Schnauzers. Translation – “Snouter”, “Muzzle”, or most commonly “Moustache” – Because of the famous beard. Occasionally thought to be tall Scottish Terriers.
Schnauzers come in three sizes: Miniature, Standard, and Giant. The Miniature and Standard variations originated in Germany around the 15th/16th century, and the Giant came about in the 17th century near Swabia (Think Southern Germany – Stuttgart and Bavaria region). They’ve worked as ratters, guards, carters, herders, and family pets. Some even did stints as messengers during war time and more recently, police dogs. They’re exceptionally intelligent, highly active, and hardy dogs. All this wrapped in a huge, spunky (capital A) Attitude. Bonus points for being a “hypoallergenic” breed too. The most appropriate description I’ve seen can be paraphrased as “larger than life humans trapped in little dog bodies”. Personally, they’re one of my favorite breeds.
However, all this Awesome comes with a down side – Stubbornness. Insane stubbornness with a slew of independence! People blame it on the terrier genes and they may be right but still… Intelligence and Pride can be an exhausting combination for a dog parent. All I heard when looking for Spartan (our Siberian Husky) was how hard it is to train them but let me tell you, my Mini Schnauzer was and still is way worse. To be honest, he’s been a breeze comparatively speaking. So over 12 years later, Angel is still my biggest (lovable) brat!
Case in point, she’s decided lately that she can take herself for walks around the block. She normally stays right by the house. She knows she is not allowed to leave my eye sight when outside. While still sharp as a puppy, her sudden solo curiosity is worrisome because she is going blind and deaf. She is nearly 13 years old after all. Nevertheless, Angel still believes she can do it all and do it when she wants. You can practically see on her face when she looks at you like, “yeah, I know I’m not allowed but I wanted to so I did; deal with it.”
Plus, to highlight this “you can’t tell me what to do” Schnauzer philosophy, she refused to say sorry when I had to go after her for the third time in as many weeks. “What?”, you say. “A dog apologizing?” I am sure most think I’m crazy but yes! My dogs have to say sorry when they get in trouble. No, they don’t talk. At least not like we do but that is a different topic for another post. The apology comes in the form of a doggy kiss. They’re taught at an early age that in order to be released from time out, a kiss must be bestowed. Again, Angel knows that is my rule.
So wouldn’t you know it took her 10 minutes to put her pride away and say sorry?! Even then you could tell it was begrudging. Spartan, the Husky, fesses up fast to get back in my good graces. Her? Not a chance! It’ll be on her time and her time only. I say again – Brat!
Despite my amused annoyance and gripes, Angel is a very sweet and lovable dog. She’s acquitted her breed spectacularly over the years and even convinced quite a few of my friends to get Schnauzers after meeting her. It’s only when we butt heads that I curse her strong willed nature. But truthfully, I wouldn’t want her any other way and couldn’t love her more.
Do you have a stubborn pup? Share in the comments so I know I’m not alone!