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Schnauzer dog breed profile

The schnauzer makes a great family pet and companion.

Whether your dog is a 100% schnauzer or a schnauzer mix, learning about their breed can explain a lot about your pet's personality, habits and overall health. Or maybe you're looking to adopt a schnauzer and want to do some research on the breed first — we can help you there.

The first thing you should know is that there are three different types of schnauzers: miniature, standard and giant — and while they all have similarities, they're considered different breeds.

What do schnauzers look like?

While all three schnauzer breeds have different personalities and sizes, each share some similarities, including their wiry coats, distinct eyebrows and recognizable beards, Dr. Emily Singler, Fetch’s on-staff veterinarian, explains.

Miniature schnauzers can have black, white, salt and pepper or black and silver coats. They typically weigh between 12 and 20 pounds and are 12 to 14 inches tall when fully grown.

Standard and giant schnauzers can be black or salt and pepper. Standard schnauzers weigh between 30 and 45 pounds and are 18 to 20 inches tall, while giant schnauzers live up to their name, weighing around 65 to 85 pounds and averaging 24 to 28 inches tall.

While no pet is truly hypoallergenic, schnauzers' minimal shedding may make them a good pet option for those with allergies, Dr. Singler adds. Just make sure to check with your doctor before adopting one if you have allergies. 

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What are Schnauzer dogs’ personalities like?

All three types of schnauzers love to learn new tricks and are highly trainable.

"The mini schnauzer is more of an 'indoor' dog but has it in their nature to work just like the other schnauzers. They have plenty of energy and gumption," Dr. Linda Simon, MVB MRCVS, a small animal veterinarian surgeon, says.

Miniature schnauzers are great family pets because they get typically along with children and can adapt to small spaces or apartments.

"A standard schnauzer has a similar personality type to the mini, but they generally need more space and exercise," Dr. Simon says. "They can be more laid back and a little more aloof from their family when compared to the mini schnauzer."

The standard schnauzer is also known to be very playful and loyal.

"Giant schnauzers are usually very calm, loyal and loving," Dr. Simon says. "They wouldn't be suitable for small homes and need plenty of space and enjoy spending time outdoors in the fresh air. Like the other schnauzers, they're highly trainable and enjoy obeying commands and learning new tricks."

What are common health issues for schnauzer dogs?

According to Dr. Simon, mini schnauzers are more susceptible to diabetes, pancreatitis and urinary stones. "For this reason, it's important to feed them quality, vet-approved dog food — avoid feeding table scraps or excess treats, and keep them a healthy weight."

The standard schnauzers can be at risk for orthopedic issues, such as arthritis and hip dysplasia. "They wouldn't be suitable for apartment life and need plenty of time spent outside each day," Dr. Simon says.

Because giant schnauzers are even larger than the standard schnauzer, they’re at high risk for orthopedic issues.

"As they're such large dogs, they're especially prone to both hip and elbow dysplasia, which is why it is important to screen them for these orthopedic issues," Dr. Simon says.

The Dig, Fetch Pet Insurance's expert-backed editorial, answers all of the questions you forget to ask your vet or are too embarrassed to ask at the dog park. We help make sure you and your best friend have more good days, but we’re there on bad days, too.

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Photo by Sebastian Coman Travel and Wade Lambert on Unsplash

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