"Miniature Schnauzer is the 11th most popular breed in the U.S., primarily for its temperament and small size."
Other names for this breed:Zwergschnauzer (Dwarf Schnauzer)
Country of origin:Germany
Weight:Male 11 to 18 lb (5.0 to 8.2 kg), female 10 to 15 lb (4.5 to 6.8 kg)
Height:Male 14 in (36 cm), female 13 in (33 cm)
Coat:Harsh and wiry when hand stripped, soft and curly when unclipped
Color:Black, salt-and-pepper, black-and-silver, white
Litter size:3-8 puppies
Life span:12-14 years
The Miniature Schnauzer was first developed in the late 1800’s by combining a Standard Schnauzer and a poodle and possibly another small breed dog. They were first bred by farmers in Germany as working dogs or ratters to keep the farm free from vermin. They were charged with guarding, herding and hunting for vermin and they excelled at all three.
They range in weight from 11-18 lbs with the males being on the heavier end of the scale. They are considered “working” dog breed. These dogs have very expressive faces with full “mustaches and beards” and discernible “eyebrows”.
Coat and Grooming
This breed has a double coat. The under coat is smooth while the outer coat is shorty and wiry. Some people consider this breed a non molting or non shedding breed. While they do not shed as much as other breeds do they do shed minimally. They can fit in the hypoallergenic category for those people that suffer from allergies.
Their coat is not very easy to care for so occasional brushing and bathing at home and regular trips to the groomer will keep them in a lovely coat. A Schnauzer clip is a common clipping for this breed. The hair is left long on the muzzle and stomach and the hair is clipped everywhere else. Their tales can be naturally short and thin, docking is outlawed in many countries and seriously not recommended.
There are four recognized colors of this breed. Black, salt and pepper, black and silver and pure white although the pure white is not recognized universally as there is some question as to the origination of the genes found in an all white dog.
This breed is easy to train, hard working for affection and attention. They are good watch dogs but their bark is far worse than their bite. They can be territorial and very protective of their home but easily warms up to strangers once they are invited in and the pup can see that their people like the person!
They are great in obedience and agility training. They are obedient dogs that learn quickly. They have very strong hunting instincts and typically do not differentiate between your family cat and a squirrel. With proper training they can learn to live with small pets but it is a challenge to break and instinct that they have been bred for. They can adapt if they are raised with the other animals from the time they are puppies but introducing them to smaller pets later on in life usually does not pan out well.
They usually get along well with other dogs both larger and smaller. They are tolerant of children both small and large so they make an excellent family pet. They are naturally curious and have a very strong predator streak so it is important to insure safety at all times by keeping items that can fall over on them out of the way because they do enjoy a good hunt even when there is nothing to hunt. They often find themselves in a small space that they can not get out of or wind up injured by knocking stuff over on themselves.
The Miniature Schnauzer is a high energy dog that requires a lot of exercise so they do not do well with apartment living unless there is a lot of time made to exercise outdoors. They enjoy a good chase so they need some room to run. They would enjoy a home with a big backyard to play in. Schnauzers need to be engaged in regular play or they will find their own things to play with which may not make their family very happy. A rigorous period of play everyday can help to keep this breed feeling well and keep them from mischief.
One of the key health issues stem from diet. This breed thrives on a low fat diet. They can suffer with diabetes, bladder stones, hyperlipdemia and other diet related issues. A well balanced diet that is low in fat and that focuses on high quality proteins can help them to avoid the most common health pitfalls.
They have been known to have a high incidence of “comedone syndrome” a skin disorder that produces pus and fluid filled bumps on their backs, this is very treatable. They should have regular checks of their ears because they are also prone to frequent ear infections. Avoiding ear infections can be as simple as insuring that the ear is completely dry after swimming and bathing.
The Miniature Schnauzer has the potential to be a well loved family pet. They thrive as a “pack” member and can easily bring a lot of joy into any home with their high energy antics. They are a bit single minded so an experienced owner would likely get the most joy from this breed.