Linda Simon
Dr Linda Simon (MVB MRCVS, University College Dublin)
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The Schneagle is a newcomer to the hybrid dog scene that has an attractive wiry coat and a confident, sociable nature. As both parents, the Beagle and the Schnauzer, were bred to hunt to some degree, it is little wonder that the hunting instincts of the Schneagle remain strong. Similarly, their scenting instinct is highly developed and makes them fabulous sniffer dogs.

The size of the Schneagle will depend on which variant of Schnauzer it was bred with, but most are small to medium-sized dogs with a sturdy, well-muscled body and lean limbs that are built in proportion. One of their most endearing features is their soft, floppy ears that frame their face elegantly and really add to their charm.

About & History

A mix of the dependable, good-natured Schnauzer and the cheery sniffer hound that is the Beagle, the Schneagle is a ‘new kid’ on the designer dog block. The Miniature, Standard or Giant Schnauzer can technically all be used in the mix, but it is generally the Miniature or Standard that are bred from, as they are closer in size to the Beagle. To get a better understanding of the Schneagle, we should examine the history of each of their parent breeds.

The Beagle

The Beagle is a well-liked breed of dog popularised in movies, such as Cats & Dogs and Shiloh. Most agree that the original Beagle is a British breed that was bred as a sniffer dog to hunt on foot in pursuit of small prey, such as rabbits. They descended from taller and longer-limbed hounds, such as the Foxhound, who would have been used by hunters on horseback.

Content when in the company of other dogs, Beagles would have hunted in packs and often lived outside of the home with their canine companions. It was in the 1800s that the Beagle began to make a name for itself internationally after being exported to America where the locals took a shine to it, even creating their own breed standard. Thanks to their trainability and superior scenting skills, Beagles are today used by the police and similar organisations as sniffer dogs.

The Schnauzer

The Schnauzer is a German breed from Bavaria that is well-recognized by its facial fur, which includes long eyebrows and a thick moustache! An all-round working dog, as well as hunting vermin, the Schnauzer would have been used on farms to herd animals, guard property and even pull carts.

Farmers developed three different breed sizes to ensure each task on the farm could be carried out by the most appropriately-sized canine. To create the smaller variant, local breeds, such as Affenpinschers and Poodles were mixed in, while breeds, such as the Great Dane, are thought to have added to the genetic pool of the Giant Schnauzer.


Schneagles have a range of appearances as some will more closely resemble a Schnauzer dog while others will inherit more of the Beagle genes. This is even true within the same litter, where pups may not even look like their own siblings! Most are compact, medium-sized dogs that weigh in at 8kg to 18kg and measure from 33cm to 46cm.

Schneagles should have good-sized muzzles and round eyes that are well set in their face and are often dark brown but may also be hazel in colour. Their forehead is rather flat and their ears are widely spaced and pendulous, sometimes facing forwards. They have a prominent black nose, which allows for an excellent scenting ability. Their neck is quite thick and their body is muscular and lean. Their tail is rather thin and may taper to a point.

How the coat of the Schneagle will turn out is difficult to predict as the Beagle and Schnauzer have markedly different fur types. The majority will develop wiry fur that is quite short, though may be longer and fuller on the face. Most will have two or three fur colours, which can include black, white, tan and grey.

Character & Temperament

Outgoing, alert and friendly, the Schneagle makes a wonderful companion to both human and animal alike. Owners find that they can rely on them and that they are both predictable and steadfast. They are loyal to those that care for them and tend to have a good deal of respect for them. Energetic, the Schneagle dislikes being left alone with little to do and is always keen to be given a task to complete or to be out and about.

When socialised from a pup, the Schneagle should tolerate both children and other pets, but one must always be very cautious with small animals, such as rodents and rabbits, who are likely unsafe in their company and will be seen as prey. Some will become protective over their property and families and may elect to guard them when they feel necessary. Some individuals can be particularly vocal, which is something to consider if living in close proximity to neighbours!

Issues, such as separation anxiety or incessant barking, can occur when a Schneagle is left to its own devices for too long and not kept occupied and stimulated – both mentally and physically. These vices are far more difficult to cure than to prevent so owners should make a conscientious effort to ensure there is always someone around for the Schneagle and they are provided with sufficient exercise, play time and other forms of mental stimulation.


Both intelligent and willing, the Schneagle should be good fun to train and can learn things quickly. They are especially good at any form of training that involves scenting, as their sense of smell is well-honed and something that they love to use at all times! This can be a double-edged sword as their nose can get in the way and cause them to become distracted when attempting to train them in other areas, such as obedience or agility.


Breeders should always make health their top priority when developing a new hybrid, to avoid serious health issues down the line. Being aware of which conditions to monitor for and which screening tests to use is often half the battle.


Diabetic dogs are unable to control their blood sugar levels and they are persistently high. Symptoms can include an insatiable thirst and hunger, as well as an unexpected weight loss. Diabetic dogs will have abnormal levels of glucose in both their urine and blood so it is an easy test to screen for.

For most, their disease cannot be cured but can be managed with lifelong insulin injections. Diabetic dogs are often frequent visitors to the vet as their sugar levels need constant monitoring to ensure their insulin dose does not need adjusting. These dogs are also more prone to urinary infections, so their urine should be analysed regularly.


While there are many causes of seizure activity in a dog, when no cause is established, the animal is said to have epilepsy. This means that it is a diagnosis of exclusion and it is necessary for vets to perform a myriad of tests before determining that a pet does indeed have epilepsy. Dogs will be affected to varying degrees but most will require ongoing medication to reduce the incidence and severity of their fits.


Those who develop an underactive thyroid may initially display quite vague symptoms and many owners will contribute them to a dog ‘getting older’. They may notice their pet is slowing down and putting on weight. A blood test can diagnose the condition and daily medication can increase the thyroid hormone back to a normal level.

Exercise and Activity Levels

One should not underestimate the exercise needs of the Schneagle that can be somewhat higher than average, relative to their size. They especially enjoy going on long walks with other dogs, as well as following scent trails.


Owners that start their grooming routine when Schneagles are pups will set themselves up for success as it will become a habit and the Schneagle should tolerate it well. Always reward good behaviour at the end of a grooming session with a high value treat.

Their coat should be brushed once or twice a week and a professional grooming a couple of times a year will keep it in good nick. Extra attention should be paid to their ears, which can be prone to infections. They should be thoroughly dried inside and out after getting wet and may need cleaning a couple of times a month if prone to waxy build-ups.

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