Male vs. Female Miniature Schnauzer: Which Is Better?

Male and female Mini Schnauzer resting on a bench

At first glance, male and female Miniature Schnauzers might look the same, but there are many differences between them — not just physically but in temperament, personality, and behavior.

Male Miniature Schnauzers are generally more affectionate, sometimes to the point of being too clingy. They’re also more playful and more protective of their homes and families. Meanwhile, female Miniature Schnauzers are sweet yet more independent. Females are also more obedient and calmer.

There are many more differences between the two sexes. In this article, I’ll go over them in detail to help you discover which sex of Miniature Schnauzer is best for you.

Physical Differences

Male and female Mini Schnauzer standing on a rock

Male Miniature Schnauzers

Next to each other, male and female Miniature Schnauzers look very similar — with their long coats, beady eyes, and the breed’s trademark bushy mustache and eyebrows. 

However, looking closely, there are visible differences. Aside from their genitalia, the next most obvious difference in physicality is in their size.

Male Miniature Schnauzers are slightly bigger than females and have more muscle mass. On average, adult male Mini Schnauzers stand 12 to 14 inches tall — about an inch to two inches more than female Mini Schnauzers.

They are also one to three pounds heavier than females, averaging between 11 and 18 pounds due to their bulkier, more muscular frames.

Because males tend to be more active and more exposed to the elements, their coats and paw pads can be rougher than a female’s. Since the Mini Schnauzer’s coat is bushy, it is also prone to catching more dirt and debris.

Owners need to be more attentive when caring for a male Mini Schnauzer’s coat. Regular brushing and baths can help keep them in top condition. A well-conditioned haircut also helps in the maintenance of its coat.

Female Miniature Schnauzers

Female Mini Schnauzers are smaller than males. Generally, they will stand 10 to 13 inches tall — one to two inches shorter than male Mini Schnauzers at the withers. 

They also tend to have slightly more petite builds. On average, they weigh between 10 to 15 pounds — one to three pounds lighter than males.

It’s important to note that Female Mini Schnauzers tend to put on less muscle than their stocky male counterparts. When they put on weight, it is usually fat and not muscle mass. They are also much less active than males.

This makes them more prone to obesity, so owners need to be mindful and make sure they are given a proper diet and regular exercise.

Again, because females are typically less active than males, their coats and paws are less exposed to the elements. 

This results in generally softer and fluffier fur and smoother paws. For owners, it can mean less maintenance when it comes to grooming. 

Temperamental Differences

Male Miniature Schnauzers

Regardless of their sex, Miniature Schnauzers tend to be alert and vocal, making them perfect watchdogs. 

Regardless of gender, Mini Schnauzers are smart enough to sense if there are strangers in the vicinity, and they make sure to alert their family to this by barking.

That being said, there are key differences in the temperaments of male and female Mini Schnauzers. 

Miniature Schnauzers are affectionate all around, but the males tend to be more so. When you have a male Mini Schnauzer, expect him to follow you wherever you go and ask for pets and cuddles all the time.

Male Miniature Schnauzers also tend to be more despondent when separated from their family. They may sometimes lose their appetite or show signs of separation anxiety when they are left home alone.

Males are also more playful and puppylike, even into their adult years. They generally have more energy and require varied daily enrichment such as walks, socialization, and games.

The 5-year-old male Miniature Schnauzer of a friend named Pepper is exactly as described. He tends to be very noisy, especially with unfamiliar people around. He would never stop barking at strangers who visited my friend’s house until he got tired.

As for me, though, after about my third visit to my friend’s house and multiple attempts at being introduced, he still barks at me, but with a wagging tail and the excitement of wanting to play.

Female Miniature Schnauzers

Female Miniature Schnauzers are sweet and loving, but next to a male Mini Schnauzer, they might seem more aloof. 

While they are happy to spend time with their family, they are also more independent and respectful of personal space. They are less prone to separation anxiety and can better deal with being left alone at home.

Female Mini Schnauzers also tend to mature faster and outgrow their playfulness earlier than males. Once they are out of their puppy phase, they are generally calmer and less excitable.

Their calmness also means they can be slightly less alert than their male counterparts, although they will still bark when they sense something suspicious.

Having more balanced energy levels, female Mini Schnauzers don’t need too much enrichment — a daily walk and the occasional toy will suffice. 

If you want to know more about the Miniature Schnauzer’s temperament and other interesting facts, watch this video:

Miniature Schnauzer Dog: Temperament, Lifespan & More | Petplan

Behavior and Training 

Female Mini Schnauzer playing frisbee outdoors

Male Miniature Schnauzers

Between the two sexes, male Miniature Schnauzers tend to be more easily excited. Hence, it might take more time to train them in basic obedience and on the leash.

As the more excitable sex, they can easily be distracted by new sights and sounds they encounter. Expect a lot of tugging and pulling from your male Miniature Schnauzer during leash training.

Intact males may also stop often during walks to mark their territory with small amounts of urine. This marking behavior also sometimes extends indoors, so it’s something owners of male Miniature Schnauzers need to watch out for.

As distracted as they can be, male Miniature Schnauzers tend to be more food-driven than females, so using training treats can offset their lack of focus when it comes to training.

In addition, their energy and playfulness make them the ideal students for agility training and learning show tricks.

Female Miniature Schnauzers

Female Miniature Schnauzers are generally more obedient than males. They also focus better and won’t be as easily distracted by other things. This makes them the perfect students for basic obedience and leash training. 

Housetraining a female Mini Schnauzer is much easier than doing so for a male. They also learn basic commands such as “sit,” “stay,” and “down” much quicker.

However, female Mini Schnauzers can be picky eaters, so using training treats will not always work with them. Trainers will have to be a bit more creative when it comes to thinking of rewards for female Mini Schnauzers.

As I said earlier, female Miniature Schnauzers can be very independent. This doesn’t just apply physically but also mentally. In other words, female Mini Schnauzers tend to have minds of their own. 

While this indicates high intelligence, it also means that they can show some stubbornness when they’ve lost interest in a training session. This means that they may be harder to work with when it comes to more specialized training.

Health Differences

Male Miniature Schnauzers

Miniature Schnauzers of any sex are overall healthy dogs that tend to live long lives. The average life expectancy for both male and female Mini Schnauzers is 12 to 15 years.

There are certain health issues that all Mini Schnauzers are prone to, regardless of their sex. These include diabetes, liver problems, kidney disease, and skin allergies.

However, there are also issues that are only prevalent in either males or females. 

One health issue to watch out for, specifically in male Mini Schnauzers, is testicular cancer or prostate issues. The risk of this can be lowered by neutering your pet early on.

Neutering can also help ease any signs of aggression and put a stop to mounting and marking tendencies.

Female Miniature Schnauzers

In a study, female Miniature Schnauzers were found to be more prone to periodontal disease, which is a buildup of plaque in the teeth, causing inflammation. 

Obesity and heart murmurs are also more prevalent in female Miniature Schnauzers. 

Like most female dogs, female Miniature Schnauzers are also prone to pyometra, which is a bacterial infection affecting the uterus. This is often seen in unspayed dogs who have not experienced pregnancy.

Spaying, or ovariohysterectomy, is a surgical method used to sterilize female dogs. It involves the removal of the ovaries, fallopian tubes, and uterus of a female dog.

While it is done primarily to avoid unwanted or unplanned litter, spaying is also one of the best ways to prevent diseases related to the reproductive system, such as pyometra and ovarian and uterine cancer. 

With Other Dogs and Pets

Male Mini Schnauzer with another breed

Male Miniature Schnauzers

The playfulness of the male Mini Schnauzer extends to other dogs. They can be very tolerant of any displays of dominance and can match the high energy of small puppies.

They are also quite welcoming to cats as long as they have been introduced as friends or members of the family. 

It is important to note that Miniature Schnauzers were bred to be ratters and might instinctively capture or attack rodents and small animals, even if they are housepets.

The watchdog nature of Miniature Schnauzers also means that they might be vigilant against any animals that they have not been properly socialized with.

Female Miniature Schnauzers

Female Miniature Schnauzers can be more reserved and territorial when it comes to other dogs, particularly with other females that are close in age to them. 

While they can be tolerant of another male dog in the house, female Mini Schnauzers might display some aggression towards their fellow females, especially if they are in their heat cycle.

If you’re planning to add another dog to your household, it’s ideal to pair a male with a female. Having two males or two females can spark competition between the dogs, resulting in aggressive behaviors.

Like male Miniature Schnauzers, females also have ratting tendencies and may attack smaller animals — even kittens. Socializing your pets early on can help prevent any aggressive tendencies towards other dogs or animals.

With Children

Male Miniature Schnauzers

The natural playfulness of male Miniature Schnauzers makes them great with kids. If you’re looking for a dog that can match the seemingly endless energy of your kids, the male Miniature Schnauzer might just be it.

Male Miniature Schnauzers are also very protective of their families, so they’ll be alert to any dangers that an unsuspecting child might encounter.

It’s important to note, however, that male Miniature Schnauzers can be easily excitable, and playtime could turn rough if unsupervised.

Male Mini Schnauzers are much better playmates for older children who are less rowdy and have a better handle on their energy levels. 

Female Miniature Schnauzers

With their calm nature, female Miniature Schnauzers are ideal playmates for younger children. The high energy levels of toddlers and smaller kids will be balanced out by the more placid temperament of the female Mini Schnauzer.

That being said, female Miniature Schnauzers might tap out from playtime sooner to seek out their peace and quiet.

In any case, you must never leave your kids and pets to interact unsupervised. Until your child is old enough to understand how to handle dogs fully, it’s better to be safe and always accompany your kids with your pets.

Pros and Cons of Male and Female Miniature Schnauzers

Male and female Mini Schnauzer biting on a twig

Male Miniature Schnauzers

When it comes to being affectionate, male Miniature Schnauzers are unparalleled. 

Their sweet and cuddly personalities are good for people looking for emotional support, and they are quick to become beloved and irreplaceable family members.

Their loving personality translates to being protective of their families, and they are great at sensing danger and alerting their owners to it.

Their playfulness and relatively more muscular build give them great potential for excelling at agility courses and specialized forms of training.

Male Miniature Schnauzers also display less aggression towards other pets and are more likely to co-exist peacefully with other dogs, regardless of sex. 

However, one disadvantage of owning a male Miniature Schnauzer is that they can be harder to train due to their tendency to be easily distracted.

On the flip side of their affectionate nature, they are more prone to separation anxiety and don’t do as well as females when left alone at home.

They hardly ever outgrow their playfulness, so owners must commit to providing them with enrichment activities.

Intact males also have the tendency to mark and run away from home as they seek a female. However, these behaviors can be corrected through neutering.

Here’s a table listing the pros and cons of male Miniature Schnauzers:

Sweet and affectionateMore easily distracted, therefore harder to train
Protective, alert, and vigilantProne to separation anxiety
Less aggressive towards other dogs and petsHigh energy and playful throughout adulthood
Can do well at agility courses and specialized trainingDisplays marking behaviors when intact

Female Miniature Schnauzers

Female Mini Schnauzers have calmer temperaments than males. This means they are generally easier to walk, handle, and care for in the day-to-day.

While sweet in their own way, they are also quite independent and much more respectful of their humans’ personal space. They are also less likely to experience separation anxiety and do well when left home alone.

In a way, they are more low maintenance because they demand less attention from their owners.

Female Miniature Schnauzers tend to be more focused, making it easier and quicker to teach them basic commands. You may be surprised at how soon it will take for your female Miniature Schnauzer to be housetrained.

On the other hand, female Miniature Schnauzers are more prone to health issues such as periodontal disease, obesity, and heart murmurs.

As female dogs, you’ll also have to be on guard for pyometra. If they remain unspayed, owners will also have to be extra vigilant when their Mini Schnauzer is in heat.

Female Miniature Schnauzers are less tolerant of other dogs, especially other females. This is a drawback for those who already have pets in their household, though early socialization can help weed out these tendencies.

With slightly lower energy levels, female Mini Schnauzers may also tire out quickly when it comes to more specialized training.

Check out this table to get a quicker view of the pros and cons of owning a female Miniature Schnauzer:

Calmer, more balanced temperamentMore prone to health issues
Less demanding of attentionOwners need to be more vigilant when left unspayed
More focused and easier to trainCan display aggression towards other dogs
Independent and can be left aloneLower energy

Should You Get a Male or Female Miniature Schnauzer?

Families with small children might be better off with the loving but calm energy of female Miniature Schnauzers. 

Because female Mini Schnauzers are more trainable, their owners can spend less time taking care of their needs, which is an ideal setup for those who also have young children to care for.

The independence of female Mini Schnauzers also makes them well suited to owners seeking a more low-maintenance dog.

On the other hand, those seeking dogs for emotional support might prefer male Mini Schnauzers. 

Male Miniature Schnauzers are extra cuddly and affectionate. They are also very protective of their families.

As playful as they are, male Mini Schnauzers are good companions for those who have more active lifestyles or are seeking to change their sedentary habits.

The exercise and enrichment needs of male Miniature Schnauzers give anyone a reason to get up and move! 

Frequently Asked Questions

Male and female Mini Schnauzer standing on a couch

Are Male or Female Miniature Schnauzers Calmer?

Between the two, the female Miniature Schnauzers display a calmer, more balanced temperament. 

Once females reach adolescence, their playfulness evens out, and they become the type of dogs that are quite happy to spend their days lounging around and enjoying the company of their family.

Male Miniature Schnauzers stay playful well past adolescence and will need stimulation from new games or toys throughout their life.

Are Male or Female Miniature Schnauzers More Affectionate?

Without a doubt, male Miniature Schnauzers are more affectionate than females. 

While females dote on their favorite member of the family, males will show affection to every single person in the household and then some — that’s how adoring they can be.

Males also tend to be more anxious when left alone and will try harder to stop family members from exiting the house. They also give the warmest welcomes, barking and wagging their tails excitedly when people come home.

Are Male or Female Miniature Schnauzers Easier to Train?

Both male and female Miniature Schnauzers are very intelligent, and either way, you have a dog that is easier to train than most.

However, between the two, the laser focus and diligence of female Miniature Schnauzers make them more trainable as far as basic obedience is concerned.

Final Thoughts

The Miniature Schnauzer is an exceptional breed. Their quirky good looks, outgoing personalities, intelligence, loyalty, and sweetness make them a breed that is favored by many people. 

As I’ve discussed throughout this article, there are some traits that make either the male or female of the breed more suited to certain lifestyles. Hopefully, you can now determine which one is better for you.

However, if you decide to acquire your Mini Schnauzer, remember that ultimately their qualities will differ with each individual puppy, and you may find exceptions to many of the traits I’ve mentioned in this article. 

Ultimately, regardless if you bring home a male or a female, you’ll be making an excellent choice. Let us know your thoughts about the male and the female Miniature Schnauzer in the comments below!

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