Schnauzer v Poodle v Havanese

(37 Posts)
Veryfinethreadmyfriend Fri 17-Aug-18 18:37:34

Anyone got experience with any of the above? We are looking for 1st family dog, we have 3 kids and have a relatively active lifestyle although we love our relaxing lazy time too!
I have done loads of research and narrowed it down to the above breeds. My youngest son is not allergic to dog dander but has other allergies including dust and pollen. We're also looking for a lovable, affectionate breed thats not too large and won't be aggressive to other dogs (loads of dogs round here). I thought these breeds might be the best option.
I know temperament is largely down to how they are brought up but can I have your thoughts please if you've owned any of these?

OP’s posts: |
missbattenburg Fri 17-Aug-18 19:44:22

OP, they are quite different breeds so what led you to those 3, in particular?

what's a 'relatively active lifestyle' as this means different things to different people. How much walking do you expect to do, for e.g?

How much time did you want to spend on training and for how long (i.e. just a bit at the start or ongoing for the rest of the dog's life)?

How much grooming do you expect to do (daily, weekly, monthly)?

Perhaps most importantly, apart from the obvious (aggression) what behaviours can you NOT cope with? Barking? Digging? Chewing? Trouble being left alone? Unreliable recall? Food stealing? Dirt and mud? That's often the make/break point for a breed choice, imo. (Pick your poison)

Veryfinethreadmyfriend Fri 17-Aug-18 20:01:19

Thanks missbattenburg. The characteristics I mentioned in my message are what led me to those breeds, really - low shedding, not too large, affectionate and not classically aggressive.
I anticipate we would have a good walk for at least an hour a day with fun and games with the kids after school and extra walks / play sessions at weekends. By walks I mean a good countryside romp as we are in the countryside.
I am keen to put in the effort at the start but don't want a super high maintenance dog that will require high levels of training for life.
Of the troublesome behaviours you mention, I understand ALL dogs have their challenges but I don't want a non-stop barker. I work at home so the dog will not be left alone for long periods but I do need it to be left alone regularly for short periods. I can cope with pretty much anything else.

OP’s posts: |
missbattenburg Fri 17-Aug-18 20:15:27

Ah, that makes sense - I was thinking of a standard poodle but I am guessing you were thinking of one of the smaller ones as a standard is quite a big dog?

Poodles are pretty intelligent so you might find one of those needed lifelong mental stimulation, which is a bit like training. I think they often struggle with being left alone, too - though many people do leave theirs succesfully. They are sensitive so require a gentle hand when training.

Schnauzers are quite high energy breeds so you may get one that needs more than an hour a day and they can be suspicious of strangers and pretty independent minded - meaning training can be pretty intense with them. Some can be pretty barky, too.

Havanese can also be noisy and sometimes also struggle with being left alone. I suspect they are the easier of the 3.

I find it can help to think of what the dog's are bred to do.

Poodles are gun retrievers. They need to be quick to learn and often work alongside a single person all day long. This means they can bond to a single person, love day long stimulation and tend to enjoy using their noses and mouths (sniffing and chewing).

Schnauzers are pinschers which were used for pest control and guarding. These are activities that don't require a human so the dogs are independent and tend not to mind time alone too much. It also means they might not be as easy to train because little training was needed fo their work.

Havanese are bichons and were primarily bred as companion dogs. As a result they tend to like people more than other dogs and struggle to be alone because they are bred to love human company so much.

Of course, you are right, all dogs are individuals so your own mileage may vary grin

Rhubardandcustard Fri 17-Aug-18 20:31:39

I was looking at mini schnauzers and havanese when deciding on what dog. What swung it for me in the end was there were more mini schnauzer breeders in my area. Highly recommend mini s chnauzers, mine is 6 now, was best decision we made to chose that breed.

They love walks or happy just to be cuddled on the sofa,, they have enough character to make them fun, little bit stubborn but cute with it. They will need to be groomed regularly every 8-9 weeks about £25-£30. Easy to train, my daughter has regularly done dog agility since the dog turned 1, great for building a bond between dogs and kids.

Can't think of anything negative except once you have one, you'll be longing to get another!

Rhubardandcustard Fri 17-Aug-18 20:34:35

Also meant to say people who had schnauzers warned me they were quite noisy and I was worried, but I either have a very quiet one or we've been quite cinsistent with the training when a pup and its paid off.

doingwhatican Sat 18-Aug-18 06:15:14

We had similar debates in our household between a mini schnauzer and a poodle. We love our 8 month old mini poodle! I can stay on top of the hair by combing it 2-3 times a week which isn’t bad and then of course a trim every six weeks. She’s very people oriented so stays close on walks, doesn’t run off or chase runners and cyclists. She’s also very athletic but if it’s pouring with rain, a shorter walk and training session will be enough. Best of all- she’s not yappy, in fact she hardly barks but we may have lucked out. Veeeery bouncy though, still working on that. It’s like they have springs on their feet. We crate trained and left her on her own from early on and she has no separation anxiety issues. The crazy hair is optional, I don’t like it personally. People are always surprised that she’s a poodle. They’ve gone out of fashion it seems which is a real shame. Can’t recommend them enough.


villainousbroodmare Sat 18-Aug-18 06:20:02

If you don't like the sound of barking, don't get a Schnauzer. Also, temperament is mostly innate. I would go for the poodle.

NicoAndTheNiners Sat 18-Aug-18 07:00:56

A friend of mine breeds schnauzers and she says they’re known for being quite barky.

Havenese you’d probably want to keep them clipped short or you'd be bathing them all the time after country walks. My dog is half bichon and she’s a total mud magnet. So factor in grooming cost and time to make a trip to the groomers quite frequently.

yikesanotherbooboo Sat 18-Aug-18 07:35:32

We had a poodle in the family and she was a fantastic pet. She was a good guard dog, very loyal and very quick to learn .She was a bit of a chewer and never fully stopped that and of course there was the regular grooming but based on a sample of one I would recommend . She was a miniature and was a good size for a family. Thinking about a dog needing mental stimulation it would be fair to say that she was very rarely alone for more than an hour .

AgathaF Sat 18-Aug-18 12:29:27

We've had Standard Poodles and currently have a Standard puppy. Fabulous family dogs. Intuitive, easy to train, athletic but not needing hours of exercise per day, brilliant with children. Our last ones were left daily for a few hours with no problems whatsoever. Our puppy can do a couple of hours on his own quite happily. They are intelligent dogs, so do need mental stimulation but that means they react well to training and are keen to learn.

Fatjilly Sat 18-Aug-18 13:41:19

My schnauzer has been, and still is, the best family pet ever. Incredibly gentle when he needs to be (around children, puppies, cats etc). He loves a cuddle and will snuggle up for hours but equally happy running all day. Whatever we’re doing, he’s keen to join in. I trim his coat myself (easy, doesn’t take long and can keep him a bit scruffy cos it’s suits him). He’s loving, loyal, daft, sweet and loves everyone..people, dogs, cats, hamsters, horses (apart from frogs..he’s scared of frogs).
He was really quick to housetrain and was never destructive. He’s only high energy when he’s out. As soon as he’s home he’s on his back, fluffy feet in the air, snoring away.

Veryfinethreadmyfriend Sun 19-Aug-18 12:00:35

Thanks all. Agatha can I ask if you think there is a difference (apart from size of course) between Standard and Miniature Poodles? Are Standard ones generally less yappy / calmer? Sorry if stupid question!
Jilly your Schnauzer looks absolutely gorgeous! I must admit if it was only down to looks I definitely go for a Schnauzer but am trying to take everything into consideration. Am going round in circles! I think I will probably try to arrange meeting a few breeders and hopefully that will finalise the decision!

OP’s posts: |
AgathaF Sun 19-Aug-18 17:01:50

I'm not sure about difference between standards and miniatures Veryfine. I know someone who has a miniature and she has just acquired her first standard, from the same litter as our pup has come from. We've chatted a few times and she says she's amazed at how bright her new puppy is, but that could be down to personality or just not really remembering when her miniature was a puppy. I tend to think that in general larger dogs are less yappy than smaller dogs, based on experience when out walking with our larger dogs, and friends who have larger or smaller dogs, but it is a generalisation of course.

DragonmotherKhaleesi Sun 19-Aug-18 17:10:20

We have a Schnauzer crossed with a Poodle and he is fantastic. Clever, easy to train, doesn't shed, happy to walk or cuddle, fab with kids and generally gorgeous. He is more Schnauzer like than poodle to look at.

villainousbroodmare Sun 19-Aug-18 18:14:30 grin

doingwhatican Sun 19-Aug-18 19:13:59

I think yappiness is partly down to training /environment. There was a lot of yapping at our breeders’ but we don’t let her bark in the garden etc now. ‘Distract distract’ seems to work. So far...

Ihuntmonsters Tue 21-Aug-18 05:45:44

There are three miniature Schnauzers in our family. They are all loving, generally sweet dogs but only one could be described as very well behaved. One can be terribly yappy (especially at children), and the third is really best described as naughty. He brings a lot of pleasure too but has strong hunting instincts and has killed not just wildlife but also chickens and sheep. Not sure if the chasing and killing instinct just happens to be strong with him and it's an unusual trait or if that's a Schnauzer tendency. We've only had herding or retrieving dogs before so it came as a bit of a shock.

missbattenburg Tue 21-Aug-18 08:44:11

OP, not sure how feasible this is for you but it is a great way to meet the breeds and talk extensively to people about them...

Retrainingaracehorse Tue 21-Aug-18 11:35:04

I have a miniature poodle. He never barks hes not neurotic he’s a very easy going happy little dog, loves everyone that comes in the door, wants to please has brilliant recall and importantly for us not interested in livestock. He’s also excellent with other dogs and cats. Although I have to say I spent time socialising him etc when he was a puppy.
If you decide to get one go through the miniature poodle club expect extensive interrogation as many people want one just to indiscriminately breed a doodle or somethingpoo and rightly they are hostile to this.

Veryfinethreadmyfriend Thu 23-Aug-18 09:35:57

villainous that clip is brilliant smile
Thanks for all the advice - I will definitely see if we can go to the discover dogs show, thanks missbattenburg
My concern about crosses is finding a decent breeder, don't get me wrong I know lots of lovely crossbreeds round here but I just don't think I want to go down that route personally.
Anyone out there own a Havanese?

OP’s posts: |
Rustyigloo Thu 23-Aug-18 13:32:11

Completely biased schnauzer owner here. He's absolutely no bother and fits in with the family really well (two young DD).
He has two half hour walks a day. Is ridiculously happy when anyone comes to the house and isn't particularly barky. He's also really dog friendly.
We did spend a lot of time socialising him as a pup and I think it's paid off. He's pretty much bomb proof. Love home to bits!

Rustyigloo Thu 23-Aug-18 13:36:19

Oh and killing sheep is definitely not a schnauzer trait!!!!!! How the hell did it get high enough to do enough damage?

missbattenburg Thu 23-Aug-18 14:28:27

How the hell did it get high enough to do enough damage?

Depending on the circumstances, dog and owner are lucky it wasn't shot by the farmer and/or prosecuted (owner, obvs, not dog).

Sheep are not just killed by physical force. The stress of being chased by a dog can be extremely dangerous - triggering heart failure, miscarriage of lambs or the sheep to do something risky and stupid to get away. In one of the more tragic cases, over 100 sheep died of the stress/fright by crushing themselves into a tight herd against a fence in response to a dog. Apart from the animal cruelty, that's the kind of loss that can cripple a farmer and result in them losing their business.

StoatOfManyColours Thu 23-Aug-18 14:37:21

I don't particularly like dogs but this thread has made me google miniature poodle thinking, "ugh, am I missing something, poodles are awful looking things", and holy moly, I didn't realise poodles are so lovely when they're not clipped into pompoms! Their faces look so much nicer!

So, never having owned any of these breeds, I'd say miniature poodle. grin

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