For 24 years I lived with Miniature Schnauzers and they are a breed near and dear to my heart; even so I would not recommend them to everyone. They are one of the most common members of the terrier group and usually rank as the most trainable terrier - considering of course that we're comparing them to other terriers when I say "most trainable." When ranked with other breeds they are also considered the most trainable of the Schnauzers.
Sorry fellow Schnauzer enthusiasts but working with a trainable terrier still isn't like working with a breed that was developed to be trainable like a Shepherd or Golden. Mini Schnauzers were bred to be independent hunters, vermin killers and the attitude needed to do this work is not the same as the attitude or temperament required to work hand in glove with a human.
The Miniature Schnauzer is usually very loyal and devoted to their people. They are in turns independent and then Velcro dogs. When raised with families they are excellent family members. They tend to be loud, having an opinion about everything that they insist will be voiced. Although usually friendly it is not uncommon for a mini to rear up on their hind legs as they charge forward barking -- this is "hello" in their world. They are Napoleons of the dog world and tend not to back down from much larger dogs, convinced that their forceful personalities will carry the day no matter the other dog's size.
The Standard is as close as you can get to an every man's Schnauzer. Of course, they were designed to work and do best with consistent handling. In fact, the Standard could do the work of both his smaller and larger cousins -- he could chase vermin, guard flocks and family, and help move livestock to market. This is a very pleasant dog that deserves to have a wider audience of admirers than the bred does. The Standard is a little more ready to be independent around people than is the Miniature but does not have as strong a guard presence as the Giant.
This should an agreeable dog who does well with other animals and children.
My aunt lives with a Giant (Jack) who adores young people and has even left his yard once or twice to hang out with the neighborhood kids, who can lead him around in a way that neighborhood adults would never dream of.
Jack is also a great example of how patient Giants can be with smaller dogs, including terriers. Poor old Jack is now being ruled by the second much smaller female terrier of his life and he always handles these situations magnificently.
|Jack the Giant and his new girl, Bess|
|Miniature and Giant|