Photo by © J. Mimeault

Miniature Schnauzer - Breed Profile:

Origin: Germany
Colors:
Salt-and-pepper, black, black-and-silver
Size: Small
Type of Owner:
Novice
Exercise: Moderate
Grooming: Regular
Trainability: Easy to train
Combativeness: Tends to be dog-aggressive
Dominance: Moderate
Noise: Average barker

Physical characteristics

The Miniature Schnauzer is a small dog of terrier type with a bushy beard, moustache and eyebrows. The long head is strong and rectangular. The forehead is free of wrinkles. The teeth should meet in a scissor bite. The small dark-brown eyes are set deep. The ears can be cropped or left natural. Uncropped ears fold forward. The body is short and square-shaped with the brisket extending at least to the elbows. The front legs are perfectly straight. The tail is set high and erect. It is customarily docked.
Miniature Schnauzers weigh 14 to 17 pounds while their height is 12 to 14 inches.

Temperament

Miniature Schnauzers are affectionate, intelligent and easier to train than many other terrier breeds. Energetic and playful, they get on well with children and need human companionship. Even though they tend to be dog aggressive, this should not be a problem if proper leadership is provided. Proper socialization is also necessary. Miniature Schnauzers are good watchdogs. Easy travel with. Mental and physical exercises have to be provided on a daily basis to satisfy the dog's natural needs.

Coat and grooming

Miniature Schnauzers come in solid black, salt and pepper, black and silver colours. Their double coat consists of harsh, wiry outer hair and soft undercoat. It has little to no doggy odour. On pet dogs, the coat is usually clipped short on the upper body and left longer on the underparts, legs and head. Show dogs require trimming and hand stripping instead of clipping. Daily brushing is recommended to prevent matting.

Health

Some individuals may be prone to kidney stones, cataracts, cysts, skin problems, von Willebrand's disease, diabetes and liver ailments. Don't overfeed as Miniature Schnauzers tend to put on weight easily. The lifespan is moderately long - about 15 years.

Other interesting facts

The Miniature Schnauzer's origins go back to the 15th century when they were bred to be small farm dogs able to go to ground for all kinds of vermin.