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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Here is some background info:
- I live in a 2 storey house
- My house has a front yard and a mini backyard
- The dog has to be okay left in a crate unattended for 3 hours during the day
- I don't mind taking the dog for walks twice a day
- There will always be someone in the house
- I don't mind grooming
- I want a dog that doesn't shed much, if at all
- Youngest person living in the house is 12 years old
- I am looking for a good family dog

We were thinking of getting a Miniature Schnauzer, are they good first time dogs?
 

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Schnauzer are great dogs but they sometimes are a bit more independent-thinking, some may say slightly stubborn. +
Some can also be a bit more snappy.
not the best dog for everyone, but if you're willing to spend some time training and to be consistent, they not that inpossible as first-time dogs.
Almost every dog breed can be a family dog if their handler is willling to do the training and management.
the yard size is not important when getting a dog. important is how you plan to exercise your dog.:)
Overall your your requirements seem very good for a dog.

I'd make it three walk a day (after getting up, around noon/afternoon and before going to bed) at least... more when you pick a puppy, because they first have to learn to hold it in for longer time periods.
small breeds sometimes need a bit longer getting potty-trained. :)
 

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I can relay our experience with Samantha, a Poodle/Bischon mix, who we adopted from the local shelter six years ago. She doesn't shed, does need monthly grooming, is very good natured, loves to be loved, though we crated her at first, she can be trusted with the run of the house, has never damaged anything, and can easily be left for six hours, maybe a little more, though we never do. We live in a large tri-level, she shoots up and down the steps like they were designed by nascar. She was about a year old when we got her, have never, not once had any regrets, she fits perfectly with our family. We do not have small children at home, though she would be fine with an older child, like yours.
 

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I can relay our experience with Samantha, a Poodle/Bischon mix, who we adopted from the local shelter six years ago. She doesn't shed, does need monthly grooming, is very good natured, loves to be loved, though we crated her at first, she can be trusted with the run of the house, has never damaged anything, and can easily be left for six hours, maybe a little more, though we never do. We live in a large tri-level, she shoots up and down the steps like they were designed by nascar. She was about a year old when we got her, have never, not once had any regrets, she fits perfectly with our family. We do not have small children at home, though she would be fine with an older child, like yours.
Poodles and bichons are not Schnauzers and there are some differences in the behaviour (individuals can always be different from the norm of the breed but i wouldn't bet on it when getting a puppy), but I actually think a poodle might fit OP's family too.
If you want a fast-learning, active, handler-oriented dog, then a poodle is a good choice. :)
 

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Definitely look into a miniature poodle! Smart and active and non shedding and they don't have that 'doggy odor' if kept groomed properly!
If so inclined, you can have loads of fun trying different haircuts, or just stick to a short clip all year round, but they do need to be groomed, brushed/combed often, to prevent matting. A little high maintenance but not bad as brushing becomes a bonding time when sitting watching tv in the evening! They are very much a 'people' dog and also do well in doggy sports such as agility and rally. Can you tell I'm a little biased? Hahaha!
 

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Definitely look into a miniature poodle! Smart and active and non shedding and they don't have that 'doggy odor' if kept groomed properly!
If so inclined, you can have loads of fun trying different haircuts, or just stick to a short clip all year round, but they do need to be groomed, brushed/combed often, to prevent matting. A little high maintenance but not bad as brushing becomes a bonding time when sitting watching tv in the evening! They are very much a 'people' dog and also do well in doggy sports such as agility and rally. Can you tell I'm a little biased? Hahaha!
I certainly agree, they are great dogs, but know up front, maintenance, IE daily brushing and monthly grooming is absolutely necessary with these dogs. I guess the tradeoff is no shedding, IMO a big plus. LMF is right about the absence of odor, we have never had that issue with Samantha. I brush and comb her every morning, and brush her teeth also every morning. They are very people oriented dogs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Schnauzer are great dogs but they sometimes are a bit more independent-thinking, some may say slightly stubborn. +
Some can also be a bit more snappy.
not the best dog for everyone, but if you're willing to spend some time training and to be consistent, they not that inpossible as first-time dogs.
Almost every dog breed can be a family dog if their handler is willling to do the training and management.
the yard size is not important when getting a dog. important is how you plan to exercise your dog.:)
Overall your your requirements seem very good for a dog.

I'd make it three walk a day (after getting up, around noon/afternoon and before going to bed) at least... more when you pick a puppy, because they first have to learn to hold it in for longer time periods.
small breeds sometimes need a bit longer getting potty-trained. :)
I can relay our experience with Samantha, a Poodle/Bischon mix, who we adopted from the local shelter six years ago. She doesn't shed, does need monthly grooming, is very good natured, loves to be loved, though we crated her at first, she can be trusted with the run of the house, has never damaged anything, and can easily be left for six hours, maybe a little more, though we never do. We live in a large tri-level, she shoots up and down the steps like they were designed by nascar. She was about a year old when we got her, have never, not once had any regrets, she fits perfectly with our family. We do not have small children at home, though she would be fine with an older child, like yours.
Poodles and bichons are not Schnauzers and there are some differences in the behaviour (individuals can always be different from the norm of the breed but i wouldn't bet on it when getting a puppy), but I actually think a poodle might fit OP's family too.
If you want a fast-learning, active, handler-oriented dog, then a poodle is a good choice. :)
Definitely look into a miniature poodle! Smart and active and non shedding and they don't have that 'doggy odor' if kept groomed properly!
If so inclined, you can have loads of fun trying different haircuts, or just stick to a short clip all year round, but they do need to be groomed, brushed/combed often, to prevent matting. A little high maintenance but not bad as brushing becomes a bonding time when sitting watching tv in the evening! They are very much a 'people' dog and also do well in doggy sports such as agility and rally. Can you tell I'm a little biased? Hahaha!
I certainly agree, they are great dogs, but know up front, maintenance, IE daily brushing and monthly grooming is absolutely necessary with these dogs. I guess the tradeoff is no shedding, IMO a big plus. LMF is right about the absence of odor, we have never had that issue with Samantha. I brush and comb her every morning, and brush her teeth also every morning. They are very people oriented dogs.
Thanks for all your answers! We might look into poodles :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
The only problem is that I can't find a poodle kennel in our area xD
 

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I have had 4 miniature schnauzers (2 while I was growing up, 2 currently). They are FANTASTIC little dogs. I highly recommend them as a great family dog. They don't shed, they don't smell, they are so smart and affectionate, and a very convenient size. Mine have always been great with respectful kids (they won't tolerate any teasing or harassment. I make sure that all kids treat the dog respectfully).

Here's my advice for a first time schnauzer owner:

They NEED training and discipline. They are not automatically obedient or people-pleasers (but this can be cultivated). Generally speaking, they tend to be quite headstrong and independent so if you don't train them, they will do as they please. However, they are really smart so they catch on to training really quickly. Just make training positive, fun, and rewarding.

Socialize them extensively. Take your pup lots of places, meet lots of people, and lots of dogs (make sure your pup only has fun, safe experiences. Negative experiences will only scare the pup and do more harm than good).

They need a fair bit of exercise (physical & mental). These guys may be little, but they are not delicate, prissy dogs by any means. They are up for just about anything- running, hiking, wrestling, a game of tug or hide and seek. We take our guys camping and canoeing too.

They are vocal. I have taught mine to quiet down when asked, but they definitely sound the alarm when they think something is up.

They need regular grooming every 6-8 weeks to keep them in good shape. But even if you take them to be groomed professionally, you'll still need to be prepared to maintain their coats by brushing them regularly.

Generally pretty healthy if you get a well bred pup and you keep their weight in check. They are SUPER food motivated so it's easy for them to gain weight (use this motivation in your training! I use their meals to train, so they aren't taking in extra calories). I see so many overweight schnauzers that end up with diabetes or pancreatitis. Much of this is preventable! Feed a quality diet (watch the fat level), and give them lots of exercise. For treats, I give my boys baby carrots. They love them and they are low fat, freshen their breath, and cheap!

Temperaments vary widely. Some schnauzers are calm and sweet, while others are high energy and intense. For a first timer, I would look for one with a softer temperament.

These are great little guys. They can do anything IF you train them. One of my is working towards therapy certification (he's too young to be certified yet), the other boy does rally and we are starting to do agility too. I've never had an issue with aggression, separation anxiety, or destructiveness with any of my schnauzers.

I hope this helps!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I have had 4 miniature schnauzers (2 while I was growing up, 2 currently). They are FANTASTIC little dogs. I highly recommend them as a great family dog. They don't shed, they don't smell, they are so smart and affectionate, and a very convenient size. Mine have always been great with respectful kids (they won't tolerate any teasing or harassment. I make sure that all kids treat the dog respectfully).

Here's my advice for a first time schnauzer owner:

They NEED training and discipline. They are not automatically obedient or people-pleasers (but this can be cultivated). Generally speaking, they tend to be quite headstrong and independent so if you don't train them, they will do as they please. However, they are really smart so they catch on to training really quickly. Just make training positive, fun, and rewarding.

Socialize them extensively. Take your pup lots of places, meet lots of people, and lots of dogs (make sure your pup only has fun, safe experiences. Negative experiences will only scare the pup and do more harm than good).

They need a fair bit of exercise (physical & mental). These guys may be little, but they are not delicate, prissy dogs by any means. They are up for just about anything- running, hiking, wrestling, a game of tug or hide and seek. We take our guys camping and canoeing too.

They are vocal. I have taught mine to quiet down when asked, but they definitely sound the alarm when they think something is up.

They need regular grooming every 6-8 weeks to keep them in good shape. But even if you take them to be groomed professionally, you'll still need to be prepared to maintain their coats by brushing them regularly.

Generally pretty healthy if you get a well bred pup and you keep their weight in check. They are SUPER food motivated so it's easy for them to gain weight (use this motivation in your training! I use their meals to train, so they aren't taking in extra calories). I see so many overweight schnauzers that end up with diabetes or pancreatitis. Much of this is preventable! Feed a quality diet (watch the fat level), and give them lots of exercise. For treats, I give my boys baby carrots. They love them and they are low fat, freshen their breath, and cheap!

Temperaments vary widely. Some schnauzers are calm and sweet, while others are high energy and intense. For a first timer, I would look for one with a softer temperament.

These are great little guys. They can do anything IF you train them. One of my is working towards therapy certification (he's too young to be certified yet), the other boy does rally and we are starting to do agility too. I've never had an issue with aggression, separation anxiety, or destructiveness with any of my schnauzers.

I hope this helps!
Thanks for your help! My aunt used to own miniature schnauzers (one of them is still alive!) and they look fairly easy to train. I heard they are smart too :)
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Thanks for your help! My aunt used to own miniature schnauzers (one of them is still alive!) and they look fairly easy to train. I heard they are smart too :)
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XD.
intellingent breeds learn fast, but they also learn fast what they shouldn't learn...especially independent thinkers like Schnauzers.
it's doable in my opinion though.

I think even a "easy" breed can be pretty difficult for a beginner.
having to care for an infant animal can be quite overwhelming.
make sure you've got a support system around to help you, when you feel stressed out. :)
 
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
XD.
intellingent breeds learn fast, but they also learn fast what they shouldn't learn...especially independent thinkers like Schnauzers.
it's doable in my opinion though.

I think even a "easy" breed can be pretty difficult for a beginner.
having to care for an infant animal can be quite overwhelming.
make sure you've got a support system around to help you, when you feel stressed out. :)
okay :thumbsup:
 
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