Mini Schnauzer

Also known as: Mini Schnauzer, Zwergschnauzer (Dwarf Schnauzer)
  • Mini Schnauzer
  • Mini schnauzer

General description

The Miniature Schnauzer is a breed that adapts to life in rather narrow domestic environments, loves the "pack" and responds quickly to any direction received from the owner when backed up by strict training. Miniature Schnauzers can be stubborn and their hyperactivity can cause a few damages but always within the limits of their physical abilities. A Miniature Schnauzer will be loyal to its master forever and won't have any relevant health issues. Your Miniature Schnauzer requires care, specifically in relation to its coat and maintenance of its exceptional shape. No particular concern in relation to expenses however a Miniature Schnauzer's daily meals should be monitored. The Miniature Schnauzers would never stop eating.

Mini Schnauzer in short

Aspect and attributes

Characteristics accepts by FCI:

  • Colors: white, black, pepper and salt, silver
  • Hair: thick, wiry, short
  • Coats: double color, solid

Miniature Schnauzers are fairly small and take up little space, yet they have the energy levels of a Giant Schnauzer. This trait tends to distort any feature relating to a Miniature Schnauzer's size however, it is also a positive quality for owners lacking a big house but seeking for the perfect balance between size, physical resistance and athletic performance. Miniature dynamite.

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Costs and maintenance

Despite being a small size breed, a Miniature Schnauzer can eat quite a lot of food. A trait that all owners should keep in mind when caring for Miniature Schnauzers. Typical expenditures will be for training and upbringing such as regular vet checkups and vaccines, however these are standard for any living being. The downside could be in the cost to maintain the coat of your Miniature Schnauzer. A process that should be punctual and mindful in order to avoid unpleasant issues or ruining your pet's unique beauty.

Within average with some extra care for the fur

Characteristics Summary


Suitability to apartment life

The nature of a Schnauzer is to perfectly adapt, regardless of its size, to a quiet life in a unit even quite small. The Miniature Schnauzer's ability to conform to such a lifestyle is amplified by the opportunity to enjoy a wider "moving range". Counterbalancing this well known skill, Schnauzers are also highly reactive, dynamic and always curious which can be a danger to some delicate objects if your dog is freely moving around.

A domestic breed, suitable to apartment life

Tolerance for solitude

One of the main features in all Schnauzer varieties which is duly confirmed by the Miniature Schnauzer is the fact this breed does not enjoy being alone. The desire to interact with the outside world and share daily activities with the owner make Schnauzers "allergic" to solitude. This type of dog can be quite accountable when left by the owner however, this should limit to working hours or it could become an issue for a breed that requires such a high level of attention.

Within average and never for too long in one day

Suitable as first pet

The Miniature Schnauzer's reactiveness is a trait that sets it apart from the differently sized varieties. Whatever feature is typical in the alternatively sized Schnauzers is amplified in this small variety and can become an issue for inexperienced owners who are still unable to adequately raise a puppy. However, a Schnauzer's ability to learn all commands rather quickly during training can be of help. A sort of support for new and inexperienced owners as well as a reason for which Schnauzers are so in demand.

Sometimes challenging but rather suitable


When dealing with Miniature Schnauzers you'll often think your talking to a deaf dog. This breed requires a firm and strict type of training. Especially during puppyhood, Miniature Schnauzers are capable of being absolutely aloof towards their owners in many occasions. A type of behavior that initially requires firmness but can also be a positive trait when the Miniature Schnauzer finds itself in loud or chaotic environments.

A breed displaying a temper in different contexts

Tolerance for cold temperatures

Any type of environment is suitable to a Miniature Schnauzer's activities. This dog breed is fond of outdoor spaces and doesn't mind chillier days in winter. Its reactivity and rather thick coat enable the Schnauzer to handle the daily walk in the colder days, even if at a gentler pace. Owners wanting their Miniature Schnauzer living outside even in excessively cold climates should make note to pay special attention to their pooch. Avoid making this choice for both your dog's and your own sake.

Very tolerant but not in extreme conditions

Tolerance for high temperatures

The Miniature Schnauzers is quite easy to accustom in a certain kind of environment. A pet's acclimatization can be challenging during certain times of year. For example, issues may arise in summer during heat waves involving multiple days in a row. In these situation, it is up to owners to help their pets live their daily life in a comfortable way by avoiding taking them out during the hottest hours or expecting them to be excessively active in high temperatures. Even though it may seem differently, Miniature Schnauzers are capable of withstanding higher temperatures provided that the previously mentioned advices are taken into account.

Tolerant but with caution

Friendliness and sociability

Affection towards family

Miniature Schnauzers is a breed that grows deeply fond of all family members. This breed is first of all capable of creating a loving relationship with the alpha dog (their owner) and peacefully sharing the home environment with all other family members thanks to the directions received during its upbringing.

Miniature Schnauzer have an unconditional type of love for their family

Friendly towards children

Children are a Miniature Schnauzer's favorite "target". Obviously because this breed enjoys playing with them as much as it loves all interaction. The dynamic activity belonging to kids is perfect for this champion of interaction. Miniature Schnauzers have an intelligence level above average and they are perfectly able to understand the boundaries around younger children although the interaction should never occur outside adult supervision.

Miniature Schnauzers have a wonderful relationship with kids

Relationship with strangers

As all other varieties, the Miniature Schnauzer is also characterized by famous curiosity. This type of dog is attracted to anything outside its normal daily routine. Therefore, even a stranger can be subject to a Schnauzer's thorough investigation. A well trained Schnauzer will investigate the presence of a stranger and inform the owner or family members however, once their acquaintance with the "pack" is established a Schnauzer will interact with them as if were part of the family circle.

Accommodating with strangers

Friendliness towards other dogs

There are two main aspects to consider when referring to Miniature Schnauzers. This dog breed is capable of coexisting with other dogs if exposed to them as a puppy. A Miniature Schnauzer enjoys communicating with them and cleverly interprets other dog's behaviors. However, Miniature Schnauzers are not aware of their small size and they can display a natural determination towards larger dogs with the risk of getting into trouble. A risk that can be avoided all together through adequate training.

Quite sociable although competitive at times

Care and health

Coat care and shedding

Despite the unsuspected thickness even on the back and leg area, the coat of a Schnauzer, and therefore of a Miniature one, is quite hard and rather contained as far as shedding. This is another reason why the Miniature Schnauzers is considered a breed that can easily live in apartment because it doesn't require constant attention typical with intense moulting. This feature can only be guaranteed through regular care provided by the owner. Lack of regular coat treatment can cause your Miniature Schnauzer to leave a few "presents" around the house.

Limited with regular attention

Salivation and drooling restraint level

As all Schnauzer varieties, the Miniature version can be challenging in some occasions. This type of dog is absolutely reactive and spends its days looking for a way to engage in some kind of ongoing exercise. A kind of behavior that can bring a Miniature Schnauzer to engage in substantial effort especially during the hot seasons, causing an abundant salivation. A minimal feature to consider in addition to the typical situations that may cause increased drooling in a dog such as when it is hungry, waiting for food or excited.

Quite high in certain situations

Easiness to clean

Strong attention must be given to the cleanliness of your Miniature Schnauzer. This dog breed loves being outdoors and, during regular exercise sessions it may get dirty in delicate areas such as the paws and tail. The unique nature of a Schnauzer's fur resides in its thickness, which is also one of the main reasons that should push owners to focus on this breed's cleanliness. It is recommended to keep an eye out for sensitive areas such as legs and face, especially after a meal.

Be careful with paws and face

Health and diseases

Despite the small size, Miniature Schnauzers are quite resistant. As all Schnauzer varieties, the Miniature type doesn't have any particular health issue even when moving forward with age and it only requires regular checkups when dealing with certain genetic diseases such as hypothyroidism or the von Willebrand disease. Generally, this dog breed may also be subject to dysplasia or eye-related conditions. Regular inspections of the eye area is also advisable to avoid issues with the passing years.

A generally healthy breed requiring some attention

Tendency to gain weight

All Schnauzers have a tendency to gain weight however this is strictly connected to the typical inactive lifestyle of an apartment dog. Clearly, this is not the case for Miniature Schnauzer that perfectly represents a compact yet dynamic breed which must be kept in shape through exercise. A type of habit that won't be a problem with this tiny yet energetic breed.

Connected to regular physical activity

Learning skills

Intelligence and training

Being extremely intelligent is one of the best qualities in a Schnauzer and this feature shines when your pet is being adequately trained. The Miniature Schnauzer is no exception as it proves to be extremely receptive from a very young age with no limits to its intelligence, especially during interaction. Nevertheless, Miniature Schnauzer owners will require a great deal of patience whilst training this breed. Miniature Schnauzers are quite stubborn and must be handled with firmness.

A very smart breed that requires a steady type of training

Loyalty and inclination to escape

A Miniature Schnauzer's curiosity is typical in certain situations and activities. When your pooch takes off to chase another animal it will be quite difficult to stop unless the lead is being held firmly. An impending threat that will force the owner to pay special attention (as much as possible) to this unique trait in a Miniature Schnauzer. Generally, well trained Miniature Schnauzers will limit their action range and never lose sight of their master.

Relative to a Miniature Schnauzers's curiosity

Inclination to bite

In the majority of situations, a Miniature Schnauzer will only bite during normal recreational and daily interactive contexts. Miniature Schnauzers are knowingly quite delicate as they are aware not to cause any trauma on the owner's hands or arms and will rarely become dangerous to their master's safety. Nevertheless, Miniature Schnauzers are dogs and they must be trained appropriately in this regard to avoid developing inappropriate behaviors.

Gentle nips and in rare occasions

Hunt drive

There is hardly anyone better than the Miniature Schnauzer in this regard. The highly dynamic nature of the Miniature Schnauzer combined with the curiosity for anything small or moving away from it paint a picture of a breed created to chase. The origins of the breed support this typical activity during which a Miniature Schnauzer will take off in wild chases whenever it sees a mouse or smaller animal and will hardly give up until it catches it.

A natural disposition to chase preys

Inclination to bark or howl

The tendency to bark or howl is perfectly within the average for this breed when compared to other types of dog. The only small difference lays, once again, in this breed's great curiosity. We are talking about a breed that will often bark to alert owners, gain their attention and signal the presence of other people or animals in the area surrounding the backyard or front door. Noise and movements will both attract your Miniature Schnauzer and it will react by barking to advise whoever is in charge.

The Miniature Schnauzer only barks when required

Exercise requirements

Energy level

Miniature Schnauzers are tireless by definition. On top of being a true athlete capable of performing quite challenging physical activities, the Miniature Schnauzer is also constantly considerate and responsive to certain stimulating activities with the owner and other family members. A feature not to be underestimated as, despite the small size, a Miniature Schnauzer can last quite a long time and with great intensity in any activity it is performing. Such a high energy level is rare in a breed this small.

Unusual for a dog this size


Schnauzer owners can sometime undervalue their dog's strength. Surely beyond suspicion but quite manageable with the right level of awareness which is required even when about to engage in regular activities with this beautiful breed. The Miniature Schnauzer's intense strength is not harmful or worrying but, in a domestic environment where many objects may be somehow damaged, it is important to contain certain activities and excitable situations in which your pet may accidentally cause trouble.

Unsuspected strength in everyday activities

Exercise requirements

A constant need for Miniature Schnauzers as they have to release any stress that has built up during many hours spent indoors or in spaces too small to indulge in their natural curiosity by exploring and moving freely. Miniature Schnauzers require daily exercise outside of the home environment in order to explore, master their interaction with other dogs and, last but not least, maintain fit without gaining extra weight which can be unhealthy for a dog this size.

The Miniature Schnauzer needs daily activity to keep in shape

Tendency to play

The Miniature Schnauzer is one of the most motivating types of dog to play with when compared to other small-sized breeds. The Miniature Schnauzer is naturally curious towards new and stimulating experiences that can be shared with the owner or family members. This breed is fond of playing with kids and creates a special bond with them which is founded on attentions and pleasant interaction. An important advice: try avoiding repetitive activities with your Miniature Schnauzer as it could easily get bored and become uncomfortable.

A Miniature Schnauzer's favorite activity provided it is not repetitive

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