Welsh terrier or mini schnauzer?

(24 Posts)
NancySpero Mon 11-Mar-19 19:51:06

Just looking for some advice on choosing our first dog. I had my heart set on a mini schnauzer but went to crufts discover dogs over the weekend and totally fell for the welsh terriers (liked the Lakelands too). Wondered if anyone had opinions on the breeds?

About us:
3 kids all 6+
Large house and v large garden (acres)
Would prefer low or non shedding
ideally around 2x 30min walks per day
I would be at home with dog during the day
Would like a sparky dog that the kids can play with but one that is also happy to chill out when I'm working (from home) and give plenty of cuddles.
Happy to do as much training as needed. This will be first dog for all of us.
We have chickens (in a run) and I would like a cat at some point in the future.

Any thoughts?

OP’s posts: |
missyB1 Mon 11-Mar-19 19:58:59

Ok I'm biased I have a Mini Schnauzer! I will say I think they are the perfect family dogs. Fairly low maintenance, non shedding - but they do need regular grooming. They love company, mine is very sociable and needs humans around. They generally get on well with other dogs, mine loves all dogs - but I did socialise her well right from the start. Two walks a day is about right but we've spoilt ours with long countryside off lead walks most days.

Tdm1987 Mon 11-Mar-19 20:01:28

As much as pedigree breeds are great, why not consider a good old fashioned crossbreed or rescue? (I’m biased as I have a cross breed rescue dog!) Many charity rescue centres like the dogs trust and blue cross or smaller re homing centres have puppies brought to them all the time that need loving and caring homes. Pedigrees cost more up front (“fashionable” breeds can cost £1000’s) and can have breed specific health issues that cost a lot to deal with in the long run (not that getting a cross breed would mean you’re completely free of health issues mind). If you do go for a pedigree, make sure you check out the breeder, are they experienced, can you see the home the pups are in and can you see the mum with the pups, don’t meet someone in a car park that you found on gumtree and just hand over the cash!! Good luck with your first dog and enjoy all the fun that goes along with it.

NancySpero Mon 11-Mar-19 21:05:50

Thanks missyB1, they do seem the perfect dog for us. I almost wish I hadn't seen the welsh terriers!

Tdm1987, I'm just not sure a rescue is right for us as first time owners with kids. I want to have a good idea of what kind of dog we are getting (I know all dogs differ within the breed but it gives an idea). But yes, I would definitely definitely only go with a proper breeder - I've got at least a year to do a thorough search.

OP’s posts: |
BiteyShark Mon 11-Mar-19 21:58:50

When I was looking for dogs we had narrowed it to three breeds. Welsh terrier, mini schnauzer and working cocker. I loved the welsh terrier and same as you had fallen for them at discover dogs. What finally put me off was that I read they can be stubborn and harder to train than the other two breeds. The only reason a mini schnauzer was discounted was the size as DH was worried one would be too small so we ended up with a cocker spaniel grin

Allycumpooster Mon 11-Mar-19 22:20:53

Did you see the Irish Terrier at discover dogs? I have three and they match your criteria to a T. They love kids, love a good play and walk, are great fun to train ( we do nose work and agility) and generally lie around all day when I am working. They don’t shed and have no clue about killing things (no hunting instinct at all, very un terrier like in that regards).

NancySpero Tue 12-Mar-19 11:41:47

BiteyShark - The size of the MS is exactly what is putting me off a little bit. They were smaller than I had imagined. I've heard about Welshie's stubborness, I'll have to think that over as I'm so inexperienced (although would be signing up for classes, one on one training, whatever necessary).

OP’s posts: |


NancySpero Tue 12-Mar-19 11:43:33

Allycumpooster - I did see them. My DH loved them, for some reason I wasn't as drawn to them but they sound great, I'll do some research. Do they need lots of exercise?

OP’s posts: |
NancySpero Tue 12-Mar-19 14:26:33

Anyone with a Welshie? Particularly wondering about training and exercise needs...

OP’s posts: |
ItsalwaysLTB Tue 12-Mar-19 16:21:47

OP if size is an issue have you considered a standard schnauzer? Lots of the same traits but a bit bigger, spaniel sized I think.

We have a mini schnauzer and she meets all of your requirements above. She was the runt though and just squeaks into breed standard, DH felt a bit ridiculous for while but eased into it grin

JuZig Tue 12-Mar-19 17:18:44

Hi I have a Welsh Terrier, he is my first dog and six now. I too loved the look of the breed and had also heard they are stubborn dogs to train etc.My dog had puppy training, loves people and other dogs, and children, I have 3, who were all over 12 when I got him. They are not interested in pleasing you by following commands, and cannot be let off their leads when out for a walk as have a very strong prey drive too. They are however full of character and amazing pets. I know my Welsh Terrier would not live well with a cat or chickens but I know of many that do, you should join the Welsh Terrier fan Club on Facebook to get lots of information about them. They are prone to allergies too and I spend a lot of money on treatments for mine. I wouldn't change him for the world but if you are time poor it may not be the best first dog. I hope this is helpful and good luck with your choice.

NancySpero Tue 12-Mar-19 22:18:00

Thanks ItsalwaysLTB I had heard that standards don't have as good temperaments as the minis but I will definitely take another look as it's the obvious answer!

JuZig thanks for the info. You've underlined what I am worried about re. not following commands and not being allowed off lead. We live in woodland so it would be a shame not to be able to let a dog run off lead. Also your comment about being time poor - is this because your welshie needs a lot of exercise?

OP’s posts: |
JuZig Wed 13-Mar-19 09:04:22

HI, My comment about being time poor was really just confirming that these gorgeous dogs need a lot of time every day, with walks and mental stimulation to keep them on the straight and narrow. My Welshie is pretty chilled for a few hours in the morning after a 1 and a half hour walk but needs quite a lot of attention again in the afternoon. I guess lots of dogs are like that though.He's a fantastic pet and I have NO regrets on my choice of breed but I wanted to be honest as some Welsh Terriers end up being re homed.

maggiecate Wed 13-Mar-19 13:53:40

This site is good for reviews - confirm what was said upthread about not allowing them off the lead and they need a lot of exercise. They were hunting dogs originally - foxes and rats - and they still have the high prey drive.


Any terriers tend to be a LOT of dog for the size, get bored easily and have minds of their own so not easy pets by any means - they were bred to work, not sit about.

NancySpero Wed 13-Mar-19 18:29:51


I'm starting to think that perhaps terriers aren't right for us... my husband is not around during the week so it would all fall to me and I wonder if it's too much to take on as a novice owner. Shame as they are such gorgeous dogs!

If anyone has other breed suggestions I'd be v grateful.

OP’s posts: |
villainousbroodmare Wed 13-Mar-19 18:33:47

I've said this before, but Irish setters are practically perfect in every way.

ItsalwaysLTB Thu 14-Mar-19 07:27:49

villainous one of my favourite types of dog, we called them red setters when I was growing up in Ireland. So gorgeous. My allergies prevent them sadly sad hence the miniature schnauzer!

OP fwiw I think if you're a novice dog owner any dog will be hard work. I was a novice and so was DH, although he grew up with dogs, and we found having a puppy more stressful than a baby!

Wrongmoreoftenthannot Thu 14-Mar-19 07:34:38

We have two MS one is 11 the other one 1. Both have amazing temperaments and are brilliant with children. They both run off leads and were v easy to train. We had to do very little. They will walk for 20mins or 4 hours!!

Both are clipped every 6-8 weeks and do not shed which is perfect as my partner had allergies!! They're very clean dogs and keep themselves clean too. I highly recommend them as family pets!

Caucasianchalkcircles Thu 14-Mar-19 14:07:22

First time dog owner with mini schnauzer here although DP has had a few in the past. Great little dogs. Minis can vary in size. Ours is quite small but we’ve seen much bigger ones that are also supposed to be minis ! Very easy to house train - ours is nearly 3 and hasn’t had an accident since she was 6 or 7 months old. Loves walks and never had any probs with recall. Very friendly but not over the top ! Kids absolutely adore her.

duckme Thu 14-Mar-19 14:16:01

Have you thought about a standard schnauzer? If the mini is too small, the standard should be just right. Also non or low shedding and ours loves a good play or a long nap equally!

Benner50 Wed 11-Dec-19 21:37:30

I'm biased because I love the mini schnauzer. Lots of personality, non shedding, very smart and super loving. You can't go wrong

Snufflesdog Wed 11-Dec-19 22:29:43

We narrowed down to Irish setter, Irish terrier and welsh terrier. As it happens we didn’t get any of the above for various reasons (allergies, availability etc rather than temperament)
WT are lovely though, and bigger than I thought they were originally going to be, and very similar in temperament to ITs in my experience. Given the chance id get an Irish setter or IT If we were to get another dog.

Don’t rule out terriers, they are a lot, but you get a lot back from them too, bright little things and loyal as anything! (Usually, ours is still in the little shit puppy phase..)

I would say though with any puppy - not just a difficult terrier - you’re going to want help, I’ve done it all on my own and it’s had me in tears at times with exhaustion! - have a look at the puppy support threads for an idea of what it will be like having a puppy.

thewalrus Thu 12-Dec-19 11:08:56

We have a mini. In a vacuum, I would have chosen a bigger dog (I grew up with middle-sized rescue mutts), but our research and other people's recommendations suggested that a mini would be perfect for our family - and she has been.
3 kids here, youngest was 7 when we got her. I WFH, so I'm around a lot. I typically do about 45-60 min (mostly off-lead) walk in the morning and then take her on the school run (20 mins, on lead) if I'm going. (If I'm not, she's fine with just the morning walk.)
She's a great character, happy to go for long walks, play etc, be taught tricks by the kids etc, but also very happy to cuddle up on the sofa (one of the kids is off sick today - dog has taken up a position next to her on the sofa and will largely stay there). Very food-oriented. Very friendly - even some of my children's friends who are scared of dogs have come to love her (though I'm careful to keep her away from the ones who haven't). I would whole-heartedly recommend a mini as a family pet.
(My DH's big reservation about the breed was their appearance - he doesn't like the beard. So our mini has a 'teddy-cut'.)

Booboostwo Thu 12-Dec-19 11:57:32

As a generalization terriers are more stubborn and Schnauzers are more hysterical but, having said that, many individual dogs are neither stubborn nor hysterical. If I was going to chose I'd go for risk of stubborn than risk of hysterical to be honest.

Keep in mind that 2x30 minute walks may be nowhere near enough for a young dog.

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