Linda Simon
Dr Linda Simon (MVB MRCVS, University College Dublin)
Photo of adult Bowzer
Have an image we can use? Message us here!

While fans of Super Mario may first think of Mario’s arch enemy when they hear the word ‘Bowzer’, a Bowzer is in fact a lovable breed of dog that has been recently created by mixing together the good-natured Basset Hound with the smart and sociable Miniature Schnauzer. Thankfully, these dogs are nothing like the evil Super Mario villain and have a loving personality, making them well-suited to family life.

A robust and heavy dog with short limbs and a long face, the Basset Hound genes are plain to see in this hybrid! Their wiry coat, however, is more reminiscent of the Schnauzer and is typically a lovely mix of greys, blacks and browns.

About & History

Bowzers are one of the lesser-known hybrid dog creations that were probably developed during the 1990s within the United States. The breeding together of two purebreds is a practice that initially became popular in the 1970s, with the Labradoodle being the first well-known example. Creating Designer Dogs is not only seen as a fun way of creating even more breeds to love, when done responsibly, it is also a superb means of reducing inheritable disease within a pedigree population.

The Basset Hound

The Basset Hound is one of the easiest of all dog breeds to recognise with its excessively long ears, droopy eyelids and short, stumpy legs. They have a wide base of fans worldwide thanks to their unique looks, as well as their endearingly sweet and placid temperaments. The first Basset Hound was created by French monks in the 1500s when they were aiming to create a scent hound that would be close to the ground and able to pursue smaller prey, such as hares and rabbits.

As they were never the quickest of dogs, they were primarily used by hunters on foot, rather than on horseback. Similar breeds, including Beagles and Bloodhounds, are known to have contributed to their gene pool and they are now recognised by the Kennel Club within their hound group.

The Schnauzer

Much like the Basset, Miniature Schnauzers have a very distinctive and recognisable appearance, thanks to their grey, bushy beards and eyebrow. Miniature Schnauzers are a German breed of dog that were also initially bred to work, more specifically, to be an all-round farm dog that could carry out a number of useful tasks, including rat catching. They are direct descendants of the larger Schnauzer variants who were purposefully bred with Poodles and Affenpinschers to create the smaller and more compact Miniature Schnauzer.


Very handsome and rather unique looking, the Bowzer resembles a Basset Hound with less extreme features and longer fur. They have retained the short limbs and long body of the Basset, making them somewhat disproportionate when compared to their Miniature Schnauzer parent. They have a flat forehead and long muzzle that ends in a large and wide, black nose. Their eyes are typically dark brown and their ears are far shorter and slimmer than those of the Basset.

The fur of the Bowzer is wiry and short to medium in length. Most will be a combination of colours with black and tan and black and grey being the two most common examples. White patches are seen regularly. While some breed members will have the delightfully long eyebrows and beard of the Schnauzer, not all will. The Bowzer is a medium-sized dog that grows to between 33cm and 38cm to the withers and weighs anything from 9kg to 22kg once fully mature, making them substantially heavier than the Miniature Schnauzer.

Character & Temperament

Easy-going and not one to make a fuss, the Bowzer typically blends in well with most families and is pleasingly adaptable. They are affectionate with their masters and are tolerant of children. Those that take more after the Miniature Schnauzer than the Basset Hound may be somewhat livelier, as well as more territorial.

The prey drive of the Bowzer can remain high, even if they have never been exposed to hunting. This can make off-lead walking difficult in some settings and can make it impossible to house these guys alongside smaller pets, such as rabbits and guinea pigs. When it comes to living with larger pets, like cats and dogs, as long as they are introduced from a young age, they should not have any issues.

Unlike many other dogs, the Bowzer will not tend to suffer from separation anxiety. While we wouldn’t suggest that an owner who is out of the home all day go out and buy a Bowzer (they may find a cat is a more suitable pet!), this can mean that owners have a greater degree of flexibility when planning their day and do not need to have someone in dog-sitting 24/7.


A dog that likes to be obedient and will try hard during its training sessions, the Bowzer can make good progress quickly and is quite an easy breed to train. Most are good at learning recall and this is something which owners should instill in them from an early age, in an attempt to overcome their desire to search for scents when off lead.


One of the most important parts of being a responsible dog owner is paying close attention to the dog’s health and medical needs. Reading up on the conditions that a Bowzer may develop is a very good start indeed.

Hip Dysplasia

Certain breed members may suffer from a debilitating joint disorder that affects the hips called ‘hip dysplasia’. The earliest signs in a young dog include a ‘funny walk’, running with both back legs together (known as ‘bunny hopping’) and sitting with the back legs out to the side.

Hip dysplasia is easy to diagnose and grade as dogs simply require hip X-rays that can be done either under a heavy sedation or a general anaesthetic. Any breeding animal should have their hips scored (graded) to ensure that they are not going to create pups with hip issues down the line.

Ear Infections

The heavy, floppy ears of the Bowzer can make them prone to developing ear infections, though they tend to suffer less than their Basset Hound relative. Those with infections may shake their head or scratch at their ears. In an established ear infection, there is a foul smell and a visible discharge within the canal.

Infections need to be diagnosed by a vet, who should always examine the canal for potential causes, such as a foreign body or a polyp. Most infections respond well to medical therapy, though it is prudent to attend a follow-up with a vet when the course of medicine is complete to ensure the infection has completely resolved and does not linger on.


Diabetes is a condition whereby the animal is unable to regulate their blood sugars that raise to dangerously high levels. Those with diabetes will drink a lot of water and thus will also start urinating more than they used to, perhaps soiling inside the home.

Their appetite will increase and while they will eat more, they will begin to lose weight. A diabetic dog will have glucose in its urine and will have excessively high glucose levels in its blood. The treatment typically consists of insulin shots that may be given once or twice a day.

Exercise and Activity Levels

Those that inherit more of the Schnauzer genes will have a higher exercise requirement and will need around an hour to an hour and a half of exercise a day, consisting of some interesting hikes where they can sniff and scent to their hearts content. Those that take more after their Basset parent will need slightly less exercise, though still require an adequate amount to keep them satisfied and prevent weight gain.

A medium-sized breed that is quite adaptable, it is possible for the Bowzer to live within an apartment but only if their owner consistently provides them with enough exercise and mental stimulation. It’s possible for them to become disruptive if they are left cooped up too long with little interaction.


Grooming the short-haired Bowzer does not pose any particular challenges and, depending on the coat type they inherit, most will only need a professional groom once or twice a year. Those with long facial hair may need it to be trimmed regularly and should have it washed often, especially if fed on a raw or wet food diet.

User reviews

There are no user reviews for this listing.