How to Breed a Shih-Tzu With a Mini Schnauzer

Schnau-tzu puppies often favor the physical and social characteristics of one of the parent breeds.
Schnau-tzu puppies often favor the physical and social characteristics of one of the parent breeds. (Image: Jupiterimages/ Images)

Breeding a shih tzu and a miniature schnauzer produces a mixed breed dog informally called a schnau-tzu. Though the characteristics of the schnau-tzu vary greatly from puppy to puppy, they generally consist of a mix of the parent dogs’ traits. Many schnau-tzus are docile, outgoing, long-haired and friendly like their shih tzu ancestors. Puppies may also inherit the spunk, energy, protective instincts and non-shedding coat of their mini schnauzer parent. Producing a schnau-tzu puppy is as simple as following the general guidelines for breeding small dogs, with a few tweaks to accommodate the differences between parent dogs.

Choose two parent dogs based on size and characteristics. Though the average size and weight of the two breeds are similar, mini schnauzers are often slightly larger. For the purposes of the female dog’s health and ease of birth, you may want to select a larger mini schnauzer female and a shih tzu male. The purpose of breeding hybrid dogs is often to attempt to extract and increase desired traits of each breed; if this is your purpose in breeding the two, choose dogs that embody the desired traits.

Watch for signs indicating that the female dog is in heat. The onset of proestrus is accompanied by slight swelling of the vulva and bloody discharge. This stage lasts for about nine days; during this stage, the female will reject advances from a male dog. When the discharge decreases and turns lighter in color, this indicates the estrus phase of the heat cycle, when the female can be bred successfully.

Breed the dogs. As with humans, female dogs may not conceive after one breeding. For the highest likelihood of conception, breed the two several times. Breeding should be successfully accomplished by simply placing the two dogs in proximity and leaving them alone for some time, though you may want to retain some level of supervision to ensure that nothing goes wrong.

Tips & Warnings

  • Schedule regular vet visits and provide prenatal care for the female throughout gestation. As the due date approaches, watch for signs of impending birth and for any indications of a problem. When the dog goes into labor, contact your vet. If birth does not progress normally or if the female displays unusual behaviors or symptoms, you may need to take the dog to the vet for a C-section or other birthing aid.

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