about any breeder you are looking to get a puppy from and get on a waiting list for a reputable breeder rather than searching online adverts etc. The best breeders will have waiting lists for their puppies and a well bred puppy is always worth waiting for.

Health testing is also a priority and plenty of information on this on the breed club websites as well as this Forum:

A browse of topics in the Puppy and the Breeding sections on the Forum may give you more answers to your questions as well :)
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Re: Miniature Schnauzer breed information - Temperament & Exercise Needs

Post by Dawnspell »

I've only had 2 but they have both been very different personalities. They have had common features though. Both have just had a walk in the morning and then have been content with mental stimulation games in the house or garden, even though Jasper is far more high maintenance than Barney ever was. By high maintenance some people would say high energy he would run all day long if allowed to but mental stimulation is a must for schnauzers to keep them out of mischief and finding their own entertainment. Both have not trusted little people they are just too unpredicatable for them but then theyve not had much contact either.
Neither have been destructive chewers but then they both have had plenty of chews etc to keep them occupied. Both have loved other dogs.

Definitely alert to everything in their surroundings. They are obedient if the motivation is right. They do think about whether they want to do something or not, thats the intelligent part. Both of mine have been friendly to the people they know but not really wanting to be stroked by strangers. Jasper will approach strangers fine but hes not really wanting petting hes just nosey.

The yappy, jumpy, bite, chew and able to relax are all things that require training to do or not to do.

Are you thinking of adopting a rescue or a puppy ?
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Re: Miniature Schnauzer breed information - Temperament & Exercise Needs

Post by machosky »

It's good to think of what you're idea of an active dog is, what breeds are you used to? When I was reading about them I was confused as well trying to get a picture of what level of activity they need.I If you grew up with a jack russell I think you'll find a schnauzer very chilled! :D I'm speaking as someone who only has their first puppy, no other schnauzers and what I say might be very specific to my dog's personality. I had a border collie before my mini schnauzer and I find him borderline lazy, and I mean that as an absolute complement. He loves to get out and meet everyone dog or human, then he comes home and snores at my feet.One thing I do is never give him his food in a bowl, I hide it or give it as treats to make it interesting for him and keep his mind occupied. As for chewing, he's grabbed shoes of course, but he hasn't made much progress in damaging them, I guess he's no lab when it comes to chewing? He is a lovely combination of very spirited and very sweet,sometimes he'll talk back if I give out to him other times he puts his head in his paws all forelorn. Try to meet some before you decide, maybe if you go to a dog park you can get chatting with an owner, I find everyone loves talking about their dog :)

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