Schnauzers are easily recognizable dogs, with an athletic body and square face -- which more often than not -- has a bearded chin and bushy eyebrows. Alert and reliable, they are popular as pets, but they also have high levels of stamina and have been used successfully as working dogs. All the different kinds of schnauzer have a double coat. The top coat is wiry and coarse, and covers a softer layer of hair underneath. There are three types of schnauzer, and a popular crossbreed of a schnauzer and poodle called a schnoodle.
The miniature schnauzer is the 11th most popular dog breed in the USA and 7th in Canada. It is a strong, robust dog, with the bearded face typical of the schnauzer breed. These little dogs can be found in a variety of colors, but only three are recognized by the American Kennel Club: black, salt and pepper, and black and silver. In America and Canada, the miniature schnauzer is classed as a terrier.
The standard schnauzer is the original of the three types of schnauzer. It originated in southern Germany, where it was used on farms to catch rats, guard the property and round up the livestock. As such, in the USA and Canada, this dog is classified in the working group. It is a medium sized-dog, with males standing at around 18 to 20 inches at the shoulders. Females are around an inch smaller. The standard schnauzer weighs anything from 30 to 50 pounds. There are only two colors of standard schnauzer: black, and salt and pepper.
As the name suggests, the giant schnauzer is a large, strong dog. As a breed, it is classed in the working category. Males stand at between 25.5 and 27.5 inches at the shoulder, and weigh from 60 to 90 pounds, while bitches tend to be slightly smaller and lighter. Because of its size, the giant schnauzer requires a lot of exercise and grooming. It is a very energetic dog, and also incredibly intelligent, but above all it makes a great companion.
The schnoodle is a cross between a schnauzer and a poodle. The schnoodle can be a combination of any of the different categories of schnauzer and poodle and is then classified as giant, standard, miniature or toy. The giant schnoodle can weigh up to 80 pounds and the miniature may weigh as little as 10 to 16 pounds. Schnoodles tend to look a little more like one of the parents than the other, meaning it is difficult to predict the exact outcome of this cross. Some schnoodles have the wiry coat of a schnauzer while others have coats which are more like poodles.