The Miniature Schnauzer originated in Germany and was bred to be a ratter in barns but is more commonly used as a companion breed. They are a mixture of the miniature poodle and the Standard Schnauzer, giving them the small size of a poodle and identical appearance of a Schnauzer. These little dogs are very popular due to their infectiously animated personality.
The Mini Schnauzer has a small compact body with frail legs and a prancing gait. They have a long rectangular muzzle and large circular eyes that have a curious expression to them. This breed has naturally floppy ears and a long tail but for show purposes these will be cropped and docked. The fur on their face gives them the appearance of a beard and mustache! They are identical to the Standard Schnauzer both in colour and body shape, but on a much smaller scale.
These little dogs are bright, happy, loving creatures that want to be with their owners at all times. They make good family pets because they like children and have the patience for them. Other dogs pose a problem for this breed because for the most part, they do not get along but if socialized extensively as puppies, this can be prevented. The Mini Schnauzer is a protective breed that will take on people, dogs or other animals if they seem to threaten their family or home.
The Mini Schnauzer comes in a silver, black, salt & pepper, or white. Most commonly seen is the salt & pepper colouring which is the light gray with black and white accents on their chest and legs.
This breed has a thick double layered coat that consists of a harsh and wiry top layer and a soft, plushy undercoat. This keeps them very warm when in colder temperatures but since these dogs are so small, they will get cold easily because they don't have much body mass. The coat does not shed much fur so will be good for people that have allergies to dogs.
The Mini Schnauzer is a playful, animated character that will make a great pet for families or people that would like an affectionate smaller dog. They would do better in a home with no other animals because they enjoy being the centre of attention and for the most part, do not get along very well with other pets. Protective and responsive, this breed wants to be the guardian of the house and will make a great watchdog as they have a loud shrill bark.
These dogs are extremely clever and will be quite easy to train provided the owner is consistent. They can pick up little tricks and will be quite charming while performing them to impress their masters. Miniature Schnauzers enjoy playing and will need a variety of toys to choose from because if they become bored, they will find things to chew on that might not necessarily be something their master will approve of.
This breed will need a moderate amount of grooming as they have a shorter coat that will not need much maintenance. Brushing 3-4 times per week and bathing once every 2 months will be perfect for this dogs coat. Trims should be given 4 times per year to keep the length equal. These dogs are prone to skin allergies, cysts, eye problems, kidney stones and diabetes. In general they are healthy dogs but owners should check the blood lines of the parents to ensure what their puppy might be inheriting at a later date.
The Miniature Schnauzer is a clever breed that will need gentle methods when training. Consistency and repetition are key but a positive manner is a must to encourage these dogs to want to learn. Lessons should be kept short and fun so the training will not feel like work. Mini Schnauzers will need a lot of socialization as puppies especially with other dogs; they can become dog aggressive if this is not done!
The Miniature Schnauzer will need to be taken out to an off-leash dog park or out for regular walks as they need a moderate amount of exercise to burn off their energy. During the day these dogs play so after work they will not need too much exercise to tire them out. This breed is perfect for apartments because of their size and will not need a back yard but access to one will be a bonus.