Westie Vs. Miniature Schnauzer

*. The West Highland Terrier

and the Miniature Schnauzer

. Both are small, but fiercely independent dogs that deserve a home in the family home. They need different families in order to be happy. Are you still deciding which dog to adopt? Let’s see which dog is best for you.

The Miniature Schnauzer and the Westie are both very similar in many ways, but completely different in others. Both dogs are full of canine personality and fit into small bodies. The Westie is a great choice for those who are looking to get their first dog. It’s a more gentle and experienced breed than the Schnauzer.

There are many differences between these two dogs. After reading this comparison guide, you will be able to determine which one is best suited for you and your lifestyle. Let’s compare these two small, but fierce pups.

Westie Vs. Miniature Schnauzer

Breed History

A dog breed’s history can reveal a lot about their past and how they will behave in the home. Let’s compare them.


The West Highland White Terrier . is the official name for the “Westie”. Many terriers were born in Scotland, due to the commonality of the farmer’s rodent problem. These little guys were designed to hunt rats , and remove the pest problem.

Although it is not officially known when the Westie was created, historical documents show that they came into focus in the 18th century. Legend has it that the Malcolm clan started breeding white dogs at their Poltalloch estate, after they accidentally shot one of their wheaten-colored terriers. Unfortunately, the Colonel mistakenly thought one of his dogs was a fox. This is why you may hear this breed called the Poltalloch Terrier.

The American Kennel Club (AKC) registered their first Westie in 1908. Since their arrival in America, they have been a popular breed. They are known for being cute as buttons and their spunky attitude. Matthew McConaughey and Jennifer Aniston are just a few of the celebrities who have fallen for them. The AKC consistently ranks between the 40th and 50th most popular dog breed in America.

Miniature Schnauzer

As you might have guessed, the Miniature Schnauzer is the mini version of the Standard Schnauzer. They realized they needed smaller versions that could hunt rats in tight spaces and nests at farms. To achieve the required size, they merged the Miniature Poodle and Affenpinscher into their bloodline.

Due to their ratting history, the Mini Schnauzer is in the Terrier group. This group also includes the Westie. But technically, they are not terriers at all. The Mini Schnauzer, unlike the West Highland Terrier and the West Highland Terrier is rarely used as a ratter. They are one of the most beloved Schnauzer breeds, enjoying the best life as companion dogs.

Ever since their registration with the AKC in 1926, they have continuously found themselves in America’s top 20 dog breeds. Celebrities who have succumbed to the charm of the Mini Schnauzer include Bruce Lee, Sugar Ray Leonard, Katherine Heigl, 50 Cent, and Doris Day.


The only commonality between them is the small size . The Westie is shorter and more squatter than the Mini Schnauzer, while the Mini Schnauzer looks taller and more elegant.

The Mini Schnauzer measures between 12 and 14 inches tall, from paw to shoulder. Compared to the Westie, who measures between 10 and 11 inches tall. the Westie weighs on average less than the Mini Schnauzer. The Westie weighs between 15 and 20 pounds, and the Mini Schnauzer from ranges 11 to 20 pounds.

The Mini Schnauzer usually has a neater appearance compared to the Westie. To maintain their beautiful appearance, many Schnauzer owners groom their dogs meticulously. This includes their thick beards and large eyebrows. The Westie’s hair tends to be longer at the ends, which gives them a more scruffy appearance. Mini Schnauzers are more difficult to show in the show ring.

A true Westie is always white in its coloring. Mini Schnauzers prefer darker colors like black, salt and pepper, and black and white. Salt and pepper is a multicolored hairstyle that finishes with black. They often appear to have changed their hair color every time they get a haircut. Mini Schnauzers have more color variation than the always brilliant white Westie.


The Mini Schnauzer may not be a terrier, but he behaves like one. This means that they are both energetic, playful, and full of energy. These guys are great for families looking for fun times and a dog companion.

They also both have high prey drives ,, especially for small rodents. This means that both can be used to deal with a rat infestation. The Westie will have a higher prey drive than the Mini Schnauzer because he is used to having a companion. These guys can’t live with small non-canine dogs.

They are both curious and will do anything . to get their attention. Both need stimulation throughout the day. You’ll soon find your yard mowed down.

Despite being small dogs, they can be bold and confident, believing they are always right. These dogs are strong and can be intense, so some families prefer calmer, more submissive breeds. The Mini Schnauzer, out of both breeds of ., is the most stubborn. They can be stubborn and will sulk for hours if they don’t get what they want.

The most significant difference is that the Westie is friendly with strangers and outgoing. The Mini Schnauzer, on the other hand, is a reserved and suspicious pup. This little guy is a guardian and has a loud bark. The Mini Schnauzer is the best choice if you’re looking for a small guard dog. If you are looking for a friendly dog, the Westie might be your best choice.


Despite their small frame, they are energetic and tireless. You are much more likely to get tired before them. They both need about an hour of exercise . each day. Although this may seem excessive for small dogs, they are working terriers who need adventure.

They need a lot of entertainment throughout the day so don’t assume they quit after an hour of exercise. Both enjoy playing in the yard and chasing toys. They also enjoy chew sticks and treat-dispensing puzzle toys. And given their love (or hate, depending on how you look at it) of rats, they also go mad for squeaky toys.

If you don’t exercise or entertain your Mini Schnauzer and Westie, they could cause you a lot of problems. Both dogs love to chew furniture and dig. Because of their bossy and bossy personality, the Mini Schnauzer will likely become more disruptive than its Westie. However, you should ensure that you are able to meet the needs of any dog you choose.


The Mini Schnauzer is more stubborn than the Westie and believes they are right. The Westie is more tolerant to training. It is much easier for first-time dog owners to train their Westie .. Mini Schnauzers work better for people who have more experience.

Both are at risk of developing something known as “small dog syndrome.” This occurs when dog owners essentially let their small dogs get away with naughty behaviors that big dogs cannot get away with. This can be more problematic with the sassy Schnauzer, more of a diva doggo than the Westie. Schnauzers can also be vocal so you should learn the “quiet command” to use when your Schnauzer gets too loud.

They both require socialization from an early age, just like all dogs. The crucial period for teaching them how to interact politely with other dogs, humans, and the world around them is between 3 and 12 weeks. The Westie is more likely to pick up polite manners . quicker than the Westie. The Mini Schnauzer, a protective and strong breed, needs to be reminded of their manners regularly. This can sometimes take a lifetime commitment.

Despite the differences, doggy owners should start training their dog breeds as soon as possible to ensure that they achieve the best results. Positive reinforcement training is the best way to teach the Mini Schnauzer and Westie. Both are motivated by treats and toys to play .. Keep training sessions fun and short to keep them interested. Persistence is key to success.


These toy dogs are comparatively healthy dog breeds that both enjoy an average lifetime of up to 15 years. Both are at risk for eye problems. The most common concern in both is progressive retinal atrophy, a degenerative disease of the retina. This can cause total vision loss if not treated.

A cardiac test is the only recommended test for Mini Schnauzers. A common cause of death for Mini Schnauzers is mitral valve disease. The Westie should undergo a test for hip Dysplasia . This condition is usually caused by a poor hip heritage. Ask your breeder about their hip scores. Westies can also be susceptible to luxating patella. This is where the kneecap floats and dislodges.


These two breeds eat approximately the same , food and your monthly food bills are similar. As they have a lot of nutritional needs, it is important to give both dogs the highest quality food possible. Remember, a happy puppy is a healthy puppy.

The Miniature Schnauzer and Westie are small dogs that can benefit from food designed for small breeds . These foods have more energy to suit their needs. You can also feed them kibble if they prefer. They will be able to chew the food easily. Both have larger eyes than their stomachs, so make sure you keep the treats under control to avoid any weight-related health issues.


The grooming regimen of the Mini Schnauzer and Westie is different depending on which haircut you give them. It is important to put in the effort and money to keep your Mini Schnauzer looking its best, especially as their haircuts are more specific than those of the Westie.

Let’s say you are interested in showing your dogs at competitions, or prefer the classic terrier look. A trimmed topline with longer underbelly and a longer neck is ideal. To preserve their wiriness, you will need to hand-strip your dog’s coat. A professional is best for this. The Mini Schnauzer’s hairstyle is more complicated because they have more facial hair. Both dogs’ owners send their puppies in for a pampering session about every four to eight weeks.

Dog owners who don’t require or want to groom their pets at this level tend to give them a puppy or Teddy Bear cut. This is easier to keep clean. You can do it yourself. Their rough and wirey hair need to be brushed at least three times per week to remove dead and prevent matting. For both of them, a soft slicker brush or a metal-comb are great tools to have in your toolkit.

They are both hypoallergenic dog breeds that shed less compared to the average pup. They are neither hypoallergenic but they can be adapted to mild allergy sufferers. Both pups need to be bathed once in every four to eight weeks. Regular teeth cleaning is essential for both pups. Their small mouths make them susceptible to periodontal disease.

Puppy Prices

The average starting price for a puppy from a responsible breeder is around $1,000. If you are looking for a high-quality puppy, this price can rise to several thousand. There is one difference between the breeders: Mini Schnauzer breeders are more likely to have more Westie breeding partners than Mini Schnauzer ones. This is because they are more popular.

Working with a responsible breeder is crucial if you want a better chance of securing a healthy puppy. Always research any breeder you choose to work with and be aware of the tactics used by irresponsible breeders and puppy mills.

Puppies can have additional costs beyond the initial price. But considering that they have an average starting price, are similar in size and lifestyle, and have an equal lifespan, they are likely to cost roughly the same across their lifetime.

Final Thoughts

The Miniature Schnauzer and Westie are both very similar. This is why parents who are considering both breeds will need to be able to choose between them. You can choose which breed is best for you by focusing on the differences.

The Westie is easier to train and more sociable than the other pups, making it a better choice for new dog owners. They are friendly with strangers and are happy-go-lucky dogs.

Mini Schnauzers can be stubborner, which makes them difficult to train for people with less dog experience. They are also more protective and can be a better guard and watch dog than the other dogs.

Ultimately, it all comes down to which qualities are most important for your family. They make great family pets, despite their differences.

Becky Roberts

Becky Roberts

One of Becky's favourite things to do every morning is to browse the top pet-related forums, looking for issues and questions that people have. She then shortlists the most common ones, and turns them into blog posts for Fuzzy Rescue. She's had over 4 cats and 2 dogs over the past decade, so she does know a thing or 2 about raising/training, and more importantly, loving them. She's the only one on our team that doesn't like coffee, but it seems to us she really doesn't need more energy :). We're very fortunate to have her on board as she does most of the heavy listing for the site, outputting an insane amount of content each month. Read More

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