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Dealing with Schnauzer Aggression

miniature schnauzers in snowDealing with aggression in a schnauzer or mixed breed schnauzer dog can be a challenge. While Schnauzers are usually very friendly with people and typically make great family pets, some members of the breed may be a little bit limited in getting along with when it comes to other dogs. Some schnauzers have been known to bark, growl, and even nip at other dogs seemingly unprovoked – a behavioral problem that leads many schnauzer owners to despair. The key to dealing with Schnauzer aggression is to first cultivate an understanding of the problem and then to work with your schnauzer to reduce or eliminate that aggressive behavior.

Why can Schnauzers Be Dog-Aggressive?

As you may already know, miniature schnauzers were originally bred for hunting vermin – their small size enabled them to chase rats and small game both over and under the ground. Some breeds specialized in coursing foxes and flushing them from their underground dens. Due to selective breeding, modern mini schnauzers remain small and they continue to retain their high prey drive. One thing many schnauzer owners do not realize, however, is that schnauzers also retain their preference for hunting alone. Schnauzers were bred to be solo hunters – they were not kept in kennels with other hunting dogs like many pointing and scenting breeds. This being the case, the modern day schnauzer still prefers to be the top dog.

The fact that schnauzers were bred as solo hunters is only one of several factors contributing to their tendency toward dog-aggression. Many small breed dogs develop aggression toward other dogs as a result of “Small Dog Syndrome”. Often times, the owners of small breed dogs fail to properly train their dogs. Rather,  because they are too small to do much damage, they allow the dog to have free reign of the house, letting them do as they please. As a result, these dogs begin to feel entitled to special treatment and they start to develop problem behaviors like barking, chewing, and other undesired behaviors including dog aggression.

Dealing with Schnauzer Dog Aggression

Before you can deal with your Schnauzer’s aggression, you need to first identify the root of the problem. Does your schnauzer display the common signs of Small Dog Syndrome or is his aggression triggered by a certain type of situation. In many cases, aggression toward other dogs is the product of fear – if the dog feels threatened, he will respond with aggression as a means of self-protection. To identify the cause of your schnauzer’s aggression you will need to keep a close eye on him and watch for triggers like food at mealtime or favorite toys. Perhaps your schnauzer starts to bark when another dog trespasses on his property or maybe he only becomes aggressive at the dog park with multiple larger dogs around. Whatever the cause may be, identifying your Schnauzer’s triggers is the first step in dealing with the problem.

If your Schnauzer is still a puppy, you may be able to curtail his dog aggression by simply desensitizing him to the threat of other dogs. Socialize your puppy by exposing him to other dogs early in a safe and non-threatening way. Schedule puppy play dates in a separate location so your puppy does not feel as though his territory is being invaded and reward your puppy for remaining calm and friendly around other dogs. By encouraging your puppy to develop a positive association with other dogs you can help to prevent dog-aggression from developing.

If your Schnauzer is already an adult, it may be a little bit more difficult to deal with his aggressive behavior. You can try to desensitize your Schnauzer in the same way you would socialize a puppy, praising and rewarding your dog for behaving calmly around other dogs to combat the negative association he has already formed. Even once you reduce your dog’s aggression you should never assume that your dog is completely “cured”. It is wise to limit your Schnauzer’s contact with other dogs in situations that could become overwhelming and might lead to your dog reverting back to his old aggressive behaviors.

It is generally a good idea to avoid taking Schnauzers to dog parks for this reason until he is well trained -- and you should always keep your dog on a leash during walks so you may control him if a problem situation arises. With time and patience, however, you can reduce your Schnauzer’s aggression toward other dogs. Giving praise and treats for desirable behaviors is a good way to start.


If you need more help with training your mini schnauzer or working on dog-on-dog aggression problems, this resource can be very helpful - click here.



How to Stop Your Schnauzer from Excessive Barking

schnauzer white terrierIf your Schnauzer barks at everything that moves around him, or when guests arrive, you’ll need to teach him to bark only when appropriate. Schnauzers, especially miniature schnauzers, do so enjoy barking. This may be because hunting terriers like a mini schnauzer would have to bark to alert the hunter of their location and the location of the prey. Today, Schnauzers still have this natural behavior, and it sometimes is difficult to change.


As pet parents we all love our furry best friends, and constantly want them around us. But to do this, your Schnauzer need to understand the basics of obedience training. Barking is one of the most common behavior problems. It’s important to recognize that there are various reasons for your Schnauzer barking excessively. These need to recognized immediately before problems become more serious. Many Schnauzers with this problem end up being surrendered to shelters.


Why Does Your Schnauzer Bark?


There are many types of barking. Barking is used to express a threat, warn an intruder, get someone’s attention, or show boredom or anxiety. Nonetheless, it’s very important to understand the many different types of barking, and what your Schnauzer is trying to say. As a pet parent, one has to take note of the intensity of a dog’s bark, and the changes in inflections into consideration. Every Schnauzer bark has a meaning. Keep in mind that our furry best friends bark when they’re excited, and that some breeds enjoy barking. These breeds like the terrier breeds are much more vocal than other breeds. If you’re looking for a serene dog breed, the miniature schnauzer may not be a good match for you. Still, they are so wonderful in many other ways - you may need to balance out the good points with the less than good points for your home situation.


Why Does My Schnauzer Bark Excessively Outdoors?  

Lack of Exercise -- Watchdog Schnauzer or Boredom Barking?

Many Schnauzer parents fail to take into consideration how important consistency is when training an excessive barker. All dog breeds need consistency throughout their lives. If you let your Schnauzer get away with this occasional bad behavior, he will most likely end up ignoring you when you try to get him to stop repeating that behavior. Schnauzers are stubborn, and also very intelligent.


Adolescent Schnauzers need to learn to respond to all basic cues right away, such as sit, stay and come. Keep in mind that sometimes with Schnauzers, even negative attention will be regarded as a reward for an unwanted behavior such as barking. If you’re trying to prevent excessive barking behavior from occurring, be proactive and deal with the behavior before it happens. Encourage your Schnauzer to do something else, and keep him mentally stimulated with interactive dog toys and puzzles. Nina Ottosson food puzzles and the frozen Kong stuffed with your Schnauzers favorite treats work well. Try salmon with a brown rice veggie mix, or ground cooked chicken with pureed steamed vegetable stuffing as Kong fillers.


  • Keep your Schnauzer well-exercised. An under- exercised dog will bark excessively because it’s a physical activity that provides an outlet for boredom and anxiety.
  • If your Schnauzer is not on a scheduled exercise or walk schedule, set one up for him. All dogs, regardless of breed or size need to go for long walks, offleash hikes, trips to the beach, and have plenty of interaction and socialization with other dogs, people and pets. Have fun with your Schnauzer, each and every day! Appreciate him and show him how much you care!
  • If you’re not giving your furry best friend regular walks , you’re setting him up for failure. Young dogs, most especially adolescent dogs need at least an hour or more of exercise daily, as well as free play, that’s off leash without any form of restriction on movement.
  • Make sure that your Schnauzer is not distressed or depressed. Canine depression happens often, and needs to be addressed as soon as possible. Consult with your veterinarian.
  • Visit your local positive dog training center, and enroll in some dog training classes.


Fearful Barking in Schnauzers

  • There are times when your Schnauzer may bark excessively if someone strange approaches your home. This is normal. If you’re not wanting him to bark at neighbors, you can try confining him to his own special area outside, or a crate indoors. He needs to be able to see you from his crate. This is not a time out. You can even plant hedges or new foliage to obscure his view if he keeps barking at neighbors.


  • If your Schnauzer stands on a garden chair and starts barking excessively, try removing the garden furniture and giving him more outdoor dog toys to entertain him. Apply this to indoor furniture as well. Many Schnauzers love climbing up onto furniture to get a better view. Keep in mind that Schnauzers should never be left indoors, or outdoors for long periods of time to fend for themselves. If you’re leaving for work, try leaving DOG TV or Animal Planet on. Classical music also relaxes stressed out Schnauzers.


  • Fearful barking or distressed barking tends to happen when your Schnauzer feels isolated, sad or fearful. This may occur when you’ve just moved home, or if you’ve just started a new work schedule. With that said, hire a pet sitter or ask a neighbor to drop by throughout the day. Doggie daycares are also a wonderful option, so as to prevent your Schnauzer from feeling all alone at home.


Indoor Schnauzers and Excessive Barking

Request Barking From Your Schnauzer

If you have an indoor Schnauzer that doesn’t spend a lot of time outdoors, and enjoys barking at outdoor things, try curbing his view. Keep in mind that your Schnauzer still needs to have a stimulating environment, and needs to see what’s happening outdoors. Perhaps try opening the curtains in another room, and allow your Schnauzer to view the outdoors from there, so that he can view the birds, trees and squirrels chasing each other. Allow for a soothing vanilla scented aroma or a dog mother’s calming pheromone hormone dispenser within your Schnauzer’s favorite room, and create a soothing canine sanctuary that will satisfy any curious or bored Schnauzer. Here’s where you have to think like your Schnauzer, and understand what he really treasures. You can even take notes and video him when he’s alone, so that you’re able to see what he does when you’re not there.


A great way to decrease boredom, separation anxiety or fear  is to bring in some interactive toys, such as food-dispensing toys for your pooch to work on. Schnauzers will also bark at you to ask for something. Try to understand what your Yorkshire Terrier is wanting. He could be trying to warn you of danger. On the other hand, he could be asking for his favorite treat! Reward him after any good behavior!


Separation Anxiety Barking in Schnauzers

A normal amount of barking should always be allowed within your home. Almost all Schnauzers will bark when excited, or out of boredom occasionally. Many herding breeds will bark at people that walk past their homes, so as to keep intruders away. If your Schnauzer barks when you’re not at home, leave on some TV or classical music for your pooch. Schnauzers who regularly bark and growl will need the help of a positive trainer and plenty of interactive dogs. Consult with your veterinarian if you still have a problem with excessive barking.


        Schnauzer Puppy Training Tips For Excessive Barking

  • Always be proactive during your Schnauzer's first year with you. Deal with any problem behaviors right away. Don’t ignore them. They won’t go away. Positive training is the right way to train your Schnauzer. Never use punishment. Miniature Schnauzer Training
  • Keep your Schnauzer busy and focused when you’re away from home. Teach your puppy that he’s fine alone, and that you’re coming back.
  • Food –dispensing toys from Nina Ottoson or Kong type toys can be stuffed with many differently flavored foods. Find out which ones your Schnauzer enjoys the most. Freeze small Kong toys with stuffing for teething Yorkshire Terrier pups. Freezing small dog chew toys like the Kong also makes playtime longer for your furry best friend. He has to work harder to get the stuffing within the toy. He’ll also feel that he’s achieved something similar to his hunting for food.
  • Small and colorful chew toys keep your Schnauzer content. They give him something to work on while you’re running errands. After your Schnauzer has finished chewing, he’ll feel very relaxed and less anxious. Learn how to understand your Schnauzer and what he needs.


There are so many products on the market that promise a quick fix to excessive barking. Many of these don’t work, or are extremely harsh and possibly cruel like the electronic shock collar. Never use these! There are also bark-activated noisemakers that you may place in your home, so that every time your Schnauzer starts barking excessively, the sudden sounds will discourage any barking from your Schnauzer. The anti-bark collars send out a citronella scent when triggered by excessive barking. This works with a sudden scent release, giving your Schnauzer a fright.

Never choose debarking surgery. Dogs that have gone through this surgery still can bark. The surgery just removes tissue, and the bark is less loud. It’s a cruel option. Use positive training methods instead, interesting dog toys, and keep your Schnauzer well exercised and socialized. Remember that the Shake Trainer is always one option for conditioning the smart furry one to limit barking.


As always, take into account your Schnauzers exercise schedule, and try to match his small body type to the type of activity he was bred for. All breeds will have different needs for training and exercise. Small dog breeds like the mini schnauzer do not need an intense exercise schedule; nonetheless Schnauzers still require plenty of socialization, long and interesting walks, and plenty of mental stimulation to prevent excessive and annoying barking. Preventing any behavior problems like excessive barking is just as important as feeding your Schnauzer the right foods. Start from day one, and help your Schnauzer become a well integrated pooch! Give them a head start with this excellent training program - Miniature Schnauzer Training

Advantages of All Natural Dog Food — Keeping Your Schnauzer Healthy

Too Much FoodSchnauzers, like any beloved dog, are members of your family, and you should be paying attention to the type of foods you give them. With new brands of dog food coming onto the market all the time, take some time to look at some of the all-natural dog foods which are now available.  Is this a better alternative for your schnauzer fur kids?

Natural dog food has many added benefits for your dogs. To start with they are extremely rich in vitamins E and C. The vitamin E helps to keep their coats shiny and vitamin C is important for their bone health.  Just as we need a good supply of vitamins, our dogs do too, and these vitamins help to remove toxins and free radicals from their system.

Feeding our schnauzers all natural dog food brands will help keep their bodies in great shape and slows down development of lung and heart disease.  An added bonus is helping to keep them free from other diseases or infections.

The best all natural dog food will incorporate high quality sources of fiber and antioxidants. Read the label on the dog food to ensure there are adequate supplies of manganese, phosphorous, calcium and potassium. Vegetable rich nutrients should be included with supplies of both dark green vegetables as well as those supplying beta-carotene.

When you make the switch to feeding your schnauzer all natural food you will see improvements in their overall health. Their coats will shine more, their teeth will look brighter and whiter and their eyes will look bright and clear. They will also become more energetic and happier. So if your dog is currently on the sluggish side, maybe a change of diet is called for.

When switching your schnauzer from their regular food to a new all natural dog food, it is wise to consult your vet for their advice first. They will probably suggest that you make the change over several days. Start by mixing the dog's usual food with the new one. This way you are less likely to develop any food reactions diarrhea or constipation issues.  Always provide your dog with plenty of fresh, clean water after their meal and at all other times.

A good brand of natural dog food will be specific to their age, senior dog food is appropriate for older dogs while your puppy will benefit from a best puppy food brand of food. Ask at your local pet store what type they recommend. At first buy a smaller bag in case your dog or puppy has any kind of adverse reaction to it – or just does not like it for any reason.

Before you know it your schnauzer will be happier and healthier and even more playful and involved with you and the rest of the family.

How To Stop Your Schnauzer from Licking His Paws Excessively

Dog At ParkMany schnauzer owners ask how to stop a dog from licking paws excessively. Why does your schnauzer lick so much? While schnauzers are a generally healthy breed, they are prone to their own issues as purebreds, including licking or chewing on paws or legs.

Experts tell us that there are several different categories of reasons for this behavior problem. It can lead to health complications like open sores and infections, of course as a complication of the behavior.

Let's unpack the possibilities:

1. Bored schnauzers.

Schnauzers are very bright, curious, engaged dogs. They were bred to hunt down rodents. The thrill of the chase is hard-wired into their brains. Even if you lavish lots of love, attention, and treats on your fur kid, he may be bored during the many hours a day when you are away at work or doing other things around the home.

Possible solutions: Get your schnauzer more engaging dog toys (and rotate which one of multiple toys each day he gets to play with), more exercise, more "jobs" to do like agility training.

2. Canine Compulsive Disorder in a Schnauzer

Any dog can go over the line into feeling highly stressed or anxious (or bored). Only a small percentage of dogs develop a full-blown compulsive behavior problem such as licking themselves raw, but it does happen.

Possible solutions: Get to the heart of the stress or anxiety with a professional dog trainer consultation. You can get started inexpensively with online dog training and even community support. If the behavior persists, there are animal behaviorists who can come to your home or offer training facilities to assess and help your best friend overcome his challenges. If you have a miniature schnauzer, this may be help you - Miniature Schnauzer Training

3. Environmental Allergies and Synthetic Chemicals.

Schnauzers can get allergies to environmental pollens like grasses or trees as do people. See if your pup licks his paws more after walking on the grass or during certain seasons of the year.

Some dogs are sensitive to synthetic chemicals that people put on the lawn or herbicides or pesticides. Those are poisons and you don't want him to get this stuff off his paws by licking and swallowing it. You do not need to want to be a tree-hugger to realize that using poisons on bugs and weeds is asking for trouble for your own health and especially the health of your schnauzer (he is smaller than you are - unless you have a giant schnauzer and you are a very small person).

Possible solution: Look at the dog food you are giving him too. Foods often contain toxic ingredients that you don't realize are there. Learn more about this information for yourself and your dog at 101 Toxic Food Ingredients. For a whole summary of the natural health approach for the care of your dogs, holistic veterinarian Dr. Pitcairn's classic book can be a great resource.

Possible solution: Watch and wash the paws. Make sure he has a natural bedding location on which he can sleep without being exposed to synthetic carpet, carpet cleaner residues, and other chemicals.

Possible solution: Walk him on grass-free surfaces and shampoo his paws with hypoallergenic dog shampoo if he has been at a park or on a lawn that seems to irritate his skin.

4. Food allergies.

These days, our dogs are as prone to hidden or unsuspected food allergies as we are. These can involve common grains like wheat, barley, or corn, but it might involve the main sources of animal (e.g., beef or chicken) or fish proteins in the food. Some veterinarians can help you sort out this type of issue. If yours cannot, find one who has a reputation in the community for knowing about dog food allergies.

Possible solution: Systematically changing his diet and treats so that he gets no exposures to suspected allergenic foods. Some prepared foods are made with limited ingredients to help with the hunt for a safe diet. Sometimes you have to use homemade foods with an even smaller number of ingredients to rule out the culprits.

Maybe your schnauzer has a nutritional need higher than that of other dogs, for instance, for a high quality fish oil like wild salmon oil to get more omega 3 fatty acids that promote skin health. Give that a try unless he is allergic to the specific fish source.

5. Mechanical irritants.

Check your schnauzer's paws and between the pads carefully on a regular basis. Sometimes little pieces of rock and plant parts with stickers can get caught. In desert locations like Arizona, finding really thin cactus spines in a dog's paws is not unusual.

Solution: Preventive maintenance to check the paws regularly. Use tweezers (or pliers if it is large) if you cannot get at the offending item with your own fingers. If this is too hard for you, bring him to the groomer or the vet office and let them remove the irritating material from the paws or pads.

6. Mange and other infections, as well as flea bites

Yes, some dogs do get mange from a tiny mite that can get into the dog's paws. Fleas and flea allergies are always a route to itchy misery for your schnauzer.

Solution: Ask your vet to examine your schnauzer and treat mange or other infections as indicated. For fleas, try the nontoxic way whenever possible

7. Another health/medical problem.

Maybe your schnauzer has a different health problem that the dog cannot reach with his mouth (they are oral animals, after all) - so he licks his paws instead.

Possible solution: Take him for a thorough physical exam and possible tests to follow up with his veterinarian for any medical causes of the problem.


Excessive licking in dogs is a common problem. Unfortunately there are many roads that lead to a paw licking problem. It is hard to tell which one(s) affect your fur kid. But it is well worth checking out to find the reason or reasons for the behavior. It will vastly improve your schnauzer's quality of life and your own.
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