Miniature Schnauzer Temperament -- What's Good About 'Em, What's Bad About 'Em and More!
Generally this breed has a pleasant, playful, spunky temperament that fits well into a lot of homes.
The problem is that Miniature Schnauzers vary tremendously in personality, from merry and extroverted, to serious and introspective. Some individuals are very terrier-like -- high-energy ("busy"), scrappy toward other dogs, and stubborn. Other individuals are so much calmer, easygoing, and sweet-nature that they're almost like a different breed. With such a range in temperament, it's hard to know what kind of Mini Schnauzer you'll end up when mature.
The Miniature Schnauzer loves his walks and needs a decent amount of exercise, but mostly he just wants to participate fully in the family. He makes an alert watchdog and may welcome strangers with enthusiasm or be a bit standoffish, even suspicious, if not well socialized.
Most Miniature Schnauzers are good with other family pets -- though he may chase the family cat for fun, he's seldom serious about it. Some are scrappy with other dogs of the same sex, but it is a tribute to their overall amiability that Miniature Schnauzers can often be grouped together with little or no bickering.
Although he knows his own mind and often displays an obstinate resistance to walking on the leash, the Miniature Schnauzer responds well to obedience training. Many individuals win top awards in advanced obedience.
This breed is adaptable, makes an excellent traveling companion, and even if slightly spoiled, doesn't take as much advantage of it as many other terriers. They can be barky, though.
If you want a dog who....
Is conveniently-sized and sturdily built, yet also elegant and athletic
Has a wiry coat that doesn't shed too much, and a whiskery face with a wise expression
Makes a keen watchdog, but is usually polite with everyone
Is usually good with other family pets
A Miniature Schnauzer may be right for you.
If you don't want to deal with....
Providing enough exercise and activities to keep them busy
Suspicious or shy when not socialized enough
Boldness/feisty toward other animals -- chasing instincts
Regular (every other month) clipping and trimming of the wiry coat
A Miniature Schnauzer may not be right for you.
But you can avoid or minimize some negative traits by (1) carefully choosing the right puppy from the right breeder; (2) raising and training your puppy in all the right ways; (3) choosing an adult dog who has already proven that he doesn't have negative traits.
More traits and characteristics of the Miniature Schnauzer
If I was considering a Miniature Schnauzer, I would be most concerned about.....
Providing enough exercise and mental stimulation. Miniature Schnauzers need regular opportunities to vent their energy and to use their intelligent minds to do interesting things. I strongly recommend that you get your Miniature Schnauzer involved in obedience classes at the intermediate or advanced level, or in agility (an obstacle course for dogs).
Suspicious and barking. Some Miniature Schnauzers will put on a display of excited ferociousness (i.e. they "pitch a fit") when other people or animals approach what is theirs. It's not funny and if you don't curtail it, your Mini Schnauzer may end up suspicious of everyone in the world.
Animal aggression. Some Miniature Schnauzers are dominant or aggressive toward other dogs. Some have strong instincts to chase and seize small fleeing creatures. This can make for conflict if you own a cat. It may be much worse than that if you own a pet rabbit or hamster!
Mind of their own. The best Miniature Schnauzers are very smart and capable of learning a great deal, but they must be taught at an early age that they are not the rulers of the world. The toughness that makes them suited to killing vermin can frustrate you when you try to teach them anything. Some Miniature Schnauzers are manipulative and/or dominant (they want to be the boss) and will make you prove that you can make them do things. You must show them, through absolute consistency, that you mean what you say.
Grooming. To keep their wiry coat free of mats, Miniature Schnauzers require regular brushing, and also clipping and trimming every couple of months. You can learn to do this yourself or pay a professional groomer, but it must be done.
MY Schnauzer's PERSONALITIES:Updated o1/14/2017
Riley can be suspicious of small children, very loyal and wonderful to her family. Piper is peppy and good natured. Likes all people of all ages. Ginger is calm and laid back. Likes all people of all ages. Willow is a total sweetie and likes all people and all ages. Eve is gentle and laid back. Likes all people and all ages. Remi is sweet and loves everyone and this includes children. Kennedy is very athletic, playful and loves puppies. Jackie is happy go lucky, loves to play and is sweet. Winchester loves everyone and he is very playful and happy. Grant is more reserved with strangers but friendly once he is comfortable. Carter loves people and he is very persistent with wanting to be first.