Is the Schnauzer or the French Bulldog right for you?
Intelligent, loyal, and active, all three Schnauzers are attention getters
The intelligent and personable Schnauzer comes in three sizes—Miniature, Standard, and Giant—each with its own personality. There’s a Schnauzer for everyone: courageous, strong, and protective…you must be a Giant Schnauzer; loyal, very clever, and reliable, too…you belong in the Standard House; and you, my tenacious yet companionable little fellow, definitely a Miniature.
Breed experts agree that one characteristic shared by all Schnauzers is self-confidence. Although they should not seek out a quarrel, these dogs don’t back down from a confrontation. Related to this, perhaps, is a bit of a stubborn streak; they know best and aren’t about to do something your way just because you say so. Combine this personality with the size of the Giant Schnauzer and you can see why Giants are recommended for experienced dog people.
Despite the vast size difference (the Miniature weighs 10 – 18 pounds, the Giant, 65 – 90+), all three varieties share a distinct look. The German word schnauze means “muzzle,” a reference to the facial furnishings that distinguish this breed. The proper coat is harsh and wiry and must be tediously “hand-stripped” rather than machine clipped if it is to remain that way. Most owners opt for the easier care and accept that their dogs’ coats will become gradually softer over time. With trips to the groomer every six weeks or so and constant washing, combing, and trimming of the facial hair to avoid the dreaded “food face,” the Schnauzer is not a low-maintenance breed. But the charms, aficionados of the breed are quick to point out, are multifold: beautiful, intelligent, devoted, and spirited, this companionable breed is an attention getter.
The sweet, petite French—that stocky, charming dog with the distinctive bat ears—has worked its way into the hearts of so many that it is currently ranked #6 in popularity, according to AKC registration statistics. One look at the Frenchie’s adorable mug and wide, smiling mouth and one can easily see why. With round, intelligent eyes, large, erect ears set off the extremely short nose, and a fun disposition, the French Bulldog packs a lot of personality into a small package (Frenchies should not be more than 28 pounds—although they would happily convince their people otherwise.)
The only function of today’s French Bulldog is that of love sponge and constant companion and, as such, they should be as the AKC standard describes: “well behaved, adaptable…active, alert, and playful, but not unduly boistrous.” Generally very social with both human and canine friends, they sometimes play the clown and glory in being the centre of attention.
Their unique build does cause some challenges. Because they have big heads, wide shoulders, and narrow pelvises, Frenchies can rarely give birth naturally; caesarean births are the norm. And like all short-faced dogs, Frenchies
are particularly sensitive to heat and cold and must not be expected to exercise strenuously under those conditions. Snorting, wheezing, flatulence, and other natural noises are also a part of the breed’s normal physiology, but the true French Bulldog lover will not be put off by any of this. Snoring? Just add to the list of this sweet breed’s many charms.