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How Long Do Schnauzers Live? Everything You Need to Know

According to studies, purebred dogs live 11 years on average. The Standard Schnauzer’s lifespan is around 13 to 16 years, while Miniature Schnauzer’s lifespan is about 12 years on average.

You might be wondering why some dog breeds live longer than others? The main factor is size. Small breeds tend to live longer, while larger breeds usually have shorter lifespans.

Other factors are the dog’s features like the shape of their face and the length of their back, etc. Dog’s features can cause problems like conformational defects, which can sometimes seriously affect a dog’s health and lifespan.

Schnauzers: An Overview

Schnauzer Height

  • Standard Schnauzers: 18.5 to 19.5 inches (male); 17.5 to 18.5 inches (female)
  • Miniature Schnauzers: 12 to 14 inches

Schnauzer Weight

  • Standard Schnauzers:35 to 50 pounds (male); 30 to 45 pounds (female)
  • Miniature Schnauzers: 11 to 20 pounds

Schnauzer Life Expectancy

  • Standard Schnauzers: 13 to 16 years
  • Miniature Schnauzers: 12 to 15 years


Schnauzers are highly affectionate, active, and spirited. These dogs make for fun-loving and attentive family members with confident, patient leadership.

Schnauzers originated in Germany during the 19th century as a farm dog, able to rid her family’s property of vermin. These dogs are clever and comedic but can be mischievous. Schnauzers are highly social and thrive on close and frequent interaction with their families. They are spunky and playful but reliable, sensitive, and loyal. The breed is easily trainable and does well in country and city environments. The Mini Schnauzers are well suited for dog sports such as agility, earth dog trials, and flyball, with a natural ability to learn and a constant desire to chase. 

Health Problems that Impact Schnauzer Lifespan

Various health problems can impact the Schnauzer lifespan. Let us first talk about conformational defects and other common health problems.

Miniature Schnauzers may face conformational defects due to their tiny size. This includes problems with their teeth due to their small mouths. Certain health problems are specific to Schnauzers. Also, a few health conditions make Schnauzers more susceptible than other breeds. They are as follows:

Skin Problems

Schnauzers can have allergies and may also develop “Schnauzer bumps.” This condition is called Comedo Syndrome, and it causes blackheads, hair loss, and scabbing along a Schnauzer’s back. These dogs are also prone to skin tumors.

Teeth Problems

Schnauzers are prone to infections, which can cause various other problems. Brush your dog’s teeth regularly, and take them for regular teeth cleanings to prevent teeth-related problems.

Eye Problems

Schnauzers can develop common eye conditions like Progressive Renal Atrophy, cataracts, glaucoma, and lens luxation.

  • Progressive Renal Atrophy causes Schnauzers’s retina to deteriorate and eventually leads to blindness. 
  • Cataracts are when the Schnauzers’ lens becomes cloudy over time. This can lead to loss of sight in the affected eye when not treated.
  • Glaucoma is the presence of excess fluid in the eye that can cause blindness. 
  • Lens Luxation is caused when the lens of a Schnauzer’s eye slips out of place.

Ear Infections

Schnauzers are prone to ear infections that a veterinarian can quickly treat. In addition, you can prevent ear infections by regularly cleaning out a dog’s ears.

Urinary Stones

Urinary stones occur more in Mini Schnauzers than in any other dog breed. This may be because Mini Schnauzers have weak urinary tracts. The urinary stones occur when certain minerals build up within a Schnauzer’s bladder. You can prevent this with the proper diet.

Pancreatitis

Pancreatitis is a severe condition that happens when the pancreas becomes inflamed. This should be treated by a veterinarian immediately after diagnosis.

Hypothyroidism

Hypothyroidism occurs when a dog isn’t producing enough thyroid hormone that, in turn, affects the dog’s metabolism.

Myotonia Congenita

Myotonia Congenita is a muscular disease that causes a dog’s muscles to contract too quickly. They then become stiff. This disease can cause several problems for Schnauzers, including difficulties moving around and swallowing.

Obesity

Obesity can be a significant health issue in Schnauzers. It is a serious disease that may cause or even worsen joint problems, metabolic and digestive disorders, heart disease, and back pain. 

Parasites

All kinds of worms and bugs can invade your Schnauzer’s body, in and out. Everything from ticks and fleas to ear mites can infest her skin and ears. In addition, hookworms, roundworms, heartworms, and whipworms can get into her system in several ways: drinking contaminated water, walking on polluted soil or being bitten by an infected mosquito. Some parasites can be transmitted to you or a family member and are a severe concern for everyone. These parasites may cause pain, discomfort, and even death for your canine friend. So, we must test them regularly. Your Village Veterinary Clinic team will also recommend preventive medication as necessary to keep her healthy.

Cushing’s Disease

Cushing’s disease occurs when a dog has an excess of cortisol. This disease is caused by tumors, usually in the pituitary gland in the brain. Rarely, the tumor is located in the adrenal glands and can also be a symptom of medication.

Cushing’s disease affects a dog’s weight, stress levels, and blood sugar making it more difficult to fight infections.

Heart Disease

Schnauzers are prone to several types of heart disease that include mitral valve disease, sick sinus syndrome, and pulmonic stenosis.

  • Undoubtedly, mitral valve disease is Schnauzers’ most common type of heart failure. This happens when the mitral valve of a dog’s heart gets weaker and fails to open and close properly, causing a shortage of blood flow. A dog’s heart will weaken if left untreated.
  • Sick sinus syndrome impacts a Schnauzer’s sinus node, causing irregular heartbeats. Eventually, organ dysfunction occurs, as the Schnauzer’s organs aren’t receiving the right amount of blood.
  • Pulmonic stenosis is when the blood flow from the heart to the lungs is blocked. Sometimes, Schnauzers have such a mild case that it goes completely unnoticed. However, more severe cases can cause heart failure.

Legg-Calve-Perthes disease

Legg-Calve-Perthes disease occurs when a dog’s femur bone deteriorates, leading to the inability to use the hind leg in which the disease occurs.

Von Willebrand’s disease

Von Willebrand’s disease is a blood clot disorder causing excessive bleeding, as Schnauzer’s blood doesn’t clot as it should. There are two forms of this disease. 

  • Type II is the most common and will cause dogs to bleed from their nose and gums or have blood in their stool or urine.
  • Type I is less common but can be excruciating. Your dog either shows no symptoms, or the disease is harmful to them. Dogs that don’t show any symptoms are still carriers of the illness and can pass it down to their puppies.

National Breed Club suggests the following tests to ensure a healthy lifestyle of your Schnauzer:

  • Cardiac Exam
  • Ophthalmologist Evaluation

How to Increase Miniature Schnauzer Life Expectancy?

There are several ways to increase a Schnauzer’s lifespan. However, the most promising way to tackle any problem is head-on, which means going to a reputable breeder from the very beginning. Avoid puppy farms at all costs, and don’t plan to buy from pet stores.

Of course, a rescue is an incredible option as well! Just know that when rescuing a dog, you don’t usually know their complete medical history.

In a moment, we’ll talk about more things you can do to prolong your dog’s life; those will all apply to rescue pups or your pooch already sitting in your home.

Buying From a Breeder

  • Before buying a puppy from the breeder, ensure the puppy’s location, the parents, and the rest of the litter’s nature.
  • This way, you can check for flaws and ensure the breeder cares properly for the dogs they’re raising.
  • Your breeder should also be willing to show you the dogs’ medical history. Parents and puppies should all be healthy, with no hereditary diseases that they could pass down. 
  • The breeders should be up to date on their vaccines as well.
  • Choosing a healthy pup is a great way to increase your Schnauzer lifespan.

Offering Good Care for Your Pup

The next thing you can do to increase Schnauzer’s life expectancy is to keep an eye on them and care for them all the time. 

  • A healthy diet
  • Hydration
  • Proper exercise 

are just as necessary for your dog as they are for humans! But, of course, you want to keep your dog clean and well-groomed.

Also, remember that the first warning signs of disease often show themselves through changes in your dog’s behavior. So if your dog is acting abnormal and you can take them to your nearest veterinarian, you might be able to diagnose issues early.

Taking your dog regularly to the vet is the next best way to increase your dog’s lifespan. Regular check-ups are the most pleasing way of ensuring your dog stays healthy and happy.

While at the veterinarian, you can also keep your pup up to date on their vaccines and any heartworm and flea preventative they need.

Lastly, show your canines lots of love while they’re here!

Schnauzer – Routine Care, Diet, and Exercise

Build Schnauzer’s routine care into your schedule to help her live longer, stay healthier, and be happier during her lifetime. Of course, we cannot overemphasize the importance of a proper diet and exercise routine.

  • Supervise your dog as you would a toddler to keep her out of trouble and restrict them from objects she shouldn’t put in her mouth. Keep doors closed, and block off rooms as necessary.
  • Brush her coat weekly. Twice a year professional grooming will help maintain her wiry double coat.
  • Schnauzers often have serious issues with their teeth. So, you’ll need to brush them at least thrice a week.
  • Clean her ears weekly, even as a pup. 
  • Schnauzer is an intelligent dog with lots of energy. So, keep her mind and body active, or she’ll get bored. That’s when the naughty stuff begins.
  • Schnauzer has a strong chase instinct. So, using a leash while walking and playing in a non-fenced yard is a must.
  • Schnauzers are well suited to apartment life as long as they are given daily walks and frequent play sessions.
  • Please keep your dog’s diet consistent, and don’t give her human food.
  • Offer a high-quality diet appropriate for her age.
  • Regularly exercise your dog, but don’t overdo it at the beginning.

Final Thoughts

Any uncommon symptom could signify severe illness or just a minor or temporary problem. The crucial thing is to tell when to seek a veterinarian’s help and how urgently. Many disorders cause dogs to have a characteristic combination of symptoms, which together can be a clear signal that your Schnauzer needs help.

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