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King Schnauzer Dog Breed: Pictures, Guide, Info, Traits & Care

Written by: Nicole Cosgrove

Last Updated on July 5, 2024 by Dogster Team

Miniature Schnauzera and Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

King Schnauzer Dog Breed: Pictures, Guide, Info, Traits & Care

The King Schnauzer, also known as the Cavalier Schnauzer, is a hybrid that combines the Miniature Schnauzer and the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. The resulting puppy will likely inherit physical and other attributes from both parent dogs and new owners should expect a medium-sized dog that will enjoy spending time with its humans and will be equally at home charging around outdoors.

The Cavalier King Charles is a toy spaniel that was popular as a companion for European nobility. It was especially popular with King Charles I and II.

Breed Overview


10 – 14 inches


12 – 20 pounds


12 – 14 years


White, black, gray, brown, red

Suitable for:

Active families looking for a loyal and alert companion


Loving, friendly, playful, gentle

The Miniature Schnauzer is a smaller variant of the Standard Schnauzer. It was bred to hunt vermin and perform other tasks on farms. The Miniature Schnauzer is used in this crossing to maintain the small size of the hybrid breed.

The King Schnauzer, therefore, combines the companionship of the Cavalier with the energetic playfulness of the Miniature Schnauzer, resulting in a dog that will enjoy sitting on your lap and chasing a ball around the garden.

King Schnauzer Characteristics

High-energy dogs will need a lot of mental and physical stimulation to stay happy and healthy, while low-energy dogs require minimal physical activity. It’s important when choosing a dog to make sure their energy levels match your lifestyle or vice versa.
Easy-to-train dogs are more skilled at learning prompts and actions quickly with minimal training. Dogs that are harder to train will require a bit more patience and practice.
Some breeds, due to their size or their breeds potential genetic health issues, have shorter lifespans than others. Proper exercise, nutrition, and hygiene also play an important role in the lifespan of your pet.
Some dog breeds are prone to certain genetic health problems, and some more than others. This doesn’t mean that every dog will have these issues, but they have an increased risk, so it’s important to understand and prepare for any additional needs they may require.
Some dog breeds are more social than others, both towards humans and other dogs. More social dogs have a tendency to run up to strangers for pets and scratches, while less social dogs shy away and are more cautious, even potentially aggressive. No matter the breed, it’s important to socialize your dog and expose them to lots of different situations.


King Schnauzer Puppies

King Schnauzers are designer breeds, which means that puppies should cost less than those of the purebred parent breeds. They are relatively hardy dogs, although can be prone to eye problems. The designer breed is recognized by hybrid clubs, but not purebred kennel clubs. To find reputable breeders, search online or join breed groups. Ask owners of King Schnauzers for their recommendations, and you can even check veterinary receptions and offices to see if any are listed on the boards.

When meeting a breeder, ask plenty of questions about the breed but also the puppy itself, and its parents. While there are no guarantees that your dog will be the same as its parents, it will learn at least some of its social skills from its mum. Healthier parents, that are free from common genetic illnesses, are more likely to have healthy offspring, too.

Because this is a hybrid, you may find a King Schnauzer in a local shelter or pound. Find out as much information about the shelter dog as possible, before adopting. Try to determine why their previous owner gave them up, and take your kids and other dogs to meet the King Schnauzer before you do adopt.

Parent breeds King Schnauzer
Image By: Left – Roman Zaiets, Shutterstock | Right – KnipsKaline, Pixabay

Temperament & Intelligence of the King Schnauzer

The King Schnauzer combines the attributes of two popular breeds: the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and the Miniature Schnauzer. Although temperament can vary from one dog to the next, there are some attributes that are usually present in examples of this breed. They are adaptable dogs that can thrive in any climate. Although they do require exercise, their relatively small stature means that they can take to life in an apartment as well as in a home with a sizeable yard.

Are These Dogs Good for Families? 👪

The King Schnauzer is considered a good dog for families. It is a friendly breed that enjoys spending time with all family members. Despite being quite small, it is rugged and hardy enough that it won’t get easily injured or hurt during playtime, either, and it will enjoy time playing with the children in the family. In fact, the breed is thought of as being very friendly and sociable. It will get along with visitors, as well as family members and friends.

Does This Breed Get Along With Other Pets? 🐶 😽 

The King Schnauzer will usually get along well with other animals including dogs. They can also be introduced to cats, ideally when they are both young. You should never leave dogs alone with smaller animals, such as those that live in cages, and while the King Schnauzer is more a companion pet nowadays, this dog was bred as a ratter, which means that it could be hard to maintain their prey drive.divider-paw

Things to Know When Owning a King Schnauzer

The King Schnauzer is a good family dog that will get along with most people and other pets. It is small and adaptable too, but they do require quite a bit of daily exercise and they require regular brushing to manage their coats. While they are considered good pets, they are not ideal for everybody. Read on to see whether the King Schnauzer is the right pet for you and what you will need when taking one on.

Food & Diet Requirements 🦴

Thanks to the Miniature Schnauzer’s inclusion in the hybrid, the King Schnauzer is a small breed, which means that it does not have excessive food or dietary demands. Feed approximately 1 cup of food per day. Split this so that it is fed over two meals, and always ensure that your dog has access to a supply of fresh and clean water.

Determining the right amount of food to give your dog means you need to weigh it first. Use the weight and age, as well as activity level, to calculate exactly how much food you give. If your vet recommends feeding more or less, be sure to follow these instructions first and foremost.

Exercise 🐕

They may be small, but the King Schnauzer has high exercise requirements. Some of this exercise can come indoors, as long as you have room to play, but you should also aim to provide one or two walks at the local dog park, each day. Keeping your dog active not only helps them maintain a good weight and prevents them from getting ill, but it can stop destructive and antisocial behavior, too.

Training 🎾

The Schnauzer is considered a highly intelligent breed and the Spaniel loves to impress and please its owner. However, this does not mean that training will all be plain sailing. The breed can show some stubbornness. Try to keep training sessions relatively short and ensure that they are fun and exciting to keep the dog’s attention.

Grooming ✂️

The grooming requirements depend on whether the Schnauzer or the Spaniel is the dominant parent breed. Generally, though, you can expect to brush three times a week. Regular brushing helps remove dead hair and prevents the coat from becoming matted and uncomfortable. You may need to trim the facial hair, too, although this might not always be necessary. Avoid bathing unless necessary. Not only does this destroy the natural oils that protect your dog’s coat, but the King Schnauzer is known to have sensitive skin.

The breed is considered good for those with allergies, and this is especially true if it takes after the Schnauzer parent breed.

When yours is a puppy, start cleaning its teeth three times a week, and trimming claws every two months. Starting when they are a puppy means that they will be more comfortable with the process, making it easier for both of you.

Health and Conditions 🏥

The King Schnauzer is considered a generally healthy and hardy breed, but it is prone to some of the genetic illnesses and conditions of both parent breeds. Look for symptoms of the following and seek veterinary help if any show.

Minor Conditions
  • Bladder Stones
  • Cataracts
  • Distichiasis
  • Patellar Luxation
  • Retinal Dysplasia
Serious Conditions
  • Canine Cushing’s Disease
  • Diabetes
  • Pancreatitis

divider-dog paw

Male vs. Female

The male and female King Schnauzer are very similar in build, height, and temperament.

3 Little-Known Facts About the King Schnauzer

1. The Cavalier King Charles Is a Different Breed Than the King Charles Spaniel

The King Charles Spaniel was bred from the toy spaniel and became very popular with the nobility in Europe. It was especially popular in the courts of France, and King Charles I even decreed that the dog be given access to any room of any property. The breed remained popular during Charles II’s reign, but following the king’s death, the breed’s popularity dropped off. Other small breeds like the Pug became more popular.

The King Charles Spaniel was bred with the Pug. This led to a shorter snout and it gave the resulting Spaniel a more domed head. These features are still prominent in the King Charles Spaniel. But some enthusiasts, including American breeder Roswell Eldridge, wanted a dog that was closer in physical appearance to the original. He paid English breeders to come up with a dog that was bigger and had original features. In 1928, the year that Eldridge passed away, the first Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Club was started. The two are considered separate breeds to this day.

2. The Miniature Is the Most Popular of the Schnauzer Breeds

The Miniature Schnauzer is one of three Schnauzers: the others being the Standard and the Giant. Unusually, the different sizes are considered distinctly separate breeds. This differs from the Poodle, for example, which is considered a single breed in three sizes.

The Miniature Schnauzer is the most popular of the breeds. Despite being active and energetic, these skilled vermin hunters remain small in size, which makes them easier to look after and maintain. The Standard Schnauzer was the original breed, and breeders bred it down in size so that it would be better skilled at hunting small vermin.

3. The Facial Hair Serves a Purpose

The Miniatures Schnauzer is physically well equipped for its role as a ratter. Its wiry coat helps protect from dust and debris that the dog might collect while charging around fields and digging. The facial hair, which consists of a beard and mustache, is also highly functional.

The hair would become matted when chasing and catching rats, and once matted, it would act as a physical shield to protect the dog from bites and scratches given by the dog’s prey. The King Schnauzer’s facial hair is not as pronounced as that of the pure Schnauzer, but it is still evident.


Final Thoughts

The King Schnauzer is a cross between two popular breeds: the Cavalier King Charles and the Miniature Schnauzer. It is a small companion dog that will enjoy time with its human family, whether that time is spent curled up indoors or running around outdoors. The hybrid can be trained, is generally quite a hardy dog, and makes a great family companion. It is suitable for households with children and without, as well as those with other dogs, and as long as you provide it with enough daily exercise, it should be a joy to care for.

Related Read:

Featured Image Credit: Left: Miniature Schnauzer, ClarissaBell, Pixabay; Right: Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, BIGANDT.COM, Shutterstock

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