Can Schnauzers Be Service Dogs? 6 Things You Should Know

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It’s tough to take schnauzers seriously with that adorable beard they have.. But can they take on a serious job of being a service dog?

Certain breeds have qualities that make them excellent choices for service animals, while others aren’t well suited for the job. Are schnauzers a good or bad choice for a service dog?

Can Schnauzers Be Service Dogs:

Schnauzers are well equipped to be a service dog of any kind. They were bred to hunt, guard as well as herd which makes them naturally have a desire to work and complete tasks. Schnauzers are also very smart, bond closely with their owner/handler, and are protective.

In this post you’ll discover 6 reasons why schnauzers can make for a great service dog as well as what services schnauzers would really excel.

Reason #5 is often overlooked.

Let’s jump right in.

Can Schnauzers Be Service Dogs? 6 Things You Should Know

The Different Types Of Service Dogs

Emotional Support

Emotional support dogs are assigned to people who suffer from things like depression, extreme fear or anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder as well as other emotionally challenging situations.

An emotional support dog can have a super casual job or a more action-oriented job.

For example, if their handler has depression, they could be there for cuddling, giving kisses, and requesting back & belly scratches.

This physical contact can help lift a person’s spirits.

An action-oriented job would be if they noticed signs of their handler about to have an anxiety attack then jumping into action to help them relax.

Schnauzers would do both of these jobs well given they’re perfectly happy being a one-person dog. They love having a job and feeling like they’re helping their owner.

Physical Support

Physical support dogs help people who are physically disabled.

This could be seeing impairments, hearing disabilities, or if a person is prone to seizures.

Schnauzers are absolutely smart enough to learn how to help each of these different physical conditions, but they might be a little small to be a guide.

When it comes to helping warn a person if they are about to have a seizure or if their blood pressure is dropping, they’d be great for these jobs.

Giant schnauzers may be better suited for helping direct a person around.


Therapy service dogs are focused on making people feel better.

An important distinction with therapy dogs is that they’re usually expected to cheer other people up, not their owner.

Therapy dogs are often seen in hospitals to help cheer up recovering patients or visitors feeling anxious about a family member or friend.

They can also be found in other places where people might have heightened levels of anxiety.

Such as before boarding a flight or at a college/university during exam season.


Vocation service dogs are focused on guarding, farming (hunting/herding), or military services.

Schnauzers were bred to hunt, herd as well as be guard dogs, so this type of service is familiar to them.

Their instincts make them great at each of these types of vocation services.

When it comes to military services it would depend on the military requirements.

While giant schnauzers may be better in some instances, standard schnauzers may be more beneficial in other circumstances where being medium sized is helpful.

6 Reasons Schnauzers Can Be Great Service Dogs

1) Extremely Intelligent

In order for any dog to become a great service dog they of course need to be intelligent.

A study conducted by Stephen Coren listed various dog breeds based on their intelligence.

And schnauzers ranked 18 out of 131.

So it’s safe to say that they’re one of the smartest breeds around.

Which means they can quickly learn certain behaviors and are well equipped to learn more complicated tasks.

They enjoy variability in their training and actually get bored if their training is too simple.

Since being a service dog requires learning advanced tasks a schnauzer not only would take to them quickly but would enjoy the intellectual challenge.

2) Bond Closely With Their Owner/Handler

As previously mentioned, schnauzers were bred to hunt as well as be guard dogs.

This means they intuitively develop a strong bond with one person over the rest.

Which is a perfect quality for a service dog.

It doesn’t mean they won’t also love other people in their pack/family. It just means they’ll hold one person a little closer in their heart.

Which is the kind of loyalty you absolutely want to see in any service dog that’s assigned to a specific person.

They will take their job very seriously because they want to keep their beloved handler safe.

Related Reading: Are Schnauzers Loyal To Their Owners? 9 Facts Revealed

3) Protective

Another great quality for service dogs that comes from schnauzers ancestors is their protective nature.

Whether it’s protecting their handler from emotional harm, physically injuring themselves by fainting or a potential threat from a stronger.

A schnauzer will stand by you the entire time.

They have a strong sense of pride in protecting their family.

This also means that they’re highly attentive to their surroundings to ensure you’re safe.

Whether it’s looking out for certain scents, cars driving by too close, your body language, etc. they’re always alert.

Related Reading: Are Schnauzers Protective? The Truth + 6 Reasons & 4 Tips

4) Strong Desire To Work

There’s no question that more laid back breeds can also be trained to be great service dogs.

But ones with an intrinsic desire to work take to their job much quicker and more seriously.

Again, going back to the fact schnauzers were bred to hunt, guard and herd, they have a strong desire to take orders and be helpful.

A service dog becomes extremely important in a person’s life who’s using their help.

So having a service dog that would rather spend their time getting belly rubs rather than on the job isn’t the best idea.

A schnauzer will happily take their job seriously and take care of their human by any means necessary.

A breed that flourishes when it has a strong sense of purpose is a great companion to have as a service dog.

Related Reading: Do Schnauzers Make Good Guard Dogs? What To Expect

5) Low Maintenance

This may not be a super important factor for vocation service dogs, but for each of the other types of services it’s quite beneficial.

When a person has physical or emotional dependencies, the last thing they want is added mess to clean up.

Schnauzers don’t shed very much, don’t excessively drool, don’t require much grooming and are hypoallergenic.

These qualities make them generally a low maintenance breed.

While it’s important to take care of a service dog so they can continue to perform their job well.

You also don’t want them to be so high maintenance that you end up doing more work managing them than they are in helping you.

6) Fearless

Important for any service companion, schnauzers are known for being fearless.

Whatever situation a schnauzer finds themselves in, they know what their main objective is.

Keeping their human safe.

Which means no matter what happens in your day-to-day life, a schnauzer will stand by you to ensure you’re safe.

And that’s an extremely comforting thought knowing you’re walking around with such a fearless companion.

Final Thoughts

Service dogs need to have certain qualities in order to do their job well.

And schnauzers have many of the best qualities a person would be looking for in a service dog.

They can be great companions to help with trauma and emotional support, while also alert and protective in vocation type situations.

Proper training is absolutely required for a dog to become a service dog.

But a schnauzer’s high intelligence makes them a great candidate that would learn challenging tasks much quicker than other breeds.

Other posts you might find interesting:

Are Schnauzers Good First Dogs? 13 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


Standard Schnauzer

The Standard Schnauzer

Stanley Coren’s dog intelligence ranking

Which Breeds Make the Best Service Dogs?