Dog Obedience Training

Dog obedience training builds upon the relationship and trust between dog and owner. And having a Miniature Schnauzer that reliably responds to your commands makes for a well-behaved companion, for sure. Begin teaching your Schnauzer the basic commands right away and you too will have the companionship of a well-trained dog.

Before beginning, take a moment to review our information on using positive reinforcement to train your dog PLUS all of our other dog training tips and tricks which will further help you through the lessons below.

For more advanced learners and those of you who enjoy competition, competitive obedience trials are available. Find a list of Clubs in your area that can assist you in training your dog. Watch Mini Schnauzer Lexi Compete in AKC Obedience.

Mini Schnauzer Lexi Obedience Training

Consistency..... Timing..... Treat..... Repeat.....

How To Train A Dog - A Few Final Tips

  • In the beginning, it will be important to offer treats as a reward but you don't want your Miniature Schnauzer to follow commands only because food is on the way. Using other forms of positive reinforcement like praise and affection during dog obedience training, will ensure your Miniature Schnauzer doesn't become dependent on following dog commands just for the treats.
  • If your Schnauzer refuses to follow a command, repeat and try again. If he seems totally distracted or is misbehaving... walk away and end the session. Do not play or interact with your dog for about 5 minutes. After 5 minutes of no interaction, try again.
  • It's important your dog sees you as the leader. You are in charge and therefore he should comply with the commands and directions you give. In the canine pack the leader is the Alpha Dog. The Alpha dog makes all the decisions for the other dogs in the pack (when they eat, sleep, etc.). So you want your Miniature Schnauzer to view you as the Alpha Dog.
  • Don't repeat the same command over and over. Sit, sit, sit! Just say SIT firmly once. Give a hand cue (if you like) then wait 15 seconds to see if your Schnauzer sits. If he does, reward your dog and repeat the process. If he does not comply, try again.
  • Finally, if you work on teaching the commands, in the order I have them listed below, it will be easier to train your Schnauzer on how to do each one.

Important dog obedience training tip: Do not yell at your Miniature Schnauzer during the training process. Yelling at your dog will only make it that much harder to train him. Your Schnauzer could begin to associate the training or learning a command with getting into trouble (since he's being yelled at) and you don't want that to happen.

The Right Way To Train Your Dog

Mental activity is as important as exercise when it comes to training your Schnauzer for health and happiness. Check out the many dog training books where you can learn how to challenge your dog while at the same time, helps you build a strong bond with your dog.

Dog Obedience Training Series


  1. Start with your Miniature Schnauzer on all fours.
  2. Get a small treat and place between your thumb and index finger. Hold it in front of your Schnauzer's nose.
  3. Slowly move your treat hand about 6 inches above your dog's head and slightly move it towards his back. Flip your hand over so that your palm is now up facing you. This will be the hand signal for SIT.
  4. Your Schnauzer will move his nose toward the treat and his butt will touch the ground.
  5. The very second his butt touches the ground – command SIT and then give your Miniature Schnauzer the treat.

The SIT command is probably the most used dog command. It is also one of the easiest to teach your dog since dogs sit naturally on their own. In fact if you have a new puppy, in the beginning whenever you see him sit, say: "Sit, Good Boy". This will help to reinforce the association of the word SIT with the behavior.

Also, be sure you are rewarding the correct response. Only treat your Schnauzer while he is in the correct position, otherwise you will be rewarding the wrong behavior.


  1. Have your Miniature Schnauzer sit in front of you.
  2. Raise your hand so that your palm is facing your Schnauzer’s nose (like a policeman's stop signal) and command STAY
  3. Take one step back and command again STAY. If your dog does not move... drop a treat in front of him to get. He may get up on all fours to eat the treat and that's okay. When he finishes however, command him to SIT and give a verbal praise upon compliance.
  4. Now take 2 more steps backwards away from your dog... use the stay hand signal and command STAY.

    dog obedience training tip: If your Miniature Schnauzer tries to follow you say uh-uh-uh or no and return your dog back to his mark; have him SIT; and start over.
  5. When your dog complies with the command, walk back over to him and reward him with a treat. Drop the treat in front of your dog and say OKAY. OKAY will be the release word you give your Schnauzer to let him know it's okay to move out of the STAY position.

When practicing STAY, continue to build on the distance between you & your Miniature Schnauzer. Then begin to build on the length of time your Schnauzer must remain in his STAY position. Once this is mastered, begin adding distractions to your Schnauzer's training.


  1. Command your dog to SIT and WAIT.
  2. Back up at least 3 feet away from your dog.
  3. With treat in hand, raise your hand just in front of your chest and then quickly lower it to your side and command COME. If your dog does not move, repeat the step once more command COME.
  4. When your Schnauzer comes to you command SIT and treat him.

    Work to slowly build up the distance between you and your dog and then practice COME / RECALL with distractions. Eventually your Miniature Schnauzer will come sit directly in front of you no matter what he is doing.

dog obedience training tip: Some people find it helpful to begin training their dog to COME while on a leash. The steps are the same as above except when you command COME, you also give a little tug on your dog's leash. You may practice this way for a few days at first but then begin practicing without the leash.


  1. Have your Miniature Schnauzer SIT in front of you.
  2. Hold a treat between your thumb and index finger in front of your Schnauzer's nose.
  3. Slowly move the treat down towards the floor holding it just between your dog's paws.
  4. Your Schnauzer's nose will follow the treat down.
  5. Your Miniature Schnauzer will lay down to get the treat. The very second he does... command DOWN & give your dog the treat.

Training Tip: The DOWN command is not to be used when your dog is jumping up on you and you want him to stop. The command for that should be OFF. OFF means for the dog to remove himself from people, sofas, chairs, beds... or in other words: get all four paws back on the floor.

Don't forget: You must be consistent in your dog commands, or you will confuse your Miniature Schnauzer.


It's best to teach the dog obedience training command HEEL, off the leash:

  1. Have your Miniature Schnauzer SIT.
  2. Stand directly next to him. Both of you will be facing forward in the same direction.
  3. With a treat in hand and arms lowered to your side take 2 steps forward and stop... and command HEEL. Most than likely your dog will follow for the treat. If your Miniature Schnauzer does move with you and remains in the HEEL position (by your side) treat and praise.
  4. Slowly increase the number of steps your Miniature Schnauzer must walk by your side before treating him.

dog training tip: If your Miniature Schnauzer runs ahead say uh-uh or no and return him to his mark. Have your Schnauzer SIT and start over. If necessary begin training the HEEL command with lead (instructions below).

Training dog to HEEL on leash:

  1. Attach a leash to your Miniature Schnauzer's collar and hold it taut (ie. with very little slack).
  2. Starting with your Miniature Schnauzer at your side, give a slight tug on the leash and command HEEL just as you begin walking. As soon as your Miniature Schnauzer begins walking say: Good Boy HEEL!
  3. Repeat this process over and over. Take a few steps commanding HEEL... Stop... and Praise.
  4. Continue walking and begin adding turns to the left and right.
  5. At each new turn, slightly tug on the leash... command HEEL... and say Good Boy! Since there is no give in the leash, your dog will be forced to stay close by your side. If your dog tries to pull forward, slightly tug him back into position and command HEEL along with the verbal Good Boy reward.

    Once your Miniature Schnauzer begins to HEEL, when turning be sure to add the turn direction into the command as well. (ie when you plan to turn right command HEEL RIGHT Or if going left command HEEL LEFT)

Now that your Miniature Schnauzer has learned all the basic dog obedience training commands, continue to practice all of them daily.

Training should be reinforced throughout your dog's life

Dog Obedience Training Aids

Taining Leads

Training Clickers

Training Harness

Training Pouch

Training Whistle

Dog Training Books

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Watch Miniature Schnauzer Lexi perform during an Open Competition in which a dog is expected follow commands off leash including heel, figure 8, retrieve over high jump, drop on recall, sit and more. Lexi does a great job performing! Go Lexi!

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