Here's the scoop:
- They are sturdy which is why Hubby really likes them - but they are also fairly small. The normal miniature Schnauzer weighs in at about 22 pounds. But like terriers they are solid and strongly built. Of course the new trend is to breed smaller and smaller -- so now you can find some that weigh in at 10 to 12 pounds -- but normal size is around 22 - 24 pounds
- They do not shed -- BUT and this is a big B U T -- they do require grooming. So if you don't want to mess with a poodle because of the poodle cut, you probably don't want a Schnauzer either. I pay $40 a piece ($80 a month) to groom my Schnauzers with a true Schnauzer cut. Now you can shave them down -- but if you do that, please, please do not cut off their lovely little beards. A bald Schnauzer is a terrible sight to behold, in my opinion.
- They are not the most friendly of dogs. They bond closely with their family and then try like to shut others out. If you have a kid (or kids), they will like your child. They may not like other children. They are also pretty territorial -- so they make good watch dogs. We always figure no one is breaking into the car when the two Schnauzers are guarding it. Fritzy was a snippy Schnauzer -- he would bite if you made him angry. Milly, our first Schnauzer, also could display a temper. Wolfie, on the other paw, loved everybody. Gus and Luie are pretty friendly, too. Luie makes noise because he wants to first find out where you are standing and second see if he can tell if he knows you.
- Schnauzers yip. A lot. They just make noise. They talk to their owners. They yap at other dogs. They greet the mail people. They kick up a storm when the pizza guy comes. You have to like noise to own a Schnauzer.
- They love. Not like a lab or a setter. But you will find none more loyal to his family than a Schnauzer.
- They rule. They dominate their owners, other dogs, and the entire household. However, they are also smart enough to know exactly who is alpha in a household. So, in our house, everyone knows that Hubby is the dominate figure. Fritzy used to try to usurp me and periodically I'd have to remind him that I was second in command. Gus and Luie are more laid back -- or smarter -- and though Luie would love to come third in the house rankings, he understands that neither Hubby or I will allow Gus to lose his standing now that Fritzy is gone. You can watch a Schnauzer to see how he sees himself in the household -- they will align with the alpha person. So Milly and Fritzy were Hubby's dogs. Wolfie adored me. Gus honestly doesn't care - he's a slut for love, whoever will give it. And Luie -- well, Luie is a dog unto himself. He loves. He plays. And he has a sense of humor. So Luie is in it for the laughs. Luie is a bit zealous in trying to be friendly - but being blind he's actually just trying to figure out if he should know you and where you've been.
Now if any of that seems to fit the dog you are think you could love -- find yourself a pound Schnauzer. Lots of rescue organizations are out there for them -- Luie came from a rescue in Oklahoma. However, Milly came from Wayside Waifs. Fritzy and Gus come from the pound in Ottawa, Kansas. Wolf was found half dead by a couple in Kearney, MO. All of them our guys have been rescues. And honestly, I think that makes for an even-tempered, loving, trainable best friend (or son or daughter, in our case).