Do you own a Schnauzer? If so, you know how much of a handful they can be. They are intelligent, alert, active dogs that need regular exercise to keep them healthy and happy.
Schnauzers are very energetic dogs that love being involved in family activities, so they can be great companions for people who enjoy outdoor activities like walking, jogging or biking with their pets.
There are three kinds of Schnauzer.
The Standard Schnauzer is a sturdy dog that has been used as a working dog for centuries. This breed was developed in Germany around the 14th century and was used for herding and hunting vermin.
The Miniature Schnauzer was developed in the 1800s by breeding Standard Schnauzers with the Affenpinscher; these dogs were used for farm ratting and are the most popular version of the breed.
The Giant Schnauzer Last came the bigger cousin; the Standard was bred with larger dogs, to create a large dog primarily used to drive cattle. Nowadays, they are often used as guard dogs.
In this article, we’ll answer the question of how much exercise does a Schnauzer need, along with their larger relatives? And look at some other ways of keeping these active dogs entertained
Why is Exercise Vital For Your Schnauzer?
Schnauzers, of all varieties, are playful dogs that need lots of love and attention to live happy and healthy lives. As with other working dog breeds, all three types of Schnauzer have lots of energy and are very social, so they need daily activity to curb any behavior problems that tend to pop up in under-stimulated dogs.
As the saying goes, a tired dog is a happy dog, so regular play, daily walks and trips to the park are all key to ensuring your both you and your Miniature Schnauzer live a happy life.
How Much Exercise Does a Miniature Schnauzer Need?
When it comes to exercise, does a Miniature Schnauzer need as much as larger Schnauzers? They require at least an hour of exercise daily to burn off his excess energy and help him maintain a healthy weight. A short walk, a few times a day, coupled with regular play-time, should be enough to meet a Miniature Schnauzer’s needs.
Allowing your Miniature Schnauzer to explore his neighbourhood, and take in new smells, will provide him with mental stimulation at the same time as meeting his needs for physical exercise. If your local walk has space, some time on the long lead will allow for some freedom on his daily walk.
What About Standard and Giant Schnauzers?
Like the Miniature Schnauzer, the Standard needs around an hour of exercise every day. A few short walks spread out throughout the day, and some indoor play with his favourite toy will be enough to keep your dog mentally and physically fit.
Schnauzers are fairly social little dogs, so time around other dogs in dog-friendly areas are a good way to provide your puppy with some mental exercise.
A Giant Schnauzer’s exercise needs are, as expected, slightly greater than a Miniature Schnauzer; Giant Schnauzer dog owners should be prepared to dedicate around 2 hours every day to exercising these energetic dogs.
A long walk and a few short walks, spread throughout the day, alongside some dedicated exercise, including running and jumping, are ideal for this breed of dog. The activity needed will vary slightly between individual dogs, but as a general rule, 2 hours per day, double what a Miniature Schnauzer requires, is a good amount to stick to.
Best Types of Exercise for Schnauzers
Like most breeds, Schnauzers get bored quickly and you may find walking is not enough, so below are some fun activities to enjoy with your pup that will help them get their energy out while also strengthening the bond between owner and pet.
As a supplement between walks, agility training is a great way to ensure your Schnauzer gets the exercise he needs. However, high impact exercises like these should be done with caution as older dogs, or a puppy can develop joint issues and problems with their bones if they take on too much exercise for their age.
Swimming is an excellent exercise for dogs as movement in water is much less impactful on their joints. Giant or Miniature Schnauzer will both enjoy swimming.
Small dogs, like a Mini Schnauzer, might find swimming quite tricky as their little legs will have to work hard to move through the water. Only introduce these breeds to calm and shallow water to ensure they aren’t in any danger.
Even from an early age, every dog will enjoy a good game of fetch with its owner. This physical activity is a great bonding exercise and is an easy way to provide the exercise needed to keep your Miniature Schnauzer happy and healthy.
20-30 minutes of fetch in the park or garden will give your Schnauzer, Miniature or Giant some much needed time to play, and he’ll quickly burn off any pent up energy, meaning he’ll be ready to curl up on the sofa when you get back home.
Hiking is best suited to a Standard or Giant Schnauzer, as a Mini Schnauzer’s small size will cause him to quickly tire from a walk this long. Giant Schnauzers, however, will love this time to explore and play off lead; just make sure he has access to water and can enjoy regular breaks in the shade.
Schnauzer’s natural curiosity and instinct to please their owner make them ideal hiking partners provided the weather isn’t too hot or cold and the trail isn’t too dangerous for a Miniature Schnauzer with little legs.
Mental stimulation is essential for Standard, Giant and Miniature Schnauzers. Hiding food and treats in a puzzle toy will provide your dog with a challenging task that they will love to spend time trying to solve.
The reward-based structure of this kind of play is vital for your dog’s mental health and is an easy way to ensure he’s getting the exercise he needs without leaving the house.
Can a Schnauzer Have Too Much Exercise?
As with all dog breeds, your Giant, Standard or Miniature Schnauzer can have too much exercise, but how much exercise is too much. Although you may be having fun with your Mini Schnauzer, playing for too long on a regular basis can cause damage to his joints. Watch out for signs of tiredness and fatigue, especially as your Miniature Schnauzer gets older.
The exercise needs of Miniature Schnauzers are far less than Giant Schnauzers, so treating both of their daily exercise routines as the same can be damaging to their health. It’s always a good idea to schedule regular trips to the vet to ensure your Schnauzer is receiving the proper nutrition and exercise for his size.
How Much Exercise Does a Senior Schnauzer Need?
As your Miniature Schnauzer ages, you will notice changes in his ability to enjoy certain aspects of his exercise routine and the same can be said for his larger cousins. Most dogs in the Schnauzer family are considered senior at around 10. At this stage in their life, it’s vital to start limiting the amount of high impact exercise they’re exposed to.
Schnauzers are prone to developing muscle and joint issues, like myotonia congenita and hip dysplasia, so the energetic games they once found fun can be harmful to them in old age. Be sure to schedule regular checkups with your vet as your dog reaches his senior years to keep an eye out for any health issues that may begin to pop up.
How Much Exercise Does a Schnauzer Puppy Need?
As with all puppies, any Schnauzer only needs around 15-30 minutes of exercise per day between 3-6 months. A young Miniature Schnauzer puppy will usually get all of the activity he needs by exploring his new surroundings, so no dedicated routines are necessary at this stage.
Once your Schnauzer puppy has received his vaccinations, he’ll benefit from socialising with other animals and puppies, as Schnauzers are very social little pups.
Generally, it’s wise to add 5 minutes of exercise for a young puppy, for every month he grows beyond 6 months. This will differ across each individual puppy, and larger pups will generally need more physical activity, but it’s a good rule of thumb.
Schnauzers are great dogs, but they need lots of exercise and firm, consistent training, meaning they are not for everyone.
So how much exercise does a Miniature Schnauzer need compared to its larger relatives? The answer is around 60 minutes, with Standard and Giant needing up to 2 hours a day.
Without proper exercise, both a Giant or Miniature Schnauzer can develop destructive behaviours such as chewing or digging to release their pent-up energy.
The Kennel Club recommends at least an hour of daily exercise for Mini Schnauzers slightly more for their larger cousins, but anyone owning this breed knows they have a zest for life and can walk all day. That’s why it’s so important to add some mental stimulation into their daily schedule. Brain workouts are just as tiring as leash walking, so are a fantastic way to expend some of that energy.
For more information and tips on exercising your dog, check out our other guides!