Schnoodle Temperament, Behavior, and Health

Contributor: Mychelle Blake
Happy schnoodle puppy

The schnoodle is a popular designer breed. A mix of the schnauzer and poodle, this breed brings together some of the best attributes of both original breeds. Gentle with children, this dog is an affectionate and playful companion for people of all ages. If you are looking for a family dog, consider a schnoodle.

Schnoodle Breed

The schnoodle is a cross between a schnauzer and poodle. This mixed breed has been actively cultivated by breeders for more than 40 years. Schnoodles are known to be active dogs, full of personality with long life spans, relatively few health problems and gentle dispositions. These dogs socialize well with children and can live in households with multiple pets. An intelligent breed, these dogs can also be trained as therapy dogs and participate in agility training.

Appearance

Schnoodle appearance varies in coat colors and fur textures. Many of the dogs look like a mixture of both of their schnauzer and poodle parents. However, the schnauzer influence is often dominant in its appearance.

The coat texture can range from wavy and silky, straight and silky to tightly curled fur. Most coats are fine in texture and do not resemble the coarse or wiry fur found in some terriers. The schnoodle's tightly curled coats are much softer than the poodle's tight curls. Silky, wavy fur is more prevalent. The coat is non-shedding and low maintenance. It can easily be groomed at home. Schnoodles are often referred to as "teddy bear schnoodles" due to their similar appearance to a teddy bear with their soft curly fur and cuddly attitude.

Coat Colors

Many coat color variations are possible. Coat colors include:

  • Black
  • White
  • Brown
  • Apricot
  • Tan
  • Gray
  • Silver or a mixture of gray and white
  • Black with white markings
  • Black with tan markings

Black, black with white markings, gray and silver are the most common coat colors.

Body Shape and Behavior

Schnoodle dog in park

Schnoodles generally have a square body with a straight back that may slightly slope from the shoulders to tail and cat feet. The dogs carry their tails upright or straight up in the air when active and happy. When the dogs are nervous or sad, they tuck down their tails. The head is medium in width and narrows down towards the muzzle. The muzzle is a smaller width than the head base but not as narrow as a poodle's snout. The eyes are medium-sized, round or oval and dark brown. The medium-sized ears fold over the ears in a "V" shape. The dogs often lift one or both ears in several positions to express themselves or during play. Teeth have a scissor bite. The dogs have an alert general expression.

Hypoallergenic

While no breed is truly 100% hypoallergenic, schnoodles are known to produce fewer allergens than other breeds and are generally a good fit for people with allergies.

Sizes

The dogs are bred in toy, miniature and standard sizes. The height and weight of each size are as follows:

  • Toy: 8 to 12 inches in height and weighs 6 to 14 pounds
  • Miniature: 12 to 16 inches in height and weighs 14 to 20 pounds
  • Standard: 16 to 26 inches in height and weighs 20 to 75 pounds

Temperament

Gray schnoodle dog

Schnoodles have even, gentle temperaments. They are very affectionate and loyal to their family. The dogs are friendly with the people they know, but may be cautious of strangers because of a schnauzer watchdog tendency. These dogs will bark when a stranger arrives.

The dogs are active, intelligent and curious about the world around them. Most schnoodles remain playful well into old age. While they prefer some form of daily play, they are also happy to lie at their owner's feet or on a lap.

Though active, they only require minimal exercise. Following the family around the house and a daily walk or short play in the backyard is sufficient exercise. The dogs can live in either a house or an apartment.

The breed does well with children of all ages. They also socialize well with other dogs and animals, including cats and smaller pets.

Health

Schnoodles generally have long life spans and may live 15 years or longer. The breed has few health problems. Skin problems are the most common health issue. Typical skin problems that can appear in the breed include:

  • Sensitive skin: This is the most common type of skin condition.
  • Skin allergies: Itchy skin can indicate an allergy to the dog's food or something in the environment.
  • Dry seborrhea: Dry seborrhea causes itchy and scaling skin. It occurs in the breed more often than oil seborrhea.
  • Oily seborrhea: This type of seborrhea produces a greasy and itchy skin with scaling and a foul odor.

The breed usually has fewer health problems than the two parent breeds. However, some dogs are prone to common schnauzer and poodle health ailments. Other health problems that can occur in the breed include:

  • Schnauzer comedo syndrome: The breed may inherit a schnauzer parent's comedo syndrome. The condition causes papules or blackheads on the dog's back.
  • Patellar luxation: Toy and miniature dogs may be at risk for patellar luxation, which causes the kneecap to slip out of place due to slack knee ligaments.
  • Canine hyperlipidemia: Some dogs inherit a schnauzer parent's tendency towards high levels of fats or lipids in the blood, including elevated levels of cholesterol and triglycerides.

Considerations

If you're looking to bring home a Schnoodle, you should consider the pros and cons. The miniature is the best choice for a family with small children. Toy and standard dogs may function better in homes with older children.

Pros

Schnoodles are intelligent, affectionate dogs with moderate energy levels. This makes them a great breed for families and people who live in apartments.

Cons

Schnoodles have strong personalities and are very protective of their families. Even though the dogs are gentle by nature, they can also exhibit aggression toward strangers and other watchdog behavior without proper training. Early training and socialization as a puppy are recommended to prevent behavioral problems such as excessive barking or guarding the food bowl. Standard schnoodles also may be a little reluctant to accept training.

A Family Friendly Breed

Schnoodles make great family dogs because of their gentle temperament and ability to fit into many lifestyles. While the watchdog tendencies of the breed will not appeal to everyone, this loving and loyal breed has a lot to offer many families. When you're ready, there are many available through schnoodle rescue organizations as well as through breeders.

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Schnoodle Temperament, Behavior, and Health