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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone,
I am deciding between these three breeds. If you own one, or previously owned one, or even if you've had experience with one, I would love to hear your views. The Good, the Bad, and the ugly. I know there are many other breeds I could consider, but I've narrowed my choices down to these three breeds, based on handful of tests to help my search.

I have a handful of questions, but I will stick to the key things I'm looking for.

1. A dog that can enjoy both alone time (not always needy) but also will spend time with the family.

2. Can enjoy lounging around and also enjoy activities (a mix of both would be nice).

3. Good watch/guard dog - (guard as is – will stand its ground, as a form of deterring the intruder – not looking for a Doberman response).

4. Good with children - does not need to be raised with them (inherently good - though I am happy to raise/social them, if that is the case).

Thank you for your time.
Kind regards,
D.Kanvar.
 

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I can really only speak to the schnauzers. I have owned a number of minis, and have been around some standards since I sometimes train with a breeder of standards. They really aren't that much alike, IMO, other than looks. Standards are more serious working dog type temperament, while the minis are more terrier-like. The standards I know are pretty soft tempered - like if they are doing an obedience recall and something spooks them they slow way down. I imagine they would be good watch dogs but I can't imagine them standing their ground if someone came in the house. Could just be the lines of dogs I know though.

Most minis I know are very barky, and they also tend towards shyness. It's not correct for the breed, but it's there and I've seen it quite a bit. I haven't known any that were particularly good with kids though. Ours were fine with me because they were raised with me, but they did not like other kids. The female would leave the room and the male would bark at toddlers sometimes. They never bit, but they really weren't "kid dogs" at all. They just kind of wanted to be away from kids. I think a lot of terriers are the same way.

All of the schnauzers I know have good off switches and are happy to lounge around the house, or go out and do things.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I can really only speak to the schnauzers. I have owned a number of minis, and have been around some standards since I sometimes train with a breeder of standards. They really aren't that much alike, IMO, other than looks. Standards are more serious working dog type temperament, while the minis are more terrier-like. The standards I know are pretty soft tempered - like if they are doing an obedience recall and something spooks them they slow way down. I imagine they would be good watch dogs but I can't imagine them standing their ground if someone came in the house. Could just be the lines of dogs I know though.

Most minis I know are very barky, and they also tend towards shyness. It's not correct for the breed, but it's there and I've seen it quite a bit. I haven't known any that were particularly good with kids though. Ours were fine with me because they were raised with me, but they did not like other kids. The female would leave the room and the male would bark at toddlers sometimes. They never bit, but they really weren't "kid dogs" at all. They just kind of wanted to be away from kids. I think a lot of terriers are the same way.

All of the schnauzers I know have good off switches and are happy to lounge around the house, or go out and do things.
Hello Elrohwen,
Thank you for taking the time to respond. Interesting information about the behaviour of the minis you've had experience with. I have never had any experience with the Schnauzer breed at all, nor the Manchester.
So any information is a big help. Some people have told me, because the mini does bark (supposedly a bit), they do alert the owner if they hear something (but they've also said, they could break at any sound).

Interesting about how they are with kids. I wonder if other people have the same experience. I wonder if they need to be raised with kids to be used to them, or if it's just how they are.
Also, glad to see they do enjoy both doing activities and lounging around.
Thanks for the reply.
 

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dkanvar, what country are you located in?

You probably recall my statement about dogs not being like types of cereal, so I won't repeat the anecdote, but stress again that there is a heck of a lot of variability within a breed, but great similarity between what the parents are and what the offspring is. Most breeders have an ideal and breed for it, so what they produce will be fairly uniform. Looking for general schnauzer info isn't really going to help you, you need to be talking to breeders and seeing their dogs (even if you can't travel they should be able to send you videos)

However, if you are limited to just a few breeders in your country or region or state or territory or however you set your borders, then even though the schnauzer may be a good choice in theory, in your reality it may not be if the breeders in your area are breeding for show vs a traditional well rounded multipurpose working dog. Honestly I expect more people are producing show schnauzers than 'working' ones

Additionally, only part of the equation is genetics, a big part of the equation is the training you put into them. If you want a dog that isn't going to back down, then you need to play with him in ways that build confidence, train him to be confident and assertive, and/or get involved in dog sports that stress confident and controlled confrontations.

Finally, dogs can't judge morality. At best they can judge two aspects. The first is familiar person vs stranger. This means if you get a dog that has strong protective traits and you train to bring these out even more, don't be surprised when the dog treats your friends that he has never met as threats. They are strangers to him. The second is the kind of vibe the person gives off. Just like your dog can sense what kind of mood you are in, they can often sense someone who is intending ill-will. The catch here is this is a very unpredictable metric. Someone who is a friend from long ago you bump into and invite over may well be just days away from serving his wife divorce papers. He may put on a happy face for you, but your dog may sense his discomfort and falsehood and probably won't be able to tell the difference between that the vibe a burglar lurking in the bushes may give off.

You can't expect a dog to be protective toward one group of people and not act that way toward another. Reading your posts, I sometimes think you may be expecting the impossible.

Here's a video of a guy running a standard schnauzer in schutzhund
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u2maW8MpmQk


here's a website that has some great info. These sound like an excellent source for schnauzers at least in the aspect of dogs not likely to back down (once given proper training) Unfortunately, these may be half a globe away from you.

Standard Schnauzers - More Info SSchnauzer
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
dkanvar, what country are you located in?

You probably recall my statement about dogs not being like types of cereal, so I won't repeat the anecdote, but stress again that there is a heck of a lot of variability within a breed, but great similarity between what the parents are and what the offspring is. Most breeders have an ideal and breed for it, so what they produce will be fairly uniform. Looking for general schnauzer info isn't really going to help you, you need to be talking to breeders and seeing their dogs (even if you can't travel they should be able to send you videos)

However, if you are limited to just a few breeders in your country or region or state or territory or however you set your borders, then even though the schnauzer may be a good choice in theory, in your reality it may not be if the breeders in your area are breeding for show vs a traditional well rounded multipurpose working dog. Honestly I expect more people are producing show schnauzers than 'working' ones

Additionally, only part of the equation is genetics, a big part of the equation is the training you put into them. If you want a dog that isn't going to back down, then you need to play with him in ways that build confidence, train him to be confident and assertive, and/or get involved in dog sports that stress confident and controlled confrontations.

Finally, dogs can't judge morality. At best they can judge two aspects. The first is familiar person vs stranger. This means if you get a dog that has strong protective traits and you train to bring these out even more, don't be surprised when the dog treats your friends that he has never met as threats. They are strangers to him. The second is the kind of vibe the person gives off. Just like your dog can sense what kind of mood you are in, they can often sense someone who is intending ill-will. The catch here is this is a very unpredictable metric. Someone who is a friend from long ago you bump into and invite over may well be just days away from serving his wife divorce papers. He may put on a happy face for you, but your dog may sense his discomfort and falsehood and probably won't be able to tell the difference between that the vibe a burglar lurking in the bushes may give off.

You can't expect a dog to be protective toward one group of people and not act that way toward another. Reading your posts, I sometimes think you may be expecting the impossible.

Here's a video of a guy running a standard schnauzer in schutzhund
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u2maW8MpmQk


here's a website that has some great info. These sound like an excellent source for schnauzers at least in the aspect of dogs not likely to back down (once given proper training) Unfortunately, these may be half a globe away from you.

Standard Schnauzers - More Info SSchnauzer
Hey, thanks for the response.

I am more interested in people's experience with these breeds. I removed the notion of personality, based on when I meet the parents/pups I will know more. I'm from Australia, but I also have to state that many breeds I am interested in are very pricey - 3k and more.

I've contacted both breeders - I am seeing the schnauzer breeders in two weeks time (at a dog show). I am trying to work out a time to see the Manchester breeder - both of these people live on the other side of the city and beyond (more country side). Right now, I want to know people's experiences with the breed (I'm taking into consideration two Manchesters will be different, based on personality - but they may have a common trait).
 

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My daughter and her family have a miniature Schnauzer. She and her family adopted him when he was just a pup, and he is now 2-1/2. He is good with everyone. Beth's boys were 5 and 7 at the time Dash became a member of their family. Dash has never growled at people or snapped at anyone.

But bark he does! And it is so high pitched and loud. The first time Beth took Dash for puppy shots the vet told her that he's had miniature Schnauzers before and they are definitely barkers. Dash is proof that the vet was right. lol
 

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Are you confining your search for breeders to certain sections of AU?

Note, if you find a breeder in AU who you like but is too far away from you, I encourage you to contact them as they may know of people in your area who have bought dogs from them and may be producing pups, and/or they may know of people in your area who breed but just don't advertise much.

One question I think is good to ask breeders is 'If tragedy struck and somehow all your current dogs died in a fire or something, and you chose to keep on breeding, which breeders would you turn to for the purposes of getting dogs to rebuild your program?'

Doing a little bit of googling, these breeders stood out as reasonable starting points

This breeder claims to work their dogs in many activities including agility, obedience, and tracking. They are not breeding for conformation alone.
Dogz Online Member Profile

Here is a very distant breeder, clearly producing dogs capable of doing all sorts of work. Note they they have shipped dogs to AU. I am not suggesting you get a dog shipped from them, but instead may want to consider talking to them as a resource, and the finding who they shipped the dogs to and see if those people are breeding
Working Dogs | Kennel Argenta
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
My daughter and her family have a miniature Schnauzer. She and her family adopted him when he was just a pup, and he is now 2-1/2. He is good with everyone. Beth's boys were 5 and 7 at the time Dash became a member of their family. Dash has never growled at people or snapped at anyone.

But bark he does! And it is so high pitched and loud. The first time Beth took Dash for puppy shots the vet told her that he's had miniature Schnauzers before and they are definitely barkers. Dash is proof that the vet was right. lol
Thank you :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Are you confining your search for breeders to certain sections of AU?

Note, if you find a breeder in AU who you like but is too far away from you, I encourage you to contact them as they may know of people in your area who have bought dogs from them and may be producing pups, and/or they may know of people in your area who breed but just don't advertise much.

One question I think is good to ask breeders is 'If tragedy struck and somehow all your current dogs died in a fire or something, and you chose to keep on breeding, which breeders would you turn to for the purposes of getting dogs to rebuild your program?'

Doing a little bit of googling, these breeders stood out as reasonable starting points

This breeder claims to work their dogs in many activities including agility, obedience, and tracking. They are not breeding for conformation alone.
Dogz Online Member Profile

Here is a very distant breeder, clearly producing dogs capable of doing all sorts of work. Note they they have shipped dogs to AU. I am not suggesting you get a dog shipped from them, but instead may want to consider talking to them as a resource, and the finding who they shipped the dogs to and see if those people are breeding
Working Dogs | Kennel Argenta
Hello Akodo1,
Thank you for taking the time to do the research - but I've already done what you've said :), when it comes to asking breeders. The ones I went for, were in the end close, in the right price range (I was told by some club members -- even those who run the club -- the overall pricing: 1500-2000 for a certain breed, all depending on the breeder).

Though I have not asked the question relating to the death of their dogs and who would they go to reestablish themselves - I am currently, at this stage, happy with the selected breeders. I am waiting for the Manchester breeder to respond back (she has been quite supportive, while the Schnauzer breeder has been wonderful and quite informative about my interest and questions).

Kind regards,
Dkanvar.
 
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