Canine Breed Menu



Breed Organization
American Miniature Schnauzer Club
Native Country
Other Names
Miniature Schnauzer, Mini Schnauzer, Dwarf Schnauzer
Life Expectancy
Approximately 13-15 Years
Litter Size
Average 3-6 Puppies
Breed Group
AKC Terrier
Breed Appearance
Miniature Schnauzers are often described as non-moulting dogs, and while this is not entirely true, their shedding is minimal and generally unnoticeable. They are characterized by a rectangular head with bushy beard, mustache and eyebrows; teeth that meet in a "scissor bite"; oval and dark colored eyes; and v-shaped, natural forward-folding ears (when cropped, the ears point straight upward and come to a sharp point). Their tails are naturally thin and short, and may be docked (where permitted). They will also have very straight, rigid front legs, and feet that are short and round (so-called "cat feet") with thick, black pads.

Breed Description
Head: Strong, elongated. Pronounced stop. Rectangular nose bridge. Shaggy muzzle ending in a blunt wedge. Black lips.
Ears: If cropped, carried erect. If natural, v-shaped, breaking at skull level or small and held erect.
Eyes: Oval. Dark color.
Body: Square outline. Arched neck. Medium width chest with moderately sprung ribs. Belly moderately tucked up. Short back sloping gently toward the croup.
Tail: Set high and carried erect. Docked to three vertebrae.
Hair: Hard, wiry, thick. Dense undercoat. Wiry beard on the muzzle; eyes slightly hidden by bushy eyebrows.
Coat: Solid black or pepper and salt. Dark mask. White markings are not desirable.
Size: Miniature Schnauzer: 30 to 35 cm (12-14 in).
Weight: Miniature Schnauzer: 4 to 7 kg. (9-15.5 lb).

Schnauze means muzzle in German, so this breed was named for its characteristic shaggy muzzle. Up to the nineteenth century, Schnauzers were considered rough-haired Pinschers. There are three Schnauzer varieties. The Standard Schnauzer's ancestry is unknown since it has been around for a very long time. Perhaps its roots can be traced to the Biberhund and a rough-haired ratter, or shepherd breeds. The Standard Schnauzer was primarily used to clear vermin. The Giant Schnauzer is thought to be the result of crossbreeding of the Standard Schnauzer, the Great Dane, and the Belgian Cattle Dog. Of course, the Giant Schnauzer may simply be an enlarged model of the Standard Schnauzer. Depicted in one of artist Albrecht Durer's works, the Giant Schnauzer was probably developed in the Wurtemberg region. These dogs guarded farm carts and kept stables free of vermin. The Miniature Schnauzer was developed around 1880. Farmers bred the Standard Schnauzer into a smaller, more compact size for ratting by combining it with the Affenpinscher and Miniature Poodle.[In Europe, the Giant Schnauzer is the most popular variety, but in English-speaking countries, the Miniature Schnauzer is more common.

Usually easy to train, they tend to be excellent watchdogs with a good territorial instinct, but more inclined toward barking than biting. They are often aloof with strangers until the owners of the home welcome the guest, upon which they are typically very friendly to them. They are highly playful dogs, and, if not given the outlet required for their energy, they can become bored and invent their own "fun". Miniature Schnauzers can compete in dog agility trials, obedience, showmanship, flyball, and tracking. Schnauzers have a high prey drive, which means they may attack other small pets such as birds, snakes, and rodents. Many will also attack cats, but this may be curbed with training, or if the dog is raised with cats.

Prone to liver disease, kidney stones, diabetes, skin disorders, von Willebrand's disease and cysts. Also hereditary eye problems. He gains weight easily, do not over feed.

Schnauzers should not be confined indoors. They are active dogs and need space and considerable exercise to stay fit and maintain their mental health. Daily brushing and professional grooming once every three months is required.

Dog Agility Trials, Obedience, Showmanship, Flyball, and Tracking. Pet.

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