The Miniature Schnauzer was developed from crosses between the Standard Schnauzer and one or more smaller breeds such as the Poodle and Affenpinscher. The average height of the Miniature Schnauzer is 13-14 in (33-36 cm) and it can weigh anything between 10 to 18 lb (5-8.2 kg) depending on the gender. These dogs stand straight on almost rigid front legs with short, round feet.
The typical rectangular head which is framed by natural forward-folding ears is one of the breed’s well-known physical features in addition to a bushy beard, eyebrows and mustache. Although docking of the tail is becoming more and more a controversial practice, some Mini Schnauzers may still feature this trait which goes against the naturally short and straight tail of the breed.
Many experts claim the Mini Schnauzer doesn’t shed at all and, even though this is not entirely true this type of dog will moult almost imperceptibly. The recognised coat colours as per breed standard are black, salt and pepper, black and silver, and pure white. Schnauzers are equipped with a double coat: wiry on the exterior layer and soft on the undercoat.
The AKC describes the Miniature Schnauzer as “alert and spirited, yet obedient to command...friendly, intelligent and willing to please...never overaggressive or timid”. If you’re thinking of buying this breed you’ll gain a sweet, smart and very loyal best friend!
Mini Schnauzers are very popular as family pets due to their playful and energetic nature which goes hand-in-hand with a child’s dynamic spirit. Although it may initially seem indifferent to strangers, your Mini Schnauzer will only need to be socialised early on in order to display a friendly attitude towards guests or people met during a walk.
Because of their strong prey drive, your pooch could have a tendency to hunt smaller pets like rodents, birds and even cats, although this disposition can be tamed through proper training and socialisation. Some Mini Schnauzers may prove to be extremely protective and territorial so early exposure to other dogs and people is essential to reduce the chances of a fight or aggressive behaviour around others.
The natural guarding inclination of the breed may become useful while training your Miniature Schnauzer which will generally excel (and enjoy!) in obedience and agility training as well as tracking.
The Miniature Schnauzer is considered a generally healthy breed with an average lifespan of 12 years. However, as with any pet the health and wellbeing of your dog will depend on its lifestyle.
Being such an active type of dog, the Mini Schnauzer will require regular physical activity complimented by some mental stimulation to keep it alert and responsive. If you enjoy being outdoors for long walks or even short runs at the park then this breed will be the perfect companion. A happy Schnauzer will need daily interaction with its owner and close family members so be sure to dedicate the right amount of time playing, grooming and training your pooch.
Miniature Schnauzers may be subject to health issues connected to high fat levels such as hyperlipidemia, which may increase the possibility of pancreatitis. There are instances of this breed also developing diabetes, bladder stones and eye problems. Unfortunately, Miniature Schnauzers are also prone to von Willebrand disease (vWD) which is inherited in dogs as a bleeding disorder.
It is essential to take your pet for regular vet appointments to monitor its general health and ensure it is not developing any disease that could be seriously damaging for its wellbeing.
Regardless of the size, all Schnauzer will require frequent and regular grooming both from professionals and their owner. Because of the wiry coat, your dog will need to be brushed on a daily basis in order to prevent the fur from getting tangled into mats. Almost every Schnauzer will feature the same grooming style which tends to highlight the natural beard by allowing the hair to grow long around the nose while the rest of the hair is clipped (or stripped) short and close to the body.
A unique aspect of grooming your Mini Schnauzer involves making sure the ears are thoroughly dried after a play in the pool or walk in the rain as this sensitive area can be subject to ear infections if not properly monitored.
If you plan to adopt a Mini Schnauzer be prepared to spend some time brushing and dematting your pooch as well as some money for regular grooming appointments. If you’re consistent and dedicated your dog will sport a beautiful, silky coat all year round. Try to remove any bad association and get your puppy used to being handled for a bath and clipping session from an early age.
Thanks to their intelligence and alertness Miniature Schnauzers thrive at a variety of physical activities. If you are planning on buying a puppy from a breeder or even adopting a mature Schnauzer you’ll be spoiled with choices on how to interact with your pooch. Be mindful to always allow your Schnauzer to release its high level of energy whether through a long walk, a run at the park or even a good play session inside the house on a rainy day.
As many dog breeds, the Miniature Schnauzer can become restless and anxious if forced to be inactive for too long. A perfect way of combining the need for mental stimulation and exercise is to enrol into obedience or agility training with your dog. These kind of activities are great at keeping your pet fit and happy while strengthening the bond between you.
Thanks to its small size, the Mini Schnauzer can easily be riding in the car with you when you travel to new places such as the beach or countryside.