If you have a mini schnauzer who digs up your plants, barks incessantly, chews better than any teething baby, jumps on your furniture and is just plain wearing you out, calm this doggy down. Mini schnauzers, being terriers, are prone to hyperactivity, but you can show him who’s boss.
Exercise him. A hyper dog usually isn’t getting enough exercise. Take your mini schnauzer on a long walk daily. If he’s still hyper after the walk, you might not have walked him correctly. You need to lead the walk, and he needs to heel (follow). Mini schnauzers can suffer from small dog syndrome, where the dog believes he’s boss. Letting him be the leader of the walk reinforces his perceived boss status. This leads to more of the hyper behaviors you’re trying to abate.
Play with him. This also tires out your little Tasmanian devil and releases some of his pent-up energy. Mini schnauzers are intelligent and become bored easily. Playtime can provide good exercise and mental stimulation. Tug-of-war is a game most minis love.
Keep a barker inside. This might not stop the barking, but you are at least being a better neighbor. Go outside with the little chatterbox. Try to stop the barking by standing in front of him and saying “no bark.” If that doesn’t work, walk away, and call Mr. Noisy over to you. Reward him with a treat when he comes. He should soon realize that he receives a treat when he comes to you, not when he barks.
Train him. “Miniature schnauzers are so smart that they will train you if you don’t train them," said Phyllis DeGioia in her book, “The Miniature Schnauzer.” An out-of-control mini is an untrained one. Teach the basic commands of “sit,” “stay,” “come” and “down.” You can always add more, such as “leave it” or “off.” Obedience training, like a proper walk, helps your mini from developing small dog syndrome, which can lead to many hyper behaviors.
- Clicker training works well with mini schnauzers. As soon as your little guy accomplishes the desired command, click immediately and then treat. That way, he understands that he did something right.
- Never use negative training techniques with your mini schnauzer, such as hitting or yelling at him. This will only make him more anxious and stressed, exacerbating the very problem you’re trying to solve.
Laura Agadoni has been writing professionally since 1983. Her feature stories on area businesses, human interest and health and fitness appear in her local newspaper. She has also written and edited for a grassroots outreach effort and has been published in "Clean Eating" magazine and in "Dimensions" magazine, a CUNA Mutual publication. Agadoni has a Bachelor of Arts in communications from California State University-Fullerton.