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Miniature Schnauzer

Quick facts

Miniature Schnauzer AKC Group: Terrier
Height: Male: 12-14 inches
Weight: Male: 12-20 pounds, Female: 12-18 pounds
Colors: Black, white, black and silver, salt and pepper
AKC recognized in: 1926

Specifically bred for guarding the house and barn, the Miniature Schnauzer has unique features of a bushy beard, a moustache, and prominent eyebrows on a long head. It barks more than it moves to approach a stranger or warn its master of danger from strange noises it hears. It is an effective house dog and it attacks vermin, especially rats and cockroaches. It is an instinctive habit to run after snakes, birds, and even cats unless they are trained to treat cats as pets of the family.

First shown in 1909 as the Short-Haired Skye Terrier, the Miniature Schnauzer soon gained a separate name of its own amid protests from Skye breeders. There are certain standards as to its height and weight, but irresponsible breeding has resulted in much smaller, less purebred dogs.

Bred in Germany in the late 19th century, it used to be a working dog for the farm called a Standard Schnauzer. The crossbreeding of the Schnauzer with Poodle and Affenpinscher gave birth to the compact and small-sized dog called the Miniature Schnauzer.

It is one of the more popular breeds today. It came to be a favorite because of its appearance and temperament. Its colors of salt-and-pepper or the black and silver coat have been attractive to dog fanciers.

However, the White Miniature Schnauzer became a controversy because it is not of the original gene pool and had only been cross-bred with dogs having the "d" allele or the Dilution gene that dilutes the two forms of melanin (pigment) of mammals' hair coats, the eumelanin and the phaeomelanin. The White Miniature Schnauzer is allowed to join sanctioned events of the AKC, except for conformation shows. But the official colors of this dog breed, recognized by the American Kennel Club and the Canadian Kennel Club, do not include white.


Miniature Schnauzer Summary
Affection four paws
Cold Tolerance four paws
Ease of Training four paws
Energy level four paws
Exercise Requirements four paws
Friendliness : Children three paws
Friendliness: Other Animals three paws
Friendliness: Other Pets three paws
Grooming Requirements two paws
Heat Tolerance three paws
Playfulness three paws
Protection Ability three paws
Watchdog Ability four paws

The Miniature Schnauzer is an energetic dog that gets excited seeing people it recognizes. Partly from its instinct to be territorial, this dog can be useful to watch homes and bark with its low howl to ward off intruders. It is not overly aggressive and is obedient during training.

It can, however, develope to become aggressive if humans do not become true dog pack leaders. While it is not a natural Miniature Schnauzer behavior, it can come to behave like having the Small Dog Syndrome when it has learned to become more strong-minded than its owner. It can also be a dog that is easy to tag along in travels.

The Miniature Schnauzer is extremely intelligent, and training this breed is easy. As long as she perceives you as being the alpha of the pack, she will do whatever she can to please you. But let her think she is in charge, and she can become very manipulative. One of their favorite tricks is to pretend not to hear you when you want them to do something.

Health and Exercise

The Miniature Schnauzer has a life expectency of between 12 and 14 years.

Miniature Schnauzers are generally healthy dogs, but they do tend to suffer from certain conditions, inclucing:

  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) - This eye disease involves the deterioration of the retina and results in night blindness, then loss of sight completely as time goes on.
  • Von Willebrand's Disease - a blood disorder that results in loss of clotting, meaning your dog will bleed more readily, and for a longer period of time. While this disease cannot be cured, it can be managed.
  • Myotonia Congenita - a muscular disorder akin to muscular dystrophy. This is an inherited disorder, so make sure you buy from a reputable breeder that has had DNA testing for the gene that causes this.

Even though it has double coats and lots of hair on its face and feet, the Miniature Schnauzer sheds minimally. This is because the undercoat catches the loose hair. A brushing two or three times a week is all that should be needed to ensure her fur does not get matted.

The Miniature Schnauzer is active even when kept inside, between following her family all over the place and playing with her toys. This should not mean a daily walk can be skipped though. This dog requires at least 45 minutes of exercise a day, and a brisk walk should be part of that daily routine.

Visitor Comments

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Dogs feel very strongly that they should always go with you in the car, in case the need should arise for them to bark violently at nothing right in your ear.
Dave Barry

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