Temperament: Friendly, Smart, Obedient
- Height: 12-14 inches
- Weight: 11-20 pounds
- Life Expectancy: 12-15 years
- Group: Terrier Group
The Miniature Schnauzer, the smallest of the three Schnauzer breeds, is a generally healthy, long-lived, and low-shedding companion. Add an outgoing personality, a portable size, and sporty good looks, and you’ve got an ideal family dog.
The Miniature Schnauzer is a robust, active dog of terrier type, resembling his larger cousin, the Standard Schnauzer, in general appearance, and of an alert, active disposition. Faults – Type – Toyishness, ranginess or coarseness.
About the Miniature Schnauzer
Stocky, robust little dogs standing 12 to 14 inches, Miniature Schnauzers were bred down from their larger cousins, Standard Schnauzers. The bushy beard and eyebrows give Minis a charming, human-like expression. The hard, wiry coat comes in three color patterns: salt and pepper, black and silver, and solid black. Created to be all-around farm dogs and ratters, they are tough, muscular, and fearless without being aggressive.
The Miniature Schnauzer is a bright, friendly, trainable companion, small enough to adapt to apartment life but tireless enough to patrol acres of farmland. They get along well with other animals and kids. Minis are sturdy little guys and enjoy vigorous play. Home and family oriented, they make great watchdogs.
NUTRITION The Miniature Schnauzer should do well on a high-quality dog food, whether commercially manufactured or home-prepared with your veterinarian’s supervision and approval. Any diet should be appropriate to the dog’s age (puppy, adult, or senior). Some dogs are prone to getting overweight, so watch your dog’s calorie consumption and weight level. Treats can be an important aid in training, but giving too many can cause obesity. Learn about which human foods are safe for dogs, and which are not. Check with your vet if you have any concerns about your dog’s weight or diet. Clean, fresh water should be available at all times.
GROOMING The Miniature Schnauzer has a double coat—a wiry topcoat, with a soft undercoat—that requires frequent brushing, combing, and grooming to look its best. The breed sheds very little. For the show ring, some of the dog’s coat is regularly “stripped” by hand. Most owners of pet Miniature Schnauzers choose to have the coat trimmed with clippers by a professional groomer. This should be done every five to eight weeks for the dog to look his best. The Miniature Schnauzer should get a bath once a month or so, depending on his surroundings. Nails should be trimmed monthly and ears checked weekly for debris or excess wax, and cleaned as needed.
EXERCISE Alert and lively, Miniature Schnauzers require regular daily exercise to maintain their mental and physical health. They have a medium energy level and can easily adapt to city or country living. The breed benefits from having a fenced area where they can run and chase a ball safely and enjoy playtime with their owner. Their greatest joy is to be with their family and doing activities together. Miniature Schnauzers have a strong prey drive, so they should never be allowed off leash when not in a fenced area, as they might not resist the urge to chase after small animals.
TRAINING Miniature Schnauzers are friendly, lively, and eager to please, and they learn quickly. The breed’s high intelligence makes it necessary to keep training fun and interesting, as they can get bored with repetition. They should be socialised from an early age, and both dog and owner benefit from puppy training classes as well. The Miniature Schnauzer makes an excellent companion and can do very well in a number of canine sports, including agility, obedience, rally, and earth-dog events.
HEALTH The Miniature Schnauzer is generally a healthy breed. There are a few conditions that the breed can be prone to, including cataracts, hyperlipidemia, pancreatitis, liver shunts, and urinary stones. Responsible breeders will have breeding stock tested for health issues that can affect the breed. Owners should keep tabs on their dog’s overall condition and consult their vet with any questions or concerns that may arise. Dental care is an important aspect of overall health, and the dog’s teeth should be brushed frequently.
Recommended Health Tests from the National Breed Club:
- Ophthalmologist Evaluation
- Cardiac Exam