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Nicole Cosgrove

June 18, 2021
The Carnauzer is a small to medium sized cross breed dog. His parents are the Cairn Terrier and the Miniature Schnauzer and as a result he is also known as a Miniature Schnauzer/Cairn Terrier Mix. He has a life span of 12 to 15 years and is known to take part in agility events. He is a very devoted and loves to play.
Here is the Carnauzer at a Glance
Average height 10 to 14 inches
Average weight 15 to 25 pounds
Coat type Rough, water-repellent
Hypoallergenic? Yes, both parents are
Grooming Needs Low to moderate
Shedding Low
Brushing Two to three times a week
Touchiness Somewhat sensitive
Tolerant to Solitude? Anywhere from low to excellent depending on which parent he takes more after, the Cairn Terrier does not like to be alone and the Miniature Schnauzer is quite happy with it
Barking Rare
Tolerance to Heat Very good
Tolerance to Cold Very good
Good Family Pet? Very good to excellent
Good with Children? Very good to excellent with socialization
Good with other Dogs? Good to very good with socialization
Good with other Pets? Good to very good with socialization – may chase small animals as prey
A roamer or Wanderer? Average
A Good Apartment Dweller? Very good to excellent due to size
Good Pet for new Owner? Good to very good
Trainability Easy to moderately easy – Cairns can be harder
Exercise Needs Fairly active
Tendency to get Fat Average to above average
Major Health Concerns Eye Problems, Urinary Stones, Myotonia Congenita, Von Willebrands, Congenital Megaesophagus, Craniomandibular Liver problems,
Other Health Concerns Krabbe’s disease, Hypothyroidism
Life Span 12 to 15 years
Average new Puppy Price $200 to $500
Average Annual Medical Expense $460 to $560
Average Annual Non-Medical Expense $360 to $460

Where does the Carnauzer come from?

Over the last 50 years there have been a number of deliberately bred mixed dogs created. At first there was some purpose and reason to them, but as the popularity and trend caught on in more recent years, the numbers of shot up as have the number of bad breeders designing dogs with no care. These mixed dogs are being called designer dogs. Most like the Carnauzer have two purebred parents and a name the blends the parents names together.

It is important to do your homework when it comes to designer dogs. There are a lot of bad breeders and puppy mills to avoid, some mutts who were actually accidental are now being called the same name as the designer dog, and some breeders are making promises that cannot be kept. These are first generation mixes, the genes cannot be predicted or fully controlled. A breeder cannot guarantee that all the puppies in the litter are going to look the same or have the same temperament. Here is a look at the two parents of the Carnauzer to get a feel for what it is like.

The Cairn Terrier

Scottish terrier breeds were originally classed as Scotch Terriers but in 1873 a new system came in to play and there were now two classes, Skye Terriers and Dandie Dinmont Terriers. Cairns were included in the Skye terrier classification. They were developed 200 years ago on the Isle of Skye by a Captain Martin MacLeod. Eventually in 1912 the Cairn-terrier had its own designation and was so named after Scottish burial sites. He came to America in 1913 and was granted membership of the AKC that same year.

Today he is a friendly lovely dog, always happy and eager to meet new people. As a terrier he is independent though and very alert. He likes to dig, chase things and he is a barker. He is a devoted family dog, good with the kids but can be sensitive and does not do well if you scold him. Early socialization and training are important to help keep him more stable.

The Miniature Schnauzer

In late 19th century Germany the Miniature Schnauzer was developed from the Standard Schnauzer and small dogs like the Miniature Pinscher, Affenpinscher and so on. It was used to catch vermin like rats on farms, to be a good guard dog and to help hunt smaller prey. Despite the two world wars having quite a negative impact on dog breeding in Germany in general in fact the Miniature Schnauzer managed to maintain its popularity.

Today the dog we know as a Miniature Schnauzer is quite different in appearance to that dog in the late 1800s. He was a lot more colorful then but today the most popular colors are black and silver. He is a social dog, likes to be at the center of activity and can be quite feisty. He likes to be near you all the time and you will have to get used to feeling him touch some point of you throughout the day. He is intelligent though and training goes well despite his willful side.


The Carnauzer is a playful and happy dog that is not known to have any kind of snapping problem. He is a very loving dog and this makes him grow very attached to his owner. He wants to be close to you all the time, he will tail you around the home. When it comes to being left alone for long periods it really depends on which parent he is more like, a Cairn does not like being alone at all but the Miniature Schnauzer is fine with it. He is smart and will like to be involved with everything.

What does the Carnauzer look like

This is a small dog weighing 15 to 25 pounds and standing 10 to 14 inches tall. He has a squared head, short legs and a Schnauzer body. His eyes are large, ears tend to be pointy and the coat can be like either parent, rough, short, water-repellent and straight. Common colors are white, black, golden, brown and cream.

Training and Exercise Needs

How active does the Carnauzer need to be?

Carnauzers are fairly active dogs so you can expect to be spending some time walking him a couple of times a day and taking him to a dog park for play, running off leash and socialize. He is a good size to live in an apartment as long as he gets out for those two walks. A yard is a bonus place for him to play and he does love to play, but it is not a requirement. He can play indoors just make sure he has a rotation of toys and that he gets some mental stimulation.

Does he train quickly?

As an intelligent dog in general he is easy to train and will need less repetition on each command so will train a little quicker. However he can have a stubborn side and for some owners that may pose some challenges. It is important to maintain a consistency in your approach, to be firm at all times but still to use positive methods like rewarding and using treats. It is important to focus in early socialization as well as early obedience training. Socialization is key to helping him interact better with others, adapt and be a more trustworthy dog.

Living with a Carnauzer

How much grooming is needed?

These are low shedding dogs so there will not be too much hair on the furnishings and your clothing. You should still brush him two to three times a week to keep his coat looking shiny and healthy. Use a dog shampoo when it is time to give him a bath but avoid giving him a bath too often. Dogs have natural oils in their skin that help keep their coats healthy. Over bathing will take away that oil and it can lead to skin irritation and a less healthy coat.

You will need to check his ears once a week for signs of ear infection and then give them a clean too. This must not involve inserting anything into the ears, use an ear cleanser and cotton ball or a damp cloth and wipe the outer parts. When his nails get too long, if he is not naturally wearing them down you will need to get them clipped. Take care not to cut too low down, have a professional do it if needed. Finally his teeth need to be looked after. Brush them at least two to three times a week.

What is he like with children and other animals?

With socialization he is very good with children as he loves to play and be lively and they are perfect play partners. He is also very affectionate towards them. Make sure with younger ones you show them what is an acceptable way to touch and play with dogs and give them supervision if needed. Socialization is also important in helping him interact better with other dogs and other pets. He may have a tendency to chase smaller animals.

General information

The Carnauzer will bark some, when he is excited for example but it is not that common so noise is not much of an issue. He should be fed ¾ to 1½ cups of good quality dry dog food a day split into two meals.

Health Concerns

There are health issues that the Cairn and the Schnauzer can be prone to that might be passed in to their offspring. These concerns include Eye Problems, Urinary Stones, Myotonia Congenita, Von Willebrands, Congenital Megaesophagus, Craniomandibular Osteopathy, Cryptorchidism, Krabbe’s disease, Hypothyroidism, Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease, Patellar Luxation and Liver problems. There are a few things you can do to improve the odds on having a healthy dog. Do your research, take some time and find a reputable breeder. One who is happy for you to visit the puppy and one who can show you parental health clearances.

Costs involved in owning a Carnauzer

Average prices for a Carnauzer puppy are $200 to $500. Initial costs both medical and non-medical in nature are going to come to about $470. This should cover a crate, carrier, collar, leash, an exam, deworming, shots, blood tests, neutering and micro chipping. Then there are going to be ongoing yearly costs you will need to be able to cover. Just basic medical needs like pet insurance, check ups, vaccinations and flea prevention come to $460 to $560 a year. Other costs like food, toys, treats, license and basic training are going to be something like $360 to $460 a year. If you are using a professional groomer, kenneling or anything else extra those are costs you will have to factor in too.


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A Carnauzer can be a great small dog but he is active so for the elderly if you are unable to be fairly active this is not the best option. He should be socialized and trained and allowed to play and he will demand a lot of attention. He will also be super loving and devoted to any owner who commits to his happiness.

Featured Image Credit By: CC0 Public Domain, pxhere

Nicole Cosgrove

Nicole is the proud mom of Baby, a Burmese cat and Rosa, a New Zealand Huntaway. A Canadian expat, Nicole now lives on a lush forest property with her Kiwi husband in New Zealand. She has a strong love for all animals of all shapes and sizes (and particularly loves a good interspecies friendship) and wants to share her animal knowledge and other experts' knowledge with pet lovers across the globe.

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