Westie Schnauzer Mix: Characteristics, Temperament, and Care Tips

By John Martin - April 5, 2023

Westie Schnauzer side by side

The Westie Schnauzer Mix, also known as a Wauzer, is a hybrid dog breed that is a cross between a West Highland White Terrier and a Miniature Schnauzer. These adorable dogs are known for their friendly and outgoing personalities, as well as their shaggy appearance.

One of the most interesting things about Wauzers is that they come with the best characteristics of both their parents. They have the thick and furry coat of the Westie and the medium-length muzzle of the Miniature Schnauzer, making them a unique and lovable breed.

In this article, we will explore everything you need to know about the Westie Schnauzer Mix. From their physical characteristics to their temperament and health, we will cover it all. Whether you are considering getting a Wauzer or just want to learn more about this charming breed, keep reading to find out more.

Westie Schnauzer Mix Breed History

The Westie Schnauzer Mix, or Wauzer, is a relatively recent hybrid breed, resulting from the intentional crossing of the West Highland White Terrier (Westie) and the Miniature Schnauzer. To understand the breed’s history, it is essential to explore the background of the parent breeds.

The West Highland White Terrier, or Westie, originated in Scotland during the 19th century. The breed was developed for hunting and vermin control purposes, specifically targeting rodents such as rats and foxes. Their white coat allowed hunters to spot them easily in the Scottish moorlands, differentiating them from their prey. Westies are known for their tenacious and determined temperament, traits that made them excellent hunters.

On the other hand, the Miniature Schnauzer originated in Germany during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It was bred primarily as a farm dog to hunt rats and other vermin in the countryside. The Miniature Schnauzer resulted from breeding the Standard Schnauzer with smaller breeds like the Affenpinscher and Poodle. Their intelligence and versatility made them popular not just for their working abilities but also as a loving companion.

The Wauzer was developed in the 20th century, although the exact date of origin remains unclear. The breeders aimed to combine the best traits of both the Westie and the Miniature Schnauzer, resulting in a dog with an excellent hunting instinct, intelligence, and a unique appearance. The Wauzer inherits the tenacity and charm of the Westie, as well as the intelligence and adaptability of the Miniature Schnauzer.

As with most designer breeds, the Wauzer’s popularity began to rise in the late 20th and early 21st centuries, as more people sought out dogs with specific characteristics and lower chances of health issues due to hybrid vigor. Today, the Wauzer is a beloved companion dog, cherished for its playful and affectionate nature, as well as its unique appearance that combines the best features of its parent breeds.

Also Read: Westie Mix Breeds You Will Love


The Westie Schnauzer mix, is a small, compact dog that inherits physical characteristics from both parent breeds.

Coat and Color

The Wauzer has a thick, shaggy coat that is typically medium in length. The coat can come in a variety of colors, including white, black, salt and pepper, and gray. The West Highland White Terrier parent contributes to the Wauzer’s white coat, which helps make it easier to see in the field.

The coat of the Wauzer requires regular grooming to prevent matting and tangling. Brushing the coat two to three times a week and trimming it every few months can help keep it looking healthy and neat.

Size and Weight

The Wauzer is a small dog that typically stands between 9 and 14 inches (23 and 36 centimeters) tall and weighs between 11 and 22 pounds (5 and 10 kilograms). The size and weight of the Wauzer can vary depending on the size of the parent breeds.

The Wauzer has a compact body and well-defined muscles, which contribute to its athletic appearance. Its small, pointy ears are sometimes floppy from the middle up.

Overall, the Wauzer is a cute and charming dog that makes a great companion for families and individuals alike.

Wauzer Temperament

Personality Traits

The Wauzer is a playful and loving dog breed. They are generally happy, active, outgoing, and extroverted. They are very intelligent, affectionate, and love to cuddle.

They love plenty of attention, being fussed over, and played with. They are great family dogs and wonderful companions. Wauzers love running around, jumping, digging, chewing things, and swimming.

However, their temperament will vary depending on which parent they take after more. If they take after the Westie, they will be more outgoing but can also be stubborn and demanding. They will also tend to bark a lot.

If they take after the Schnauzer, they are still likely to be stubborn and will be more independent with less barking. Therefore, early socialization and training are essential to ensure they develop good behaviors and manners.


The Wauzer is a smart and intelligent breed, which makes them easy to train. They are quick learners and respond well to positive reinforcement techniques such as treats, praise, and play.

They can also be stubborn and independent, so training requires patience, consistency, and firmness. Early socialization is also crucial to prevent fearfulness and aggression towards strangers, other dogs, and animals.

The Wauzer is an excellent companion for families with children and other pets. They are playful, affectionate, and intelligent, making them easy to train and a joy to be around. However, they do require regular exercise, mental stimulation, and grooming to keep them healthy and happy.


The Wauzer, is a versatile and adaptable breed that can thrive in various living environments. Their small size and easy-going nature make them suitable for a range of living situations, from apartments to houses and urban to rural settings.

Living Environments

Wauzers can adjust well to apartment living, as long as they receive enough daily exercise and mental stimulation. They can easily adapt to smaller living spaces but do need regular walks and playtime to release their energy.

In houses with yards, Wauzers can benefit from having a secure, fenced outdoor area where they can run and play off-leash. Regardless of the setting, the key to keeping a Wauzer content in any living environment is to provide consistent physical and mental stimulation to keep them happy and engaged.

First-Time Dog Owners

Wauzers can be a good choice for first-time dog owners, given their friendly and affectionate temperament. They are intelligent and generally eager to please, making them trainable and capable of learning basic commands. However, their stubborn streak may require a bit more patience and consistency in training.

First-time dog owners should be prepared to invest time and effort in early socialization and obedience training to ensure their Wauzer develops into a well-behaved, well-adjusted pet.

Additionally, first-time dog owners should be aware of the Wauzer’s grooming needs, which require regular brushing and occasional trimming to keep their coat healthy and free from matting. Familiarizing oneself with the common health issues associated with the breed is also crucial for maintaining their overall well-being.

Health and Care

Common Health Issues

The Westie Schnauzer mix is generally a healthy breed with a lifespan of 12-16 years. However, like all dogs, they are prone to certain health issues. It is essential to be aware of these potential health concerns and take your dog for regular check-ups at the veterinarian.

Some common health issues that affect Westie Schnauzer mixes include:

Respiratory Allergies

Wauzers may be susceptible to respiratory allergies, which can cause coughing, wheezing, and difficulty breathing. These can be triggered by environmental factors such as pollen, dust, or mold. Regular check-ups and proper care can help manage these symptoms and ensure your Wauzer’s comfort.

Dental Problems

Small breeds, like the Wauzer, are prone to dental issues, including periodontal disease and tooth decay. Regular dental care, including brushing your dog’s teeth and providing dental chews, can help maintain good oral hygiene and prevent these problems from arising.

Skin Allergies

Wauzers may suffer from skin allergies or dermatitis caused by various allergens, such as fleas, food, or environmental factors. These allergies can lead to excessive scratching, skin irritations, and infections. It is crucial to monitor your Wauzer’s skin and consult your veterinarian if any skin issues arise.

Hip Dysplasia

Although more common in larger breeds, hip dysplasia can also affect smaller dogs like the Wauzer. This genetic condition causes the hip joint to develop abnormally, leading to arthritis and pain. Regular check-ups can help identify this issue early on and manage its progression through weight management, medication, and, in severe cases, surgery.

Eye Problems

Wauzers can be prone to eye conditions such as cataracts, progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), and entropion. Regular eye exams can help detect these issues early on, and appropriate treatment can help maintain your dog’s vision and eye health.

Patellar Luxation

This is a common condition in small dog breeds, where the kneecap slips out of place. Mild cases may require little to no intervention, while more severe cases may necessitate surgical intervention to correct the issue.

Grooming Needs

The Westie Schnauzer mix has a double coat that requires regular grooming to keep it healthy and shiny. They need to be brushed at least once a week to prevent matting and tangling.

They also need to be bathed every three months or so to keep their coat clean and smelling fresh. Additionally, their nails should be trimmed regularly to prevent them from getting too long and causing discomfort.

Exercise and Diet

The Wauzer is an active breed that needs regular exercise to stay healthy and happy. They should be taken for walks or runs at least once a day and should have access to a fenced yard where they can run and play.

In terms of diet, they should be fed a high-quality dog food that is appropriate for their age, size, and activity level. Experts recommend feeding them three cups of dry kibble per day, spread out over three or more meals to prevent bloating and obesity.


In summary, the Westie Schnauzer mix is an endearing and energetic companion that can bring joy and liveliness to a home. This mixed breed’s adaptability makes them suitable for various living situations, but it’s important to remember their need for exercise and mental stimulation to stay happy and well-balanced.

Although training a Wauzer may present some challenges due to their stubborn nature, with persistence and consistency, they can learn to follow commands and be well-behaved around people and other animals. Early socialization is crucial to help develop a well-rounded temperament and reduce the likelihood of shyness or aggression.

It’s essential to be aware of the Wauzer’s strong prey drive, which could lead them to chase smaller animals or even children if not properly trained and supervised. Ensuring they receive sufficient exercise and mental stimulation can help mitigate this instinct.

When considering adding a Westie Schnauzer mix to your family, thoroughly research the breed to ensure they are the right fit for your lifestyle and living situation. With proper care, training, and attention, a Wauzer can be a loving, playful, and loyal companion, bringing happiness and companionship to their owner’s life.