How to enjoy your Schnauzer and eliminate problems

Updated on January 12, 2012

Welcome to Schnauzer Zone

Welcome to Schnauzer Zone! I have set up this hub to provide a lot of valuable information about one of America's most popular dog breeds - the Schnauzer. Schnauzers are a great companion and friend and very good family dog. However, it is still essential to train your dog and to treat him correctly to avoid Schnauzer Problems.

Many dog owners, regardless of the breed of dog, have experienced problems with their dogs and sometimes these problems can take all the fun and joy out of owning a dog. Almost all problems are avoidable when taken care off early enough, or even better when being avoided right from the puppy age.

I have collated a lot information for my Schnauzer Hub and it will continue to grow. Please feel free to browse through the articles and come back as often as you like.

So, if you own a Schnauzer, it is a very possible that you experience some problems along the way, especially if the dog is not properly trained from a young age. To help with each of these problems, here are some common issues and solutions:

Schnauzers can be quite barky if not trained correctly. In combination with their high energy level, the barking can develop into a real problem if not stopped at an early age. Schnauzers a bred to work all day, therefore they need real exercise. Ideally about 45 minutes a day, not just a 20 minute walk around the block.
If Schnauzers don't get enough exercise, they will find other outlets for their energy and that could result in exessive barking!

Like any dog, Schnauzers like to chew at times. They are bred to erase pests and therefore like to chase and "kill". Chewing can be a problem, but it is usually easily fixed - get your Schnauzer a toy to play with and to chew on to stop him from chewing on your shoes.

Biting is not a hugely widespread problem for owners of Schnauzers, but it does occur. The biggest problem is that most Schnauzer owners let the biting behaviour develop and continue when the dogs are puppies and they are still cute. A tiny little Schnauzer playing is very cute and yet it eventually grows into a larger dog with bigger teeth that will continue to bit indiscriminately.

Schnauzer problems are similar to most dog problems, but can grow out of hand if you are not careful to nip them in the bud early. Spend enough time with your Schnauzer, address problems appropriately and build a relationship early so that your dog remains healthy and happy for the duration of his life.

Schnauzer Breeds

Schnauzers have been a consistently popular breed over the past 600 years with its origins in Germany. These energetic dogs were very popular on farms as ratters, for guarding livestock and for hunting.

The Schnauzer breed takes its name from one of its kind, a show dog winner by that name, "Schnauzer", at the 1879 Hanover Show in Germany. The word Schnauzer (from the German word for 'snout') was recognised for the first time in 1842.

The Schnauzer family consists of three varieties. The Miniature Schnauzer, the Standard Schnauzer and the Giant Schnauzer.

The Standard Schnauzer is the original Schnauzer from which the Miniature and Giant breeds were developed in the late 19th century.

Obedience training

One of the first goals for a dog owner should be obedience training, if you want your dog to be a good, livable companion. This also applies to Schnauzer obedience. Nobody wants to live with an out-of controll-dog or a misbehaving dog.

Schnauzers are a very smart breed, sometimes they are smarter than most of us, and we need to train them in order to have control and keep on top of them and their numerous antics. Schnauzers are smart enough to solve problems in order to get what they want and they often want to see how much they can get away with. It can be quite cute in the puppy stage, but you really need to establish yourself as the leader early in order to prevent problems later on.

Schnauzer obedience training will teach your Schnauzer how to behave in certain situations that it will almost certainly encounter at some point in its life. And don't forget - the intelligence of your Schnauzer is not just a challenge, it is also great for training because it means your Schnauzer will learn faster than many other breeds.

There are various ways to start your obedience training. You could find a good training club in your area and attent classes for several months. This could be quite costly and you might like undertake some training at home in your own time. Whatever way works for you it is important to think about how you want to train your Schnauzer to achieve the best outcome for yourself and your dog.

So, here is a brief rundown of what Schnauzer obedience training can give you and how you and your dog would benefit from it.

The Benefits of Scnauzer Obedience Training

To start with, Schnauzer obedience training should be practiced on a daily basis. You're training your dog anyway every day, wether you are aware of it or not. Just by interacting and caring for your dog, you are sending out signals to it, so it is important to get the basic signals right. It doesn't harm you Schnauzer to follow a "Sit" command before he is allowd his dinner every day. That way you maintain your alph dog position and your Schnauzer gats a chance to acknowledge you as the leader.

That also means you will learn how to give those commands effectively. Many dog owners neglect their responsibilities and feel like the burden lies with their dog to learn the commands. Think of dog training as a two way street and it will be far more effective. Here are some examples.

Leadership - It is important that you establish yourself as the leader. Your Schnauzer needs to learn that he has to listne to you at all times. Schnauzer obedience builds the cornerstone of all good training. If you attend an obedience training class, make sure you transfer your dominance from the training into your home. Your Schnauzer will have amuch easier time following your lead, if you are consistent in your training and expectations.

Basic Commands - Obedience training will provide you with basic commands like sit, stay, heel, speak, and quiet.
keeping in mind that Schnauzers are very intelligent, they might pick up these commands very quickly. These commands form the basics that will make your dog more respondent in situations when it really matters.

No Biting or Barking - Two of the most common problems that a Schnauzer can have are biting and barking. Biting can unwillingly be developed in a puppy, when nipping and biting is considdered as play. Biting in particular should be dealt with at a very young age. Barking is a wide spread problem which goes back to Schnauzers being historically bred as guard dogs who alert their owner by barking. Different levels of Schnauzer obedience training can deal with these behaviours and ensure that your Schnauzer does not act out of line.

Walking - Good gog training will teach you how to control your dog's energy and movements, keep them from running around on you and ideally teach them to sit and heel when needed at corners, crossing roads and when other dogs walk by. Schnauzers are full of energy and they definitely need an outlet for it. So it is even more important to be in control of your dog when out and about.

Schnauzer obedience training is important in many ways because it provides the foundation for all the issues that might arise at home. Remember that your dog will only do what it is taught to do. You must be consistent, reassuring and effective at maintaining the commands you give.

Keep in mind - if you do not train your Schnauzer to be obedient to you, your Schnauzer might train you....

Miniature Schnauzer

The Miniature Schnauzer is one of the most popular breeds worldwide and as of 2008 the 11th most popular breed in the United States, mainly for its temperament and small size.The breed originated in Germany in the mid-to-late 19th century as a cross between a Standard Schnauzer and a smaller breed, such as Poodle or Affenpinscher.

Worldwide, the Miniature Schnauzer comes in four different colours: Black, Black and Silver, Salt and Pepper and White. In the U.S., the American Kennel Club only recognizes three colors and considers solid white a disqualification.


Miniature Schnauzers usually have a small and solid build. They reach a height of about 12 to 14 inches (30 to 36 cm).
Male Miniature Schnauzers are weighing in at about 11 to 15 pounds (5.0 to 6.8 kg) while the females reach a weight of 14 to 18 pounds (6.4 to 8.2 kg).
The Miniature Schnauzer has a harsch and wiry double coat. The exterior fur is wiry and the undercoat is softer. They require a certain amount of grooming, but if you do not intend to enter dog shows it is fairly straightforward. Miniature Schnauzers are often described as non-shedding dogs, and while this is not entirely true, their shedding is minimal and generally unnoticeable.


Miniature Schnauzers are often described as alert and intelligent. They are usually friendly, willing to please and obedient to commands, if trained correctly. Miniature Schnauzers tend to be excellent watchdogs, with a good territorial instinct. They are more likely to alert by barking than attacking an intruder.
They are not typically aggressive. However, they will express themselves vocally, and may bark to greet their owner, or to express joy, excitement, or displeasure.

Miniature schnauzers make excellent family dogs. They are usually good with children and can also make a great companion for older people. Miniature Schnauzers are very playful dogs, and require a certain amount ot exercise, otherwise they can become bored and invent their own entertainment, which can be inappropriate chewing or digging and more.

The Miniature schnauzer is a robust, reliable and agile dog, but above all very adaptable to his living circumstances.

History of the Miniature Schnauzer

The earliest records of the Standard Schnauzer in Germany come from the late 1800s. Originally bred to be medium-sized farm dogs, they are equally suited to ratting, herding, and guarding property. Later on, farmers bred down the Standard Schnauzer into a smaller, more compact size perfect for ratting around the house and barn. Several small breeds were used to reduce the size of the Standars Schnauzer, such as the Affenpinscher or Poodle.

In 1879, a dog named Schnauzer won the wire-haired Pinscher class at an international dog show in Germany, and the whole breed was eventually named after this famous dog.

The breed was introduced to America by immigrants from Germany. The first litter was born in 1925 and in the same year the first Wire-Haired Pinscher Club of America was founded. Today the Miniature Schnauzer is placed in the Terrier Group while the Standard and Giant Schnauzers are placed into the Working Group.

Is your Schnauzer barking excessively?

Learning how to stop your Schnauzer barking can be a time consuming and challenging task.
A lot of Schnauzers love to bark and barking can develop into a significant problem. It is a natural behaviour for your dog to do, just as it is normal for us humans to speak. After all, dogs are born to bark. They have that urgent desire to vocalize their feelings and needs and in the cae of the Schnauzer, alerting their owner by barking has historically always been a task for Schnauzers who were bred as farm and watch dogs. Schnauzers see themselves as self appointed protectors of the home and family and they will alert you by barking.

It's when your dog barks excessively that it becomes a problem for all concerned - including our cranky neighbors.

So, before you can stop your Schnauzer barking, you need to understand why he barks and what forms of barking you can control. Once you've identified this cause or trigger, you can then plan the correct training solution.

The Causes of Barking
All dogs, including Schnauzers, bark in a variety of situations. They might bark when they are angry. They might bark when they are excited. They could even bark when they are scared and want to defend themselves.

Here is a list of possible reasons when you might expect your Schnauzer to start barking:

Territorial Barking
Alarm Barking
Attention Seeking Barking
Greeting Barking
Frustration Barking
Compulsive Barking

As you can see, barking is a major part of who your Schnauzer is. It is not likely and probably not desired to stop your Schnauzer barking completely.
He is going to want to express himself at times, this is normal and important and should not be taken from him, however it is important to be the master and comtrol the barking.

How to Stop a Schnauzer Barking
When your Schnauzer can't stop barking, first determine the reason for his behaviour. Nine times out of ten, it is excessive and can be controlled. If you decide that your dogs barking can and should be controlled, ask yourself these questions.

When does my Schnauzer bark?
What is he barking at?
Does your Schnauzer have a specific trigger?

If you determine that your Schnauzer is barking because it wants to protect its territory or is simply alarmed by something, you cannot simply yell at your dog to stop. In fact, negative reinforcement for territorial barking can often lead to biting or aggression in other forms. Your Schnauzer doesn't understand what you're trying to tell him. It might stop the barking, but the territorial issues are still there.

Instead, you need to create a situation in which your Schnauzer will not feel that territorial urge to defend itself. This starts by taking control of your household. Be the alpha leader of the pack and show the dog that you are the one in charge of protecting that space. Secondly, you can simply reduce the dog's ability to see those incursive threats to its territory. Draw your blinds so he cannot see the mailman, get an opaque fence so they cannot see outside the yard, and make sure they don't have open access to the windows at any time.

Stop a Schnauzer Barking with Anxiety
If your Schnauzer has anxiety issues, the barking is likely a symptom of something much greater. They want to reach you and will continuously bark until you return. Most of the time, this is because you have rewarded them for this behaviour in the past. When you return home and they are excited, you immediately give them attention. Rather than rewarding them in this instance, you should ignore your dog for as long as 10-15 minutes so they stop associating your return with attention.

Finally, to stop your Schnauzer barking, you should teach it how to speak and be quiet. By creating a command that allows you to control the behaviour, your Schnauzer will learn to control the barking when it is not necessary. A benefit of this is that, if there is an intruder or something you want your dog to bark at, they will still alert you.

Proper dog obedience training is the key to solving any behavioral problems (including stopping your dog from barking), and also to building a strong bond with your dog.

Questions & Answers


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      • profile image 

        2 months ago

        How to get 10 month old to walk without pulling and struggling?

      • profile image


        4 months ago

        My miniature schnauzer is eight years old. When he was younger he used to dominate puppies aggressively. Recently he has started attacking them with the intention to cause serious harm. It is not only embarrassing when someone is in the park with a cute puppy that everyone is loving and then my dog runs up and attacks, but it also makes me incredibly anxious. I am now often too nervous to take him for walks, because I am scared he is going to kill someone’s puppy. Please help me fix this problem. Just a note that he has no problem with adult dogs

      • profile image


        22 months ago

        Hi, I have shared my home with a mini for 2 1/2 years now. She has fit in well, and is loved by hubby and our 11 yr old son. We are taking her with us more often now than in the past as I believe that us leaving her at home alone all day is only creating territorial issues. I do believe that she needs to be allowed to 'see more'. I see how nervous she can get around new people and animals. Camping is an interesting situation. Hubby and son actually make her more nervous with how they overreact trying to 'protect' the situation instead of settling the situation. She detests the squirrels coming into the campsite. But I just reassure her that it's not a big deal and she ignores them. It does seem that the more you allow a schnauzer to be the centre of things, the more vocal and nervous they get. If they are ignored, but checked for behaviour, the better they act. How my little dog acts is only an extension to how I feel and react to things. If I'm relaxed and comfortable, so is she. If I'm nervous and defensive, then so is she. She is definitely alert. Please enjoy your dogs, and be aware of what we create them to be. Cheers.

      • profile image


        2 years ago

        I have a miniature and she is a fusy eater. She will sometimes not eat all day to get her own way. We have tried premium dog foods and nothing.. what might be the problem?

      • profile image


        2 years ago

        We have a schnauzer (our second) which is a rescue. She is very protective of me especially. She doesn't mess in the house, never chews anything up, doesn't urinate in the house, the only thing she does do is bark. She is very aggressive with other dogs as her original owner died & she went to two different households which had other dogs & they jumped her. She was also jumped by a standard poodle which she was on the leash with me. The poodle went packin. She is vocal, but does have some separation anxiety due to original owner dying. These are great dogs & very loving. She thinks she is bigger than she is & doesn't back down from anyother dog. She minds me better than my husband. She has him buffaloed. KoKo does rule the home & we are controlled by this little cutie.

      • profile image


        2 years ago

        You spelled did wrong, you put gog.

      • profile image


        3 years ago

        eh yeah he does! But one more thing. A strong spray bottle does the trick to stop your schnauzer from being naughty. They hate it. Spray him when he bites things or is crazy

      • profile image


        3 years ago

        you clearly state out all of the issues but dont have any solutions.

      • mary615 profile image

        Mary Hyatt 

        3 years ago from Florida

        This interesting Hub showed as a related one to the Hub I just wrote about my Min. Schnauzer who is now blind from Glaucoma.

        Your Hub is very informative, and you did point out the facts about the breed. I think this breed is ideal for those people like me who want a small intelligent and loving dog.

      • profile image


        3 years ago

        How do you stop schnauzers from pottying in the house? We have 5 they go periods of time not going then one morning we wake up to potty all over the carpet. Sometimes we just walk in that one room and there it is. Getting rid of the carpet is in the plans, still saving for wood floors. The carpet was here when we bought the house. The other owner's had 2 terriers and they go in specific spots. I am assuming it was because her dogs went in thise spots. Enzyme products have not gotten rid of the scent. They hate the diapers and act depressed. When I am not home others I believe are not consistant in letting them out. We can't ever catch them. Help.

      • profile image


        5 years ago

        Why does our schnauzer tear up papers, bags , anything on the floor when we leave her? She is 16 months old and just started this behavior.

      • cfin profile image


        5 years ago from The World we live in

        Just bought a Mini Schnauzer puppy and he is wonderful. Very smart and a brilliant little guy. Boy does he like to snap his 10 week old teeth on my hand though. It's totally normal at his age but we are nipping it in the bud.

      • profile image


        5 years ago

        Yea , schnauzers are a great choice .

      • Matt Edmondson profile image

        Matt Edmondson 

        7 years ago from Tucson, AZ

        We have a shih tzu and have been looking for another small dog to play with him. Great info here!


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