Miniature Schnauzer

Type: Terrier

Height: 12 - 14 inches.

Weight: 13 - 18 lbs.

Life Span: 12 - 14 years.

Litter Size: 3 - 6 puppies.

Country of Origin: Germany

Activity: High. Miniature Schnauzers have energy, and are not likely a lap dog.

Watch-dog: Very High. Schnauzers react to quick actions around them, making them alert and on the lookout.

Guard-dog: Low

Description: The Miniature Schnauzer is an energetic, active dog who has clean habits, is neat in size and makes a delightful companion for apartment dwellers or someone with a small house and yard. Charming and attractive, the perky Miniature Schnauzers are seldom addicted to wandering, being devoted to their home and family. Miniature Schnauzers are excellent family pets and children's companion. Known in their native Germany as the Zwergschnauzer ("Zwerg" meaning "dwarf" or "midget"), they were derived from crossing the Standard Schnauzer with smaller dogs, possibly the Affenpinscher and the Miniature Pinscher. Zwergschnauzers are lively, active and fun companions. They are alert, spirited and eager to please. The Mini Schnauzer is loyal and very intelligent, and is accustomed to being the watchdog. They are not trustworthy with smaller animals, however, due to their high prey drive. They do get along well with other dogs and pets of the same size, and are excellent with children. In the past, some Schnauzers have been known to "watch over" children in their spare time. Schnauzers are more of a one-person dog, but can be accustomed to a family. An interesting fact about the Miniature Schnauzer is that they generally don't have any "doggy" smell. Another interesting piece of history is that originally the Schnauzer and the German Pinscher were the same breed. Wirehaired pups would be called Schnauzers (meaning "beard"), while smooth coated pups were called Pinschers. Today they are bred as separate breeds, however. Upbeat and obedient, the Miniature Schnauzer makes a delightful little companion.

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Other Names: Zwergschnauzer

Colors: Pure black, black and silver or or pepper and salt. They sometimes have markings on the end of their muzzle, eyebrows, and on the fronts of the legs.

Coat: The double coat is harsh, hard, and wiry with a short undercoat.

Temperament: Miniature Schnauzers are lively, very friendly, and affectionate. They are very intelligent, alert and react to quick movements, making them excellent watchdogs. They are loyal to family and eager to please. They get along well with other people and other dogs, but not small animals, as they have a high prey drive. They are spirited, outgoing and demanding of games. The Miniature Schnauzer's disposition has been bred down to be softer and kinder, with a spunky spark.

With Children: Yes, good with children.

With Pets: Yes, gets along well with other dogs, but not small animals.

Special Skills: Vermin destroyer, watchdog, cart puller, drover and family pet.

Care and Training: Brush or comb the wiry coat of the Miniature Schnauzer daily or it will become matted. Clip out knots. Miniature Schnauzers should be clipped all over twice a year. Trim around the eyes and ears with blunt-nosed scissors and clean whiskers after meals. Miniature Schnauzers need long, brisk, daily walks and they love to play off leash. Needs a confident handler who is fair and consistent, but not boring. Miniature Schnauzers have a mind of their own and need variety as opposed to repetition.

Learning Rate: High. Obedience - Medium. Problem Solving - Medium.

Living Environment: City or country, they are an ideal pet for any setting. Miniature Schnauzers are very adaptable. They can even adapt to different types of people, active or sedentary. But the best owner for this breed would be an active individual who lives in the country, city or suburban area with a yard.

Health Issues: Bladder stones, allergies, diabetes, liver diseases, skin disorders and cysts. They can also have eye problems including PRA (Progressive Retinal Atrophy), melanoma, and myotonia congenita.

History: Miniature Schnauzers' actual roots are uncertain, but there is speculation that the black Poodle, the Wolfspitz and a rough coated German Terrier are breeds which may have played a part in the Schnauzer's early development. The Miniature Schnauzer was developed by breeding the Standard with other small dogs, possibly with Poodles and Affenpinschers. They were primarily used for droving, stock tender, hunting vermin, pulling carts, guarding flocks and children, as well as serving the duty of a watchdog. But since they were not used for going to ground, they have a slightly different temperament than other terriers. The breed goes far back into history. In 1492 a painting was created by Albrecht Durer, titled "Madonna with the Many Animals", in which a Schnauzer was depicted. In Germany, the breed had become known to watch children in their spare time, becoming known as "kinderwachters". The Schnauzer was mainly used on farms. Back then, the Schnauzer and German Pinscher were the same breed--simply differentiates by their fur. Wire-haired and smooth coated dogs were born in the same litter, with the wire-haired being called "schnauze" (meaning "beard"), and the smooth coats called "pinschers". The Schnauzer was brought to America in 1925, and was classified under "Terrier". They were accepted by the AKC in 1926, and have spread in popularity both in the U.S. and elsewhere since then. Miniature Schnauzers are currently the 10th most popular breed in America today. The breed is popular in both the show and the home.

First Registered by the AKC: 1926

AKC Group: Terrier Group

Class: Terrier

Registries: AKC, ANKC, CKC, FCI (Group 2), KC (GB), UKC