The Miniature Schnauzer is a small dog with a big personality. While tiny, this bearded breed is known for its bravery, energy, and intelligence. Able to learn almost any trick and ready for almost every adventure, the Miniature Schnauzer is the perfect breed for families looking for a watchdog, exercise companion, and excited traveler.
There's a reason the Miniature Schnauzer is becoming more and more popular around the world. Find out what makes this breed such an exciting addition to the household and how to keep this dog happy and healthy. Hint: Lots and lots of outdoor fun!
Miniature Schnauzer Characteristics [Physical]
While tiny, the Miniature Schnauzer is mighty. It's a robust and active breed of canine with an alert appearance and demeanor. Known for its bearded face, this terrier breed has a very distinct appearance that embodies its lively spirit.
Miniature Schnauzer Dog Breed Size
The Miniature Schnauzer is considered a small breed. It reaches up to 14 inches tall (females reach 13 inches). They are often 11 to 20 pounds.
This breed has a small and rectangular head. Their muzzle is strongly defined. According to the American Kennel Club breed standard, the breed has thick whiskers on its muzzle that "accentuate its rectangular head" according to the American Kennel Club breed standard.
Their eyes are small and dark brown. Their ears are often cropped, set high, and have pointed tips.
The Miniature Schnauzer has a strong and arched neck that blends into the shoulders. Their body is short and deep, with well-sprung ribs. The backline is straight, declining as it reaches its tail. Their docked tail is set high and carried erect.
This breed has straight, strong legs with a lot of muscle. Their feet are short with thick paw pads.
Miniature Schnauzer Personality
The Miniature Schnauzer has a classic terrier personality, meaning it's brave, bold, and high-energy. This is no toy breed. This intelligent breed needs a lot of training, exercise, and attention. In return, you'll have a loyal companion that's entertaining and protective.
Miniature Schnauzers enjoy being the center of attention. This is a dog that wants to be part of every activity, whether it's just brushing your teeth in the morning or watching television at night. Bring this dog with you on your errands. Give them tasks around the home.
This breed is devoted and loyal. They love everyone in the family and are known to be very protective of their pack. This dog can be a little suspicious of strangers until you let them know they can be trusted. This makes Miniature Schnauzers excellent watchdogs. They love to bark, so you'll get warnings every time a visitor approaches. The Miniature Schnauzer is brave and bold, with a lot of terrier spunk packed into their tiny body. They are not afraid of other dogs, including large dogs, sometimes getting them in trouble.
Miniature Schnauzers are quick learners that need a lot of mental stimulation. They love learning new tricks, whether it's figuring out a puzzle, learning how to open a door, or jumping through hoops. But this dog can be stubborn and pretend not to hear you when they don't feel like doing something.
Miniature Schnauzer Dog Breed Exercise
If you're looking for a little lap dog, Miniature Schnauzers may not be for you! This dog needs a lot of varied dog exercises each day since they are so energetic and excitable. Miniature Schnauzer owners recommend a lot of walking. Some say three to four very short walks (between 10 and 15 minutes) a day, along with a long walk that's about an hour.
This breed is a great companion for athletes and active families. They love doing a variety of activities, including mountain hikes, swimming, and playing fetch. You can also participate in dog sports with your Miniature Schnauzer. Miniature Schnauzers learn fast and love to do new things, meaning they will excel at obstacle courses and competitive sports. Build a course in your backyard, allowing your Mini Schnauzer to jump through hoops, run up and down ramps, and wind through obstacles.
Miniature Schnauzer Training
The Miniature Schnauzer is known for being easy to train. This is a highly intelligent breed that can learn just about any command or trick. Miniature Schnauzers respond positively to reward-based training (i.e., treats!). This breed is an enthusiastic student if you are consistent and take control while being kind and upbeat. Be assertive but not loud. Sounding harsh can make your dog fearful of you, especially if they are still a puppy.
Don't give too much attention to negative behavior. Like most terriers, Miniature Schnauzers have a few bad habits, like digging, barking, and chasing animals (although their prey drive isn't as intense as the Standard Schnauzer and other Schnauzer breeds). When your Miniature Schnauzer barks, ignore them. Only respond with attention, rewards, or food when your dog stops barking.
Always start this training when your Mini Schnauzer is a puppy. Young Miniature Schnauzers learn quickly, and what they learn will stick with them through their adult life. This allows you to establish good behaviors early on and builds a bond between you and your dog.
Miniature Schnauzer Dog Breed History
The Miniature Schnauzer is the most popular of the Schnauzer breeds. But how did this breed come to be? The first recorded Miniature Schnauzer was in the late 1800s, found on farms in Germany. The breed started when breeders mixed the Standard Schnauzer with the Affenpinscher and maybe poodles in hopes of getting a small dog that could protect the home and farm from rodents.
The first recorded Mini Schnauzer was in 1888. She was a black female named Findel. In 1895, the first breed club was formed in Cologne, Germany. By 1899 it was recognized in Germany as a breed entirely separate from the Standard Schnauzer. Interest in the small but feisty dog breed surged after World War II. Since then, the Miniature Schnauzer has remained very popular, although a few things have changed.
For one, Miniature Schnauzers now only come in black and silver (in the past, they could also be red, tan, yellow, and more). Secondly, a lot of dog enthusiasts don't agree with cropping the Miniature Schnauzer's ears. The Miniature Schnauzer breed is currently ranked number 18 on the American Kennel Club's most popular breed list.
Common Health Problems Found in the Miniature Schnauzer
Miniature Schnauzers, like other purebred dogs, carry genetic conditions common to the breed. When you choose to adopt a Mini Schnauzer, make sure it's from a trusted and reputable breeder that's registered with the American Kennel Club or another official organization.
Professional breeders will have their dogs tested for genetic conditions, removing them from the breeding pool. Breeders should provide proof of this and health guarantees for their puppies. If not, find another breeder immediately. The Miniature Schnauzer is generally healthy, but here are some of the most common genetic problems:
- Allergies: This can be to seasonal things like pollen or ingredients in their dog food.
- Epilepsy: This is a neurological disorder that causes your dog to suffer from seizures throughout the year.
- Diabetes: This condition affects the amount of glucose (sugar) in your dog's blood. You'll notice that your dog is drinking more water than usual.
- Pancreatitis: The pancreas is an organ near the stomach. A dog with pancreatitis will suffer from pain, vomiting, lethargy, diarrhea, and a decreased appetite.
- Bladder stones: These are rock-hard mineral formations that develop in the bladder. They can be painful for your dog, leading to blood in the urine and damaged tissue.
Always bring your dog to regular checkups at the vet. This will ensure that your dog is healthy or find conditions early on, helping your vet develop a treatment plan to keep your dog happy, healthy, and thriving.
How to Care for a Miniature Schnauzer
Miniature Schnauzers are highly energetic. You'll need to make sure your pup is entertained and stimulated to keep this breed from becoming bored, destructive, and frustrated. This means the Miniature Schnauzer shouldn't be kept alone for too long. If you work eight hours or more away from home each day, this might not be the right dog for your lifestyle.
Miniature Schnauzers need a lot of exercise. A backyard is ideal (fencing is required since the Miniature Schnauzer loves to chase other animals, including other dogs). Miniature Schnauzers can still thrive in apartment living but need frequent walks and other outdoor activities.
It's important to avoid overworking your Miniature Schnauzer. While super energetic, this dog can get injured if it continuously jumps too high. You should also avoid bringing your dog out for long periods in high temperatures.
When inside, make sure your Miniature Schnauzer has interactive dog toys, puzzles, chew toys, and other things to keep them occupied. This can cut down on destructive behavior like digging. This is an intelligent breed that needs mental stimulation just as much as physical exercise.
Brush your dog's teeth daily to avoid dental diseases and cavities. You should also check your Miniature Schnauzer's ears for dirt and wax buildup, removing it by lightly wiping it away with a gently happened cotton swab. Clip your dog's nails when you start hearing them clicking across the hardwood floor.
Nutrition and Feeding for a Miniature Schnauzer
Miniature Schnauzers need to be given a healthy, balanced diet. High-quality dog food has all the nutrients dogs need, including protein, vitamins, carbohydrates, and fats. An adult Miniature Schnauzer should eat about 1/2 cup of high-quality dry food. But the exact amount will depend on your dog's specific weight, activity level, age, and ailments. If you're unsure of the exact amount to give your pup, ask your vet!
Break the food up into two meals a day. Puppies should be given three to four meals. This helps your dog digest food easier and avoids overeating. Miniature Schnauzers are prone to diabetes and obesity, so keep a close eye on your dog's weight. Don't leave the food bowl sitting out.
Coat Color And Grooming
The Miniature Schnauzer has a double coat with a wiry, hard outercoat. The "furnishings" are pretty thick, according to the American Kennel Club. Miniature Schnauzers can come in three colors: Black and silver, solid black, and salt and pepper.
Thanks to the Miniature Schnauzer's double coat and breed standards, this is one of those dog breeds that needs a lot of grooming compared to other dogs. You'll need to regularly brush this dog often to remove excess fur and limit shedding. Bathe about once a month (or more frequently if your dog gets dirty). Before each bath, check formats and tangles. You'll also want to use a high-powered dryer to loosen any debris or dander.
Miniature Schnauzers should be groomed every four to six weeks. The topcoat must be hand stripped and rolled each week to ensure it stays coarse and vibrant. You'll also need to give them a trim, keeping their hair short in some areas and allowing a bit more length in others to fit the breed standard.
Children And Other Pets
The Miniature Schnauzer has the spunk, stubbornness, and spirit of a Standard Schnauzer and other terrier dog breeds. But this smaller breed is known for not being a bit more gentle and calm. The Miniature Schnauzer is known to get along well with other dogs and other pets.
Just remember that they were bred to hunt and have a feisty side that may lead them to chase your cat or smaller animal around. This should be addressed with proper training when the Miniature Schnauzer is a puppy but always supervise your pup's interactions with cats and other dogs.
Miniature Schnauzers are great with children. They make great playmates due to their high energy and eagerness to play. Often, the Miniature Schnauzer will become protective of children in the family. Always watch your dog interact with younger children, making sure the kids aren't getting chased.
Miniature Schnauzer Dog Rescue Groups
Because of the Miniature Schnauzer's tiny size and bearded face, some people adopt a Mini Schnauzer under the impression that they will have a lap dog that requires very little care and can be carried around the house. But that's not often the case due to the Miniature Schnauzer's high energy and exercise needs. When a family can no longer provide the proper care for their Miniature Schnauzer, there are, luckily, organizations dedicated to rescuing this breed, giving them the care and rehabilitation they need, and finding them a forever home.
Miniature Schnauzer Dog Rescue serves the Pacific Northwest. They have noticed a decrease in the number of Miniature Schnauzers in need of rescue in the last decade. There are Miniature Schnauzer rescues in almost every state, like Schnauzer Love Rescue in Alabama, Maine Schnauzers, and Nevada Schnauzer Dogs.
Miniature Schnauzer Dog Breed Organizations
Miniature Schnauzer owners around the world can find dog breed organizations that allow them to learn more about the breed they love and participate in a variety of activities specific to Miniature Schnauzers and their owners.
The American Miniature Schnauzer Club, a member of the AKC, was founded in 1933. It has members in every state, providing knowledge and "greater appreciation" of the breed across the country. The American Miniature Schnauzer Club has agility contests, flyball, and other sports, including "Earth Dog," which is for small dogs that love to dig!
More About the Miniature Schnauzer
The Miniature Schnauzer is a one-of-a-kind terrier that is known for its high energy and unwavering loyalty. This is a courageous breed with a lot of personality. This breed was known as the Wire-Haired Pinscher until the 90s, but it became known as the Miniature Schnauzer in more recent years. The word "Schnauzer" comes from the German word "schnauze," which means "snout" or "muzzle." This is the perfect name for a dog with such a distinct and distinguished muzzle!
The Miniature Schnauzer is the most popular Schnauzer variety (beating out the Standard and the Giant). This is because this breed is loyal, protective, and energetic yet gentle, and tolerant. The Miniature Schnauzer is the perfect family dog for a household that loves staying active and has a lot of time to spend with their new furry friend.