Scottish Terrier vs Schnauzer: What are the Differences?

Written by Taiwo Victor
Published: March 24, 2022
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Despite their similar features and appearances, the Schnauzer and the Scottish Terrier are two distinct breeds with distinct features. The Scottish Terrier comes in only one size, whereas the Schnauzer comes in three sizes: the Standard, the Miniature, and the Giant Schnauzer. Each of these Schnauzer sizes is classified as a separate breed.

Apart from the two breed’s similarities in appearances, they also have some similar behaviors. Scottish Terriers were trained to hinder rats and other burrowing creatures with their digging skills and their sharp, persistent barking. Schnauzers are also robust and feisty canines bred to drive cattle and help in small farms. Aside from the aforementioned behavior, what are the differences Scottish Terriers vs Schnauzers have? If you are trying to decide between the two breeds, you should check out and compare their differences first to determine which dog fits you best. 

Comparing a Scottish Terrier and Schnauzer

Scottish Terriers differ from Schnauzers in size, appearance, and behavior.
Scottish TerrierSchnauzer
Size25 to 56 cm or 10 to 22 inches Miniature – 30 to 36 cm or 12 to 14 inches
Standard – 44 to 50 cm or 17 to 19 inches
Giant – 60 to 70 cm or 23 to 27.5 inches
Appearance– compact, slender and long bodies accompanied by short legs
– wiry topcoat and soft undercoat recognized in black, wheaten, and brindle colors
– may have red, silver, or black markings
– square-shaped body with average-sized legs
– thick, wiry coat acceptable in black and pepper and salt colors
– somehow similar to a Black Scottish Terrier’s appearance
Lifespan– 12 to 15 years– 13 to 16 years
Guarding behavior– super friendly towards strangers– naturally suspicious around strangers; can be very protective over owners
Trainability– tends to be more stubborn
– bred to hunt rats
– smarter and can be easily trained
– bred to drive cattle

The 5 Key Differences Between a Scottish Terrier and Schnauzer

At first glance, Scottish Terriers and Schnauzers may seem very similar. However, the two breeds have key differences, including size, appearance, lifespan, guarding behavior, and trainability. Scotties and Schnauzers have almost the same temperaments, but apart from this, the two breeds cannot be more different in other aspects. Below, we’ll break down each of the two dog’s differences.

Scottish Terrier vs Schnauzer: Size

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Scottish Terriers are about the same size as Miniature Schnauzers, weighing around 22 pounds.


The Scottish Terrier is a small breed that grows between 25 to 56 cm or 10 to 22 inches tall. Males weigh between 19 and 22 pounds, while females weigh 18 and 21 pounds. Scotties are about the same size as a Miniature Schnauzer. Schnauzers have three sizes which are considered separate breeds. The smallest Schnauzers stand 30 to 36 cm or 12 to 14 inches tall, somewhat taller than the Scottie, and weigh 11 to 20 pounds, slightly less. The Standard Schnauzer stands 44 to 50 cm or 17 to 19 inches tall, weighing 35 to 50 pounds. On the other hand, the Giant Schnauzer, the largest, measures 60 to 70 cm or 23 to 27.5 inches tall and weighs 60 to 85 pounds.

Scottish Terrier vs Schnauzer: Appearance

The body of a Schnauzer is tough and wiry.


Scottish Terriers have bodies that are compact and slightly long, with short legs. They also have an upright tail and ears and a noticeable beard and eyebrows. Their topcoats are wiry, and their undercoats are soft. Black, wheat, and brindle are all acceptable colors for Scotties, while their markings can be black, red, or silver. The Schnauzer’s beard and eyebrows are almost similar to Scotties and their protruding ears.

The body of a Schnauzer is more square in shape, and they have average-sized legs compared to Scottie’s small ones. Their coat is tough and wiry, but they only come in two colors: black and pepper and salt. A large black Scottish terrier can be mistaken for a Schnauzer because of their similar colorings and coats.

Scottish Terrier vs Schnauzer: Lifespan

Without question, the quality of care offered to a dog is one of the most essential variables in the longevity of the dog’s life. Still, there are many other aspects, particularly the dog’s breed. There are genetic health problems for both breeds to consider. Scotties generally have a 12-year lifespan on average. Yet, Scotties are prone to Von Willebrand disease, a protein deficiency problem that often results in blood clotting. 

The Standard Schnauzer has a longer lifespan compared to Scottish Terriers. Schnauzers usually live between 13 to 16 years. Although Miniature and Giant Schnauzers have more health issues than the Standard Schnauzer and Scottie, they have a lifespan of 12 to 15 years, still slightly longer than Scottish Terriers. Cataracts, urinary stones, and pancreatitis are all ailments that they are prone to. 

Scottish Terrier vs Schnauzer: Guarding Behavior

Some owners choose a dog that is welcoming to outsiders, while others prefer a protective dog. Scottish Terriers and Standard Schnauzers are the opposites in stranger friendliness. While Scottish Terriers are generally friendly toward strangers, Standard Schnauzers naturally distrust strangers, so anticipate them to guard you.

However, if you’re seeking a companion dog, the Scottish Terrier and Standard Schnauzer are excellent choices. Their energetic and pleasant demeanor makes them an ideal family pick. They are both quite affectionate and will quickly become family members. There isn’t much of a difference between these breeds regarding behavior with kids. The Scottish Terrier and the Standard Schnauzer both enjoy being around children. They are usually friendly and patient with them, but personality types can vary depending on the dog.

Scottish Terrier vs Schnauzer: Temperament

The Scottish dog, or Scottie, is a member of the American Kennel Club’s terrier category and is described as confident, independent, lively, and dignified. On the other hand, the Standard Schnauzer is regarded as intelligent, courageous, and energetic, with a temperament that is quite similar to the Scottish Terrier. The Schnauzer may be easier to teach than the Scottie, who is more stubborn.

The Scottish Terrier was bred to hunt foxes, rats, badgers, and other rodent pests. On the other hand, the Giant Schnauzer is a type of working dog that was bred to help herd cattle.

The photo featured at the top of this post is ©

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About the Author

For six years, I have worked as a professional writer and editor for books, blogs, and websites, with a particular focus on animals, tech, and finance. When I'm not working, I enjoy playing video games with friends.

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