Poodles vs. Schnauzers: What are the differences?


While the Poodle and Schnauzer are both popular dog breeds that share some similarities in appearance and their suitability as pets, these breeds are quite different from one another. Considering the differences in breeds helps potential and current pet owners make the best decision about which animal would be the best fit for their home and lifestyle. 

Poodles have friendly and playful temperaments while schnauzers are more reserved and protective of their owners. Schnauzers are considerably more healthy than poodles and are less susceptible to disease. Poodles and schnauzers each require substantial grooming needs due to their hair types and textures.

Knowing these differences is important to understand the breeds better and how they need to be taken care of to give them a high quality of life. While every individual dog may not apply to all of these categories, these differences can be largely attributed to the breeds and serve as a basis for finding the ideal dog for you. 

Poodle vs. Schnauzer Attributes at a Glance

This chart provides a quick glance comparison between the poodle and schnauzer breeds:

PoodleSchnauzer
Kids FriendlyYesYes
GroomingHigh maintenanceHigh maintenance
HypoallergenicYesyes
Train-abilityEasyModerate to Easy
TemperamentAffectionate, Alert, Energetic, Intelligent, Instinctual, Loving, Loyal, Playful, TrainableSweet, Peaceful, obedient, Cheerful, Friendly, Intelligent, Loving, cheerful, Social, Stubborn, Playful
Coat ColorsBlack. Sable, Silver, White, Black and White, Brown, Apricot, Red, Cream, GreySalt and pepper, black and silver, and solid black
SheddingLowLow
Life Span12 – 19 Years12 – 16 Years
Energy LevelMedium-HighMedium
Breed Avg. Height/WeightToy Poodle– 10 inches tall and weighs 6 to 9 pounds
Miniature Poodle– 11 to 15 inches tall and weighs 15 to 17 pounds
Standard Poodle– 15 to 22 inches tall and weighs 45 to 70 pounds
Miniature Schnauzer – 12 to 14 inches tall and weighs 11 to 18 pounds
Standard Schnauzer– 19 to 20 inches tall and weighs 31 to 45 pounds
Giant Schnauzer– 2.1 to 2.3 feet tall and weighs 75 to 95 pounds

Poodle vs. Schnauzer: Grooming

For those with allergies, hypoallergenic dogs have become a great solution for more people to enjoy the happiness that dogs bring into their lives. Poodles are a hypoallergenic breed, meaning they do not shed or they shed very little. This prevents dander production in their coats, which is responsible for many allergic reactions. 

If you are looking for a hypoallergenic dog breed, the poodle or schnauzer are both excellent choices as they shed very little.

Neither breed is known for heavy shedding, but schnauzers are usually more likely to produce loose hair and dander around the home.

Grooming is important for both poodles and schnauzers as each needs to be trimmed every 4-6 weeks. Poodles have a single coat of curly hair which catches loose hair and dander making them hypoallergenic. Schnauzers have an undercoat that catches excess hair, but regular brushing and grooming are necessary to limit shedding. 

Attention to detail in each breed’s specific features are the primary differences in grooming habits.

Differences in the way poodles and schnauzers are groomed include:

  • Schnauzers – Trimming and maintaining the beard gives them their signature look.
  • Poodles – are known for the intricate cutting around their face and ears. 

Going to a groomer will help with the needed upkeep of your dog, but there are plenty of at-home grooming practices that should be incorporated into your dog’s routine.

Owners should groom a poodle or schnauzer at home by:

  • Brushing: Brush in the direction that their hair grows. This will help to collect loose hair as well as keep them comfortable. You should consider brushing their hair at least 2-3 times per week. 
  • Toenail clipping: If you are going to a groomer, you can have them take care of their nails. If not, consider investing in toenail clippers to keep their nails short for comfort and safety. 
  • Bathing: Especially if your dog is spending time outside or gets muddy, it is important to make sure they are given a bath to prevent infection and discomfort. 

Poodle Vs Schnauzer: Training

Poodles are among the most intelligent of all dog breeds, making them incredibly receptive to training.

Poodles are smart dogs that follow instructions and respond well to training incorporating positive reinforcement and respect. In comparison, Schnauzers can be more challenging to train as they are a bit more stubborn and need clear commands to achieve each desired result.

Schnauzers are not as inclined to follow directions as a poodle, and this can be challenging if training does not start early. Schnauzers must have a clear indication that listening to their owner is required. This means that instruction should be firm to gain respect. 

The key to training most breeds is starting young and being consistent. Especially with the tendencies of the Schnauzer, establishing clear guidelines and rules early on will result in better behavior. 

A great behavioral training course can really help when training your dog. I found a fantastic training system called Brain Training for Dogs. I really liked the private member’s area where I was able to connect with other dog owners to get solutions to issues I had with my dog’s training. If you need any behavioral training at all for your dog, I would highly recommend this course! Check it out here

Poodle Vs. Schnauser: Temperament

Temperament is a very important factor in how a dog will behave and interact with others. Knowing your dog’s temperament is helpful in training as well as providing your dog with the best quality of life.

Poodles have a much friendlier and playful temperament than Schnauzers. They are eager to please and enjoy spending time around people. Schnauzers are close and friendly with their owners, but they are much more reserved and protective around strangers.

Schnauzers are more independent than poodles, which can present as stubbornness to owners. Schnauzers need to be kept entertained and stimulated with different activities to keep their disposition positive. Because Schnauzers are protective, they make for great guard dogs!

Differences in temperament are closely tied to how much time and effort you spend training and exercising your dog.

Tips When exercising or training a poodle or schnauzer include:

  • Exercise: Both poodles and schnauzers need to be exercised daily to keep these breeds on their best behavior. Standard and Giant breeds need more exercise than smaller Toy and Miniature versions. 
  • Training: Your approach to training should be different depending on your dog’s temperament. Schnauzers, in particular, need to be trained at a young age and met with the discipline needed to keep them behaving at their best. Poodles should also be trained early, but their temperament is a bit easier to work with. 

Socialization is a key factor for promoting the best temperament in both poodle and schnauzer breeds. Introducing your poodle or schnauzer to other dogs and people at a young age will likely make them more comfortable and friendly at home and in public.

The poodle’s friendly nature makes socialization a bit easier than for Schnauzers, but it is crucial to building good relationships to set standards for ideal behaviors in both breeds.

Poodle vs. Schnauzer: Health Concerns

Health considerations are also important when caring for both of these breeds and making sure pet owners can handle the responsibilities associated with veterinary care. As far as health is concerned, Schnauzers are considerably healthier dogs and are not as susceptible to disease as poodles are.

Poodles are predisposed to the following illnesses and diseases: 

  • Bloat: This can be a dangerous condition in which the stomach fills with gas and can, in severe cases, lead to changes in blood flow. 
  • Addison’s disease: Low hormone production can lead to low energy and feelings of loneliness.  
  • Hip dysplasia: Hip alignment and configuration can lead to pain and arthritis over time. 
  • Thyroid issues: Hypothyroidism is common and could result in weight fluctuations, lethargy, change in coat, and overall bodily function.

Check out this article I wrote on hip dysplasia in poodles. In it, you’ll find the causes of this disease and the treatment options available.

Of all the Schnauzer breeds, Mini Schnauzers are typically the most common among pet owners and the most prone to health problems.

Schnauzers are predisposed to the following illnesses and diseases:

  • Kidney stones – Nephrolithiasis, commonly known as kidney stones, causes crystals or “stones” to develop in the kidneys or urinary tract leading to pain, infection, and difficulty with urination.
  • Myotonia Congenita – This condition is a genetic disorder that affects skeletal muscle causing delayed relaxation and rigidity.
  • Seizures – Idiopathic epilepsy, the most common cause of seizures in Schnauzers, is an inherited disorder that can result in muscle twitches, loss of consciousness, and drooling, 
  • Hypothyroidism – Thyroid problems, as with poodles, can cause bodily functions to slow down resulting in lethargy, weight gain, and hair and skin changes.

Large Schnauzer breeds do not experience these health issues at nearly the same rate as smaller varieties.

Do Schnauzers Have Poodle in Them? 

While Schnauzers may have a fluffy coat and similar stature to some poodles, they do not share a common lineage. Schnauzers originated in Germany and are closely related to the pinscher family of dogs. The name Schnauzer comes from the German word for “snout”, which pays tribute to their distinct looking mustache.

Poodles were also most likely bred in Germany originally (although they have gained popularity in France), possibly creating an association between the two breeds. However, there is no current evidence that suggests these two breeds are related. 

With designer dog breeding practices, there has been a rise in the breeding of Poodles and Schnauzers. Cutely known as the Schnoodle, these dogs can resemble characteristics of either the Poodle or Schnauzer. Because both breeds come in three sizes, you can find Schnoodles in all sizes, but most are of the smaller variety. 

In Conclusion

Comparing the two breeds is not only interesting, but it helps pet owners decide what type of dog is best for them. Overall, Poodles tend to be easier and more playful than Schnauzers but also could be more costly with vet bills. But if you’re looking for more of a guard dog than a playmate, Schnauzers may be a better choice for you. 

Your decision as a potential owner will depend on what qualities you are looking for in a companion. 

Brent Hartman

I'm Brent Hartman. I've been a dog lover my entire life and have owned many animals over the years. When my black lab Angus passed away, I was looking for another friend to share my life with. As a result of my research, I've come to love poodles and wanted to share some of what I've learned with you. Whether you're looking to adopt a poodle, or already own one, I created Poodle report to be the ultimate guide to help you find the answers you need.

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