Schnauzer and his character
Updated: Aug 12, 2019
Schnauzers are characterized by certain common character traits, which schnauzer owners love but some other people may not. But each schnauzer is still an individual, different from all the others. It is hard to say how much this is influenced by genes and how much by the circumstances in the dog's life. However, one characteristic is very noticeable: schnauzer is a good watchdog who is very brave and concentrated enough that stimuli from the environment do not faze him too much. Schnauzer is also very much in love with his family and will usually only tolerate other people after his owner accepts them. I often say: if you want a dog that will always be friendly and will wag his tail to every stranger, you shouldn't have a schnauzer. The most adorable thing about the schnauzer’s soul is the fact that he believes he is the only mine. Each of my schnauzers was unique but all were totally loyal to my family and were prepared to accept only a few other people who managed to touch their hearts in one way or another.
My boys and a girl (I have had a female only once) were all curious and receptive as puppies. Any dog was welcome to run around and play with. I have always been very happy to provide them such a party if only they were in the mood to run, jump and play. This is especially important when they are puppies, who are still learning how to interact with other dogs. This is a skill that they use a lot when they grow up. They must know when to stop playing, step away and stay at a distance. We must also always observe their play for any sign of aggression to be able to stop the game in time.
As mentioned, I don’t know how much genes contribute to the schnauzer’s character, but these typical characteristics make living with a schnauzer a joy (at least to us, schnauzer people). His natural curiosity is pure joy, which should be always rewarded by positive experiences (the owner must provide these!). I remember how we tried to upgrade the socialization process of our puppies by walking to the city and to the village. They were watching and evaluating everything new! A good example is, for instance, the summer festival in Ljubljana (it takes place in many locations throughout the city). Music, lights, crowds and numerous different voices and, oh, all the smells! This “harsh environment” can be a joy for us humans as well as for dogs. It is never difficult for them, even the opposite – they stop, look, smell and listen to the hustle and bustle of the city life. While we sit somewhere to have a beer or a coffee, schnauzer puppies sit in a safe space under the table and observe people and dogs walking by. Sometimes they even take a nap while waiting to go. This is always a good experience for them.
Schnauzer’s nature changes a bit as he grows up. As a puppy, junior and young adult he will be usually tolerant towards foreign dogs, strange people and visitors to our home. By the way, an apartment, the house, the garden etc. are a holy fortress for a schnauzer and he will always guard and protect them and will alert us if there is a foreigner. That is a very important duty for a guard dog!
After the fifth or sixth year of dog's life I noticed a change. He will usually accept only females in our home while male dogs make him show signs of intolerance. I think this must be a sign of complete maturity. If we were not prepared for this character change (which we noticed in several of our dogs), we could have had problems.
Our adult schnauzer (male) will divide other dogs to "good" (females) and to "bad" (males). Besides that we also observe changes like showing some funny behavior, for example: he will not share our / his toys with another dog unless I allow this other dog to pick them. This means that my dog will quickly gather all the toys in a corner, stand over and in front of them firmly showing that his toys are not for sharing.
It is also so sweet seeing how our dogs show more and more love for the family as they grow older. Gazing lovingly into our eyes, giving french kisses on our faces, offering their paws all the time, showing tricks without being asked for, watching our every step, … These are the best moments of all. They are constantly looking for affection, a nice touch, a gentle and kind word.
It's no wonder that we are more attached to our dogs every day. As they get older this bond only gets stronger. As I'm writing this, my miniature schnauzer is so close to me that my leg hurts. I'm happy.