In the last few decades, there has been a steady increase in the popularity of cross-breed dogs not just in the UK and the US, but throughout the world. When we say cross-breeds, we mean those that have been bred carefully by respected and knowledgeable breeders. In many ways, cross-bred dogs have become more popular than even pedigree breeds, that normally were the most sought-after. Generally, the purpose of cross-bred animals is to take two dog breeds with great qualities and try to create a new breed that is like the best of both worlds.
One such cross-breed that is for many dog lovers, the pet of choice, is the Schnoodle. A Schnoodle is a mix between a Miniature Schnauzer and a Poodle. Incredibly loving and intelligent, Schnoodles are devoted and protective of their pack and while they often have trouble getting on with other dogs, they get on well with children and also cats. So if you are looking for these qualities in a family dog, a Schnoodle would seem to be an ideal choice. It’s important to understand though, that not all Schnoodles are alike and you will still have to put the hard work into teaching your dog right from wrong. Keep reading to learn more about this fascinating breed.
Origins of the Schnoodle
While it’s true at least that over the last 10 to 15 years, designer or cross-breed dogs have become even more popular; they have actually existed in some form or another for over 30 years. There is not as clear, documented evidence of the first occurrences of Schnoodles, but it would appear that they were first bred in the 1980s along with other different Poodle crosses, in order to benefit from the intelligence and non-shedding coats that Poodles are famous for.
Interestingly though, both Schnauzers and Poodles are considered, albeit incorrectly, to be hypoallergenic. Schnoodles are a first generation mixed breed. This means, they just one parent that is a pure Schnauzer and one that is a poodle. It is also believed by many breeders that Schnoodles inherit a Poodle’s eagerness and a Schnauzer’s sturdiness. However, cross-breeding is not always an exact science and while certain traits may be common in the parents, it doesn’t mean they will always be present in the resulting puppies.
Schnoodles are lively and love playful distractions, with smaller varieties enjoying lap time. The larger varieties, however, can be more demanding and require much more of your time, attention and energy. Sadly, a fol of newbie larger-sized Schnoodle owners don’t realise quite how demanding their exercise requirements are which can lead to undesirable behaviour such as excessive barking and destructiveness.
This is why you should never jump straight into owning a cross-breed like a Schnoodle. You should take the time to research it properly, like reading this guide and other resources. And we can’t stress how important it is to find a reputable breeder where you can meet the parents and assess how well you are going to get on with the dog before you take him or her home.
It should go without saying that you should not buy a dog from a pet shop. Furthermore, if you are thinking about going down the rescue dog route, while it is very commendable, you need to make sure you have a decent amount of information about the dog’s history.
Still interested in owning a Schnoodle? Let’s take a look at what it’s like to own one in greater detail then.
Schnoodle Breed Characteristics
Generally, when people choose one cross-breed over another it is because of things like size. However, when it comes to the Schnoodle, there are various sizes available. This is because there are three different types of Schnauzer and three different types of Poodle.
There is the Giant, Standard and Miniature Schnauzer and the Standard, Miniature and Toy Poodle. As Schnoodles can come in any combination of those, there are for distinct kinds of Schnoodle – Toy, Miniature, Standard, and Giant.
Although the Miniature Schnoodle is by far the most popular, weighing around just 10 lbs to 16 lbs, Giant Schnoodles are also fairly common. At any rate, this gives you the chance to find a dog with the lively and loving personality of a Schnoodle with a size that fits in with your home and family.
There are a number of pros and cons that go hand in hand with owning a Schnoodle that you should be aware of before investing in one, such as:
- Schnoodles, for the most part, seem to have a real love of cats; a love which is often reciprocated back by cats.
- Because of the parentage, Schnoodles are incredibly trainable and never seem to stop learning new tricks and developing, even when they are older.
- They have a tendency to be very child-like, in the most adorable way.
- Compared to other breeds, they are very engaging and Schnoodles will always remind you that they are there and you should love them lots.
- They have hypoallergenic qualities
- Schnoodles need someone at home with them as often as possible.
- As they need bathing regularly, at least once a week, if you do not think you can cope with that in your routine, you may have to reconsider owning one.
- While most dogs suffer from anxiety separation to some extent, Schnoodles do not deal well on their own.
- Because of their lively and energetic personality, particularly the larger varieties, they need regular exercise and play time. Which may not suit everyone.
As you can see, although they are demanding, Schnoodles are very rewarding and loving companions that would suit a household where they are going to be engaged often.
As noted earlier, there are a wide variety of Schnoodle types available, and their size is determined by the parents. With this in mind, it’s worth noting that the general appearance from Schnoodle to Schnoodle can vary significantly.
For example, you could find a Schnoodle that has a single coat of curly, dense fur similar to that of a Poodle, or one with a wiry, double layer coat more closely resembling a Schnauzer. Alternatively, it could be a combination of the both. At the very least it will be curly or wavy.
Taking into consideration the fact that there are so many varieties of Schnoodles and the fact that cross-breeding is not an exact science, there is no guarantee that they will always meet expectations.
Largely thanks to the various colours that Poodles come in, Schnoodles come in various coat colours. There are actually no set colour requirements for this particular cross-breed, so you may be able to find a Schnoodle with a coat in any of the following colours:
- Black with white markings
- Phantom (Tan and black similar to a Doberman)
- Parti (White with patches of different colours)
While there is no guarantee with regards to the colour of Schnoodle you get, speak to one or two breeders about what they can offer.
How To Groom A Schnoodle
As Schnoodles often have the curly, softer hair of a Poodle or the more wiry hair of a Schnauzer, the amount of grooming they need depends on the type of coat they have. However, as a general rule of thumb, they will need to be brushed around three times a week and taken to a professional groomer for clipping or stripping one or two times every year.
Although Schnoodles benefit from bathing, it should only be when they are particularly dirty, to avoid drying out their skin’s natural oils. Their nails only need to be clipped using dog nail clippers when they are too long and their teeth should be brushed two times a week at the very least, while their ears should be checked and then wiped every week.
The Temperament of a Schnoodle
Schnoodles are very easy to recommend as family pets because they are fast learners who seem to thrive when they are being trained. They are keen to get on with whoever is part of their new family and particularly have a strong affinity for cats and children. However, it is crucial that you socialise with them at a very early age.
However, there is no guarantee that just because of its parents, a Schnoodle will instantly be an easygoing and loving pet. Poodles and Schnauzers are known for not being particularly aggressive, but training is always going to play a big part in the development of a dog. Schnoodles are no exception to this rule.
When it comes to much smaller animals though, like rodents, you need to be careful and we would even advise not keeping these in a house with a Schnoodle. The reason being that they have a quite a high prey drive for those particular creatures and will try and hunt them.
Generally quiet and calm animals, if they are left alone or neglected Schnoodles can develop destructive habits and even start barking a lot.
Schnoodles make for great family pets, because they are incredibly trainable, loyal and just want to be loved and show love. If you have thought it through properly and make sure you get a well-bred Schnoodle from a breeder with a good reputation, you will undoubtedly enjoy having a Schnoodle in your life for many years.
Living With a Schnoodle
As with any dog, if you are considering on bringing a Schnoodle into your home, you need to not just speak to breeders about them, but owners have experience with them. That way you can get first-hand information about what it is actually like to live with a Schnoodle.
They are bred from two very intelligent dog breeds, Poodles, and Schnauzers, so Schnoodles are similarly intelligent. The advantage of their intelligence is that it means they will respond favourably to regular and consistent training.
The curious thing about Schnoodles, as highlighted earlier, is that they come in a wide variety of different sizes. As such, the exercise needs of one type will be vastly different from another type. Therefore if you are looking to get a Giant Schnoodle, for instance, this will require a lot more exercise than a Miniature Schnoodle.
That doesn’t mean a Miniature Schnoodle will just want to stay on your lap at all times, he or she will still be a little bundle of energy.
All in all, if you put the training in, your Schnoodle will reward you with being the friendliest and most loving dog you could ever wish to meet. On the subject of training…
Training Your Schnoodle
It is important to note before you invest in a Schnoodle, that as this breed of dog is particularly intelligent, it will take a lot of hard work, patience and consistency to train it right. However, you should not take away the fun element, as dogs like Schnoodles thrive on things that are happy experiences. They are incredibly keen to learn and just want to please their master. With the right attitude and persistence, and by keeping our tips in mind, training your Schnoodle will not only be a successful exercise but a fun one too that sees your bonding.
AS is the case with any dog, you need to make sure your Schnoodle knows who is boss from day one. This means commending him or her for doing things right, as much as correcting them when they do things wrong.
Standard obedience commands such as come, sit, stay etc. and your dog’s understanding of these is crucial in those early days of training. Once they understand what is required when you give those commands, training will become that little bit easier.
Although there are no hard and fast rules as such when it comes to training and a lot of it depends on the temperament and personality of your own dog; there are some basics that should always be kept in mind. Below we will look at some things you need to avoid and conversely those things you should always incorporate into dog training.
Some negative approaches that you should try to avoid doing when trying to train your Schnoodle pup including:
- Shouting – It is definitely okay and even encouraged to raise your voice and show your dominance. Screaming and shouting at a dog, not just a Schnoodle, is highly frowned upon and will actually do more bad than good. It could frighten or upset your dog and may lead to them not responding to training at all.
- Reacting Physically – Although you can lightly tap your dog when trying to correct him or her, in a similar way to the above and shouting, hitting your dog to try and correct and train them will only have the opposite effect.
- Lock him or her away – You should never, under any circumstance, lock away a dog as part of training him or her. Remember, it is only young and still has a lot to learn. Besides, as we have mentioned numerous times in this post, Schnoodles do not do well when they are isolated from their family.
So avoiding the above, here are some tips to try and get the best out of training your Schnoodle:
- Start as early as possible – The earlier you start training your Schnoodle puppy, like any breed, the better. They will bond with you quickly and as your friendship and the trust between you grows; they will find it easier to obey you.
- Socialise – Likewise, you should start socialising your puppy as soon as possible. This includes the people in your immediate household, your extended family, and friends along with other animals.
- Maintain a positive, but firm approach – Schnoodles are intelligent and are great at reading verbal and physical signs that tell them if they have done something right or wrong. This is the type of dog that best responds to a positive attitude though because they are so happy.
- Patience and Persistence – Any dog, even the more trainable breeds like Schnoodles, require a lot of time, effort, patience, and persistence. There is no point in taking on the responsibility of owning a Schnoodle if you are not prepared to put the legwork in.
- Treats – Every single dog loves treats and it is one of the easiest ways to show them they are getting things right.
Training a dog using one of the best dog training books is and should be seen as being part of the whole experience of owning one. It should not be treated as a chore, even though it involves a lot of hard work. So, you need to avoid cutting corners and fully commit to it – making sure you involve all of the family too.
Schnoodle Health Care
Just as the case when buying any dog, there are some hereditary conditions that are commonly found in Schnoodles. This is why you should always, as we’ve stated many times, only consider taking on a puppy from a reputable breeder that has considerable experience working with this breed.
It is a good idea to visit the breeder and meet previous litters and the parents of any puppies you may be investing in. You can use this as an opportunity to ask and see how likely it may be for your own Schnoodle puppy to develop any of the following conditions – Hip Dysplasia, Von Willebrands, Hypothyroidism, Addison’s, Bloat, Diabetes, Epilepsy, Patellar Luxation, Legg-Calve-Perthes, various eye and skin problems.
Your breeder is your best resource for finding out the right type of food to give your Schnoodle puppy, as well as how much. They will also be able to advise on what you should feed them when they mature. Food and water are obviously very important to the health and well-being of all animals, including Schnoodles.
Getting Your Own Schnoodle
There are two ways to go about getting your own Schnoodle. The most obvious way is to find a reputable breeder with a great track record of producing fit and healthy litters. Make sure it is one that you like, trust and who is nice to the parent dogs and that they have a loving environment for the litters.
As we have covered earlier, that all have a bearing on how a puppy develops into an adult dog and the type of personality he or she has. When you know you are getting your dog from a reputable breeder you trust, you have the confidence to part with your hard-earned cash. On the subject of cash, it is worth remembering that as Schnoodles are cross-bred and highly desired, they are not the cheapest pet to buy and a puppy, depending on the type and breeder, could cost you anything from £500 to just under £1000.
Obviously, it is very admirable to go down the other route of rescuing a Schnoodle. However, you should only undertake a rescue Schnoodle if you have a lot of information regarding his or her past, have met with the dog before agreeing to take them on and are prepared for the possibility of having to work twice as hard to train them and build a bond together.
Breeds Similar to the Schnoodle
Aside from the parent breeds that make up this cross, the Schnauzer, and Poodle, because it has quite a unique look; there are only a few breeds that are similar that we could recommend. This includes the Cockapoo, Airedale Terrier, and even the Australian Silky Terrier.
The dogs mentioned both the looks and personalities of the Schnoodle.
Schnoodle Last Word
Just as so many cross-breed dogs do, the Schnoodle could be the ideal addition to your family. Particularly if you have a busy household with children and cats. You need to remember though that even the smaller varieties of Schnoodles such as the Miniature Schnoodle will still require a considerable amount of attention and exercise. However, when you put the effort in, you will be rewarded by your Schnoodles with a companion dog that will bring joy and happiness to everyone in your home.