Schnauzer vs. Scottish Terrier

Schnauzer vs. Scottish Terrier

Schnauzer vs. Scottish Terrier

Schnauzer vs. Scottish Terrier, We are dedicated to raising great Schnauzer puppies. Health tested, vaccinated, potty trained.

Key Takeaways

  • The Schnauzer comes in Standard and Miniature varieties and is larger than the Scottish Terrier.
  • Schnauzers have distinct beards, bushy eyebrows, and rectangular heads compared to the smooth Scottie head.
  • Schnauzers are more people-focused, obedient, and eager to please than the independent-minded Scottie.
  • Schnauzers are highly trainable and excel at canine jobs while Scotties can be stubborn during training.
  • Scotties need more daily exercise compared to Schnauzers to prevent boredom behaviors.
  • Both breeds have similar wiry coats requiring weekly brushing but Schnauzers need more frequent trimming.
  • Schnauzers tend to be better family dogs while Scotties prefer quality time with their owners.
  • Prospective owners should consider activity levels, training ability, and family circumstances when choosing between the two breeds.

Comparing the Schnauzer and Scottish Terrier: Size and Appearance

The Schnauzer and Scottish Terrier may seem similar at first glance – they are both terriers after all. But there are notable differences in their size and appearance that help set them apart.

Size Comparison

  • The Standard Schnauzer stands 17-19 inches tall and weighs 30-50 pounds.
  • The Miniature Schnauzer is smaller at 12-14 inches tall and 11-20 pounds.
  • The Scottish Terrier measures about 10 inches tall and weighs 18-22 pounds.

So while the Scottish Terrier is comparable in size to the Miniature Schnauzer, the Standard Schnauzer is significantly larger.

Coat Differences

  • The Schnauzer has a double coat with a soft, thick undercoat and stiff, wiry outer coat.
  • The Scottish Terrier has a hard, wiry outer coat with a soft undercoat.
  • Schnauzers come in salt and pepper, black, or white coats.
  • Scottish Terriers come in black, wheaten, or brindled coats.

Distinctive Facial Features

  • The Schnauzer has a distinctive long, rectangular head with bushy eyebrows and beard.
  • The Scottish Terrier has a short head with prick ears and eyes set wide apart.

Tail Variations

  • The Schnauzer has a high-set tail that is traditionally docked.
  • The Scottish Terrier tail is short and carried upward with a slight curve.

So while both breeds are compact, sturdy terriers, the Schnauzer tends to be larger with a trademark beard and eyebrows compared to the Scottish Terrier’s smooth face and short legs.

Temperament Differences Between the Schnauzer and Scottish Terrier

While the Schnauzer and Scottish Terrier are both terrier breeds, they have some notable differences in terms of temperament and personality. Understanding these unique traits can help prospective owners choose the better fit.

Schnauzer Temperament

  • Intelligent – Schnauzers are quick learners able to master commands and tricks.
  • Alert – They make excellent watchdogs, ready to announce visitors.
  • Spirited – Schnauzers have high energy and thrive on brisk exercise.
  • Assertive – This breed can be headstrong and challenging for novice owners.
  • Loyal – Schnauzers form close bonds with family.

Scottish Terrier Temperament

  • Confident – Scotties have a bold spirit and self-assured nature.
  • Tenacious – They are determined, persistent, and Independent.
  • Spirited – Scotties enjoy brisk exercise and outdoor adventures.
  • Alert – They are excellent watchdogs who will sound the alarm to threats.
  • Affectionate – Scotties are deeply devoted to family once a bond forms.


Both breeds can be:

  • Wary of strangers
  • Prone to chasing small animals due to high prey drive
  • Courageous and protective
  • Reserved with new people


  • Schnauzers are more obedient, reliable, and eager to please.
  • Scotties are more challenging to train with their stubborn streak.

So while both are energetic, intelligent terriers who excel at watchdog duties, the Schnauzer tends to be more people-oriented and biddable compared to the independent-minded Scottie.

Training and Intelligence of Schnauzers vs Scottish Terriers

The Schnauzer and Scottish Terrier are both highly intelligent breeds, but there can be notable differences when it comes to their trainability and learning styles.

Schnauzer Training

  • Eager to please owners
  • Enjoy learning new tricks
  • Respond well to positive reinforcement training
  • Quick to pick up on commands
  • Excel at obedience, agility, tracking, etc.
  • Biddable nature makes them highly trainable

Scottish Terrier Training

  • Independent thinkers
  • Can be stubborn during training
  • Require patience and persistence
  • Strong prey drive can be distracting
  • Enjoy learning but on their terms
  • Respond best to firm, consistent guidance

Similarities in Intelligence

  • Excellent problem-solving abilities
  • Can learn cues for tricks and behaviors
  • Enjoy activities that challenge their mind

Smart and Sensitive

Both breeds are intelligent and benefit from:

  • Early socialization and training
  • Consistent, positive methods
  • Short, engaging training sessions
  • Activities like agility to strengthen bond

Key Difference: The Schnauzer is generally more eager to work with their owner and receptive to commands than the strong-willed Scottie.

Exercise Needs: Schnauzers and Scottish Terriers Compared

When it comes to energy levels and activity requirements, the Schnauzer and Scottish Terrier have some similarities but also a few differences.

Schnauzer Exercise Needs

  • Require at least 30-60 minutes of brisk daily exercise
  • Enjoy long walks, jogging, hiking alongside owner
  • Love active games like agility, flyball, fetching

Scottish Terrier Exercise Needs

  • Require 60+ minutes of daily exercise
  • Do best with long walks, hiking, outdoor adventures
  • Love exploring trails, fields – anywhere they can run off-leash

High Energy Breeds

Both breeds have:

  • High energy suited for active owners
  • Stamina for long excursions
  • Tendency to become destructive if under-exercised
  • Love of games and interactive play

Key Differences

  • Schnauzers adapt better to apartment living if exercised daily
  • Scotties thrive most with access to a yard and space to roam

Meeting these breeds’ needs for vigorous activity is key to having a well-behaved pet. Daily exercise paired with mental stimulation will result in happy Schnauzers and Scotties.

Grooming Requirements for the Schnauzer and Scottish Terrier

The grooming needs of the Schnauzer and Scottish Terrier are relatively similar given their wiry double coats. But there are some subtle differences.

Schnauzer Coat Care

  • Require frequent brushing 2-3 times per week
  • Need hair trimming every 6-8 weeks to maintain the signature look
  • Should be hand stripped every 3 months to remove dead hair
  • Only needs bathing every 3-4 months

Scottish Terrier Coat Care

  • Require weekly brushing to remove dead hair
  • Need professional grooming/trimming every 8-12 weeks
  • Should be hand-stripped 2-3 times per year
  • Only need bathing when dirty


Both breeds:

  • Have minimal doggy odor
  • Are average shedders
  • Require nail, ear, and dental care

The Bottom Line

The Schnauzer’s signature cut requires more frequent professional trimming. Both need weekly brushing at home and hand stripping to maintain the texture of their coarse coats. Overall, grooming needs are moderate.

Health Issues Common in Schnauzers and Scottish Terriers

When choosing a pup, it is important to understand what health conditions are prevalent in the breed. Here are some to look out for with Schnauzers and Scottish Terriers:

Schnauzer Health Concerns

  • Eye problems – cataracts, glaucoma, retinal atrophy
  • Allergies – skin allergies, flea allergy dermatitis
  • Joint diseases – hip and elbow dysplasia
  • Bloat – Gastric torsion is a life-threatening emergency

Scottish Terrier Health Issues

  • Bladder cancer – genetic predisposition
  • Von Willebrand’s disease – a bleeding disorder
  • Scottie cramp – a muscle disorder causing cramping and spasms
  • Cataracts – hereditary eye problem causing vision loss

Shared Health Risks

  • Heart disease
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Diabetes
  • Liver disease

Health Testing

Reputable breeders will test breeding dogs for:

  • Eye, hip, heart, and DNA tests
  • Only breed those with healthy scores

This helps reduce risk of inherited diseases in offspring.

Pros and Cons of Owning a Schnauzer vs a Scottish Terrier

Deciding between a Schnauzer and Scottish Terrier? Here are some key pros and cons to consider with each breed.

Schnauzer Pros


  • Excellent watchdogs and guard dogs
  • Minimal grooming requirements
  • Smaller size suits apartments
  • Adaptable and people-oriented
  • Extremely intelligent and trainable
  • Affectionate and loyal


  • Prone to barking and mischief if bored
  • Can be aggressive toward other dogs
  • Exercise needs may be too high for some owners
  • Prone to obesity if overfed and under-exercised

Scottish Terrier Pros


  • Spirited and adventurous nature
  • Independent thinkers and problem solvers
  • Minimal shedding
  • Naturally clean with little doggy odor
  • Minimal exercise needs for a terrier
  • Patient and gentle with children


  • Notoriously difficult to housetrain
  • Prone to barking, digging, chasing other pets
  • Can be stubborn and challenging to train
  • Need access to a yard or space to roam safely

So while both make excellent watchdogs, the Schnauzer may be better for those desiring an obedient, trainable companion while the Scottie suits more laidback owners.

Which is Better for Families – Schnauzers or Scottish Terriers?

For families looking to add a terrier to their home, the Schnauzer and Scottish Terrier are both excellent options. But which breed may be better with kids and as a family pet?

Schnauzers with Children

  • Very patient, gentle, and affectionate
  • Enjoy kids who will play, exercise, and interact with them
  • Their smaller size makes them less likely to knock over small children
  • Eager to please attitude makes training easier
  • Alert nature provides security without being overly aggressive

Scottish Terriers with Children

  • Devoted, loving, and tender once bonded with family
  • Sturdy build stands up well to roughhousing
  • Confident nature helps them interact well with kids
  • Independent spirit means they are okay when left alone at times
  • Minimal exercise needs makes them adaptable

Similarities with Kids

  • Both do best with gentle, respectful kids who won’t pester them
  • Need to be supervised and not left alone with very young kids
  • Can make excellent family dogs with training and socialization

The Verdict

For families with younger kids or first-time dog owners, the Schnauzer may be the better choice given their smaller size, eagerness to please, and trainability. But either can thrive with proper management.

Ideal Home Types for Schnauzers and Scottish Terriers

Are you trying to decide if a Schnauzer or Scottish Terrier is better suited to your lifestyle and living situation? Here are some things to consider:

Good Homes for Schnauzers

  • Active singles or families able to provide daily exercise
  • Homes with securely fenced yards to prevent roaming
  • Experienced owners able to give firm, consistent training
  • Suburban or urban settings if exercise needs are met

Good Homes for Scottish Terriers

  • Suburban or rural settings with access to yard
  • Active singles, couples, or families who enjoy the outdoors
  • Owners with time to allow indoor play or adventures
  • Owners able to provide walks/hikes, even in rainy weather

Both Do Best In Homes With:

  • No young children who may pester them
  • Owners able to give attention, training, and activity
  • Minimal time spent alone, away from family
  • Ample opportunities for mental stimulation

Overall, Schnauzers adapt well to apartments if exercised while Scotties do better with room to roam safely. Either can thrive with attentive owners able to provide activity and training.

Key Differences Between the Schnauzer and Scottish Terrier

While the Schnauzer and Scottish Terrier share similarities as spirited terrier breeds, there are several notable differences to be aware of when choosing between the two.


  • Schnauzers have distinct rectangular heads, beards, and bushy eyebrows
  • Scotties have short, smooth heads with neat ears spaced widely apart
  • Schnauzers are larger ranging 30-50 pounds compared to Scotties at 18-22 pounds


  • Schnauzers are people-focused, obedient, and eager to please
  • Scotties are independent, stubborn, and more aloof with strangers


  • Schnauzers are highly trainable and enjoy learning tricks or tasks
  • Scotties can be difficult to train and require creative, firm guidance

Exercise Needs

  • Schnauzers require 30-60 minutes of brisk daily exercise
  • Scotties need 60+ minutes of vigorous exercise daily


  • Schnauzers require frequent professional trimming to maintain their cut
  • Scotties need only occasional trims to tidy their wiry coat

Family Life

  • Schnauzers excel as family dogs – devoted, gentle, and adaptable
  • Scotties can be aloof and wary around small kids but affectionate with owners

So in summary, those desiring an obedient, trainable companion may gravitate toward the Schnauzer while more independent owners may appreciate the Scottish Terrier’s bold spirit.

Step 13 – Conclusion

In summary,

  • The Schnauzer and Scottish Terrier share many terrier breed traits but have some notable differences in appearance, temperament, trainability, exercise needs, and family-friendliness.
  • Prospective owners should reflect on their lifestyle, experience level, and family situation to determine which breed is the better fit.
  • Both Schnauzers and Scotties can make excellent companions for active owners able to provide proper training, activity, socialization, and attention.
  • Understanding the key differences between these two spirited terrier breeds helps ensure finding the ideal match.

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