What Is the Difference Between a Schnauzer and a Scottish Terrier?

Updated November 21, 2016

Schnauzers and the Scottish terriers are two different dog breeds, and their differences are primarily in size, facial features and colour pattern. Normally, both breeds are groomed in a somewhat similar fashion, and have a wiry hair texture, but differences in the muzzle and skirt are quickly recognised. While Scottish terriers have a full skirt, schnauzer skirts are shorter, with more definition in the muzzle.

General Breed Differences

According to the AKC, schnauzers belong to the working-dog group, while Scottish terriers are members of the terrier group. The overall colour variations of the schnauzer include the dominant salt and pepper, black, or a combination of black and silver. Scottish terriers can be black, wheaten, or brindle, while some have white or silver hairs mixed in with the dominant colour. As terriers, Scotties are known as pest hunters, while schnauzers are excellent guard and watch dogs.

Size Differences

Schnauzers are larger than Scottish terriers. At the highest point of the shoulder blades, standard schnauzers stand approximately 18 and 1/2-inches to 20 and 1/2-inches tall, while the smaller miniature schnauzer measures in at 13- to 14-inches. Scottish terriers are normally 10-inches in height, weighing in the 18- to 22-pound range. Standard schnauzers typically weigh between 30- to 18.1 Kilogram, while miniature schnauzers are considerably lighter, between 10- to 6.8 Kilogram.

Facial Differences

When examining the faces and heads of the two breeds, noticeable differences between schnauzers and Scottish terriers are found. Scottish terriers have small, piercing, almond-shaped eyes, while schnauzer eyes are medium-sized and oval. Both breeds tend to have dark-brown eyes, however, a Scottish terrier's eyes may be black as well. Scottish terriers' heads are long in proportion to their bodies, with a flat skull. Schnauzer heads are normally one-half the length from the shoulder blades to the beginning of the tail. Unlike schnauzers, the muzzle, or beard, is equal to the length of the skull.

Behavioural Differences

Both Scottish terriers and schnauzers share similar behaviour. Both are smart and playful, and at times strong-willed, but the schnauzer tends to take this confidence to a higher degree, and often becomes dominant and protective while guarding people, places and things. Scottish terriers are alert and high-spirited, with extremely keen senses. They are generally friendlier with people than schnauzers, although they may have issues with other dogs. Schnauzers may be wary of other people, as it is part of their guarding nature.

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About the Author

A native of New Haven, Conn., Floyd Drake III began writing in 1984. His work has appeared in the "New Haven Register," Medford's "Mail-Tribune" and the "Ashland Daily Tidings." Drake studied journalism at Southern Connecticut State University. After working as a reporter in Oregon, he is now based back home in New Haven.