Miniature Schnauzers are great little dogs. They are smart and full of energy, and that is both a blessing and a curse while training.
With some patience and consistency, you can have a terrific relationship with your miniature schnauzer.
How to train a Miniature Schnauzer
Experts agree that you should train your Miniature Schnauzer the soonest possible. Acclimating them to the routine will set the stage for successful training later. Start training early and be consistent. Reward good behavior, or learning, and don’t make a big deal out of failures. With some patience, your Schnauzer will learn as many things as you want to teach.
Get your Schnauzer’s attention
The first thing is to teach the dog to pay attention to you or get the dog used to the idea that training is starting, and she needs to pay attention.
Keep in mind the short attention span, especially with puppies, and adjust training accordingly.
It is probably best to have a few minutes four or five times a day, instead of half an hour once per day.
To teach the dog to pay attention, say his name, and then move away, when he comes toward you praise him and give a small treat.
Be careful to use the exact words every time in training. The schnauzer will learn words and will obey what those words say once the words are learned.
The more you bond with the dog the more the dog will want to obey you, which is a sign of respect. If you do not use the same words you will confuse the dog.
For instance, using, “come” sometimes, and “come here” at other times, will be understood as two different things and the dog may not know what you want.
You can use any word you want, or even invent words, as long as you are consistent in using them.
Reward good behavior
Rewarding good behavior works best with dogs like Miniature Schnauzers. A heavy-handed punishment-oriented approach is not effective.
Paying a lot of attention to bad behavior actually reinforces that behavior.
Instead, remove the canine from that situation, withhold attention or affection, and encourage different behavior.
If the dog is barking excessively, maybe giving them a chew toy would distract them. Schnauzers are bad about barking a lot and this will be a challenge as long as you have the dog.
Small bits of food are good rewards but that can cause weight problems and eventually, your schnauzer will lose interest if not hungry.
Treats of food are only effective if used sparingly, but they are effective when used correctly.
If getting extra tasty food is routine it may not be special enough to get their attention.
Play is a good reward, and any kind of play the dog likes is fine. Also, pay attention the canine’s body language, and learn to “hear” what your dog is telling you.
Use those short spans of attention when they are available.
Building a relationship
The more you bond with your schnauzer, the easier training will get. If the dog only listens when she wants to, she is not respecting you and training will be much more difficult.
Schnauzers are not that hard to train once you have established respect and work within the dog’s ability.
Your dog will eventually learn some words but remember for the most part what you say is just noise to the dog, just as barking is to us.
Get your dog’s attention, and get the dog used to have a short training session. Train in the same way each time and use the same words to avoid confusing the dog.
Pay attention to the body language, and you will see when the Schnauzer is losing interest. At that point stop and do it again later.
Start with teaching the canine to be attentive. House training is probably the first thing to tackle, and that could take a few weeks. Teach the dog to come when called.
If you give the dog a treat if they come immediately, it will reinforce the behavior. After the habit is established you can start to give the treat only sometimes and taper off.
The thought that it could get a treat, is incentive enough after the behavior is learned.
From there you can teach come, sit, stay, and other basic commands. But, first, teach the dog to walk with a leash on.
Eventually, you can train the dog to come when called and walk beside you without a leash, but Schnauzers are distractible and naturally will pursue small animals.
Don’t stop training your miniature schnauzer
Keep training and challenging the miniature schnauzer for its entire life. They are smart dogs and have the energy to burn.
Agility training is good for this kind of dog, or things like jumping through hoops. Some schnauzers like to fetch, but most do not.
They like to pursue but are not retrievers by any stretch. A schnauzer may run to the ball to show you where it is, but not understand the idea of bringing it to you.
You can also help them learn words by repeating them. At some point, a simple “outside” is like asking them if they need to go out, and they will respond accordingly if they know the word.
Frequently Asked Questions About How To Train A Miniature Schnauzer
Why is it important to start training a schnauzer early?
Schnauzers are high-energy dogs with short attention spans. Most dogs learn best with a “clean slate” which they have when they are very young. Training basics like paying attention and obeying are fundamentals that will affect the training for the rest of the dog’s life.
What are the basics of teaching a schnauzer to respect you?
Respect is key because a dog will only obey its leader consistently. Provide food, and it is a good idea for only one person to feed the dog. Do fun activities together like playing, and also provide exercise. If you are the one that makes all three of those things happen, the dog will see you as his or her leader and will respect you. That makes training easier, which is also increases the bonding.
How should you handle bad behavior?
If you have trained the dog well, a simple NO should stop any behavior. That does not always work. Withhold attention and affection, or remove the dog from the situation. Instead of giving attention to bad behavior, reward good behavior.
Schnauzers are very intelligent dogs, but they have a short attention span.
Understanding your dog’s just as crucial as teaching your canine to understand you. It is a partnership, but the dog depends on you to be the leader.
Be consistent with the timing, and with how you go about training.
Above all, be patient. Your Schnauzer is capable of learning many things, but it takes time.