Are Schnauzers Good First Dogs? 13 Things You Should Know

So you’ve decided you want to add a furry friend to your family. And out of all the wonderful breeds, you’re wondering if schnauzers are a good idea for first time owners.

The breed you pick as a first time owner is super important as it can either make or break your home.


Are Schnauzers Good For First Time Owners:

Schnauzers can be a great choice for first time dog owners. Some of the qualities that make them great for first time owners are they’re intelligent, low maintenance, and adaptable. Some qualities that can make them challenging are their protectiveness, exercise requirements & stubbornness.

In this post you’ll discover the top 6 reasons why schnauzers are a great choice for first time owners, 4 reasons why they may not be the best choice as well as helpful tips to make sure your schnauzer is a wonderful addition to your home.

Our bonus tip is very often overlooked!

Let’s jump right in.

6 Reasons Why Schnauzers Are Great For First Time Owners

1) Lower Maintenance Breed

Bringing your first dog home is a big enough change to your situation as it is.

But how high or low maintenance the dog you bring home is, is largely dependent on their breed.

And thankfully, schnauzers are a rather low maintenance breed.

They hardly shed, don’t require an extreme amount of grooming, aren’t big droolers, and are hypoallergenic.

Which means once they’re house trained, they won’t contribute much more of a mess to your home, which is a big bonus.

They also won’t negatively affect any people with allergies in your home, which is also nice.

However, they do have a double coat with a wiry top coat, so frequent brushing is definitely encouraged.

But it’s more for maintaining the health of their skin and coat than to prevent fur from finding its way all over your home.

2) Intelligent

With proper training techniques, it doesn’t require schnauzers very much time to learn new tricks and behaviors.

Because they’re so bright though, they do require firmness, consistency and a little variability in their training.

They’re so smart that if they keep being trained on tricks/behaviors they already know they’ll get bored and stop listening.

So it’s best to understand that you’re dealing with a smart doggo and treat them as such!

They’ll appreciate the challenge and it will likely create a great bond between the two of you.

3) Adaptable

Schnauzers can live comfortably in a city apartment or on a country farm.

So long as they get enough exercise each day, they’ll be happy as a clam.

Their primary goal is to please you so it doesn’t matter what environment you live in, they’ll learn to love it.

They’d benefit from a consistent daily routine, but aren’t against changing things up and playing different games/activities.

While they are adaptive dogs, they should still live in your home with you.

It’s not recommended that they sleep outside or be outside dogs.

4) Playful

Schnauzers are quite a playful breed.

They certainly aren’t couch potatoes and will likely always be up for a game of fetch or other fun activities.

So if you, or you have kids that would, love a playmate a schnauzer will likely always be interested in a play session.

5) Develops Strong Bond

Because schnauzers were bred to hunt and be guard dogs, they instinctively develop a strong bond with their owner.

Many first time dog owners want a loving relationship with their pup as opposed to bringing a dog home that’s more standoffish and independent.

And you’ll have that in spades with a schnauzer.

Your relationship will thrive when they receive consistent training and play time.

You’ll be shocked at how strong your bond becomes with a schnauzer pup.

It’s difficult for people who don’t have a dog to understand how much a dog becomes a part of their family.

And a loyal companion like a schnauzer will likely create an amazing bond with you that you cherish for a lifetime.

6) Generally Live Long Lives

Some breeds are predisposed for certain illnesses and diseases.

Which obviously affects their lifespan as well as vet bill requirements.

Thankfully, schnauzers have very few health problems as a breed.

Of course, how much exercise they receive and what/how much they eat have large impacts on their health.

But in terms of schnauzers as a breed, they aren’t known for getting any diseases in particular. Like dachshunds and IVDD, for example.

Schnauzers also live anywhere between 13 to 16 years which is fantastic.

The longer they’re around, the more you get to enjoy and cherish their time with you.

4 Reasons Why Schnauzers May Not Be The Best For First Time Owners

1) Naturally Quite Protective

Schnauzers are naturally more protective than other breeds.

And without adequate socialization at a young age, they will be very protective of you around strangers.

When a dog is overly protective they’ll bark, and bark a lot.

Obviously this behavior can be trained out of them through having lots of social interaction with new people and animals.

But if going to the dog park while they’re young or making an effort to introduce them to new dogs, people and places isn’t appealing to you, they may become overly protective.

And while barking a lot can become quite irritating for you and your neighbors, they could also become aggressive which is the last thing you want.

The more they experience that strangers are friends and not potential threats, the better.

2) Need At Least 60min Of Daily Exercise

Many first time owners underestimate how much time is required to keep a dog of any breed fit and healthy.

And when it comes to schnauzers, they need at least 60 minutes of exercise every day.

This may not sound like a lot on the surface.

But it would mean waking up 30min earlier everyday before work to take them for a walk.

As well as making time later in the evening after a long day to take them out for another 30min walk.

Or you could do 3, 20min walks a day.

While also incorporating some play time in between to make sure they don’t have too much pent up energy and start misbehaving.

If you’re committed to making sure your schnauzer gets the amount of daily exercise they need to be healthy then your pup will be happy as can be.

But if not, it’s best to look at a smaller breed that doesn’t need as much physical activity.

Possibly a miniature schnauzer. 

3) Intelligent

What? Didn’t you use intelligence as a reason why schnauzers are great for first time owners?

Yep. Intelligence can oftentimes be a double edged sword, and certainly is the case with schnauzers.

Because they’re so bright, they need more mental stimulation than less intelligent breeds.

So while they’re able to pick up on tricks and behaviors rather quickly, that means they need something new to learn to hold their attention.

And if they aren’t getting this mental stimulation they may start to behave stubbornly and destructively.

Without a good mix of variability as well as consistency in their training they could develop a tendency to be a nuisance.

If you’re not careful and don’t give them firm, consistent guidance, you may find they rule your household because they’re so smart.

4) Purebreds Are Generally More Extreme Than Mixed Breeds

While schnauzers can absolutely be wonderful additions to any home, purebred dogs are typically more challenging than mixed breeds.

This is because mixed breeds many times have ‘watered down’ tendencies compared to their purebred parents.

What this means is a combination of two or more breeds typically cancel out extreme behaviors from any one breed.

So because schnauzers are quite protective and develop a strong bond with their owner it might be worth considering a schnauzer mixed breed.

This way their extreme behaviors will be lessened and require less vigorous training.

Which is obviously beneficial for first time owners who aren’t entirely sure how they’re going to handle raising a pup.

3 Tips For First Time Owners Getting a Schnauzer

1) Start Training Early & Train Often

Schnauzers are super bright dogs that require consistent training.

While they can pick up on tricks and behaviors quite quickly, they’re classified as working dogs and need tasks to stimulate them.

The importance of starting to train your schnauzer early can’t be overstated.

The longer you wait to create good habits in your pup the higher chance they’ll create bad habits.

And unlearning bad habits is MUCH more difficult than learning a new habit.

2) Don’t Wing It!

Many first time dog owners do very little research into the breed they’re bringing home.

And while you’ll never be FULLY prepared, just like when having a baby, it’s still important to get a good understanding of what you’re getting yourself into.

It’s great that you clearly are doing some research, otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this post.

But don’t stop here!

Look at schnauzers dietary needs, training requirements and recommendations, food recommendations and costs as well as your vet situation.

The more prepared you are, the better relationship you and your schnauzer will have.

3) Socialization Is Important

Because schnauzers were bred to hunt as well as be guard dogs, socializing them at an early age is super important.

If the only human interaction they have when they’re 2-12 months is with you, they’ll likely misbehave around strangers.

Same goes for other dogs.

It’s instinctive for them to want to protect their family and if they didn’t learn that unfamiliar faces aren’t potential threats, they may act aggressively.

So when they’re 2-12 months old it’s super important to have them meet as many new dogs, people and places as possible.

This will help ensure they know how to behave around unfamiliar people and animals.

When they learn from a young age that new people aren’t potential threats, they won’t feel the need to protect you from strangers.

Bonus: Find a Good Vet

A healthy schnauzer is a happy schnauzer.

Finding a good vet that you can trust is usually quite overlooked when thinking about getting your first dog.

But it’s super important. 

Not all vets are equal.

Just like in any profession, some clearly love their job while others just do it for a living.

Finding a vet that clearly loves what they do and is honest in their recommendations is such a blessing.

The last thing you want is someone taking care of your dog who doesn’t really care about their wellbeing and just wants to prescribe medication and move on.

Other posts you might find interesting:

Can Schnauzers Be Service Dogs? 6 Things You Should Know

11 Reasons Why Your Schnauzer Is So Clingy And Needy

Are Schnauzers Loyal To Their Owners? 9 Facts Revealed

Are Schnauzers Good With Kids? 13 Things You Should Know


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Alec Littlejohn

Founder and Reviewer at Pawscessories. He is a lifelong canine enthusiast and adores dogs of all shapes and sizes! He grew up in a family of vets and to this day he helps out around the family clinic and shares his learnings on Pawscessories. Learn more about Alec's story here

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