This fun-loving dog has all of the great characteristics of the Schnauzer with a little extra spark that makes it a great animal to have around. While the tail and ears are often cropped in America and other parts of the world for show purposes, docking is illegal in most of Europe including the United Kingdom.
The Miniature Schnauzer was developed in Germany by crossing the Affenpinscher with small Standard Schnauzers. The name comes from the German word Schnauze meaning muzzle because of the distinct muzzle that this breed has. The Miniature Schnauzer was originally used to catch rats and has a number of other skills such as hunting, performing tricks, competitive obedience and tracking.
This small dog is sturdily built and features a square proportional body. The head is strong and rectangular, while the strong muzzle ends rather bluntly. The small eyes are deep set and dark brown, while the high set ears are naturally v-shaped and small and fold close to the head. The Miniature Schnauzer features a double coat with a soft undercoat and a wiry outer coat. This coat is usually clipped close and can be a range of colours including salt and pepper, black, white and black and silver.
The Miniature Schnauzer is generally a very happy dog and in intelligent and loving. The breed’s playful nature means that it gets along with children and is devoted and very affectionate. The breed should be socialised well so that it can get along with other dogs easily and needs to be trained in a firm yet calm manner. Unlike many other small dogs, the Miniature Schnauzer does not have a yappy bark and it makes a good watchdog does to its strong obedience and loyalty. If left unchecked, the Miniature Schnauzer has a tendency to develop Small Dog Syndrome, so it is essential to let the dog know that it is not the head of the household, otherwise it will soon become difficult to manage.
Associated Health Problems
Like many miniature breeds, the Miniature Schnauzer is prone to a range of health conditions including liver disease, diabetes kidney stones and skin disorders and may suffer from hereditary eye problems. The breed tends to gain weight easily, so it is important not to overfeed it.
This breed is well suited to living indoors and does well in even small apartments as it is largely inactive when inside.
Exercise and Care
The Miniature Schnauzer is an energetic dog and needs long, brisk walks or jogs daily as plenty of time of the lead. The breed loves to play games and can be taught to perform certain tasks. The Miniature Schnauzer requires both mental and physical exercise to prevent it from becoming depressed. It is important to make sure the breed is trained to walk to heel when on a lead and enter and exit gateways and doors after humans rather than running ahead. If the Miniature Schnauzer does not get enough exercise it is likely to develop behavioural problems. Although the breed’s wiry coat requires a lot of grooming to prevent it from becoming matted, this can be done easily and takes just a few minutes each day. The breed does not shed and its coat needs to be trimmed from time to time.
Life expectancy: This breed lives around 15 years, although it remains youthful until late in life
Group: Terrier, AKC Terrier
Recognition: CKC, FCI, ACA, AKC, UKC, CKC, ANKC, KCGB, NKC, NZKC, ACR, DRA, APRI, NAPR.