These little dogs have a commanding presence and a lot of smarts,.
But is the Miniature Schnauzer the right dog for you?
Here is what you need to know about this little dog with the big personality:
Intelligence and Trainability
The Miniature Schnauzer is a very smart dog and is ranked 12th out of 80 breeds when it comes to intelligence.
If you don’t find ways to keep this dog entertained, then expect to find him using his intelligence to do things like open cupboard doors looking for toys and treats or finding ways to escape in search of adventures.
- Earthdog Trials – As a terrier type, the Miniature Schnauzer has a strong drive to dig for rodents and Earthdog activities can give him a way to do this without digging up your backyard. Speaking of your backyard, you’ll want to make sure that you keep your Schnauzer in a well fenced area or on a leash otherwise he may run off after a squirrel or rabbit.
- Agility – this type of activity not only gives your dog something to think about and puzzles to solve, but also give him the physical exercise he needs. Agility is also a great way to spend time with your dog and create an even deeper bond of friendship and loyalty.
It seems that the smarter a dog is, the more challenging it can be to train him and this proves to be true with the Miniature Schnauzer.
It takes a strong leader to motivate these independent little dogs who don’t like being told what to do.
Here are some training tips:
- Keep calm but remain assertive – The Miniature Schnauzer temperament demands that you take a solid leadership role and make sure that learns his role in the pecking order.
- Begin training as early as possible – the younger you start training this breed, the easier he will learn. Early training not only establishes your role as leader but also sets up a pattern that your dog can learn to rely on as he grows.
- Use positive reinforcement – Strong-willed dogs shut down when negative reinforcement such as spanking or yelling is used. Miniature Schnauzers are highly motivated by food and praise. Click on “How to Discipline a Dog The Right Way“
- Keep activities varied – these smart little dogs get bored with repetition so you will need to stay on your toes and find new ways to interact with him. Once you have trained your Miniature Schnauzer basic obedience, challenge him with new behaviors and games such as hide-and-seek which can be fun for you both.
Miniature Schnauzer Traits
- They are very adaptable and so make great traveling companions.
- They are great watchdogs. They are highly alert to strangers
- Even though they are small, they are sturdy and athletic. This makes them great as a family dog that won’t shy away when the kids get rambunctious.
The Not So Good
While fun and polite little dogs, there are some things about these dogs that you may find problematic.
- They bark. A lot. – Being this smart and alert means that the Miniature Schnauzer will sound the alarm at the slightest sign of trouble. While you can’t train a dog not to bark, you can teach him to stop barking on command and this will be a necessary part of having a peaceful home.
- They are not great with young children – While the Miniature Schnauzer temperament makes them a great dog for families with older children, they don’t have the patience to put up with toddlers and children under 6.
- They can be stubborn – It will take an effort on your part to find what motivates your Miniature Schnauzer and establish a training routine that keeps him doing what you ask.
These dogs aren’t for everyone. Make sure you understand the commitment toward training and leadership it will take before you bring the feisty and independent Miniature Schnauzer temperament into your home.