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Schnauzer Adoption

Breed Photo

What do you need to know before you adopt a Schnauzer? We asked the experts!


Schnauzer Rescue Cincinnati and Florida says:

Schnauzers are a wonderful breed, but they aren't for everyone.  Most of them bark a lot, and they are pretty high energy.  Probably the biggest reason that dogs are turned in to our rescue is this.  Young couples get married and adopt a schnauzer.  Once they start having a family and if the dog should snap at the child, then in most cases they blame the dog.  And most of the time, it is preventable; kids just need to be taught to be gentle with Schnauzers.

Boxer/Schnauzer Rescue of the Ozarks says:

There are three sizes of the Schnauzer breed: giant, standard, and miniature.  The biggest misconception is that a Giant Schnauzer is just like a Miniature Schnauzer, just bigger.  This is not true.

A Giant Schnauzer is in the working breed class and they are a guarding breed. They use their mouths to direct you to what they want.  The Giant is also not the best with small dogs, especially of the same sex. Many times we have had Giants come into rescue because they have started to prey on the little dog in the house.  It is very important to get your Giant Schnauzer into training classes. A happy Giant is a Giant with a job; this could be pulling a wagon, or being a service dog, but Giants are best when they are kept busy.  

A Miniature Schnauzer is in the terrier breed class, and they are true to their terrier roots. Many of the Miniature Schnauzers we get into our program are best not placed with children under five, as the mini sees them as a littermate rather than as owner and will treat the child as such, which sometimes means snapping.  A Miniature Schnauzer, like the Giant, needs direction. Training classes are great for Minis, as this is a smart breed and they need activities to keep them out of trouble.  Leaving them in the backyard will only create many holes around the yard; they need to be walked and socialized.   

As for the Standard we hardly ever get them in the program, the breed club works really hard to keep the standard from getting out of control like the mini and now sadly the giant. This breed in all three sizes are NOT hypoallergenic.  They do shed less than some other dogs, but they still shed.  

More about Schnauzers:

There are three types of Schnauzers: the Miniature Schnauzer, the Standard Schnauzer, and the Giant Schnauzer.  

Schnauzers and Schnauzer mixes are often described as lively, enthusiastic and affectionate. This breed does its best to become a member of the family and to alert family members to potential dangers. Schnauzers are highly intelligent but can be stubborn or willful. Regardless of size Schnauzers are typically fun loving and high energy terriers. The Miniature Schnauzer is considerably less aggressive with both strangers and other animals than are his larger relatives. Sometimes the Giant Schnauzer is often described as a bit too boisterous to interact with small children.

The wiry double coat of the Schnauzer is considered to be low shedding. But that doesn’t mean your Schnauzer doesn’t require some grooming. The softer outer coat of the Schnauzer does shed, but the loose hairs become trapped in the thicker undercoat. Therefore, though you will notice very little hair around the house, your Schnauzer requires regular brushing to keep the coat from becoming tangled or matted. Schnauzers also require that their coat be clipped several times per year. Schnauzers have a low incidence of genetic problems but may be prone to hip dysplasia and a variety of tumors that are not necessarily cancerous.

More about the Schnauzer

Thinking about adopting a Schnauzer puppy? Here are three reasons to adopt an adult instead:

1. You have kids.

Like most people, you’ve probably heard time and again that if you have kids, you should adopt a Schnauzer puppy (or, gasp! find a Schnauzer puppy for sale). The rationale is that an adult shelter dog is an unknown quantity, so buying or adopting a Schnauzer puppy is safer. Actually, the opposite is closer to the truth. Puppies are not usually a great choice with kids; they have very limited control over their biting/mouthing impulses, and when you mix that with lots of energy and unbelievably sharp little teeth, it’s a recipe for your small fry to be in tears.  Puppies are tiny chewing machines and can destroy a favorite stuffed animal or security blanket in short order.  Adult dogs, on the other hand, are generally calmer, and their personalities are already fully developed and on display.  When you meet an adult dog, you can see how they are with kids and with other animals.  This takes the guesswork out of wondering how a puppy will turn out as a full-grown dog.

2.  You value your possessions.

Puppies teethe.  They have a biological need to chew, they want to play constantly, and they can’t discriminate between appropriate chew toys and, say, your favorite pair of Manolos.  Puppies eventually can be trained out of this behavior, of course, and there are exceptions to every rule, but generally speaking, an adult Schnauzer (or any adult dog) is much less likely to shred your drapes like coleslaw or function as a “helpful” canine document shredder.

3.  You work, or otherwise leave the house.

Pop quiz: how often does a two-month-old puppy need to be taken out to do his business during the day?  A) every six hours; B) every eight hours; or C) every two hours?

If you answered B, or even A, you’re an eternal optimist! The correct answer, though, is C: every two hours. When you’re housetraining a puppy, the general rule of thumb is that they can hold their bladder one hour for each month they’ve been alive (up to a max of about eight to ten hours).  So a three-month-old Schnauzer puppy needs to go outside every three hours, a four-month-old needs to go every four hours, and so on.  If you’re retired, or you work from home, or you’re taking the puppy to work with you or to a doggy daycare (make sure your puppy is up-to-date on all vaccines before considering that last option), great! But if you’re planning on leaving your dog alone during your workday, you’ll definitely want to adopt a full-grown dog, ideally from a Schnauzer rescue that can help you find the right dog for your lifestyle.

Let’s bust these myths about adopting a Schnauzer

Time to get real: when we ask people what reservations they have about Schnauzer adoption, we hear the same things over and over again.  If you’re operating under any of these mistaken beliefs, you just might be missing out on meeting the best friend you’ll ever have.   So it’s time for us to set the record straight:

  • You CAN find purebred Schnauzers for adoption in an animal shelter or rescue group.
  • Schnauzers and Schnauzer puppies for adoption are NOT in any way inferior to or different from those for sale.
  • The dogs in the shelter are NOT there because they’re bad dogs.
  • If you want a puppy, you DON’T have to buy a Schnauzer puppy.  Schnauzer puppies ARE available for adoption.
  • If you have children, adopting a dog is likely the SAFEST option.

Here’s the truth: you absolutely can find a Schnauzer, even a Schnauzer puppy, for adoption in an animal shelter or rescue group.  And they don’t end up there because they’re bad dogs.  In fact, often the only difference between the dog in the shelter and the one on your couch is a bit of bad luck.  Think about it: let’s say you buy a Schnauzer puppy for sale by a breeder. Your new dog is great; you immediately enroll the two of you in obedience classes, and soon your best pal is housebroken and well trained. But what would happen to your wonderful Schnauzer if, tragically, something happened to you? What if he escaped from your home and ran away? Your best pal would very likely end up in an animal shelter.  The lucky person who adopts your Schnauzer would be getting a great dog!  Animal shelters are filled with wonderful, healthy, well-behaved dogs who have been in homes before, but whose owners have fallen on hard times.  Many of them are housebroken and trained.  Schnauzer rescue organizations often care for their adoptable dogs in foster homes, which means their foster families will be able to tell you if the Schnauzer you want to adopt is good with other animals or kids, and if he or she is housebroken and knows any basic commands. As you can see, adopting from a rescue organization is likely the very safest way for people with children to add a new Schnauzer to their family!

Breed Photo

Rescues and shelters near you

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Homeward Pet Adoption Center
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Academy of Canine Behavior Adoption Dogs
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BMDCGS Rescue Program
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Three Rivers Rescue
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Coonhound Opportunites Organization Northwest
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Friends Of Rescued Mastiffs Region 9
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