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Miniature Schnauzer - SaveARescue.org

Miniature Schnauzer

Miniature Schnauzer

  • Breed Group : TERRIER
  • Origin : Germany
  • Average Height : 12" - 14"
  • Average Weight : 11 - 20 lbs.
  • Life Span : 12 - 15 years

Photo Courtesy of : Miniature Schnauzers & Friends Rescue

  • Size

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  • Energy

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  • Intelligence

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  • Ease of Training

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  • Hypo-Allergenic

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  • Shedding

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  • Good with Kids

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  • Good with Other Pets

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  • Guard Dog

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Miniature Schnauzer Rescue Organizations

  • The Miniature Schnauzer is a German breed.

    During the years around the turn of the century, both smooth German Pinscher and coarse-haired Schnauzer pups appeared in the same litters. The German Pinscher Schnauzer Club initiated a policy requiring proof of three generations of pure coarse-haired Schnauzer coats for registration. This quickly helped set type and made them a distinct breed from the German Pinscher.

    These Schnauzers were given the name Standard Schnauzer. Miniature Schnauzers were developed by crossing small Standard Schnauzers with the Affenpinscher and possibly the Poodle.

    The Schnauzer name derived from the German word "Schnauze," which means "muzzle."

    It was used as a ratter and still retains the ability, but is mostly a companion dog today. Some of the Schnauzer's talents include: hunting, tracking, ratter, watchdog, competitive obedience and performing tricks.
  • Miniature Schnauzers 'have it all' - all wrapped up in one dynamic package: they are intelligent; extroverted; humourous; affectionate; great guard dog; and loving.

    • A very popular breed….Miniature Schnauzer have it ‘all’ wrapped up in one dynamo package: they are: intelligent, affectionate, with an extroverted temperament;humorous and a personality that's twice as big as they are.
    • They can make you laugh every day, you will never be bored with their personality-plus antics.
    • Great apartment, lap dog. A great addition to any famil.
    • Good with children and other pets.
    • Hypo-Allergenic, they shed very little – great for allergy sufferers.
    • A “People Person” breed.
    • Moderately high energy, they love to have fun, fun, be exercised and center of attention.
    • Protective of his family he makes a great watchdog.
    • Intelligent and learns quickly. Love to learn tricks.
    • Can be stubborn, and ‘tune out’ to your wishes if they don’t like what you want from them.
    • Excel in dog sports.
    • Likes to dig.
    • High requirements when it comes to grooming and ‘keeping’ their coats clean & pressed.
    • If left alone and bored can become destructive and ill-tempered.


    Many people are unaware of the two different sides of a Miniature Schnauzer. They can go from being energetic and out-of-control, to snuggling up in your lap on the couch. It is a breed much loved by the older generation, as they can be very gentle. Without being told, they recognize when to be gentle and calm around children, and when it's okay to run around and play with an older crowd.

    They have garnered a reputation for being hard-headed and stubborn, but deep down they are mischievous little goofballs. They are a very energetic and playful dog that can play for hours on end. If they are unable to get enough exercise, they can become a very difficult breed to handle.

    It is also known for Miniature Schnauzers to seek a dominant role when meeting other dogs, even those larger than themselves. This may often start a fight, without necessarily intending to do so. Though they usually get along with most dogs, the key is socialization at a young age; he must be exposed to many breeds and sizes of dogs.

    Miniature Schnauzers are very vocal dogs, known to bark at even the slightest of noises; In this sense, they make wonderful watchdogs. They are highly loyal to their family, and keep very protective of them. It is common for the Miniature Schnauzer to be a talker; they will growl and carry on as if carrying on a conversation with themselves. A personal favorite is when they let out a deep, long "roo-roo", usually in defiance when they have been told to do something that they do not want to do.

    Overall, the Miniature Schnauzer is friendly, loving, and eager to please. They make excellent companions and even better family pets.

    Health Problems

    Major Health concerns for the Miniature Schnauzer include Congenital Cataracts, a genetic disorder affecting both eyes resulting in blindness over a period of time; Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA), another genetic eye disorder in which a retina deteriorates resulting in blindness; liver diseases; bladder stones; anaphylactic reactions to vaccinations; diabetes; pancreatitis; skin disorders; and von Willebrands disease.

    They are also at high risk for Heart Murmurs, urinary infections, Allergies, obesity, anemia, Cushings disease, and Schnauzer Comedone Syndrome, also known as Schnauzer bumps.


    Before purchasing a Miniature Schnauzer, you should consider what it takes to maintaining their coat. Seeing as they do not shed, weekly brushing is needed to prevent the hair from matting. Before bathing and clipping, they need to be thoroughly brushed in case of any mat-buildups. Brushing in an upward direction will help to avoid missing any mats. First, start by brushing the leg hair in an upward direction, starting from the top and working your way down. Be careful not to forget the armpits, belly hair, and in between the toes, as these areas tend to mat up easily. If you do find a mat, place your hand between the mat and skin to minimize the discomfort of removing the mat. The eyebrows are to be combed forward, while the beard should be combed from the flat of the muzzle down and the underneath combed forwards. It is a good idea to run a brush down their back to help stimulate the skin, and remove any buildup of dirt and natural oils.

    Depending on how dirty your Schnauzer gets, they should only be bathed when necessary and prior to clipping. Over bathing can result in their body producing more oils than necessary to help replace those that have been washed away, leaving the coat dirty and greasy. Be careful not to get any water or shampoo in their eyes, ears or mouth; A tearless shampoo is recommended. Putting cotton balls in the ears while bathing can prevent water entering the ear canal and causing an infection. Be sure to get all of the shampoo out of his coat and face, as if left behind will cause dry, flaky skin.

    The ears should be checked on a regular basis for signs of infection. If the ears are overly hairy, a pair of hemostats or tweezers can be used to pull out any unnecessary hair. Brown waxy buildup, and/or redness, may be signs of an infection. An ear cleaner from your vet will help in flushing out the ear. Dogs with uncropped ears are at higher risk for ear infections due to lack of air flow.

    It is recommended brushing your Miniature Schnauzer's teeth on a weekly basis. Bacteria, produced by excess tarter buildup, can lead to permanent heart and liver damage; problems which already plague the breed. Toys that promote dental stimulation, such as cow hooves, bones, and Greenies are just a few that should be left availble to them when supervised. Gently massage the teeth and gums in a circular motion with a toothbrush.. Do not use toothpaste made for humans, as it is toxic to dogs. It is best to use dog-friendly brushes and flavored toothpaste that can be bough at any local pet store.

    The standard coat for a Miniature Schnauzer of show quality is hard, wiry, and coarse. This is achieved by plucking the head, neck, ears, chest, body, and tail. This process is called stripping, in which the undercoat and dead outer coat is removed by hand. It is a difficult and time consuming project to take on for first time owner. Many breeders and handlers are experienced at stripping, and are able to instruct on how to do it properly.

    For most pet quality Schnauzers, due to clipping, it is only a matter of time in which only the soft undercoat will remain. They are often kept this way due to the ease in the up keep of the coat. It is recommended taking them to a professional groomer every 4-6 weeks. There they are also able to trim nails, clean out ears, and if necessary, express anal glands. The more courageous owners will take on all the grooming themselves to prevent numerous trips to the groomers. It also helps create a bond between you and your dog.


    Regular exercise is a must for all Miniature Schnauzers. They gain weight very easily, which can result in major health problems. With the proper diet and exercise, these can be avoided. Exercise requirements can be met with a short walk, or a good game of toss in the yard. They enjoy playing off-leash outdoors, where they can track and follow game trails, well away from busy traffic and other unsafe environments.

    This breed of dog loves interactive play with his family, such as playing fetch or tug-of-war. Mind-stimulating toys are a great outlet for this breed when they are left alone, or the family is busy. They tend to have a naughty streak in them when they are left unattended for long periods of time, as they do get bored quite easily.


    Training a Miniature Schnauzer requires consistency and an understanding of being alpha in the family pack. They are a very intelligent breed of dog that must be taught at a young age that they are not the dominant figure in the household. Most Miniature Schnauzers will be stubborn, hard-headed, manipulative, and assertive to get what they want. Through constant repetitions, they will learn that you mean what you say, and there's nothing they can do about. They do however, require a lot of attention and affection on a regular basis as the breed tends to become depressed if neglected.

    A method called NILIF, or Nothing In Life Is Free, works amazingly well with this stubborn breed. It is a non-confrontational way to prevent dominance problems in dominant breeds. The dog must perform to get anything they want; he must earn everything, resulting in you keeping a dominant position. This will result in a much happier dog, as they will no longer be confused where they stand in the pack.

    Because of the breed's intelligence, they learn very quickly from a confident, but fair handler. More and more are seen in the obedience ring, as their loyalty and willingness to please outshines in this sport. They also enjoy doing agility; a challenging sport that requires much concentration and enthusiasm, a perfect match for this breed.

    Due to their breeding, Miniature Schnauzers are known to chase and kill small fleeing creatures (cats, rabbits, mice, etc.). They are also known to act aggressive when other people and animals approach them. They normally aren't fighters (towards other dogs), though will stand up for himself if necessary. Both of these problems must be curtailed at an early age, or you may end up with a suspicious and aggressive animal.

    Miniature Schnauzer FAQ

    #1: Where did the Miniature Schnauzer come from?..... The Miniature Schnauzer originated in Germany, during the late 1800’s, as a smaller version of the standard schnauzer – making it more suitable as a house pet – but still able to hunt vermin.

    #2: What is the size and shape of the Miniature Schnauzer?..... The Miniature Schnauzer breed standard calls for 12” to 14”. A typical miniature schnauzer weighs between 11 to 20 pounds and is described as a robust dog with a strong body, sturdy build, whiskers and leg furnishings.

    #3: What are the different sizes of the schnauzer?..... The Schnauzer comes in three sizes: Standard Schnauzer; Miniature Schnauzer; Giant Schnauzer.

    The Standard Schnauzer – known as the original schnauzer, were bred to guard the farm and keep the vermin at bay.

    The Miniature Schnauzer – because of its more compact size was able to 'go to ground' for prey. It is the most popular of the three sizes.

    The Giant Schnauzer – which had added jobs of pulling carts and used for police work.

    #4: What about Toy Schnauzers or Teacup Schnauzers?..... Reputable breeders do not under-size Mini Schnauzers, for breeding purposes – nor do they market them as toys. Responsible breeders of purebred Schnauzers, Breed to Improve.

    Neither the so–called Toy Schnauzer or Teacup Schnauzer are recognized breed names. That is not to say, they are not available to buy, (and usually at a premium price), but they are not within the breed standard which is 12" to 14" inches tall.

    If you are looking for a toy-sized dog or one smaller than 12 to 14 inches, you should probably consider another breed.

    #5: What about the Schnoodle?..... The Schnoodle is a cross between a Schnauzer and a Poodle. It is simply a mixed breed. Crossing 2 dog breeds does not create a new breed. However, Schnoodles are wonderful dogs and have traits of both a Poodle and Schnauzer.

    #6: What color is the Miniature Schnauzer?..... Miniature Schnauzers come in 3 colors: black, salt and pepper, and black and silver. These 3 colors are the only ones accepted under the breed standard.

    Salt and pepper schnauzerSalt and Pepper - The eyebrows, beard, and legs on a salt and pepper Schnauzer are gray or silver white. The gray is in various shades from almost silver white to almost black. This is the most popular and common color of the breed.

    Black schnauzerSolid Black – Just as the description implies, an entirely black Miniature Schnauzer from head to toe to wiggly butt. However, the solid black Schnauzer may sometimes have a small white chest patch.

    Black and silver schnauzerBlack and Silver - The markings of a black and silver Miniature Schnauzer follow the same pattern as the salt & pepper Schnauzer, except both the topcoat and undercoat are solid black. Beautiful silver white color accents areas of face (beard and eyebrows) and on legs, feet, and furnishings.

    White miniature SchnauzerWhite Schnauzers have more recently been granted admission to many show rings in some countries, but white still remains a disqualification in the USA.

    Brown, chocolate, liver, or parti-color schnauzers do not meet breed standards. These dogs are not allowed to compete in the show ring, even if they are registered purebreds.

    Breed standards may vary from association to association, and from country to country, even for the same species and breed. There is no one format for breed standards across all species, and breed standards do change and are updated over time.

    #7: What is the Schnauzer personality like?..... Miniature Schnauzers are alert and spirited. They are very intelligent, obedient dogs, and extremely loyal and loving to their family. Those who own a Miniature Schnauzer state they can never imagine living a life without one.

    #8: Do they get along with other pets? Children?..... As far as other pets, it depends. If you have hamsters or birds, your Schnauzer should be introduced to them slowly, if at all. Miniature Schnauzers were bred to rid the home of vermin. So it is probably not a good idea to have your Schnauzer unsupervised around these types of pets. However, Schnauzers get along fine with other dogs and even cats.

    #9: When it comes to children, the breed does well with older children or teenagers. The Miniature Schnauzer usually does not do well with very young children and may display or demonstrate an instinctual reaction to their high pitched screams and running. However, Miniature Schnauzers who have been raised among small children from the onset, seem to do well with them.

    #10: How much grooming does the Miniature Schnauzer require?..... In order to look his best, your Miniature Schnauzer will need to be groomed every 1 to 2 months. You can go to a professional dog groomer or learn to groom your Miniature Schnauzer yourself.

    #11: Are Miniature Schnauzer tails always docked?..... The official breed standard states: "the tail is to be set high and carried erect. It is docked only long enough to be clearly visible over the backline of the body when the dog is in proper length coat."
    So, most Miniature Schnauzer breeders will have the tails docked, since a natural or undocked tail is considered a deviation from the breed standard.

    #12: Are Miniature Schnauzer ears always cropped?..... The official breed standard allows for the Miniature Schnauzer to have either cropped or uncropped ears. So it is therefore a matter of preference.

    #13: Is the Miniature Schnauzer okay with apartment living?..... Yes! The Miniature Schnauzers does well living in an apartment. Just make sure to get your Miniature Schnauzer outside for daily exercise and walks.

    #14: I have a nice yard. Can I leave my Miniature Schnauzer outside?..... Miniature Schnauzers were not meant to be outside dogs. Miniature Schnauzers are family dogs who want and need to be with family members throughout the day. Miniature Schnauzers also overheat quite easily, so all day outside is not a good option for your Miniature Schnauzer.

    #15: I suffer with allergies. Is the Miniature Schnauzer a good dog for me?..... The Miniature Schnauzer sheds very, very little. They have hair instead of fur – so less dander. Most people with allergies have no reactions with this breed, making the Miniature Schnauzer one of the top 10 hypoallergenic dogs .

    #16: What’s the best way to potty train my Miniature Schnauzer?.... There are lots of different methods of potty training or housebreaking a new puppy. I have great success with my own 2 week puppy house training method which combines both paper training and crate training.

    #17: What are the health concerns of the Miniature Schnauzer?..... Miniature Schnauzers are overall very healthy dogs, but they are prone to canine diabetes, pancreatitis, bladder stones in dogs, schnauzer bumps, and they tend to gain weight easily.

    #18: But Miniature Schnauzers bark at things. Like a stranger, UPS truck, etc… They do not bark for no reason. They bark to alert you that there is something going on and want to make you aware of it.

    If you have a dog that barks incessantly, then you have a whole other problem all together. It could be your dog is totally bored and not getting enough exercise or it may be a disorder of some type. How to Stop a Dog From Barking".

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