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Nicole Cosgrove

Havanese and Miniature Schnauzer

The Schnese is a mixed or cross breed resulting from breeding a Havanese with a Miniature Schnauzer. She is a small or toy sized dog with a life span of 12 to 15 years and is also called a Mini Schnese. She is not just a lap dog though, she is talented in several areas including competitive obedience, agility, tracking and search and rescue. This is a lively and active little dog who is also very intuitive.

Here is the Schneseat a Glance
Average height 9 to 13 inches
Average weight 6 to 15 pounds
Coat type Straight, fine, soft
Hypoallergenic? Can be (Havanese is)
Grooming Needs Moderate
Shedding Low to moderate depending on which parent her coat is more like
Brushing Daily if hair is not kept short
Touchiness Quite sensitive
Tolerant to Solitude? Low to good depending on which parent she is more like
Barking Occasional to frequent
Tolerance to Heat Very good
Tolerance to Cold Good to very good
Good Family Pet? Very good to excellent
Good with Children? Good to very good with socialization
Good with other Dogs? Good to excellent with socialization
Good with other Pets? Good to very good with socialization but may have high prey drive
A roamer or Wanderer? Moderate to average
A Good Apartment Dweller? Excellent with size
Good Pet for new Owner? Very good
Trainability Moderately easy
Exercise Needs Fairly active for a small dog!
Tendency to get Fat Above average
Major Health Concerns Eye Problems, Urinary Stones, Myotonia Congenita, Von Willebrands, Congenital Megaesophagus, Deafness, Chondrodysplasia,
Other Health Concerns Joint dysplasia
Life Span 12 to 15 years
Average new Puppy Price $250 to $600
Average Annual Medical Expense $435 to $535
Average Annual Non-Medical Expense $535 to $635

Where does the Schnese come from?

The Schnese is another example of a designer dog, a term given to dogs being bred using two or more purebreds with intention. They are not the same as mutts though the names being given to them are also now being given to mutts of the same breeding. Because these are first generation dogs there can be wide differences in looks and temperament even in the same litter so this article is a guideline more than a set of absolutes. Take care where you buy from as there are a lot of puppy mills churning them out with no thought for the mixing or the welfare of the actual dogs. We have no origins known with this dog so here is a look at the parents to get an idea of what goes into it and where it comes from.

The Havanese

When Cuba was claimed by Columbus in 1492 settlers from Spain began to arrive bringing with them small dogs, who then bred with ones on the island. The resulting breed developed into the Havanese. They became popular by the early 1800s with the rich in Cuba and then with the rich and noble in Europe. By the late 1800s their popularity had waned and they had disappeared from Europe. They were even rare in Cuba. When Cubans fled into America after the 1959 revolution some brought what remained and over the years it has been reestablished.

Now the Havanese is a breed known to need lots of attention and companionship so does not do well when left alone. He is affectionate and has a very gentle nature. He is intelligent and trainable and will spend his time happy in your lap or entertaining you with his antics. He does not bark much and can live in an apartment or a larger home but he does need more exercise than most small dogs.

The Miniature Schnauzer

The Miniature Schnauzer was developed in Germany in the mid to late 1800s to hunt and catch vermin on farms and to act as guard dogs. He was bred by crossing the Standard Schnauzer with small breeds. During the two World Wars dog breeding struggled and some breeds almost went extinct, but the Miniature Schnauzer stayed popular. There are differences from the dog we see today to that one over a hundred years ago. Then they came in several colors but today main colors are silver and black.

He is a very outgoing dog always wanting to be part of family activities. He likes to be close to you and will often position himself so that he is touching you. He is a feisty, needy dog who is smart and easy to train. He does have a stubborn side and will try to manipulate you if you spoil him.


The Schnese is an friendly and affectionate dog who is very loving and intuitive of her owners moods. She is eager to please and alert and quite smart too. She loves to play and is surprisingly lively for a little dog. She enjoys chewing, walking and playing ball. She makes a great family dog or companion. In between her moments of play she is calm and loves to snuggle with you. She does demand a lot of attention though so is not for a home where you are too busy for her.

What does the Schnese look like

She is quite a striking looking dog. She is small weighing 6 to 15 pounds and stands 9 to 13 inches tall. She sometimes has a beard and bushy eyebrows, her coat is fine, soft and straight and she has flappy ears. Common colors for her are black, brown, silver, grey and white. The puppies tend to have a black or brown and they change to silver or grey as they grow into an adult.

Training and Exercise Needs

How active does the Schnese need to be?

Being a fairly active dog she needs daily exercise but her play time indoors will be a part of her exercise needs. Take her for a walk a couple of times a day and to a dog park for some off leash time and socialization time. She is well adaptable to living in an apartment as long as she is exercised daily, thanks to her small size. She needs lots of toys to rotate through and if there is a yard that is a great place to let her play and explore in too.

Does she train quickly?

A Schnese is smart and eager to please so she really is moderately to very easy to train, taking into account some may have some stubbornness from the Miniature Schnauzer side of her! She is easy to house train but it is important to remember she is sensitive so positive techniques are best. Praise her, use treats to encourage her, reward her. Include socialization as well as training in her routine as soon as you have her home. She will be a more confident dog and an easier dog to deal with.

Living with a Schnese

How much grooming is needed?

There is a moderate amount of grooming and maintenance needed for a Schnese. She will need brushing daily if her hair is not kept short, she will need occasional trips to a groomers and she can shed a low to moderate amount. The longer coat takes more care than the shorter one. Give her a bath when she needs one and try to avoid doing this too often to keep the right balance of her skin’s oils. Make sure you only use a dog shampoo on her too.

You will need to take care of her teeth with brushing two to three times a week at least. You will also need to have her nails clipped when they get too long. Have the groomer do this for you if you are not comfortable with it as you have to take care with the lower section of the nail. Cutting there can cause bleeding and pain to her. Her ears need to be checked weekly for infection signs and give them a clean at the same time, wipe them do not insert anything into them.

What is she like with children and other animals?

With socialization she is good to very good with children, she will play with them and be affectionate. But as a small dog care needs to be taken especially around small children who are not yet able to be more careful when they touch her. She is usually also very good with other dogs but with other animals if she has been raised with them she is fine, however with other small animals she may want to chase them due to her having a high prey drive.

General information

Her barking is occasional to frequent, she may bark when people approach or when she sees other dogs. She may bark more than that! She should be fed ¼ to ½ a cup of a good quality dry dog food a day, split into two meals.

Health Concerns

There are several health concerns a Schnese can inherit from either parent. These include Eye Problems, Urinary Stones, Myotonia Congenita, Von Willebrands, Congenital Megaesophagus, Deafness, Chondrodysplasia, Legg-Perthes, Patellar Luxation, liver problems, Heart problems and Joint dysplasia.

Costs involved in owning a Schnese

A Schnese puppy is going to cost between $250 to $600. Initial costs you will need to be prepared for include getting some essential items like a crate, carrier, collar, leash and bowls and then having some medical needs taken care of. This will include vaccinations, blood tests, a physical exam, deworming, spaying and micro chipping and come to about $400. Yearly basic medical costs like pet insurance, shots, check ups and flea prevention is going to come to between $435 to $535. Yearly non-medical cost essentials for grooming, license, training, toys, food and treats come to $535 to $635.


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The Schnese is a wonderful companion and family dog. She might be small but she is mighty in character and energy. You will have to train her to stop her barking when you want to especially if you are living in an apartment. She gives lots of love and will demand lots in return!

Featured Image Credit: Left – Dorottya Mathe, Shutterstock; Right – Roman Zaiets, Shutterstock

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.