Miniature Schnauzer

A Quick Look at the Miniature Schnauzer…

The Miniature Schnauzer is a small canine that is highly active, robust and is classified as a type of terrier. They are very busy dogs that like to play and are exceptionally affectionate, devoted and enthusiastic. Mini schnauzers are intelligent and very trainable. They are also quite alert and make fabulous watchdogs.

This breed has distinctive facial features including bushy eyebrows, beard and moustache, resembling their larger cousin the Standard Schnauzer. Mini Schnauzers are great companions and can be an excellent addition to a family. Overall they are a happy and hardy dog that makes a super pet.

Basset Hound Fast Facts…

Dog Group:
Terrier Group
Recognized By:
Dogs – 12 – 15 lbs. (5.4-6.8 kg)
Bitches – 11 – 13 lbs. (5.0-5.9 kg)
Dogs – 12 – 14 in. (30-36 cm)
Bitches – 12 – 14 in. (30-36 cm)
Average litter size:
3 – 6 puppies
Life expectancy:
13  years (average 12 – 15 years)
Health problems:
Coat care:
Exercise needs:
Suitable for children:
Pet compatibility:
Barking frequency:

Brief History

Though the origins of the Schnauzer breed dates as far back as the 15th century, the Miniature Schnauzer was not established until a much later time. The Miniature Schnauzer originated in Germany. They are believed to be the result of crossing the Standard Schnauzer with the Affenpinscher and possibly the Poodle. The name of the dog is taken from the German word “Schnauze” meaning muzzle or snout. These canines were initially bred as small farm dogs to be ratters, hunting the grounds for vermin. However, they were also used as hunters, for tracking, as watchdogs and were companion dogs. The Miniature Schnauzer was recognized as a distinct breed in 1899. Today he is a popular pet (the most popular of the three Schnauzer breeds) and excels at performing tricks and in competitive obedience.

Miniature Schnauzer Breed Appearance and Characteristics

General Appearance – The Mini Schnauzer is a small but sturdy dog. He has a well built body that is square in proportion. His strong head has a rectangular shape, his muzzle ends quite bluntly and he has a black nose. He has small, dark brown eyes that are deep set. The ears of the miniature schnauzer are set high up on the head and can be cropped, tapering to a point, or they can be left natural, folding in a V-shape close to the head. The tail is typically docked and is carried erect. If left, natural, the tail is still carried high and arches toward the back.

This breed has a double coat that features a soft undercoat and a wiry outer coat. Their hair is stripped short, close to the body, except for the legs, eyebrows, beard and mustache. The coat comes in a few colors including salt and pepper, black and silver, solid back and solid white.

Typical Temperament – Miniature Schnauzers are smart, energetic and loving canines. They enjoy the company of people but also have an independent nature. They are very good watchdogs and are always on alert. They are suspicious of strangers and will bark to let their owners know of any strange sounds or sights.

These small Schnauzers love to play with and enjoy the company of children when they have been properly socialized with them. Although they can get along with other dogs that have been raised with them, they are not compatible with cats or other smaller pets, especially rodents. Since they were initially bred for hunting vermin the instinct to track and catch these creatures is very strong and cannot be trained out of them. That said, they make good family pets and are wonderful companions when properly socialized and trained.

Basic Miniature Schnauzer Care Requirements

Grooming – The wiry coat of the Miniature Schnauzer is not difficult to care for but it does need a daily brushing (short wire brush) and combing to prevent matting. In order to maintain their short cut look, they should be clipped or stripped all over twice a year, the hair on the legs and head is usually left a little longer than the rest of the body. They should be bathed only when necessary. Dogs with natural ears need to have their ears checked and the hair of the ear canal should be plucked. Nails need to be clipped monthly and teeth brushed every few days to help maintain oral hygiene. They shed very little.

Exercise – Mini Schnauzers are very energetic little pooches and will enjoy a long, brisk walk or jog. They like to play fetch and should be provided with the freedom to run around off leash whenever possible. He should be given 40 – 60 minutes of exercise per day. This will help to prevent behavioral problems and will allow the dog to expend the energy he has bottled up. Note: These canines should not be allowed off the lead in open areas as they will feel inclined to chase any rodents they happen to see.

Approximate Food Cost – A Miniature Schnauzer ingests about 1½ cups of dry kibble each day at a cost of roughly $15 per month.

General Health Information

Miniature Schnauzers are a healthy breed, but this doesn’t mean that they are free of health problems. Some of the illnesses they are prone to include liver disease, cysts, skin disorders, kidney stones, diabetes, von Willebrand’s disease and hereditary eye problems. Owners need to care that they do not overfeed these little dogs as they can gain weight easily.

Common Illnesses include: Skin disorders, kidney stones, diabetes, cysts, Von Willebrand’s disease.

Are You the Right Miniature Schnauzer Owner?

Living conditions – This dog adapts well to apartment life and is calm and happy indoors as long as he is provided with adequate exercise, including a daily walk. That said, the Mini Schnauzer is especially pleased with a home and nice sized yard.

Training – This breed can be quite willful and independent and must have a firm and reliable trainer or they will choose to follow their own rules. Schnauzers need obedience training and need to be taught that when it comes to their pack, they are not the leader. If he does not recognize his owner as the alpha, he will assume this role and will develop Small Dog Syndrome. These are very bold, determined and intelligent dogs. They enjoy challenges and need a confident and consistent teacher. They are particularly skilled at learning tricks, obedience and agility. Socialization and training needs to be started at an early age.

Common Problems – Miniature Schnauzers are generally a happy and agreeable breed but in order to be well rounded and friendly pooches they need to be socialized and trained as puppies or they can develop a number of unwanted behaviors, such as guarding, separation anxiety, nervous and constant barking, Small Dog Syndrome and become anti-social toward humans and other dogs not in their pack. Furthermore, this dog is naturally inclined to chase rodents, other small animals and birds and needs to be kept on a lead when being walked, and is not suitable with these types of household pets.

The bottom line…

The Mini Schnauzer is an excellent companion dog. He is a very versatile pet that is affectionate, playful, dedicated to his family, and posses both watchdog and guarding skills. He has plenty of energy, likes to be active and is happy to go for a walk, a car ride or on any other adventure with his owner. Miniature Schnauzers are very agreeable, happy and an independent breed that matures with a super personality when they are well socialized and provided with consistent obedience.

Filed Under: Miniature Schnauzer Training


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