The perfect crossbreed? 7 key points about Schnoodles
What do you get when you cross something awesome with something wonderful? A Schnoodle! A cross between two of the most popular, loving, social, smart, and playful family breeds, the Schnoodle is the near-perfect family companion. There are very few bad things to say about this breed and lots of great ones but we’ll try to be as extensive and objective as possible to help you figure out if the Schnoodle is the right breed for you.
What are the key characteristics that make Schnoodles special?
With both Poodles and Schnauzers being as popular as they are (ranked 6 and 19 in the AKC ranking for 2020 respectively), it’s puzzling while the two breeds weren’t combined prior to the Schnoodle’s official birth year which is 1980. Nevertheless, it’s certainly better late than never!
With Schnauzers being a farm work dog and Poodles – a retriever breed, it’s no surprise that the crossbreed of the two is hyperactive, very social, and highly intelligent. Sharing many of the distinctive physical characteristics of both breeds, Schnoodles have the gorgeous curly coats of Poodles and the expressive eyebrows of Schnauzers.
What more can a Schnoodle offer your family, however? We’ve gone over the main pros and cons of this breed below.
The 7 things you should know before getting a Schnoodle
1. The exact physical and temperamental characteristics of this crossbreed are not particularly consistent
Schnoodles are usually considered a “first-generation crossbreed” – this means that they are usually the product of a Poodle and Schnauzer marriage and not of two Schnoodle parents. While the latter is also possible, the former is typically the case for most Schnoodles you’ll encounter.
Why is this important?
It’s important because it leads to lots of variations in the Schnoodles’ physical and temperamental traits. For example, there’s an obvious reason between having a Miniature Schnauzer, a Standard Schnauzer, or a Giant Schnauzer as a parent. With Poodles also coming in different shapes and sizes, a Schnoodle can range in size from anywhere between 6 and 75 pounds!
Temperament-wise, there are also some differences, albeit that’s normal for a lot of dogs – every litter has one overly assertive pup, one that’s too submissive, and the rest being with more balanced characters. That’s why it’s important to always know what you’re getting.
2. Like their Poodle parent and most other Poodle crossbreeds, the Schnoodle is hypoallergenic
Something that a lot of people would be happy to hear is that Schnoodles are one of the few hypoallergenic dog breeds out there. They inherit this trait from their Poodle parents and, yes – few people would have guessed it just by looking at either breed. They are so hairy, it feels counterintuitive that they’d be hypoallergenic.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that they are 100% safe for people with allergies – no dog breed is that hypoallergenic. However, Schnoodles are significantly safer than most and would very rarely cause problems with someone’s allergies. Still, to be safe, it’s smart to first let the allergic person interact with the dog in person before you adopt or buy it officially.
3. Schnoodles make for fantastic family pets
Both Schnauzers and Poodles are incredibly social, loving, and friendly breeds, so it’s no surprise that the same goes for Schnoodles. These curly beauties love their human families and can’t bear to not spend time with them. They are also great with children, provided that you’ve trained and introduced them properly which makes them a great choice for households with kids of any age.
And, because Schnoodles have neither “dog aggression” nor a particularly strong prey drive, they get along with other dogs or cats too! Again, you’ll have to introduce them to each other properly, but that’s a given for any dog breed.
The bottom line is that you can count on your Schnoodle to get along with anyone in your family just fine.
The only possible exception are some guests – while most Schnoodles will be friendly toward strangers too, some might inherit a more defensive temperament from their Schnauzer parent. Even in that case, a Schnoodle would almost never be aggressive but they may be a bit defensive – i.e. bark at strangers at first.
The only downside of this social and friendly nature of the Schnoodle is that this dog needs to be around people. This means that if you’re planning on leaving your Schnoodle home alone for hours at a time every day, you’re going to end up with an unhappy, anxious, and depressed dog.
Either make sure that there’s always someone at home – that’s why these dogs are great for big families – or consider one of the following:
- Hire a dog walker or dog sitter
- Arrange for playdates with other people’s dogs when you’re at work
- Shower your Schnoodle with attention before and after work to compensate for your absence
Get a second dog to keep your Schnoodle company
4. This breed is very physically active and loves to play both indoors and outdoors
This is as simple as it sounds – Schnoodles love to play both indoors and especially outdoors. If you’re an indoorsy type person this might be a negative but if that’s the case – just don’t get a Schnoodle.
If you love spending time outdoors, however, or if you want the extra motivation to do so – the Schnoodle is the perfect companion.
5. Schnoodles are a very smart breed and love to learn tricks and be trained
With a retriever parent and a work dog parent, Schnoodles are an incredibly smart breed. They are fantastic to interact with, whether you’re a child or an adult, they love puzzle toys and complex games, they are very enthusiastic about learning tricks, and they are even easy to train!
That last part is somewhat atypical for a smart dog breed – many of the smarter breeds are a bit stubborn and independent but Schnoodles are so social, loving, and eager to please, that they are incredibly easy to train. All you need is a bag of treats and a positive attitude and you can teach your Schnoodle almost anything.
1. As is the case with Poodles, a Schnoodle’s coat requires quite a bit of maintenance
One of the biggest pros of the Schnoodle breed is also its biggest drawback – their gorgeous curly coats. Schnoodle inherit this from their Poodle parents and the care you can expect to have to offer is quite the same – daily brushing, weekly or bi-weekly baths (or more, depending on how dirty your dog gets in the dog park), and the occasional hair trim around the paws, ears, and face.
There is a silver lining too, however, and it’s that you can trim your Schnoodle’s hair quite short if you want. This will make your daily and weekly grooming needs much more manageable and you’ll only need to visit the dog groomer from time to time for a new haircut.
Naturally, you’d also want to routinely check-up and clear your Schnoodle’s ears and eyes, brush their teeth at least once a week, as well as get some chewy toys to further help with the dental hygiene. Clipping your Schnoodle’s nails probably won’t be necessary as these dogs are so active outside that they’ll dull their nails out on their own.
2. This “designer crossbreed”, the potential health risks for your Schnoodle can be a little uncertain
Most “designer crossbreeds” are known for having lots of health issues. This isn’t really the case with Schnoodles as – like their parent breeds – they tend to be healthier than most other dog breeds. The only things you’d want to watch out for include:
- Diabetes Mellitus
- Addison’s Disease
- Progressive Retinal Atrophy
All of these are pretty standard and not too likely. Proper care, feeding, and exercise, as well as routine vet check-ups, should ensure a healthy pup with a long and happy life.
Why are we including this in the “Cons” section then?
Because, as a crossbreed, it’s not always guaranteed that your Schnoodle will be that healthy. This crossbreed isn’t even officially recognized by most international organizations so there isn’t much of a breed health standard to it.
What does this mean for you?
It means that you’d want to always make sure you get a health certificate for both your Schnoodle pup and its parents. Whether you buy or adopt, always make sure that you’re getting a healthy dog!
Who are Schnoodles “right” for?
The Schnoodle crossbreed is ideal for active and outdoor-type families, preferably with kids. While these dogs should be kept indoors together with their humans, they do need lots of outdoor playtimes as well. This means two long walks per day, daily visits to the dog park, weekly adventures to other parks and out of town, as well as some yard time with your kids.
If all this sounds like fun – the Schnoodle is perfect for you! If it sounds like more of a chore, you may want to opt for a different breed instead.
How to prepare for getting a Schnoodle?
Preparing for a Schnoodle really doesn’t take much – they are exceptionally easy to look after. They don’t need any special training outside of the standard housebreaking, early obedience training, and socialization, they don’t have any special physical needs, and they can thrive in almost any home.
Aside from learning the basics of having a dog and maybe getting some proficient dog grooming tools, the rest should be pretty standard.