The Miniature Schnauzer is ranked by the American Kennel Club as the 17th most popular dog in the United States. It is in 12th position on the list of intelligent dogs.
They have huge personalities and can keep you entertained for hours.
Like most breeds with big personalities he tends to think he is the leader of the pack and early training is needed to show who’s boss. They enjoy training and are quick to learn.
Traditionally, the Miniature Schnauzer’s ears were cropped. This practice is now dying out for dogs which are not destined for the show ring.
Origins Of The Miniature Schnauzer
The Miniature Schnauzer was bred in Germany as a ratting dog. It was developed from the Standard Schnauzer and other breeds including the Affenpinscher and Miniature Poodle.
The first Miniature Schnauzer appeared in Germany in 1888.
They were introduced into the United States in 1924 and were accepted for registration by the American Kennel Club in the Terrier group in 1926.
They became popular after World War II and their popularity has grown ever since. They are always in the top 25 of the list of most popular breeds.
Miniature Schnauzers are small dogs. They are usually between 12 and 14 inches tall at the shoulder and weigh between 11 and 20 pounds.
They have a wiry outer coat and a soft undercoat. The colors which are recognized by the AKC are are black, salt and pepper, black and silver and pure white.
They are often classified as non-moulting.
They have a rectangular head with a bushy beard and mustache.
They have thin short tails. In the past their tails were docked. This practice is now dying out and has been banned in some countries.
The Miniature Schnauzer is a small dog with a huge personality. They are full of spirit but a well trained dog is obedient and responsive to commands.
They make good watch dogs warning their owners when a stranger approaches. They tend to bark rather than bite. It their owner welcomes a new person into their home, the dog will accept them and become quite friendly.
Although they are small there is nothing timid about them. They are fearless without being overly aggressive.
Although they are classified as Terriers by the AKC, they are not closely related to the Terriers which were developed in England. They tend to be less aggressive towards other dogs and less liable to bite.
Miniature Schnauzer Health
The Miniature Schnauzer is generally a healthy dog. Their life expectancy is between 12 and 15 years.
Responsible breeders attempt to limit genetic disorders by screening dogs before using them for breeding.
Some of the health issues potential owner should be aware of include:
Von Willebands Disease. This affects humans as well as dogs. This is a bleeding disorder which is caused by a deficiency of the Von Willebrand factor.
Eye problems such as Cataracts and Progressive Retinal Atrophy. This is a group of conditions associated with the deterioration of the retina. It can eventually lead to blindness.
Before purchase, the Miniature Schnauzer breed club recommends screening by an ophthalmologist and a cardiac examination.
Grooming And Care
The Miniature Schnauzer is a low shedding dog. It needs regular brushing and combing to look its best. It will benefit from an occasional bath. Many owners have their dogs groomed by a professional groomer. Once every 5 to 8 weeks is normally enough. You can save money by learning to groom your own dog.
The nails should be kept short and the ears regularly checked for excess wax, debris or sign of infection.
Pay attention to your dog’s mouth. Keep the teeth clean with a daily brushing. Remove all plaque to avoid gum disease.
Miniature Schnauzers As Pets
Miniature Schnauzers are great pets. They have medium energy level and should have a daily walk as well as physical games whenever possible. They can adapt to just about any living environment.
They love being involved in family activities.
They were bred as rat hunters and have a strong prey drive. Some caution needs to be exercised when letting them off the leash in an open area.