Miniature Schnauzers are loving, loyal, and playful creatures, and it’s no wonder they rank 18th on the AKC’s 2022 list of the most popular dog breeds in the US.1 These dogs are the product of selective breeding and were first recognized as an official dog breed in 1899.
Little as they are, they have captured the hearts of many, almost becoming a household staple. But there’s always the question of how well they relate with kids. The last thing you want in your home is a canine growling at your baby.
The good news is that this dog breed is great with kids and will occasionally play and cuddle with them. However, are they friendly enough to be left alone with your young ones, or should you tread carefully? Read on to find out.
Are Mini Schnauzers Safe to Have Around Children?
Mini Schnauzers are loving and intelligent dogs that make excellent companions. They’re also super playful but intelligent enough to know how to play gently with the younger kids. So, if you have young children, don’t be afraid to adopt this dog.
How to Train Your Mini Schnauzer to Play Safely With Kids
While Mini Schnauzers are generally friendly with kids, unfamiliar actions by the kids could trigger their animal instincts. The good news is that you can curb this behavior. Here are some ideas.
Familiarize your pet with children at an early age. The early development stages play a key role in shaping your Schnauzer’s future behavior. Allowing your pups to socialize with the kids early on will build a healthy relationship between them.
Encourage Good Behavior and Safe Play With Treats
The quickest way to your dog’s heart is through treats. Rewarding your pet is a great way to encourage good or acceptable behavior. Affirm gentle play or affectionate behavior toward the kids with a treat or some petting. Over time, they’ll naturally become friendly and avoid aggression around your children.
Crate training teaches your dog to be happy and at ease in its own environment. This involves putting their food, toys, and sleeping stuff in their crate. Leave your dog in the crate until they get comfortable in that space.
Forced play only breeds resentment and aggression. Having a crate for your dog to escape to when not in the mood for play can prevent ugly incidences.
Visit the Local Park With Your Dog
Your Miniature Schnauzer could learn valuable lessons about relating to kids after a few visits to the local park. Poorly socialized animals are likely to be aggressive and easily irritable.
Should You Leave Your Miniature Schnauzer Alone With Your Kids?
No, this would be a bad idea. Despite being gentle and affectionate creatures, Miniature Schnauzers are also super sensitive. They’re quick to react to unfamiliar actions that may startle them.
For instance, if your kid pulls on the dog for fun, it may interpret this as a provocation and act aggressively toward the child. The best thing to do here is to pull the dog away and let them know the behavior is wrong.
Over time, they’ll learn that children mean no harm. But you should also teach your children to be gentle with pets. Dogs have feelings, and allowing your kids to play rough with them and scolding the dog for fighting back is unfair.
That said, Mini Schnauzers still make excellent companion pets. They’re playful and energetic and love to spend time with kids. Sometimes they’ll want to herd the younger kids, but this is harmless and perfectly normal.
How to Recognize Signs of Jealousy in Your Mini Schnauzer
The intelligence of Mini Schnauzers gives them some rather human-like attributes, like jealousy. Believe it or not, your Mini Schnauzer might not like it if you give your kid too much attention. This is especially true if you raised the dog from birth. So, yes, Miniature Schnauzers can be jealous of toddlers and babies.
Could your dog be jealous of your child? Here are some telltale signs that it could be:
Mini Schnauzers are typically friendly and affectionate. Any hostility towards your child means that the dog is jealous of them. This hostility manifests itself in the form of growling, barking, and sometimes a full-fledged attack. If you notice any of this in your dog, keep it away from your child.
Sometimes, when your dog is mad at you for spending time with the kids, it’ll simply walk away. A little petting should help reassure it, but it will get used to it eventually.
Doing Their “Business” Inside the House
As mentioned earlier, Mini Schnauzers are highly intelligent and know that they should go to the bathroom outside. Doing their business inside the house is a way for your dog to express their displeasure. It’s getting you back for overlooking it and spending time with the kids inside.
Invading Your Space
Your dog seemingly not getting enough of you is also a sign of jealousy. While dogs tend to be affectionate and clingy, too much of it is a sign that something is wrong. If your Schnauzer is always sitting or lying on you, it’s trying to win back your love.
Trying Too Hard to Impress
This is a surefire sign that your dog is jealous of your kid. It’s normal for dog owners to pet their dogs once they do a trick or obey a command. An abrupt trick from your dog shows that it’s yearning for attention. In most cases, the trick becomes more frequent when the toddler is around.
Jealous dogs will always try to prevent your baby from getting to you. They’ll do this by blocking the kid’s path or pushing them in another direction. Jealous Schnauzers will also push themselves in front of their owners to get recognition and demand attention.
How to Curb Jealous Behavior in Your Miniature Schnauzer
Nobody likes a jealous dog. If you notice signs of jealousy in your Schnauzer, it is imperative to address the issue immediately. Here are a few ways to stop your pet Schnauzer from being jealous of your baby.
Don’t Ignore It Completely
Ignoring your Mini Schnauzer will only exacerbate its jealousy. Spend time playing or walking with it to show that you still care. Don’t forget to give treats for good behavior and keep up with its grooming routine.
Separate the Dog and Baby Toys
Mixing baby and dog toys is asking for trouble in a household with a jealous dog. Doing so always results in some form of tussle, where the dog almost always wins. Separating these toys will help avoid unnecessary conflict.
There’s always the chance that your dog might grab one of the baby toys. If it does, gently take the toy away and direct it to its other toys. This lets them know that the baby’s toys are not to be touched.
Associate Your Baby With Stuff Your Dog Likes
It’s hard for your dog to become jealous of an ally. Associate your baby with things the dog likes, like its favorite blanket or toys. That way, the two can become bosom buddies, making it hard for them to become jealous.
You can also let the dog sniff the baby once in a while and even let them share toys occasionally. Keep the toys separate for the most part, though.
While Miniature Schnauzers will not replace your babysitter, they are great with kids and are fantastic dogs. It is important to socialize them early in their lives to prevent aggression when playing with children. Let nothing hold you back if you have been considering adopting this dog breed.