Male vs. Female Miniature Schnauzer: Which Is Better?

Male and female Miniature Schnauzers playing on the grass

Miniature Schnauzers, whether male or female, are great pets to have. And while it is true that their personalities are bigger than the package they come in, both males and females are different in specific ways.

To make the right decision about what sex to adopt, you must know what these differences are. And for your decision to serve you positively, your focus should not be about which is the best sex; rather, it should be about which sex is best for ‘you.’

Should you get a male or female Miniature Schnauzer? If you fancy a Miniature Schnauzer that is easier to house train, likes to be clean, and is independent, you should lean towards getting a female. But if you prefer a Miniature Schnauzer that is more affectionate, playful, and dependent, then a male Mini Schnauzer should be your pick.

The differences between the two sexes are not always visible to those who do not own Mini Schnauzer, especially the temperamental differences. But that is what this article aims to rectify-to show you how male and female Miniature Schnauzers are different and how these differences can help you make the right choice.

Male Miniature


Height: 12 – 14 inches (31 – 36 cm)

Weight: 12 – 20 lbs (5.5 – 9 kg)

Puppy Price: $1,000 – $2,000

Lifespan: 12 – 14 Years

Build: Larger built with more muscle mass.


  • Friendly, smart, and obedient.
  • Easier to socialize with people.
  • Easily get distracted and harder to train.
  • Likes being babied.
  • More stubborn.
  • More aggressive.
  • More attention seeking.
  • Tends to protect a territory or whole family.
  • Clumsy around kids.
  • Slightly more food motivated.
  • More playful and energetic throughout life.
  • More maintenance required.
  • Reaches mental maturity slower.
  • Reaches physical maturity quicker.
  • More likely to bond with all family members.
  • Very clingy.
  • Harder to train him to walk off leash and stay close to you.
  • Less suspicious of strangers.
  • Less likely to get along with other dogs or animals.
  • Tends to be a bit messier.
  • Loves to please his owner.
  • Gets along well with female dogs.

Female Miniature Schnauzers


Height: 12 – 14 inches (31 – 36 cm)

Weight: 10 – 17 lbs (4.5 – 8 kg)

Puppy Price: $1,000 – $2,000

Lifespan: 12 – 14 Years

Build: Slimmer built with less muscle mass.


  • Friendly, smart, and obedient.
  • A bit harder to socialize with people.
  • More focused and easier to train.
  • More independent.
  • Less stubborn.
  • Less aggressive.
  • Less attention seeking.
  • Tends to protect an individual (her owner).
  • More cautious around kids.
  • Slightly less food motivated (except when pregnant).
  • Tends to be less playful all the time.
  • Less maintenance required.
  • Reaches mental maturity quicker.
  • Reaches physical maturity slower.
  • Tends to bond with one person in the family.
  • Respects your time alone.
  • Easier to train her to walk off leash and stay close to you.
  • More suspicious of strangers.
  • More likely to get along with other dogs or animals.
  • Tends to be cleaner.
  • Slightly less desire to please her owner.
  • Gets along well with male dogs.

Physical Differences


The physical differences between male and female Miniature Schnauzers are not very easy to see at first glance. Males are very similar to females in terms of physique, which might make differentiating them (especially in photos) a bit hard. However, when you meet them in person, you can see the little details that set them apart.

Males are usually taller and heavier by a few inches and pounds, respectively. And aside from that, there are also differences in their reproductive organs.


Female Miniature Schnauzers are smaller than males. They are a few inches shorter and a couple of pounds lighter than male Miniature Schnauzers. They also tend to have slightly less muscle mass.

Temperamental Differences


Male Miniature Schnauzers are usually very playful, which is one of the many reasons they make great household pets. No matter the occasion, a male Miniature Schnauzer can easily be bribed to play. He does not get tired of wanting to try new things and having a good time with his owner, and he is hardly ever moody.

They tend to be very affectionate and will want to cuddle all day long. Males usually do not see themselves apart from their owners as they badly want to be around them all the time.

Whether it is going for a stroll around the yard, or sitting by the computer, males do not find any problem staying by their owner’s side. They are grossly dependent and attached and will wait on their owner at every waking moment.

Male Miniature Schnauzers love fun activities and going outdoors. No matter the nature of the weather, they are willing to run after a ball or catch a flying saucer. Their carefree attitude makes them messier as they can track a trail of mud into the house after playing.

Getting your male Mini Schnauzer to do anything can be very easy as he is eager to please. He is also very motivated by food as males generally eat more than non- pregnant females.


Female Miniature Schnauzers are affectionate, kind, and loyal as males. But they can be less willing to play and act goofy all the time. Of course, they are fun-loving as well but will tend to play sometimes as opposed to all the time.

Females are very independent as they love their own space almost as much as they love their owners. This means that she will come in for a cuddle (and only when she feels like it), but will get up and walk away when she has had enough.

You will hardly find a female prancing around in the rain or playing in puddles because she loves to keep clean. Female Miniature Schnauzers are picky with their food and will give you “a face” when they are not offered what they want to eat. They can easily refuse to eat at all until they receive their special treatment.

It is easy to find dog breeds where males are the alphas. But the case is reversed with Miniature Schnauzers, as females are more likely to exhibit alpha traits.

In the Schnauzer dog pack, females are usually the alphas who determine how the pecking order will be. And they will not hesitate to compete to make sure it remains so. This makes females more dominant and territorial.

On the bright side, females will not declare a battle over dominance with the owner, but they can be stubborn and will try to get their way by any means necessary. A female who has not been spayed will often get into mood swings, affecting her disposition and making her grumpy.



Males are very playful and goofy all the time. They get excited very easily, making it hard for them to be focused for an extended period. This greatly affects their trainability as you’ll have to spend almost as much time getting their attention, as you would training them. As a result, male Miniature Schnauzers are known to be harder to house train.

The same issue arises during leash training. Training your male Mini Schnauzer to walk beside you off-leash can be a bit of a struggle. This is because his playful nature will cause even the smallest things to become a distraction.

However, males are the easiest to train on obedience and tricks. Their love for food makes them willing to obey just for the treats. Another thing that comes into play is their particular eagerness to please. Males badly want to please their owners that they would stand on two feet to get words of praise and a tender rub.


Females are more serious and intense than male Schnauzers. Their seriousness and focus make them easier to house train. You are more likely to potty train your female Miniature Schnauzer faster than doing the same for your male Miniature Schnauzer of the same age.

Females are not easily distracted like males, which makes them also excel at leash training. A butterfly fluttering in a nearby bush is more likely to send a male Mini Schnauzer running in excitement than a female.

However, females are also known to be stubborn and independent. This means that they majorly do things when they feel like it and are not worried about impressing their owners. As a result, it is harder to train a female on obedience as well as performing tricks.

Health Differences


Mini Schnauzers are known to have a good health history overall and are not susceptible to so many diseases. So far, there has not been any proof that male Miniature Schnauzers live longer or shorter than females. Their life span still ranges between 12 to 14 years, which is pretty decent.

Male and female Miniature Schnauzers are equally prone to most of the disease and health issues that plague the breed. They are prone to diseases such as cataracts, progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), skin conditions, pancreatitis, myotonia congenital, and central hypothyroidism (rarer than normal hypothyroidism), heart disease, dental problems, etc.

However, there are two health problems that males are less prone to than females. Kidney stones or urinary stones are an occurrence whereby kidney stones are created in the urinary tract. Studies have shown that males are less likely to suffer from this illness than females. Males are also affected less with Cushing’s Disease.


Female Mini Schnauzers are known to be affected more by Cushing’s Disease. The disease typically occurs in dogs between the ages of 6 and 8 years old and is known to come with other destructive symptoms.

Females are also more susceptible to getting kidney stones. There are several types of stones that Mini Schnauzers are prone to developing, among which are calcium oxalate and struvite stones.

Struvite stones are what females usually have, which typically appears when a canine urinary tract infection occurs. When this happens, your dog is in pressing need of medical help, and sometimes, surgery might be needed to get rid of the stones.

Even though females are more prone to certain diseases than males, no real proof has been given about whether they live shorter lives than males.

With Children


Males are very playful and are the perfect best friends for kids. They can hang out with children all day and play till exhaustion sets in (both for the dog and the kid). However, they are better with older kids who have been taught how to treat a dog properly.

As much as male Mini Schnauzers love kids and enjoy playing with them, it is vital to never leave your kid (especially toddlers) alone with your dog. You should always be around or close by to supervise their fun time.

Males may tend to see children as just playmates and may not know where to draw the line. They can get very playful, which can lead to a child getting hurt. Male Mini Schnauzers are very fun-loving dogs. They make great companions for kids as long as they have been properly socialized.


Some believe that female Mini Schnauzers are a better choice for kids due to their protective nature resulting from instincts. This is true in most ways as females are usually more about observing than playing nonstop. Of course, a female will have playtime with the kids, but she will also take time away to breathe.

Females are less likely to engage in long, hard play that would endanger a child, but they can be more impatient. You should teach your child how to respect dogs and treat them properly to avoid specific problems.

Although they will not bite, female Mini Schnauzers tend to snap when they are teased or messed. To avoid this problem, you should introduce your dogs to kids as puppies so they can learn to coexist better.

With Other Dogs


Male Mini Schnauzers are a lot less likely to get into a battle to determine dominance. While they can be welcoming of other dogs, there can be a clash over territory a few times. However, with their playful and goofy nature, they are more likely to run around playfully with other dogs than females.

Males are more likely to get into fights with other males, especially when they have not been neutered. Bringing in another male into a house will spell trouble as there will be frequent fights but nothing as serious as when females fight.

The best way to ensure peace when you have a male Miniature Schnauzer is to bring in a female dog. Males are a lot more likely to get along with female dogs than male dogs.

If you love males so much and wish to add another male to your family, ensure both males are neutered as it will help decrease the level of aggression that will occur.


Females are more territorial than males and are known to become a bit aggressive in a bid to defend their territory. Females will exercise their dominance by exhibiting alpha behaviors, and they will compete or fight to maintain their pecking order.

As such, a female Mini Schnauzer will not get aggressive with a male dog but will engage in a brutal fight with other females.

Male on male aggression cannot be compared with a female on female aggression. Females can fight to a point where blood will be drawn and may not even stop until they are forcefully stopped. Trying to bring together two alpha females in the same house will be disastrous. Hence, it should not be done.

Females get along better with males and will coexist peacefully. However, if you must have two female Mini Schnauzers in the same space, ensure one is much older than the other. This makes the alpha female feel unthreatened by the presence of a younger female.

With Cats

Miniature Schnauzers are not necessarily aggressive dogs, but they were originally bred to be hunters of rodents. As a result, they instinctively prey on and hunt on smaller animals, such as birds, small cats, gerbils, etc. This means that Mini Schnauzers are not naturally cat lovers, but can be trained to live with one.

While you can train your Miniature Schnauzer to accept your pet cat, it is a huge risk to bring a kitten into a house with a full-grown Miniature Schnauzer. Because except you can guarantee that you would never leave both together alone, you might be setting your cat up for a terrible fate.

However, if you can socialize your Schnauzer at an early stage, they can learn to accept and get along with cats without any problems.

Which Is Better for a Family?

There is no right or wrong way to provide an answer to this question. Specific sex is only better for a particular family when it fits perfectly into their lives. Hence, the question is a very subjective one.

Both sexes do very well in a family setting, and they both make great family pets. They are both loving, affectionate, and playful, and they are both loyal to their family pack.

A female Mini Schnauzer will excel in a home where there are other male dogs and vice versa. But it is important to note that every dog is different and might show other character traits that are not expected of it.

However, there are some advantages to having specific sex in the family. Some of these advantages are shown below.

Advantages of Male Miniature Schnauzers in a Family Environment:

  • Loves to play and would make a great playtime buddy for the kids.
  • Loves to stay active and appreciates adventures.
  • Gets along with female dogs living in the house.
  • Very alert and can warn against intruders or visitors.
  • Easier to train on obedience and tricks.

Advantages of Female Miniature Schnauzers in a Family Environment:

  • Playful with children but are generally more cautious.
  • Easier to house train.
  • Gets along with male dogs in the house.
  • Less trusting of strangers.
  • Will alert and warn against intruders.

Many people love challenges, so they do not mind getting two dogs of the same sex because they find pleasure brokering peace. But for a peaceful home, you should own two dogs of the opposite sex. If you already own a female Schnauzer, to avoid constant, vicious fights, make sure your second dog is a male.

If you have older children in the house, either a male or female Mini Schnauzer will do. But if you have toddlers, you can still get either sex, but you will never have to leave them alone unsupervised. Males will play more with your kids, but females will less clumsy and gentler with them.

Any sex you decide to go for will need proper socialization in their puppy stage. If you focus on doing that, it almost would not matter which sex you choose because both will be the very best family pet.

Which Is a Better Watchdog?

This is yet another difficult question to answer. Miniature Schnauzers are very dependable and loving dogs. Even though they were initially bred as rat hunters, they do not meet the requirements necessary to be called guard dogs. But they make great watchdogs.

Guard dogs need to possess certain qualities before they can effectively protect people and properties. Size for starters and strength are required, both of which Mini Schnauzers do not have very much of.

Miniature Schnauzers cannot go biting an intruder to protect you, but they can alert you with a bark. Female Mini Schnauzers are especially watchful as they are not as playful and easily distracted as males.

My Final Thoughts

In many ways, choosing between a male or female Mini Schnauzer is a matter of preference and compatibility. Knowing the differences and similarities between both sexes is only just a tool to help you make the best choice over which to go for.

Generally, Mini Schnauzers are intelligent, loyal, funny, playful, and affectionate breed. I always like to say their personalities are way too big for their size and often, and again I am proven right.

Whether male or female, Mini Schnauzers can adapt to any social setting as long as they are introduced to other animals and people at a young age.

This article was meant to show you the little differences between male and female Miniature Schnauzers, and invariably help in making a sound choice.

But you must keep in mind that everything mentioned in this article is generalities. You could find a female Mini Schnauzer who is extra cuddly and affectionate with no alpha qualities.

Each dog’s temperament is shaped by their environment, past experiences, and the type of training you give them. So, go ahead and pick any sex and raise them to be exactly what you want them to be.

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