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Mini Kerry Blue Schnauzer Hybrid Description
The Mini Kerry Blue Schnauzer is not a purebred dog. It is a cross between the Miniature Schnauzer and the Kerry Blue Terrier. The best way to determine the temperment of a mixed breed is to look up all breeds in the cross. It is possible you can get any combination of any of the characteristics found in either breed. Not all of these designer hybrid dogs being bred are 50% purebred to 50% purebred. It is very common for breeders to breed multi-generational crosses. Please review individual breeds for potential health issues.
Miniature Schnauzer Breed Description - Cross #1
Miniature Schnauzers have a very square-shaped build, measuring 11 to 14 inches (28 to 36 cm) tall and weighing 10 to 15 pounds (4.5 to 6.8 kg) for females and 11 to 18 pounds (5.0 to 8.2 kg) for males. They have a double coat, with wiry exterior fur and a soft undercoat. In show trim, the coat is kept short on the body, but the fur on the ears, legs, belly, and face is retained. Recognized coat colors are black, pepper and salt, black and silver, and pure white; pepper and salt coloration is where coat hairs have banded shades of black, gray and silver, fading to a gray or silver at the eyebrows, whiskers, underbody and legs.
Miniature Schnauzers are often described as non-moulting dogs, and while this is not entirely true, their shedding is minimal and generally unnoticeable. For this reason, Schnauzers are considered a hypoallergenic breed. 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.
An intact schnauzer tail is very expressive. Docking of tails and cropping of ears has become a controversial practice, especially for non-working dogs, and is now illegal or restricted in a number of countries worldwide, including the UK and Australia.
The American Kennel Club breed standard describes temperament as "alert and spirited, yet obedient to command, friendly, intelligent and willing to please, never overaggressive or timid". 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. While the Miniature Schnauzer is included in the Terrier Group in North America (due to rat-catching background), it does not have common ancestry with Terriers from Great Britain, and compared to them has a different personality, being more laid back, obedient, friendly, and less aggressive to other dogs.
They are highly playful dogs, and, if not given the outlet required for their energy, they can become bored and invent their own "fun". As an example: many Miniature Schnauzers enjoy playing with paper, and will happily shred wrapping paper, toilet paper, etc. if left unsupervised when bored or seeking attention. Miniature Schnauzers can compete in dog agility trials, obedience, showmanship, flyball, and tracking. Schnauzers have a high prey drive, which means they may chase other small animals and hence should not be off leash when not in a fenced area. Based on Stanley Coren's book The Intelligence of Dogs (2006) ranking methodology, the Miniature ranked 12th out of 140 breeds within 79 ranks on the ability to learn and obey new commands i.e. working and obedience intelligence, being grouped among "excellent working dogs". Additionally, experts ranked the Miniature as fifth among top 15 breeds at watchdog barking ability.
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.
A UK Kennel Club survey puts the median lifespan of Miniature Schnauzers at a little over 12 years. About 20% lived to 15 years. While generally a healthy breed, Miniature Schnauzers may suffer health problems associated with high fat levels. Such problems include hyperlipidemia, which may increase the possibility of pancreatitis, though either may form independently. Other issues which may affect this breed are diabetes, bladder stones and eye problems. Feeding the dog low- or non-fatty and unsweetened foods may help avoid these problems. Miniature Schnauzers are also prone to comedone syndrome, a condition that produces pus-filled bumps, usually on their backs, which can be treated with a variety of methods. Miniature Schnauzers should have their ears dried after swimming due to a risk of infection, especially those with natural ears; ear examinations should be part of the regular annual check up. Miniature Schnauzers are also prone to von Willebrand disease (vWD). vWD in dogs is an inherited bleeding disorder that occurs due to qualitative or quantitative deficiency of von Willebrand factor (vWF), a multimeric protein that is required for platelet adhesion.
Kerry Blue Terrier Breed Description - Cross #2
Some characteristics of the Kerry Blue Terrier include a long head, flat skull, deep chest, and a soft wavy-to-curly coat that comes in several shades of "blue", the general term outside this breed being progressive grey. Puppies are born black; the blue appears gradually as the puppy grows older, usually up to 2 years of age. The ideal Kerry should be 18-1/2 inches at the withers for a male, slightly less for the female. The coat is the key feature of the Kerry. It is soft and wavy with no undercoat. The texture is similar to that of fine human hair and like human hair does not shed but continues to grow throughout the year. This means the Kerry Blue requires very regular grooming (at least once per week) and clipping an average of every 6 weeks.
With the development of dog shows in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the breed became standardised and "tidied up" for the show ring. The Irish nationalist leader Michael Collins owned a famous Kerry Blue named Convict 224. Collins even made an attempt to have the Kerry Blue adopted as the national dog of Ireland.
The first show of the Dublin Irish Blue Terrier Club took place outside official curfew hours and was entered both by those fighting for and against an Irish republic. The Dublin Irish Blue Terrier Club was so successful it led directly to the foundation of the Irish Kennel Club, and a Kerry Blue was the first dog that club registered.
This hardy, fiery dog is stubborn but relatively calm. He is very friendly with his owners and gentle with children. Dominant and cantankerous, he is aggressive toward other dogs and pets. An excellent guard dog, he is courageous and will bite. This strong swimmer is used to attack otters in deep waters. As a ratter, he has no equal. Training should be firm, but not harsh or unkind.
The Kerry Blue Terrier can adapt to life indoors but he requires plenty of daily exercise. Regular brushing is required. It is soft and wavy with no undercoat. The texture is similar to that of fine human hair and like human hair does not shed but continues to grow throughout the year. This means the Kerry Blue requires very regular grooming (at least once per week) and clipping an average of every 6 weeks.
Kerries are fairly healthy, however there are some genetic disorders that are prevalent in the breed. They are prone to eye problems such as Keratoconjunctivitis sicca (dry eyes), cataracts, and entropion. They sometimes get cysts or tumorous growths in their skin, but these are rarely malignant. Hip dysplasia, hypothyroidism, cryptorchidism have also been reported. Progressive neuronal abiotrophy (PNA) is also seen but rare in the population. This condition is also referred to as Cerebellar cortical abiotrophy (CCA) or Cerebellar Abiotrophy (CA). Another skin-related health issue is spiculosis. This is a skin disorder that produces abnormally thick hairs that are also called thorns, spikes or bristles.
"Don't Shop ... Please Adopt"
If you can’t find the pet you’re looking for on Petfinder, don’t give up. Some shelters maintain waiting lists for specific breeds, so don’t be afraid to ask! There are also breed-specific rescues for just about every breed, and most of them post their pets on Petfinder. (Petfinder can even e-mail you when a pet that fits your criteria is posted — just click “Save this Search” at the top of your search results page.)
Jeff Gold, Founder, Rescue Me! Animal Rescue Network
Jeff Gold lives in Watkinsville, Georgia on the same property as Rescue Me's Animal Rehabilitation Center, with 18 rescue animals. Shown with him in the photo to the left are Maggie, Izzie and Cortez. In 2003, after learning there was nobody doing boxer rescue work in Georgia, Gold founded Boxertown, an organization which helped find homes for over 500 boxers during its first two years. Based upon this success, Gold came up with the vision for Rescue Me! ― a network which helps all breeds of dogs, cats and other animals find good homes, anywhere in the world. RescueShelter.com is also a free service of Rescue Me! and provides the world's largest and most up-to-date directory of animal rescue organizations for all breeds of dogs, cats and other animals, including a comprehensive directory of wildlife rehabilitators in over 150 countries.