The Miniature Schnauzer exemplifies the phrase “good things come in small packages”. The smallest of all three Schnauzer types1, this intelligent and affectionate dog is also the most popular Schnauzer2.
He combines an extroverted temperament with a rich appetite for life. Throw in the humor that he is well known for and you have the perfect pet. You can bet that your Miniature Schnauzer will always be by your side, making you laugh and giving you excellent companionship. That’s how loyal this breed is.
The Miniature Schnauzer is easy on the eyes, too, with his walrus mustache and sporty good looks. Long story short, there’s plenty to like about this friendly little dog when it comes to appearance and personality.
Keep reading to learn more about this intriguing breed!
History of the Miniature Schnauzer
The earliest records suggest that the Miniature Schnauzer originated from Germany in the 19th century. While primarily a ratter, this breed was also used to guard property and herd cattle. It came to the USA in 1924, and 2 years later (in 1926) the American Kennel Club (AKC) recognized it as an official breed3.
Unsurprisingly, the Miniature Schnauzer is still widely used as a guard dog, mostly because he is always alert and ready to warn you when there’s an intruder. He takes this trait from the Standard Schnauzer, the breed from which he was bred.
The latter has a lineage that goes way back, probably to the 15th century. It’s largely believed that German farmers bred the Spitz and the Bolognese (also known as the “dog of Boulogne”) to produce the Schnauzer4. They then called it “Schnauzer” in reference to the beard on the muzzle (the German word for “muzzle” is “schnauze”).
This new breed was used extensively by herders and drovers as a farm dog. When not pulling carts to the market or guarding a farmer’s produce, the Schnauzer was either herding cattle, goats, and sheep, or ratting in the fields4. Soon the breed became famous beyond farms and began to appear in popular art.
In his 1492 drawing titled “Madonna of the Animals”, Albrecht Dürer depicted a Schnauzer among the animals surrounding the Virgin. The painting was made into a tapestry in 15034. If you’re thinking that this marvelous piece of art brought the Schnauzer timeless popularity and love, you’re probably right.
In 1891, a Schnauzer came in first and won the top prize in the Third German International Show in Hanover. Then in its third year, the dog show was organized by the German Kennel Club and saw over 900 dogs take part. The winning Schnauzer was exhibited by the Württemberg Kennel of Burgerbeonberg4.
Whether it was a Standard Schnauzer is up for debate, but what we know for sure is that the Miniature Schnauzer was first exhibited as a pedigreed dog in 18994. There’s a strong possibility that the Miniature was developed entirely by chance. In any case, chance is the way that a lot of breeds come to be developed4.
On the other hand, German farmers may have developed the breed intentionally as a smaller version of the Standard Schnauzer. Why? Because a smaller dog would be a better ratter, which is one of the reasons why Schnauzers were kept in the first place.
It’s believed that Miniature Schnauzer breeders in Germany crossed the Standard Schnauzer with other smaller breeds like the Miniature Affenpinscher and Poodle to produce the Miniature Schnauzer1. Whether it was by chance or choice, the new dog became a favorite very quickly, and not just in Germany.
In America, the Miniature Schnauzer has been bred since 1925 and was officially recognized by the AKC in 1926. In August of 1933, the American Miniature Schnauzer Club was formed4. The breed was admitted into the Terrier Group alongside other ratter dogs1.
You may know that the Miniature Schnauzer is very different from other terriers. There’s a reason for that – while almost all terriers have some British blood in their veins, the Mini Schnauzer doesn’t. His purely German origins mean he is the only terrier breed that was neither developed in the British Isles nor crossbred with an already existing British breed1.
That explains his cool and friendly temperament; a rather sharp contrast to the Irish Terrier’s fiery personality or the extreme independence of the Scottish Terrier1. Still, deep down, the Miniature Schnauzer is a ratter just like all other terriers. His days of intense ratting may be over, but he still retains the traits that made him an excellent ratter – awareness, alertness, speed, and desire to please his owner.
Want to watch the Miniature Schnauzer in ratting action? Catch the Barn Hunt and Earthdog Trials where ratting dogs, including the Mini Schnauzer, are given the occasional thrill of hunting. If you happen to be in Germany, you can also observe a few ratting trials organized by German Schnauzer Clubs.
Miniature Schnauzer Temperament
The friendly and obedient1 Miniature Schnauzer is full of character. He may be small in size but he boasts a commanding presence and a likable personality. Ask a Mini owner and they will probably tell you that they like him because of his pleasant, playful nature…and smarts. He has lots of smarts!
As a matter of fact, the Miniature Schnauzer ranks 12th (out of 80 dog breeds) in terms of intelligence6. Now that’s a dog who doesn’t want to feel bored. Always in search of adventure, you will find him looking for treats and toys, opening doors and drawers, or doing pretty much anything to stay entertained6.
It’s always a wise idea to stay a step ahead of him and try to curb any potential bad behavior. Otherwise, he will use his wits to cause havoc for the sake of entertainment. To avoid this, give him activities that stimulate the mind6.
Your options are many, but the one that he will definitely enjoy is an earthdog trial. Remember he is a terrier and a ratter. As such, he has an instinct to dig for rodents and other small animals that dwell underground. So if you have a back yard you may find a few holes here and there.
Non-competitive earthdog activities can keep him occupied and ultimately divert his attention from digging holes in the backyard. Speaking of which, if you do have a back yard you should ensure that it’s properly fenced. Otherwise, your hyperactive Miniature Schnauzer may run off in chase of a rodent or squirrel6. You can put him on a leash but his desire for adventure will probably leave him agitated after a short period of confinement. The better alternative would be agility exercises.
Besides, agility exercises for dogs help with physical fitness. And they also provide you with the chance to bond with your canine friend6. So there are benefits for you and your Miniature.
As much as the Miniature Schnauzer enjoys playing and hunting, nothing interests him more than participating in family activities7. You will always see him initiating games and trying to get involved in whatever activities you are engaged in. He doesn’t enjoy being left alone, meaning you should always try as much as possible to make sure that there’s someone at home during the day to play games with the dog7.
Is A Miniature Schnauzer a Good Dog for You?
The little Schnauzer may be right for you if you’re looking for a dog who is small yet athletic7. This sturdy little companion costs less to feed compared with other breeds, and you will have an easier time transporting, leashing, cuddling and grooming him.
Speaking of grooming, the Miniature Schnauzer’s coat doesn’t shed too much7. That makes him a great house companion if you’re trying to avoid tumbleweeds of pet hair. If you are allergic to pet fur, however, you will feel the effects because he does shed a little.
On the upside, the Miniature Schnauzer is a very keen little watchdog6. He will be quick to alert you whenever he spots an intruder. And with his incredibly loyal personality, you can depend on him to be your first line of security, whether by barking (which is basically an alarm system of sorts) or trying to ward off the danger.
His natural curiosity and intelligence will be huge factors, particularly if you live in an area that has security concerns. He will sniff out any suspicious strangers, movements, and noises, then bark at them or rush to warn you. Accordingly, the Miniature Schnauzer may be a perfect dog for you if you want a sweet pet who can double up as a watchdog.
Perhaps the one of the best things about the Mini Schnauzer is that he is entertaining6. There’s never a dull moment in a house where this small dog resides.
Know What You’re In For
Schnauzers are generally great pets, but they require a higher level of commitment than some other breeds. If you are very busy, or not comfortable with “needy” pets, then you may want to stay clear of this breed.
Your typical Miniature Schnauzer needs enough exercise and stimulating activities to keep him from being bored7. Otherwise, he will find ways to amuse himself, and those ways may not be to your liking.
Miniature Schnauzers require a lot of companionship7. They are very unhappy when left alone with nobody to play with, and can become destructive
To put it simply, if you’re getting a dog for a household where people are away a lot of the time, consider a different breed. The same applies for people who can’t be patient with stubborn dogs6. The Miniature Schnauzer is intelligent and he knows it. So while he is easily trainable, if he thinks he can “get one over” on you, he will probably try to do so. Patience and positive reinforcement are key.
Miniature Schnauzers can vary greatly in personality. While some are introverted and calm, others are extroverted7. Most are high-spirited, feisty, very stubborn, strong-willed and fiercely loyal. Keep in mind that temperament is based on genetics and environment, and can be shaped to a certain extent through training, unlike physical traits that are entirely genetic7.
If you want to predict (or at least try to predict) the temperament of a Miniature Schnauzer puppy, start by looking at the parents’ personalities. That will give you a few clues on what to expect. Then you can reinforce the desired traits with training, while suppressing any negative traits that your dog may have7.
The good thing is that good training works with Schnauzers, as it does with all dog breeds. The bad news is that Schnauzers are not always the easiest dogs to train. They don’t even register in the top 129 breeds that are easy to train. And we all know that training a dog requires a whole set of skills that not everyone possesses.
To minimize training issues related to temperament, always make sure to buy from a good breeder.
One of the most likable things about the Miniature Schnauzer is that he is extremely adaptable to different situations7. His easy-going nature means that he can adjust to your lifestyle with few or no problems. Moving from a house to an apartment? He’ll be onside with that. Moving across the country? He makes an awesome travel companion, and if you’re switching homes he won’t mind moving to the new place with you8. Just make sure he gets enough pit stops! Once you reach the new neighborhood, he’ll adjust probably before you’ve even moved in all your stuff.
Moving to a different climate?. While the Miniature Schnauzer prefers average or colder weather conditions, he can tolerate hot weather as well. Some individuals in this breed do extremely well as mountain dogs8. So to put it simply, don’t worry too much about whether your Miniature Schnauzer will adapt to your home and lifestyle, or if he will adapt to a new home if you move. The move will almost certainly be harder on you than it will be on your dog.
Friendliness with Other Pets and Animals
He may have left his ratting days behind but your Miniature Schnauzer still has that chasing instinct rooted deep in his nature. Don’t forget that he was originally bred to chase rodents and other vermin. The mere sight of smaller animals like hamsters, cats, and even birds may trigger that instinct.
As the owner, your best bet is introducing your other pets to the Schnauzer slowly and carefully until they build familiarity. Make sure you observe the entire process because, with this little pup, things can escalate very quickly. His desire to hunt small animals won’t just go away overnight, so in the initial stages of introduction make sure that you can separate your Mini Schnauzer from your other pets quickly and easily if necessary10.
Like all other dog breeds, Miniature Schnauzer puppies are easy to train and can learn to get along with other pets quite easily. The same can’t always be said for fully-grown Schnauzers. Those require more time and effort, and even so it’s not in your best interest to leave them alone with other smaller pets10.
What about friendliness towards other dogs? That’s perhaps where the unique character of the Miniature Schnauzer comes to the forefront. While most terrier breeds act out aggressively towards other dogs, Mini Schnauzers get along quite easily with their fellow canines in the house10. There can be the occasional conflict, particularly with a dog that’s bigger, or a bossy attitude towards a smaller dog, but it won’t usually escalate into anything that can’t be dealt with.
Miniature Schnauzers can be territorial, though, and may not be good with visiting dogs. So, if “Neighbor Bob” wants to bring his dog over for a visit, just be careful. Your Schnauzer pup may need some time to warm up to the visitor, but again, it’s highly unlikely that things will get to the point of fighting.
good with stranger dogs in the house. If you bring home a new dog, your Schnauzer pup will definitely need some time to warm up to the new “intruder”10. But again, it’s highly unlikely that things will get to the point of fighting.
Most of the time, when there is “dog on dog” aggression, it involves intact adult dogs of the same sex. If you are going to keep multiple dogs of the same sex, no more than one should be left intact. Preferably, all should be spayed or neutered. This will not absolutely guarantee no aggression, but it will go a long way to reducing the possibility. Conversely, leaving more than one dog intact is almost always a recipe for conflict, if not outright disaster.
Needless to say, your pup will have the best social skills when trained from a very young age. A well-trained Miniature Schnauzer puppy will usually do well when relating with other dogs, pets, animals and humans10.
Are Miniature Schnauzers Good Family Pets?
Absolutely! They are extremely social dogs that enjoy taking part in whatever you’re doing10. If there’s a problem, it might be that frequently a Mini Schnauzer chooses a favorite from the family and gives that person preference over others. This isn’t an issue where the dog is concerned, but sometimes the humans involved can have their feelings hurt if the dog seems to prefer one person over all others.
Miniature Schnauzers can also sometimes be wary of strangers, but if you give your approval, your dog will probably quickly come onside10. His reaction to a new face will largely depend on how you welcome that person. Most Schnauzers assume that people are disposed to be friendly, and they react accordingly. If you’re a sociable sort of person, your dog is likely to be the same.
What about kids? Are Miniature Schnauzers good with children?
Yes, they are. Your Schnauzer pup will get along with your kids, especially if the kids were there before the dog came along10. If it happens the other way round, you might notice both parties needing a bit of an adjustment period.
That mostly happens with toddlers who are under 6 years old. The dog doesn’t have the patience to put up with a child who is that young6 and at the same time, the child doesn’t know a thing about the dog’s boundaries. It’s not uncommon for toddlers to be rough with small dogs. Unfortunately, the Miniature Schnauzer with its stubbornness will almost always react by nipping at the child10 in self-defense.
Again, training will help to instill good socialization skills to the dog. And you can teach your toddler better ways of interacting with small dogs from a very young age. That should help both parties to be patient and gentle with each other. Don’t forget that Miniature Schnauzers are people pleasers; they will learn to get along with children very quickly.
Miniature Schnauzer Breed Standards
The AKC describes the Miniature Schnauzer as a “robust, active dog of the terrier type”. He resembles the Standard Schnauzer (his larger cousin), not just in appearance but in other traits as well. For example, both breeds are generally alert and have an active disposition1.
Unlike the Standard Schnauzer, the Miniature is a little dog who stands no more than 14 inches in height. His bushy beard and eyebrows give him the irresistible charm that he is known for, perhaps because they make his expressions look human-like1.
As a companion, this little dog can be everything; from a house pet in a small apartment to a farm dog patrolling acres of land. His endless energy, a knack for humor and desire to please the owner make him a fun companion and a lovable dog. But what are his unique features? Here are the official Miniature Schnauzer standards as per the AKC:
A small and compact dog, the Miniature Schnauzer resembles the Standard Schnauzer. He is a robust and active family dog with a nearly square body12. Like his larger cousin, the Miniature has an alert and active disposition.
There are very clear gender differences in this breed. While the male looks bigger, the female has a more refined head, slightly longer loin, and lighter neck12. In other words, the male looks more built than the female.
Whether dog or bitch, the Miniature Schnauzer should not appear overbuilt and heavy, racy and fine, or toyish. The AKC doesn’t consider those qualities as pedigrees of the Miniature Schnauzer. Meaning if your pup has any of those traits he won’t be allowed to take part in dog shows that are organized for pedigree breeds. Of course, that doesn’t mean you can’t own and love him just as much as any other Miniature Schnauzer.
Miniature Schnauzer Size and proportion
Standing at 12 to 14 inches tall, the Miniature Schnauzer is sturdily built and has a nearly square body, meaning the height and body length of your little Schnauzer should be almost equal. His weight should be anywhere between 11 and 20 pounds13. That’s heavier than most small dogs because this particular breed has significantly more bone density.
Miniature Schnauzers that are under 12 inches or over 14 inches are not preferred. They won’t be allowed to exhibit as purebred Schnauzers.
While the Schnauzer’s body takes an almost square shape, his strong head is rectangular. It is widest at the ears with the width diminishing slightly all through to the eyes, and finally becoming even narrower at the tip of the nose11.
The ideal Miniature Schnauzer has his top skull and fore-face parallel and equal. The former (top skull) is not only flat but also long. That structure is what gives him the uniquely-shaped head that he is famous for.
A Schnauzer with a coarse and cheeky head is undesirable for show. The same goes for one who has his upper front teeth overlapping the lower front ones. But it must be an extreme case that prevents the inner surface of the upper incisors from touching the outer surface of the lower incisors when the dog closes his mouth. Such a dental arrangement will likely cause a level bite resulting from an overshot or undershot jaw11.
A Mini Schnauzer’s muzzle is just as strong as his skull. Although fairly blunt, the muzzle is filled with thick whiskers which give him his signature look. The AKC says that these whiskers accentuate the head’s rectangular shape11, which is true. But one thing that you probably didn’t know is that the facial hair and mustache aren’t just for show. Back in his ratting days, the Miniature Schnauzer used them for self-defense. The thick whiskers were matted around the muzzle to protect the little canine from retaliatory attacks made by his prey14.
Eyes and Ears
One of the most distinguishing features of the Miniature Schnauzer is his deep-set eyes. They are small and typically brown11. If you’ve observed this little canine, you will agree that he always wears a curious face.
Whether that’s down to the oval-shaped eyes that give him a rather keen expression, or perhaps he is just a perceptive observer, that’s hard to tell. It could be both. Regardless, a Miniature Schnauzer should neither have large and prominent eyes nor brightly colored ones11.
When it comes to ears, a Miniature Schnauzer can have them cropped or uncropped. In both cases, they are usually set high on the dog’s skull. When uncropped, the V-shaped ears are small and fold closer to the skull11.
On the other hand, when the ears are cropped they should both have pointed tips and be identical in shape as well as length. Speaking of length, none of the ears should be overly long to the point of causing an imbalance with the head. Instead, both ears should be perpendicular at the inner edges and maintain little to no bell along the outer edges11.
The Miniature Schnauzer’s neck is strong, well arched and broadens slightly at the withers. The tight-fitting skin in this region means that the neck blends smoothly into the shoulders11. That’s what gives this compact canine his sturdy outlook despite the small size.
A well-proportioned Miniature Schnauzer is almost square. The total length from front to back (chest to buttocks) appears equal to the height of the withers11.
His short and deep frame has the brisket extending to the elbows. The withers, which form the highest point of the dog’s body, are elevated. His topline slopes ever so slightly from the withers to the tail11.
The dog’s muscular loin is short, deep and his underbody doesn’t have a tuck-up at the flank. His back has a strong line that remains firm whether he’s standing, walking or running. Ribs, while long and oval-shaped, allow for free movement of the elbows largely because the first five (ribs) are slightly flatter.
For an ideal Miniature Schnauzer, the brisket should not be shallow while the chest should not be too broad. Similarly, his back should neither be hollow nor roach11. Such features are generally undesirable, and your dog won’t be allowed to participate in Miniature Schnauzer shows.
If natural, the Miniature Schnauzer’s high and erect tail can be any length. However, sickle or sabre tails are most preferred. If docked, the tail should still be set high, carried erect and maintained long enough so that it’s clearly visible over the dog’s backline11. Your pup will not be admitted to a dog show if his tail is set too low.
The forequarters are straight and parallel, regardless of which side you look at them from. While flat and clean, the shoulders of the forelegs are muscled and their withers are set highly and well-knit. When viewed from the side, the dog’s withers are almost vertical above the elbow11.
His upper arm forms an apparent right angle at the point where it joins the shoulder blade. The two arm and shoulder blade are long and almost equal in length.11.
Overall, the forelegs are well-boned and have elbows that are set close to the dog’s body. On both sides, ribs spread gradually and gently from the first to the last, allowing space for the well-built elbows to move closer to the body11.
That’s one of the reasons why the Miniature Schnauzer is flexible. The forward and downward sloping shoulders help with flexibility too. The shoulders slope at angles that allow for a maximum forward extension of the forelegs, with no binding or effort11.
At the very base of the forelegs are “cat feet.” These are short and round feet that have thick and black pads. They are well complemented by arched and compact toes11.
Note that loose elbows on a Miniature Schnauzer are not preferred11. That’s reason enough for your dog to be disqualified from a dog show.
Like the forelegs, the hindquarters of a Miniature Schnauzer are strong and well-built11. They are muscular enough to provide the drive needed for fluid and well-coordinated movement.
In addition to an ergonomic bend at the stifles, hindquarters also have sufficient angulation that ensures the dog’s hocks extend beyond his tail when in stance. Speaking of which, when the Mini Schnauzer stands, his short yet strong rear pasterns are parallel to each other when viewed from the back, and perpendicular to the ground11.
The hindquarters of this small Schnauzer are neither overbuilt nor higher than the shoulders. According to the AKC, faults include bowed hindquarters, cow hocks, sickle hocks or open hocks11. Be sure to watch out for such faults when getting a Miniature Schnauzer for show. Otherwise, he will not be allowed to exhibit.
The Miniature Schnauzer was bred to be a working dog, and he moves like one. His gait remains smooth, powerful and effortless during a trot. When approaching, both of his forelegs move straightly as the elbows stay close to the body. When going away, both hind legs remain straight and maintain the same plane as the forelegs11.
That means when you view the Schnauzer from any direction you will notice that his legs don’t turn in or out, and the feet neither cross nor interfere with one another. Even when in full trot, both sets of legs will remain on the same plane, although there may be a slight inclination inward. Also, the dog’s topline remains level, but there may be some slight flexing that indicates suppleness11.
This little dog has two coats. The outer coat is hard and wiry while the undercoat is soft and dense. A show Miniature Schnauzer must have his coat plucked in the head, ears, neck, chest, body, and tail. The coat should have enough length for its texture to be determined easily11.
Miniature Schnauzer Colors and Patterns
Let’s start with this point right off the bat: it doesn’t matter the color of your Miniature Schnauzer, he will still be an amazing pet to have around. Now follows the question, why are some colors preferred over others? Simple, for show.
If you want to show your pup, he must bear a standard Miniature Schnauzer color as per the AKC. In which case, there are only three Miniature Schnauzer colors that are recognized by the AKC. The three are black, black & silver, and salt & pepper1.
Several other Miniature Schnauzer colors exist, including parti, liver, wheaton, and white – all of which are recessive (to the three standard colors) and are known as non-recognized Miniature Schnauzer colors.
Regardless of color, you can still register your Miniature Schnauzer puppy with the AKC. The only point to keep in mind is that you won’t be allowed to exhibit your pup in an AKC-conforming show.
How did the Miniature Schnauzer recessive colors come about anyway? Well, this breed was produced by interbreeding the Standard Schnauzer with a few other breeds, mainly the Miniature Affenpinscher, Poodle, and Pinscher15. As a result, a gene pool for possible colors was created, some of which strayed away from the three main colors.
Over time, some Miniature Schnauzer breeders loved dogs that bore these non-standard colors so much that they focused on breeding them15. That’s how the recessive gene became a norm.
Standard Miniature Schnauzer Colors
AKC Code: 007
The black Miniature Schnauzer is exactly as you would imagine him – black. Ideally, he should have a glossy black topcoat and an undercoat with a softer shade of black11. It’s not uncommon to find a pup with a few white markings, but those usually go away as he grows. They blend with the coat and eventually become less noticeable16.
As a matter of fact, the AKC permits Miniature Schnauzers with a small white spot on the chest or the occasional white hair somewhere else on the body. On the other hand, black Miniature Schnauzers with white patches, stripes or spots anywhere else other than the chest cannot be allowed to exhibit in an AKC-conforming show11.
While most black Miniature Schnauzer puppies are born black and remain so for their entire lives, others start to have a silver, brown or other lighter shade on the tips of their hair as they grow old. This is purely genetic and shouldn’t worry you16.
Salt & Pepper
AKC Code: 167
This is the most popular (and recognizable) color in this breed, probably because it makes the little dog even more catchy to the eye. Your typical salt and pepper Miniature Schnauzer has a topcoat whose hairs are color “banded”. The most common color combination for this coat is black and white11, but you can get other combinations that include black, grey or light silver. In any case, more often than not hair tips remain black17.
Something interesting about Salt & Pepper Miniature Schnauzers is that their body usually has a darker shade than their furnishings (the longer hair around the mustache and eyebrows). This is mainly because of the chinchilla gene that Miniature Schnauzers carry. It basically causes these areas to fade lightly relative to the body17.
What about the undercoat? It too can take on any color, from grey to silver and (almost) black. You will see the exact color of this coat after clipping your pup. It may also fade out in the dog’s furnishings, just like the topcoat11.
Black & Silver
AKC Code: 016
This Miniature Schnauzer follows the same color pattern as the Salt and Pepper, save for a few differences here and there. For one, the salt and pepper part is black11. Also, while the latter has some brown or copper on the hooks, behind the ears, and some parts of the body (when still a puppy), the black and silver doesn’t. Instead, black and silver has some copper-colored accents on the feet and face16.
As the Miniature Schnauzer grows, these accents start to lighten and turn into a beautiful shade of silver. Meanwhile, the rest of the body remains solid black16. It is acceptable for a few white hairs to appear on the body as the pup grows.
You may want to know that not all black and silver Miniature Schnauzers have the same shade of silver on their faces and furnishings. While some have darker shades of silver, others appear very light, almost white. The latter group is popularly known as Phantom Miniature Schnauzers.
What Is a Phantom Miniature Schnauzer?
People generally use the word “phantom” to distinguish Miniature Schnauzers with extremely white markings (on face and furnishings) from those with darker markings16. In other words, the word simply describes how bright or light the markings on a Schnauzer are.
Otherwise, Phantom Miniature Schnauzers are just black and silver Schnauzers, but with a sharp contrast between their black and silver colorings. They are not a separate breed or separate color. And just in case you’re wondering, they are purebred Schnauzers18. All phantom Miniature Schnauzers are black and silvers but not all black and silver Schnauzers are phantoms.
How can you tell whether a Miniature Schnauzer puppy is a phantom or not? Look at the contrast between his black and silver colorings. If you notice that the color change is gradual, then you’re most likely looking at a black and silver Schnauzer. However, if there’s a sharp contrast between the silver and black parts – so much such that the silver looks almost white – then you are looking at a phantom Schnauzer19.
It’s really not that hard to tell them apart. With just one glance you might notice how the color difference in a phantom Schnauzer is stunning and flashy. Besides, while the black and silver fades slowly, phantoms typically fade more quickly. That’s what brings about the sharp contrast between black and silver.
Disqualification from AKC-Conforming Show
Phantom Miniature Schnauzers are eligible to enter AKC shows as much as their black and silver brothers. The same goes for conforming black Miniature Schnauzers as well as salt & peppers – they are all eligible.
The AKC requires that your pup should have uniform skin pigmentation. That means he shouldn’t have white or pink patches anywhere, although a small white patch on a black Schnauzer’s chest can be allowed. Similarly, the occasional random white hair can’t cause your little friend to be disqualified11.
However, he will not be allowed to show if he is a salt and pepper or black and silver with white markings across the chest or under the throat. And the nose (this applies to all Miniature Schnauzers) should be solid black. Otherwise, he will be ineligible to take part in an AKC-conforming show.
Non-Recognized Miniature Schnauzer Colors
In addition to the three standard Miniature Schnauzer colors above, you will find some dogs in this breed with other awesome and amazing color combinations. These colors are parti, liver, wheaton, and white.
As a matter of fact, the AKC allows Miniature Schnauzer owners whose dogs have these colors to register them. They include:
AKC Code: 038
Parti refers to a pattern of white patches on a predominant base color20. A typical parti Miniature Schnauzer has a base color – it can be any color – that’s covered by either small or large white patches.
For example, a black parti Schnauzer is black with patches of white. Similarly, a black and silver parti has a black and silver coat that’s covered by white patches. Keep in mind that Schnauzers come in many different colors, so expect to see plenty of parti patterns in your hunt for a Miniature Schnauzer puppy. We will look at some of the popular parti patterns shortly.
AKC Code: 123
Some people call it chocolate (to make it a tad bit more appealing to buyers), but the AKC calls it liver20. Regardless of what you want to call it, this color is generally brown. And it’s not difficult to identify on a Miniature Schnauzer.
This dog has an entirely chocolate (or brown) coat. While his eyes may be green or hazel, his nose, eyelids, and pads also remain chocolate in color21. Some liver pups are born with white markings on their chest, chin and toe tips. Usually, these white markings are very noticeable when the dog is young, but blend with the coat and become less noticeable as he grows older16.
AKC Code: 224
The wheaten gene makes the entire coat of a Miniature Schnauzer to either redden look yellow or cream20. The term “wheaten” was popularized by terrier owners in their bid to describe the reddish, banded hair of a dog. A typical wheaten pooch has hair whose roots are light while the tip remains dark. In genetics, this type of banding is called “agouti”. The dog’s nose and pads are black or brown while his eyes appear green or hazel.
The agouti gene is not exclusive to dogs alone. In fact, it is more common to wild animals like foxes, wolves, coyotes, raccoons, and others. No wonder some people call it the “wild gene”.
Nonetheless, it’s one of the rarest Miniature Schnauzer colors out there. It comes in many different shades of red, ranging from dark red all through lighter shades of orange. Usually the darker the wheaten coat, the more expensive the pup18. So don’t be too shocked when a seller quotes different prices for two wheaten Miniature Schnauzer puppies with varying shades of red.
AKC Code: 199
White Miniature Schnauzers are…well, white! They are born with solid white fur, which remains so for their entire lives. It neither fades to be shiny nor turns into a different color, it just stays white16. However, you may notice a gray or blackish tint to the skin18. That’s perfectly normal and not a defect of any sort.
These white pups usually have a black nose, brown eyes and black pads18. The AKC will want to see all these features when you’re trying to register a white Schnauzer. That’s why they always ask that you send a front view and side view picture of the dog, alongside all his registration documents16.
Are White Miniature Schnauzers Defective or Albino?
No, they are not. But one would be forgiven for thinking so. The belief that white Schnauzers are defective stems from way back, in the early years of this breed. German breeders used to consider them as defective, and would, therefore, kill any white Miniature Schnauzer puppies born in a litter22.
Of course, that has since changed. Today, these pups are among the most adored world over. They used to occur rarely, but not anymore23. Their growing popularity means that some breeders are now targeting to produce litters with at least one white Mini Schnauzer.
Just in case you’re interested in the genetic bit of it, Miniature Schnauzers have dominant and recessive genes for coat colors. The allele E denotes a colored coat while e denotes white24. Any combination that contains E results in a colored pup. For instance, both EE and Ee are Schnauzer dogs with colored coats; i.e. black, liver or any other color.
On the other hand, a pup with ee has two alleles for the white color. Meaning that his genetic makeup doesn’t have the allele for color (do not confuse color with pigmentation). This particular Schnauzer will be white.
How can you breed a white Miniature Schnauzer? There are two ways. First, you can breed an Ee Schnauzer with another Ee Schnauzer. The resultant litter will have at least one white pup with ee. Secondly, you can breed two Mini Schnauzers that both have ee. In which case the entire litter will be white24.
I’ve already mentioned that white Miniature Schnauzers are not albinos. I feel it’s necessary to revisit that. In dogs (and in general), the word albino is used to refer to a lack of pigmentation in the entire body. It’s not a synonym for white!
Dogs that have albinism usually have pink skin, pink or red eyes, pink eyelids, pink pads, and pink lips18. On the other hand, white Schnauzers mostly have a black nose, brown eyes and black pads18. They are extremely healthy and live long lives.
Rare Miniature Schnauzer Colors
These are all the colors that are neither recognized nor non-recognized. They basically came about unintentionally when Miniature Schnauzer breeders started to develop this breed. Most occurred as a result of recessive genes21.
In the last few decades, these new colors have become so popular that many breeders are focusing strictly on Schnauzers with “rare colors”. Needless to say, they are very hard to produce, which makes them even more popular. Some modern dog owners are always in search of that unique-looking puppy, and as far as this breed goes, that puppy is almost always a rare-colored one.
Long story short, they get as much love as their AKC-conforming brothers. But what are these rare Miniature Schnauzer colors? Here are the main ones:
The white chocolate Miniature Schnauzer is entirely white but his skin, underneath the hair, is usually pink. He has a brown (liver) colored nose, eyelids, and pads. The eyes too can be brown, although hazel-eyed white chocolate Schnauzers also exist16.
NOTE: white chocolate Miniature Schnauzers are registered under AKC code 199, the same one used for white.
Black & Rust
These dogs have black base coats combined with rust or orange-colored chests, beards and eyebrows. Some pups with this color combination also have a rust patch under the tail. The exact intensity of orange usually varies, with some having a very dark shade of orange while others sporting a lighter one. As is the case with the wheaten Miniature Schnauzer, the darker the orange, the more expensive the pup. It’s a rare color to start with, so expect to pay slightly higher than what you would ordinarily pay for any other Miniature Schnauzer, regardless of his shade of orange18.
Note: black and rust Miniature Schnauzers are registered under AKC code 106, the same one used for black and silver.
Liver & Tan
The liver and tan Miniature Schnauzer has the same pattern as the black and silver, except he has a liver-colored coat in places where the latter has a black coat. That means he has a solid liver body combined with a chocolate pad, chocolate nose and white or cream markings on the furnishings (muzzle, eyebrows, chest, legs, inside ears, underneath the tail and low parts of the legs). His eyes can either be green or hazel18.
Note: liver and tan Miniature Schnauzers are registered under AKC code 124.
Liver & Rust
This pup is born with a liver base coat. His chest, beard, eyebrows and the patch under the tail are rust or orange in color. He has a brown nose and brown pads while the eyes can either be brown, green or hazel. As you would expect, liver and rust Miniature Schnauzers come in many different shades of orange. Again, darker shades attract higher prices because they are extremely rare to come by18.
Note: liver and rust Miniature Schnauzers are registered under AKC code 124, the same one used for liver and tan.
This Mini Schnauzer has the same pattern as the salt and pepper, save for his liver-colored pads, nose, and eyelids. At birth, he usually has banded hairs of dark brown or chocolate, although they usually fade out into a lighter shade (of brown or chocolate) as he ages. The extent to which the color fades varies. You might find one liver pepper pup with a darker version of brown and the next one with a lighter version of the same. Either way, the eyes are always brown, hazel or green18.
Note: liver pepper Miniature Schnauzers are registered under AKC code 498.
The pattern on a ticked parti Miniature Schnauzer resembles that of a regular parti, except in this case the parti is not entirely white. Instead, the dog’s parti spots combine white hairs and any other color. For example, you can find a parti spot with white and liver hair, or white and black hair or pretty much any other equally stunning combo.
Even more mind-blowing is that the pattern changes as the dog grows older; at times so drastically that he can look like a completely different dog. Also, the markings are usually different from one Miniature Schnauzer puppy to another. One (almost) consistent thing, though, is the color of their eyes. There are only three possibilities here: brown, hazel or green18.
Note: all Miniature Schnauzer parti patterns, including ticked parti, are registered under AKC code 038.
Liver & Pepper Parti
The base coat of a liver and pepper parti Miniature Schnauzer is usually liver pepper. It’s covered with white patches that make up the parti component. Each puppy has unique parti patterns which, in some cases, fade out into a lighter shade of silver as he grows older. The dog’s pads and nose are usually brown, while his eyes can either be green, brown or hazel.
Note: all Miniature Schnauzer parti patterns, including liver and pepper parti, are registered under AKC code 038.
Salt & Pepper Parti
The salt and pepper parti Miniature Schnauzer has a salt and pepper base coat that’s covered with white patches. His eyes are typically brown, unlike his pads and nose which are usually black.
One thing about salt and pepper partis is that they can have some very interesting markings. For one, their gray patches are actually banded hairs of gray and white, which may fade into a lighter shade of gray as the dog ages.
Some have the “parti blanket” pattern. This is where the color on the back is different from that of the underside. As a result, the dog looks like he is covered with a blanket. The base color can vary widely, from black to silver or whitish18.
Note: all Miniature Schnauzer parti patterns, including salt and pepper parti, are registered under AKC code 038.
This is one of the most straightforward Miniature Schnauzer patterns. It basically means that the dog’s base coat is liver (or chocolate) and is covered by white patches. Liver parti Miniature Schnauzers usually have brown, hazel or green eyes, alongside a brown nose and brown pads.
In some cases, the white spots can fade out into a nice-looking liver pepper as the dog grows into adulthood. In other cases, he may have a “blanket parti” where instead of the many white spots all over the body, it’s just one large patch covering most of the underside18. That’s the beauty of these parti markings – they come in so many different patterns.
Note: all Miniature Schnauzer parti patterns, including liver parti, are registered under AKC code 038.
This is yet another straightforward but eye-catchy Miniature Schnauzer color pattern. The black parti features a black base coat covered by white patches. This pup has black pads, a black nose, and brown eyes.
“Blanket parti” is also a thing here. You can get a Schnauzer whose entire back is black, with a huge chunk of his underbelly being white. At the same time, some black partis can end up with shades of gray on the white patches as they grow older18. This is normal, so don’t freak out if you see such changes.
Note: all Miniature Schnauzer parti patterns, including black parti, are registered under AKC code 038.
Liver & Tan Parti
Liver and tan partis, or liver tan parties as they are at times called, have a liver base coat and white patches. More often than not the patches appear randomly all over the body, but in a few cases, you will get a “blanket parti” of liver and white.
Either way, the pup will have a white chest, white eyebrows, and a white beard. His brown nose and brown pads compliment the brown, hazel or green eyes almost perfectly. At birth, all liver and tan parti Miniature Schnauzers have white markings (patches). However, for some these markings fade out into liver pepper as they grow older18. One thing for certain is that your canine friend will keep all those lovable traits of a Miniature Schnauzer regardless of age.
Note: all Miniature Schnauzer parti patterns, including liver and tan parti, are registered under AKC code 038.
Black & Silver Parti
This little guy looks like the black parti, save for his black and silver base coat. He has a white chest, white eyebrows, and white beard, pretty much like an ordinary black and silver or a black parti.
Similarly, he can have random patches of white or a “blanket parti”. His white markings can remain white or fade into some shade of silver. Either way, his eyes will be brown while his nose and pads will be black18.
Note: all Miniature Schnauzer parti patterns, including black and silver, are registered under AKC code 038.
Merle Miniature Schnauzers
The merle gene is a fascinating one, not just in Miniature Schnauzers, but in the dog world. In fact, it’s not as common in Schnauzers as it is in Australian Shepherds, Great Danes, Collies, Catahoula Leopard Dogs, Cardigan Welsh Corgis, Dachshunds, and Shetland Sheepdogs25. Nonetheless, it does occur in Schnauzers. And yes, it’s well worth your attention. Why? Because despite their stunning looks, dogs with the merle gene are prone to blindness, deafness and a host of other health issues25.
This gene creates mottled patches of darker hair that overlay a lighter shade of the same color. For example, a blue Miniature Schnauzer with the merle gene has a light (silver or greyish) base coat with black patches all over the body.
In some breeds like the Great Dane, Corgis, Border Collies, and Dachshunds, the merle gene is considered undesirable because it comes with extreme health issues. In other breeds it’s merely a distinguishing characteristic. The Miniature Schnauzer falls under the latter group.
No two merle dogs look alike. But they can have similar color combinations. So what colors can you expect to see on merle Schnauzers?
Parti merles come in all the colors of Miniature Schnauzers. They can be black, black & silver, salt & pepper, wheaten, liver or pretty much any Schnauzer color. The main difference is that merles have spots of merle markings on their bodies. Plus, they combine their base color with white, which typically goes over the dog’s topline.
Most merle parti Miniature Schnauzers have white legs. Those with black, salt & pepper, black & silver or silver parti coats usually have a black nose, black pads, and blue eyes. Parti merles with liver, liver & pepper or liver & tan coats mostly have brown pads, brown nose, and brown, green, blue or hazel eyes18.
This Miniature Schnauzer has a black base coat with diluted patches all over the body. The black parts never have peppered hair in them. Similarly, at no point will you see banded hair on this puppy. Instead, you may only observe his black pads, black nose and brown or blue eyes18.
Black & Silver Merle
This pup looks like the blue merle – black base coat with diluted patches all over the body. The main difference is that some of his furnishings are white. They include his chest, eyebrows and area under the tail (much like an ordinary black & silver black Schnauzer). In addition to a black nose and pads, the dog usually has brown or blue eyes18.
Salt & Pepper Merle
Here the base color is salt & pepper but there are diluted patches all over the body. Just like the ordinary salt & pepper, this dog has banded hairs with some shade of grey. This banding is what differentiates the salt & pepper merle from the blue merle. That and the fact that he has black spots.
Virtually all salt & pepper merles have black pads, black nose and brown or blue eyes. Some have smutted eyebrows and beards18.
The liver merle Miniature Schnauzer has a brown/cream base color that’s overlaid by liver-colored spots. His pads and nose are brown while his eyes are either green, hazel or blue18.
Liver Pepper Merle
While the liver merle has no peppering, the liver pepper merle has plenty of peppering (as you would imagine). The exact color of the peppering can vary widely from one dog to another, just like in the normal liver pepper. However, in a liver pepper merle, the liver base coat is covered with light-colored spots all over the body.
All Miniature Schnauzers with this coat have banded hairs. While some have smutted beards and eyebrows, others don’t. Regardless, most of them usually have brown pads, brown nose and brown, hazel, green or blue eyes18.
Liver & Tan Merle
The liver and tan merle Miniature Schnauzer borrows a few features from the liver and tan Schnauzer and a few more from the liver merle. He has a liver and tan base coat that’s overlaid by light-colored patches, just like the liver merle.
His beard, eyebrows and the area under the tail are all tanned, just like a regular liver and tan Miniature Schnauzer. Speaking of which, some Schnauzers with this color usually have smutted eyebrows and beards but never peppered hair. Their nose and pads are usually brown while the eyes can be brown, hazel, green or blue18.
Sable merles are the hardest to identify, let alone to understand. Most people, including breeders, mistake them for other types of Miniature Schnauzers. They come in interesting and unique colors like peach, apricot or cream. While they have merle spots, those usually fade out to a purely cream coat by the sixth month after birth. That’s the sable gene at work18.
More About Merle Miniature Schnauzers
As mentioned already, the merle gene affects different dog breeds differently. It’s associated with severe health issues (particularly blindness and deafness) in certain breeds like Australian Shepherds, Great Danes, Collies, Catahoula Leopard Dogs, Cardigan Welsh Corgis, Dachshunds, and Shetland Sheepdogs25.
What about in Miniature Schnauzers? Well, according to SoCal Schnauzers, the gene is more of a distinguishing factor than a health risk. While the coat will look unique, the dog won’t have any inherent health issues that are usually associated with the merle gene. He will live a full and healthy life, of course, unless something else affects his health.
Interestingly, SoCal breeders argue that Miniature Schnauzers are not even carriers for the many hereditary issues that typically come with the merle gene. You can see here that some dogs of this breed were tested for a variety of hereditary issues (over 168) and they all turned out negative18.
Merle Miniature Schnauzers have the same temperament and characteristics as Schnauzers of any other color. The only difference is that merles have the merle pattern18 – which is basically a lighter-colored coat that has darker patches overlaying it.
So, are merle Miniature Schnauzers purebred dogs? No, they are not. Neither the AKC nor the AMSC (American Miniature Schnauzer Club) recognizes merle Miniature Schnauzers as purebreds. In fact, the AMSC warns against buying merles26, just as some people warn against breeding them27.
The argument against these dogs is that when a Schnauzer is pure merle (MM), then it will almost certainly suffer from some or all the issues that are associated with the merle gene. Topping the list of health issues are eye and ear defects28.
Among many other things, the merle gene suppresses pigment cells in the eyes and ears. These cells aid visual and auditory senses, so when suppressed, the dog can suffer from blindness and deafness. More often the dog will have blue eyes, which further makes it hard to diagnose eye-related problems28.
Besides, the merle gene is associated with the development of third eyelids, night blindness, cleft in the iris and distortion in the eye’s appearance. In extreme cases, the puppy may be born without eyes at all28.
How do merle Miniature Schnauzers come about?
Obviously, it wouldn’t be a wise idea to breed a purely merle Miniature Schnauzer considering the potential health risks29. Some breeders do it anyway and sell the pup for a ton of money because of the uniquely-colored coat26. Be advised!
How do they do it? It’s all in genetics. The merle pattern comes about when the dog has a single copy of the merle allele, denoted as M. Every merle dog has one merle allele (M) and one non-merle allele (m) to make it Mm. All non-merle dogs have non-merle alleles (mm).
Now, if you breed two non-merle Miniature Schnauzers you will get a litter of non-merle pups. They will all have mm alleles. If you breed a merle (Mm) and a non-merle (mm), then half of the litter will be merle (Mm) while the other half will be non-merle (mm).
On the other hand, breeding two merle Miniature Schnauzers (Mm and Mm) produces a litter where a quarter of the puppies are non-merle (mm), a half are merle (MM) and the remaining quarter are pure merle (MM). Pure merles are mostly white but may have patches of color. When you breed two pure merles your entire litter will also be pure merle29.
That’s the genetics behind merle breeding. And yes, it’s something that you want to avoid at all costs. Pups with Mm have a 2.7% higher risk of deafness in one ear and 0.9% in both ears. Those with MM have higher risks of 10% and 15% respectively29.
The same goes for blindness. This gene increases the risk of loss of vision considerably that your Miniature Schnauzer can be born with a certain level of blindness. Even so, just because the dog is a pure merle doesn’t mean he will have visual and/or auditory issues. Most of them live a long and healthy life, but it’s just not worth taking the chance.
Miniature Schnauzer vs. Standard Schnauzer vs. Giant Schnauzer
There are so many comparisons between the Miniature Schnauzer and Standard Schnauzer, but rarely the Miniature Schnauzer vs. Giant Schnauzer. Well, here we’re going to do both. After all, they are all Schnauzers! So how do these three dogs compare?
All three Schnauzers originated from Germany30. The oldest of them all is the Standard Schnauzer whose beginnings go as far back as the Middle Ages. He is a descendant of early European guarding and herding dogs. Contrary to what many people think, and despite the striking similarities, the Standard Schnauzer is not related to terrier breeds of Britain31.
The Standard Schnauzer was first exhibited in a show sometime in the 1870s. That came after several years of crossbreeding with the black German Poodle and gray Wolfspitz to produce the distinctive Standard Schnauzer colors that we know today; i.e. black and pepper & salt31.
The breed made its way to the USA around 1900 but did not gain significant popularity until after the First World War. It was, nonetheless, recognized as a Working breed in 1904 by the AKC31. It would take a further 20 years for the Miniature to come to the USA (in 1924) and 26 years for the latter to be recognized as a Terrier breed (in 1926).
In other words, the Standard Schnauzer had some head start in settling in the USA compared to the Miniature. But that didn’t stop the latter from overtaking the Standard in popularity. Today, the Miniature Schnauzer is the 19th most popular dog breed in the USA2. That’s 71 positions ahead of the Standard Schnauzer who ranks 90th.
The Giant Schnauzer, on the other hand, ranks 80th in popularity2. Like the other two Schnauzers, the Giant is a purebred who traces his origins in Germany. He was bred in the mid-1800s in the Bavarian Alps as a working dog for herding cattle and driving them from the farm to market and vice-versa32.
That’s one thing that all three Schnauzers have in common – they were bred not just for guarding owners and their property but also as farm dogs. In fact, all three breeds originated from Bavaria and Wurttemberg where dogs were largely used as farm helps32.
To no surprise, the AKC added the Giant Schnauzer among Working dogs in 1930. He was the last of the Schnauzers to be recognized by the AKC. While he and the Standard Schnauzer are working dogs, the Miniature is a hunting dog of the terrier type.
The names of Schnauzers say everything you need to know about each breed, at least as far as size. The Miniature, who stands at 14 inches tall (females are shorter – 13 inches), is the smallest of the three. Standard Schnauzers have a height of 18 to 20 inches for males and 17 to 19 inches for females.
Big as they seem, Standards are not nearly as big as Giants. The latter can grow as tall as 26 to 28 inches if they are males and 23 to 26 inches if they are females30. They are definitely not good for an apartment lifestyle.
Seeing as they are small and compact, you would be forgiven for thinking that Miniature Schnauzers are apartment friendly. The truth is that no Schnauzer is all that well-suited for an apartment, but the Miniature wouldn’t mind it as much as the Giant or Standard.
Obviously, the small Miniature Schnauzer’s size helps his case for living in an apartment. He weighs just about 11 to 18 pounds if he is male and 10 to 15 pounds for females. Meanwhile, Standards and Giants weigh 30 to 45 pounds and 60 to 105 pounds respectively if they are male, and 30 to 40 pounds and 55 to 75 pounds for females. Even so, all Schnauzers are pretty playful and prefer large amounts of space, including the Miniature.
The other thing that all Schnauzers have in common is the coat type. Whether he is a Miniature, Standard or Giant, the Schnauzer’s coat will always be wiry. The only difference comes in standard coat colors. While the Miniature has three – black, salt & pepper, black & silver – the Standard and Giant have just two. They only come in black or salt & pepper.
Still, on matters of the coat, the three breeds have varying requirements in terms of grooming. The Giant is the easiest to groom. He requires average effort, which is significantly easier than the Standard who usually requires professional grooming and the Miniature who needs advanced grooming30.
All Schnauzers usually require less than most other dog breeds30. You won’t have tumbleweeds of dog hair in your house regardless of which of these three you choose to keep.
All Schnauzers are intelligent and easily trainable. But if you were to rate them, then perhaps the Giant would score slightly less in smarts. The Miniature and Standard would score very highly. The Giant makes up for this “shortcoming” with other strengths.
For example, in addition to being arguably the kindest, he is the most powerful and dominant of the three. If he can’t beat an opponent with smarts he will do so with pure strength and power. He has a strong will as well, so don’t make the mistake of counting him out in earthdog activities.
The part that will surprise many people is playfulness. The Standard and Giant are generally more playful than the Miniature. Yep, you heard that right! Our little pup likes to play and engage in games, but he is not as playful as his bigger cousins.
He is, however, more affectionate than the other two. At no point will you ever feel the need to question the Miniature Schnauzer’s loyal, soft, gentle and loving nature. Once he chooses you as the leader, he will want to protect you from virtually everything that he sees as a threat, including those that are bigger.
That’s one of the things that make him a great watchdog. He, alongside the Giant Schnauzer, has a high level of alertness, which makes both perfect for guarding property and sounding alarms. Not that the Standard Schnauzer is poor at this, he just scores slightly less than the other two30.
I can’t emphasize this enough: Schnauzers are too friendly to be left alone. That cuts across the board; none of the three varieties can tolerate being left in solitude. They always need a familiar face to play and hang around with.
What about friendliness to strangers? Giant Schnauzers are not the friendliest to strangers. They are highly territorial dogs that can easily feel threatened by a new face. Miniatures and Standards are averagely friendly towards strangers. More often than not they will wait to see how you welcome the stranger before they react.
If it’s a strange dog, then you can bet on a Giant Schnauzer to get a bit aggressive. He is the least friendly to other dogs compared to the Miniature and Standard. The same goes for cats. Most Miniatures and Standards will warm up to cats faster than Giants.
When it comes to kids, Miniatures and Standards may be impatient at first but with a little bit of training they will get along easily with your kids. Giants, on the other hand, are the least kid-friendly Schnauzers. Whether it’s because of their large size or perhaps their strong predatory instinct, they just don’t fancy the consistent company of kids. They will, though, usually adjust to kids that they live with.
If I had to rate the three Schnauzers based on how healthy they are (generally), then the Giant would take first place followed by the Miniature, and finally, the Standard would come in last. Giant Schnauzers rarely experience health issues as long as they are fed, exercised and groomed properly. They easily score four stars out of five in health.
You will be sufficiently comfortable with a Miniature too, but he will need the occasional visit to the vet for a checkup. Other than that he is mostly a healthy dog – a solid three stars out of five.
The Standard Schnauzer tends to have more health issues that occur frequently. Three of the most common health concerns for this breed are pancreatitis, hip dysplasia, and follicular dermatitis33. Hip dysplasia is genetic in all dogs and fairly common in Standard Schnauzers, so be sure to check the bloodline of a pup if you’re thinking of adopting one. Follicular dermatitis is caused by bacteria that reside on the dog’s skin and fur. Needless to say, the Standard Schnauzer’s furry nature doesn’t help so much with this issue.
Vets still don’t know what causes frequent pancreatitis in Standard Schnauzers33. That, to some extent, is further testament to the dog’s rather vulnerable health. Having said that, if you have a reliable vet and proper lifestyle for your dog, he will live a full and fulfilling life of 12 to 15 years.
That’s the life expectancy of Standard Schnauzers. Miniatures can live up to 14 years while Giants have a life expectancy of 10 to 12 years. Surprised that Giants have the shortest lifespan? You shouldn’t be. Most big dogs have a shorter life expectancy compared to smaller ones.
On the flip side, the Giant’s larger size means that he is the fittest and needs the most exercises than the Standard and Miniature. He has a high energy level, just like his other two cousins. And, to wrap it up, all these three breeds are hypoallergenic30.
Top 10 Common Miniature Schnauzer Mixes
So, between the Miniature, Standard and Giant which one do you prefer? Some people love the imposing size and temperament of the Giant, others love the playful nature of the Standard. Some like the loyalty and compact size of the Miniature.
Whatever your preference, it’s never a bad idea to get the company of a purebred Schnauzer. In case you didn’t know, purebreds were originally developed by interbreeding several other breeds to produce functional dogs (also known as working dogs) or appearance dogs (also called show dogs)35. Schnauzers were mostly working canines.
These days we also have hybrid dogs. Some people call them “designer” dogs because of how they are produced. Basically, breeders interbreed two dogs of different breeds to create a new one. Why? Sometimes it’s because the gene pool created can lead to a stronger dog. The weaknesses associated with purebreds are minimized while at the same time maximizing their strengths35.
It remains a controversial practice, but an ideal mixed dog can have overall better health, easily trainable temperament and longer life expectancy. In other words, a Miniature Schnauzer mix may have better health and traits than a purebred.
Thinking it might be a better idea to get a Miniature Schnauzer mix? The good news is that you’re more than likely to get your hands on an awesome pup. The bad news is that because of the increasing popularity of “designer dogs,” you could actually end up spending more for a hybrid than you would for a purebred. Below are some of the most known Miniature Schnauzer mixes:
This puppy comes from breeding a Miniature Schnauzer and a Chihuahua. He is a tiny pup who weighs just about 12 pounds, yet has a long life expectancy of 12 to 16 years. It’s usually hard to predict the type of coat that a Chizer will inherit.
He may have a short or long coat just as much as he may have a single or double-layered coat. Whatever the case, you will need to groom him properly to keep his skin healthy. Speaking of health, there’s every possibility that a Chizer puppy will inherit the dental health issues that Chihuahuas are known to have35.
A Schnocker is a Miniature Schnauzer and Cocker Spaniel mix. With a life expectancy of between 12 and 15 years, this pup can weigh anywhere between 11 and 45 pounds. Both parents are highly intelligent, so you can imagine the smarts on this little guy.
In addition to his awesome looks, the Schnocker is a very playful and athletic dog, which makes him an excellent pet. The downside is that he sheds a lot. That means you have to groom him as frequently as possible to prevent his fur from tangling.
Note that you can also get a Schnocker by breeding a Standard Schnauzer and Cocker Spaniel. In which case he will be a bigger dog with a weight that’s closer to 45 pounds than 11 pounds35.
You will get a Schapso puppy when you breed a Miniature Schnauzer with a Lhasa Apso. Both dogs are small, which means the puppy will be small too. He is likely to weigh between 11 and 20 pounds.
The life expectancy of a Schapso is 12 to 15 years. Within that time, you will have an amazing companion who combines the Schnauzer’s wits, loyalty, and playfulness with the Lhasa Apso’s affectionate nature.
While he won’t shed much, his long fur and facial hair will require daily brushing and frequent grooming. Also, he can inherit mild brachycephaly from the Lhasa Apso genes35.
This puppy is born when you breed a Miniature Schnauzer with an Affenpinscher. Again, he is a small and compact dog who weighs between 10 and 20 pounds. He has a life expectancy of 12 to 15 years.
His high intelligence (from Schnauzer genes) means that he is easy to train, provided you keep the sessions as interesting as they can be. Affenpinschers are generally quiet dogs who need some sort of spark to get really excited.
In terms of shedding, the Schnauffen doesn’t shed much. You will, however, need to brush his hair daily and make a habit of grooming him as frequently as you can35.
You will get a Schneagle puppy when you cross a Beagle with a Miniature or Standard Schnauzer. Needless to say, if the Schnauzer is a Standard then the puppy will be bigger, with a weight of up to 45 pounds. On the other hand, crossing the Beagle with a Miniature Schnauzer produces smaller puppies of between 10 and 20 pounds.
A smart and strong hunting dog, the Schneagle likes to explore. If you leave him in an unenclosed space his instinct to hunt and wander may overcome the desire to stay at home. That’s where proper training comes in.ou will need to brush his fur regularly because he sheds a fair amount all year round. Other than that he is an excellent keeper dog35.
A Chonzer puppy has one Miniature Schnauzer parent and one Bichon Frise parent. With a weight of 7 to 18 pounds, this compact dog has a life expectancy of between 12 and 15 years. He is very intelligent and won’t give you a hard time in training.
On your part, you will need to provide regular exercises and daily play. That’s what keeps him happy, alongside proper grooming, which typically includes daily brushing. He doesn’t shed much but he is pretty furry35.
Yet another little dog, the Miniboz comes from breeding a Miniature Schnauzer with a Boston Terrier. He weighs anywhere between 10 and 20 pounds and can live as long as 15 years.
Although he sheds all year round, it’s not so much that you will constantly have to deal with tumbleweeds of hair. But one thing to be cautious about is the possibility of brachycephaly. This condition is associated with Boston Terriers and may be passed down to the Miniboz puppy35.
Most Miniature Schnauzer mixes are small, and the Sniffon is no different. A product of breeding the Mini Schnauzer with a Brussels Griffon, this little pup weighs 8 to 18 pounds and has a life expectancy of 12 to 15 years.
As is the case with some Brussels Griffons, the Sniffon may develop brachycephaly (inherited from the parent). It’s not exactly a deadly condition; it only means that you have to take good care of your pup. That’s especially more important when the weather is hot.
Nonetheless, the Sniffon is a super healthy dog who sheds quite a bit all year round. Be sure to brush him regularly and groom him regularly35.
This puppy has one Miniature Schnauzer parent and one Cairn Terrier parent. Yep, both of his parents are ratters! That means he has an inborn instinct for digging. That, combined with the bravery of the Cairn Terrier, might see him dig up your entire backyard. Luckily he is an intelligent pup who won’t have a hard time learning. With a little effort on your part, you can train him not to dig.
A little dog weighing between 13 and 20 pounds, the Cairnauzer has a life expectancy of 12 to 15 years. Over that period, you will need to do some frequent hand-stripping and brushing to maintain his fairly furry coat35.
This puppy is born of one Miniature Schnauzer parent and one Welsh Pembroke Corgi parent. Most of them inherit the short legs of the Corgi parent. Although they shed, it’s not to the point of being a nuisance. Your Schnorgi pup is likely to weigh between 11 and 30 pounds. He can live for up to 15 years when cared for properly35.
Other Popular Miniature Schnauzer Mixes
Schnoxie – the pup is born when you breed a Miniature Schnauzer with a Miniature or Standard Dachshund
Schnese – this hybrid puppy is born of one Miniature Schnauzer parent and one Havanese parent
Mauzer – the Mauzer puppy is born when you breed a Miniature Schnauzer and a Maltese
Schnoodle – this is a pup with one Miniature Schnauzer parent and one Miniature, Standard or Toy Poodle. You can also use a Standard Schnauzer in place of the Miniature.
Schnug – has one Miniature Schnauzer parent and one Pug parent.
Snorkie – born of one Miniature Schnauzer parent and one Yorkshire Terrier parent.
How Much Space Does a Miniature Schnauzer Require?
For a dog whose maximum height and weight are 14 inches and 20 pounds, you would think that the Miniature Schnauzer requires very little space. Well, in theory, he does because of his compact size.
However, this little dog likes to walk around and might feel too confined when the spaces are small. That’s why he is not always the best choice pet for an apartment lifestyle30. It doesn’t mean you absolutely shouldn’t keep a Miniature Schnauzer if you live in an apartment. It just means that you have to commit to providing your Mini Schnauzer with regular exercise.
Mini Schnauzers can also be “barky,” but you can train them not to bark. Oddly enough, this means letting him bark until he’s done, and then giving him a treat once he’s quiet. He’ll learn that good things happen when he stops barking. It might be best, though, to tell your neighbors that you’re working on the issue. Otherwise, they’re going to assume that you don’t care if you have a yappy little monster.
As long as we’re talking about space, you may need to know that the recommended crate size for an adult Miniature Schnauzer is 30 inches37. Retail and online stores have plenty of crate options for you to choose from, some of which are perfect for your Miniature Schnauzer.
Miniature Schnauzer Health Problems
For the most part, the Miniature Schnauzer is a healthy dog who can live up to 15 years. But like all other breeds, there are a few medical issues worth your concern. Top on the list is fat.
An excessively fatty diet, combined with little to no exercises, can expose a Schnauzer to a range of health risks. They include diabetes, hyperlipidemia, and even pancreatitis37. Luckily, you can avoid all these risks using a few simple steps.
For one, take your little canine friend for daily walks and ensure he gets enough exercise to burn any excess fat. The occasional playtime in the yard or park will do him good as well. And don’t forget that he will want to follow you from one room to another and even when you go outside the house. Let him. It may seem like a bit of work, but that’s one way of getting him to exercise and ultimately keeping him healthy.
Bladder stones and cataracts are two other conditions that Miniature Schnauzers are prone to1. While kidney stones are mostly caused by enzyme-producing bacteria, cataracts can be caused by many factors. One of them is trauma to the eye and the other one is old age. There’s also the issue of genetics. If the Schnauzer’s parents had cataracts, then your little pup may develop them too.
While not all that often, Schnauzers can be prone to skin irritations and conditions. Comedone syndrome is probably the biggest culprit here. You can recognize it through pus-filled bumps that usually develop on the dog’s back (the undercoat). Usually, a dog with this condition (and pretty much any other skin problem) will spend a long time scratching himself and he may have a reddened skin37. Watch out for such tell-tale signs. A visit to the vet may be necessary.
More importantly, prevention is better than cure. And in light of that, groom your Schnauzer Miniature frequently and properly. If his ears are uncropped you may want to keep a keen eye on them because they can attract infections.
Other common Miniature Schnauzer health problems include thyroid disorders, liver shunts, progressive retinal atrophy, Cushing’s disease and Willebrand disease37.
The best breeders usually stock test both parents (and even puppies) for any potential Miniature Schnauzer health problems. That’s the responsible way of breeding dogs. At the same time, as the owner, it’s advisable that you carefully watch your dog’s overall health and consult your vet whenever there are signs of illness1.
Scheduling a full checkup once in a while will be beneficial for both you and your pup. You should also make sure you get him at least two tests: a cardiac exam and ophthalmologist evaluation. Those two are the most recommended health tests for the Miniature Schnauzer1.
Don’t forget dental care. Brush your dog’s teeth regularly. Your Miniature Schnauzer is every bit as vulnerable to dental disease as you are1.
Best Nutrition for Miniature Schnauzer
I’ve already mentioned how Miniature Schnauzers and fat are not the best of buddies. These dogs are prone to getting overweight, which means that you have to watch your pup’s calorie intake1. A good meal for him should have just about 10 to 15% fat38. And don’t feed him spiced food or greasy table scraps. Such foods can easily upset his (typically) sensitive stomach. In fact, the best way of going about this whole feeding business is avoiding human foods entirely, or at least asking your vet which human foods are okay to give to your dog
While at it, be sure to ask about home-prepared foods that are good for your Schnauzer. Combining them with commercial dog food can keep your canine friend strong and healthy. You can usually give some fruits and veggies (never grapes, though – they’re toxic to dogs). Giving your Schnauzer a bite of pear or apple, a raw baby carrot, green beans and what have you will not do any harm to his health38. If anything, it’s better than offering most commercial dog treats..
Just make sure you don’t overfeed Your Miniature Schnauzer. Two meals per day are recommended, not just for good health, but for easy potty training as well. Regulated treats too will come in handy when you’re training your Schnauzer38. And don’t forget to add clean drinking water to his diet.
It wouldn’t be a complete section on the Schnauzer Miniature diet if I didn’t mention something about food allergies. Yes, Schnauzers can be allergic to some foods. If you see him persistently licking his paws or scratching his face, then he may have an allergy issue.
If there are no obvious allergy triggers like pollen and/or fleas, you can try investigating whether it’s caused by food. Ask your vet for a proper diagnosis followed by treatment and a suggested diet regimen38.
Miniature Schnauzer Exercise
A feisty and lively dog, the Miniature Schnauzer is never too keen on sitting around. He is definitely not a couch potato. To keep him healthy and happy, you will need to give him at least 30 minutes of exercise per day. A walk is recommended; make it longer if you can.
His medium level of energy means that he can adapt to different living environments quite easily1. If you live in the country, he won’t mind running around in the fields. And if you live in the city, he will find a way to make do with your city home, dog parks and the city lifestyle as a whole.
A fenced area around the home will do him good. Remember that he has a very strong prey drive. His ratting instinct can send him to chase vermin for quite some distance1, and that’s not something you want. Before you know it he will be several blocks away from home and possibly lost.
In addition to running around and chasing objects, he will get the most joy from playing with family members1. That’s really what Miniature Schnauzers want – doing activities with their owners. If you have kids, the dog will enjoy running around and playing with them. So don’t exclude him from family-oriented activities. In fact, you can create an exercise and workout regimen for keeping your Miniature Schnauzer healthy physically and mentally. Here are a few that may work:
Walk: this is the perfect exercise for any dog really. Your little Schnauzer will enjoy every minute that you spend walking him. It won’t matter if you’ll just circle your neighborhood or go to a dog park, he will enjoy each moment to the maximum. Once per day is okay, but if you can do it two times then you’ll have a very healthy companion. If for one reason or another, you can’t create time to walk him, you can consider hiring someone or an agency that offers dog walking services39.
Games and activities: Miniature Schnauzers enjoy a game of fetch. That’s one way to keep him fit over a bonding session. It wouldn’t hurt to mix it up with hide-and-seek and a few other games like tug of war, flirt pole, chasing bubbles and whatnot. In addition to offering physical exercise, such games boost the dog’s mental capacity39.
Dog park: At times it takes more than just routine exercises to keep a Miniature Schnauzer happy. In which case taking him to a dog park may be a better idea. Provided he is on a long-enough leash, he will run and socialize with other dogs in a fun way39. That’s a boost to his social skills as well.
Treadmill: you can train your Miniature Schnauzer to walk and even run on a treadmill. Nowadays there are treadmills that are designed specifically for dogs. If you can get your small Schnauzer to use one of them, it will be a good day for both of you39. Just make sure you always supervise each session. Try watching some YouTube videos to see how it’s done.
Swimming: this is yet another excellent activity for Miniature Schnauzers. Just like in humans, swimming works virtually every muscle in a dog. And what do you know, most dogs love water. Not all of them though, so if your dog isn’t comfortable in water don’t force him in. it may take some training to get him to start swimming comfortably, and even so, you should always monitor him. If he tires he can find it difficult getting out of the pool, and that may cause him to panic and drown39.
Those are just a few options that are at your disposal. Remember that no two dogs are alike, even if they are both Miniature Schnauzers. Be sure to ask your vet whether the exercises you are contemplating are good for your particular Schnauzer. And don’t forget to have drinking water to cool off the heat. That’s even more important if you have a Miniature Schnauzer mix with brachycephaly.
Miniature Schnauzer Shedding
The Miniature Schnauzer is among the least shedding dog breeds, and makes an excellent pick if you suffer from allergies or if you’re not keen on having loose hairs floating around the house. Even so, all dogs (including Miniature Schnauzers) shed some fur.
This particular dog has a wiry outer coat and a soft, fluffy undercoat. That undercoat regulates heat almost to perfection. It keeps him cool in the summer and warm during the winter. It’s also the coat that sheds the most and the one that requires the highest level of attention during grooming40.
What happens is that strands of hair from the undercoat find their way to the harder outer coat before finally falling off. Although this process can happen at any time of the year, you will notice a significant increase in shedding during the summer and winter when he is blowing coat40. Needless to say, proper grooming is always important regardless of the time of year or amount of shedding.
How to Groom a Miniature Schnauzer
There are so many theories floating around about the best ways to groom a Miniature Schnauzer. You’ve probably come across a handful of these theories. For instance, some people (especially breed purists) are of the opinion that a Schnauzer coat shouldn’t be clipped because doing so makes it (the coat) softer and prone to matting7.
They argue that hand-stripping works better. This method basically involves pulling each dead hair out to allow a new one to grow in its place. Well, it’s not entirely a bad idea save for the amount of time it consumes and the fact that the dog may feel discomfort7. Keep in mind that a Schnauzer has very long strands of hair, particularly in the facial area and the feet. Both of these places are pretty sensitive.
As a matter of fact, it’s hard to get groomers who still practice hand-stripping. Most of them prefer clipping and trimming, which is more efficient7. Doing that every five to eight weeks1 will leave the dog looking like a star. Nonetheless, the AKC recommends hand-stripping if for any Miniature Schnauzer who is going to exhibit in a show.
If you want him to always look his best you will also need to brush and comb your Miniature Schnauzer’s hair1 to prevent it from tangling. While it’s recommended that you do that every day, skipping a day or two won’t be bad.
Your Miniature Schnauzer should get a bath at least once every month. You can increase the frequency if his environment is very dirty. Don’t forget to also trim his nails once a month, in addition to a weekly check of his ears. Cleanse them of any dirt, debris and excess wax1. Failure to do that can increase the risk of ear infections.
Is a Miniature Schnauzer Hypoallergenic?
Yes, he is, at least insofar as any dog can be said to be hypoallergenic. The truth is that there is no such thing as a truly hypoallergenic dog, but Miniature Schnauzers are among the 19 dog breeds that are considered to be the most hypoallergenic. The list also includes the Mini’s cousins – the Standard and Giant Schnauzer41.
Here’s the deal: no dog is entirely 100% hypoallergenic. However, breeds like the Miniature Schnauzer are less-allergenic, partly because they have a non-shedding coat that doesn’t leave lots of dander41. It’s usually dander that causes allergic reactions in people, not the hair or fur itself42.
Dander refers to the dead skin cells of a pet, which in this case would be a dog. In the process of shedding, these dead skin cells are accompanied by the dog’s allergens, which are usually proteins that are secreted by oil glands. In turn, those proteins trigger allergic reactions in people who suffer from pet allergies42.
If you’re one of those people, then your doctor has probably advised you not to keep a dog. Feeling bad about it? Don’t worry, you’re one of the 10% of Americans who are allergic to dogs41. If it makes you feel better, dogs are generally less allergenic compared to cats42. And even if you’re allergic to dog dander, you may still be able to live with a hypoallergenic dog like a Schnauzer Miniature without suffering from allergic reactions. If worse comes to worst, keep in mind that Benadryl was invented for a reason.
Miniature Schnauzer Barking and Sounds
It’s virtually impossible to train your Miniature Schnauzer to never bark at all. Why would anyone want to do that anyway? Dogs are excellent protectors that will sound an alarm (by barking) whenever they sense danger.
A Miniature Schnauzer, for example, is likely to put up a ferocious barking show when an unfamiliar person or animal approaches the home7. That’s just who he is; remember that he was and will always be a watchdog. His barking can be very shrill and high-pitched.
And while it can be very helpful, it’s not a sound that you want to hear for hours on end, especially if the dog is just doing it to cause a nuisance. That’s where proper training comes in handy. You can teach your Miniature Schnauzer dog to be a better judge of people and situations so that he doesn’t start barking at everyone and everything7.
The training will also help in limiting how long the barking lasts. That will benefit your health and that of your neighbors. It’s a well-known fact that a dog who barks constantly and for long periods causes stress and annoyance to people. Not to mention the stress that your eardrums and those of your neighbors will be subjected to.
To control your Miniature Schnauzer from unnecessary barking, you have to teach him to stay quiet at your command. The first step of the process is determining the triggers. A typical Miniature Schnauzer will bark at the sight of strangers (both humans and dogs). That’s his protective and territorial instincts at play.
If you want to block this behavior you can consider giving him treats in the presence of strangers43. Also, try closing drapes and curtains so that he doesn’t get an easy view of the constant presence of strangers outside.
Positive reinforcement almost always works when you’re dealing with a highly intelligent dog like a Miniature Schnauzer. Reward good behavior and ignore bad behavior. For example, you can ignore him completely when he starts to bark. If you acknowledge the barking in any way, he will construe it as acceptable behavior. When he stops barking you can now acknowledge his silence by giving him a treat43.
Then there’s the use of verbal commands. Train your Miniature Schnauzer to understand simple words like “quiet” so that when he starts to bark you can command him to stop. Don’t yell, because that will make him afraid of you and may push him to bark even more43.
Besides barking, Miniature Schnauzers (like all other dogs) use other sounds to convey different messages. For example, a whining or whimpering dog may be trying to get attention or showing submission to other dogs. At the same time, he may use those two sounds to indicate frustration, pain, loneliness or a need for something like a walk or treat44.
When you hear your Miniature Schnauzer growling then he’s either sending a warning, exhibiting aggression, defending himself, showing dominance or in some cases playing. How can you tell the difference? Well, look at his posture. If he is stationary and consistently staring or snarling, then it’s not a playful growl44.
Howling is a dog’s way of communicating through long distances. If he hears howls in a distance he will howl back to communicate. He may also howl at certain sounds like sirens and some music44.
Training A Miniature Schnauzer
Your Miniature Schnauzer may have some innate stubbornness in him, especially when he sees a leash, but the Miniature Schnauzer responds extremely well to training. That includes obedience training where many dogs in this breed have won individual prizes for their outstanding performances7. The trick lies in keeping training sessions fun and interesting.
Despite his friendly and lively attitude, your Miniature Schnauzer will get bored pretty quickly if your training routines are repetitive1. But once you start to mix things up, you will see just how much he desires to please. You can train him into an excellent companion and a top performer in canine sports like earthdog, rally, obedience and agility events1.
Don’t forget that he is a highly intelligent dog. That’s mostly a gift, although in some cases it may be a curse. For example, most Schnauzers usually combine their smarts and stubbornness to try and take charge, even in training, in which case you will need to be very patient yet firm and consistent when giving commands. That’s especially important in the initial stages of dog training10.
Begin training your Miniature Schnauzer as soon as you bring him home. Always remain calm and assertive, and remember to use positive reinforcement. Miniature Schnauzers totally love the occasional treat and will respond positively to it. Remember that results are not likely to be instant, and that’s where patience on your part comes in10.
Also, remember to set very clear boundaries in training sessions. Miniature Schnauzers are terriers, and as such, they have plenty of energy for chasing pretty much anything interesting that their eyes catch. Setting physical and behavioral boundaries early enough will help curb this tendency. Consider adding a variety of earthdog activities to each training session. That way your Schnauzer will channel some of his chasings and digging desires into constructive play.
Here are a few more tips that may help with your Miniature Schnauzer training:
- Start the training as early as possible. The best time to begin training your Miniature Schnauzer is the very moment you bring him home. Early training establishes you like the figure of authority while at the same time laying the groundwork for a pattern that he can stick to as he grows into adulthood3.
- Incorporate positive reinforcement. Whether it’s a treat or a word of praise, your Miniature Schnauzer will highly appreciate it. Like every other dog, he will shut down when you start to use negative reinforcement like yelling and spanking. Oh, and as to spanking? If you do that to your dog, you’re an asshole. Period, end of sentence.
- Mental stimulation is key. Miniature Schnauzers very easy to train when you stimulate their mind. In addition to traditional training methods, add mentally stimulating activities10 like clicker training, counting, scavenger hunts, interactive toys and many more.
- Short sessions are the best. Schnauzers don’t have a long attention span10. If you want them to learn effectively you have to make the sessions short and interesting.
- Teach your Miniature Schnauzer tricks. Earthdog, rally, obedience and agility training are great and all, but tricks are probably the best. Watching your little pooch perform tricks is satisfying on so many levels. More importantly, it will give your canine friend the chance to hang out and bond with you, which is really all he wants.
Teaching Your Miniature Schnauzer Tricks
There are some very cool dog tricks that your Miniature Schnauzer can master easily and quickly. Sure, you can teach him all the basics like “stay”, “sit” and “quiet”, but his intelligent mind will probably yearn for more. Not to mention how proud you will feel watching your Miniature Schnauzer performing tricks that other pups may have trouble mastering.
Imagine how neat it would be if your dog could get his toys from the chest, play with them (probably with you) and return them properly to the chest for storage. With the Schnauzer’s intelligent mind, you can bet that he will be able to do that and more. The best part is that you won’t have a hard time teaching him. Here are a few tricks and how to teach them:
Teach a Miniature Schnauzer to PUSH
This trick will teach your pup how to push playthings and other items. The best toy for teaching PUSH is a ball. Start by pushing the ball lightly with your index finger as the pup watches. Say “push it” as you do it.
Now, remove your finger and tell the Schnauzer to “push it”. He will either paw or nose the ball, which you should reward with a treat and verbal praises, and then tell him to push again. Keep doing that until he learns how to push the ball, then you can switch to other objects45.
Teach a Miniature Schnauzer HIDE-AND-SEEK
This trick will teach your Schnauzer how to find things and people. The best person to play this game with your pup is you. Tell him to SIT and WAIT, and then go to another room and hide. From there, call your pup once and let him find you. Reward him with a treat and praise when he does.
Now try the same with toys. Rather than you hiding, put a toy out of the dog’s sight and then ask him to FIND IT. Be sure to show him the toy first before hiding it so that he knows what he’s supposed to find45.
Teach a Miniature Schnauzer to DIG
Let me guess what you’re thinking: “He is a Miniature Schnauzer; why would I want to teach him how to dig?” True, he probably has an inborn digging skill, but if you take it upon yourself to teach him you can incorporate the “when” and “how” of digging. Otherwise, your yard and garden will be filled with holes.
Here you’ll need a hand towel and treats. In a seated position, let your Miniature Schnauzer observe as you place two treats on the floor and cover them with the towel. While holding the towel down firmly, command your pup to DIG. Don’t allow him to use his nose; you want him to paw at the towel. As soon as he starts to paw, release the towel, praise him and let him eat the treats45.
Teach a Miniature Schnauzer to PICK UP TOYS
How cool is it to have your Miniature Schnauzer clean up after himself? Pretty cool! He can even help you clean the house. You will need a toy chest (with a permanent location) and about 5 dog toys for this. Scatter the toys around the room and then have your pup retrieve one of them. Let him put the toy in your hand and then you put it in the chest while saying “PICK UP YOUR TOYS”. Give him a treat and send him to pick up another one.
This time don’t let him put it in your hand. Instead, point to the chest and say “PICK UP YOUR TOYS”. Wait for him to drop it inside and then reward him. With a few more attempts he will have mastered the trick so that you won’t have to point to the chest for him to know what to do45.
Teach a Miniature Schnauzer to SHAKE
This is arguably the simplest dg trick out there, but it’s still a cool and courteous one. Tell your Miniature Schnauzer to sit in front of you. Now take his paw and shake it, then follow up with verbal praise. Since it’s the first attempt, he won’t understand what he did right.
Repeat the entire process a few more times. After about 5 times, stop taking his paw and instead hold your hand out. Wait until he raises his paw to meet your hand and then praise him and give a treat45. Before you know it he will be greeting guests at the door.
Those are just a few cool Miniature Schnauzer tricks. There are countless others like begging, crawling, high-fiving, playing dead, rolling over, taking a bow and many more. With the right motivation, he can learn any number of them.
Celebrity Miniature Schnauzers
With his bushy beard, long eyebrows and gentleman look, the Miniature Schnauzer is a celebrity dog. Okay, maybe that’s a bit of an overstatement. He doesn’t appear in many movies; at least not as much as Dobermans, German Shepherds, Golden Retrievers, Chihuahuas, and Poodles.
He, however, is one of the stars in Disney’s Lady and the Tramp and is also a top pet for celebrities. That’s not so surprising seeing as Mini Schnauzers are the 19th most popular dogs2. And for the most part they are chilled out companions who are compact enough to carry around. So if you have one of these dogs, then you’re in the same group with some of the biggest showbiz names out there. Below are some celebrities with Miniature Schnauzers:
- Katherine Heigl
The Emmy-award winner has rocked the red carpet a few times with her canine best friend – a Miniature Schnauzer.
- Shanina Shaik
Known for her appearances in commercials, the Australian model is never too shy to flaunt her Miniature Schnauzer dog.
- Simon Pegg
To the rest of the world, Pegg is known simply as an English actor, screenwriter, comedian, and producer. To Schnauzer owners, he is an enthusiast who keeps at least three Miniature Schnauzers.
- 50 Cent
Curtis James Jackson III, or 50 Cent as we all know him, is a Miniature Schnauzer owner. And he named his little dog“Oprah Winfrey”!
- Keyshia Cole
It’s safe to say that in between singing, writing songs, acting and producing, Keyshia Cole spends some considerable time pampering her Miniature Schnauzer. The dog looked stunning when she appeared with it publicly.
- Sugar Ray
The former professional boxer, who went pro after winning the 1976 Olympic Gold Medal, has lots of love for dogs. He owns a Miniature Schnauzer with who he takes photos occasionally.
- Rob Lowe
The image of Rob Lowe and his wife grinning cheerfully as he pets his Miniature Schnauzer goes to show just how much joy this dog brings.
Find a Miniature Schnauzer Puppy
The AKC Marketplace (check it out here) and PuppyFinder is your safest bet for getting a Miniature Schnauzer puppy. It lists 100% purebred Miniature Schnauzer puppies that have been bred and raised based on the rules and regulations set by the AKC1. Besides, when you buy your Miniature Schnauzer from here you will get a puppy that’s already registered with the AKC, so you won’t have to go through that whole process all over again1. And, as you would expect, the AKC only works with reputable and responsible Miniature Schnauzer breeders.
Miniature Schnauzer Breeders
When looking for Miniature Schnauzer breeders, you will have to be extra vigilant so that you choose an ethical breeder and not a puppy mill. The problem with puppy mills is that they focus on making a profit over protecting the health and welfare of puppies46.
To make their big bucks, such breeders usually mass-produce puppies in conditions that are beyond cruel. They keep hundreds of dogs in cages for their entire lives for the sole purpose of churning (or milling) puppies. Unfortunately, it’s legal to do that in most states. And when the puppies are born they too are subjected to similar conditions before they are sold to willing buyers46.
You will often find them in cages with swollen and bleeding paws, dehydration, ear infections, severe decay of teeth and lesions, which often lead to blindness. Puppies that are not bought usually end up spending their entire lives in those cages with no chance to exercise or play. The inadequate food and water that they are given are almost always dirty and contaminated. Sick and dying pups are usually left to die rather than get treatment and medication46.
This sadistic practice is more rampant than one would think. It is estimated that there are over 10,000 puppy mills across the US, and less than 3,000 of them are regulated. Combined, they produce millions of puppies each year. A total of 2.1 million find their way to owners through sales and adoption while another 3 million are killed because the shelters are excessively full to accommodate them46.
You really don’t need to love dogs so much to realize that what puppy mill operators are doing is wrong. That’s why we all shouldn’t support this practice by buying their puppies. Instead, look for an ethical breeder who has Miniature Schnauzer puppies for sale, but only after they have been bred in the right way.
How can you tell that you’re dealing with an unethical breeder? Here are some red flags:
- Breeder doesn’t want to show you the entire property where he/she breeds the puppies.
- Breeder doesn’t ask questions about you to ensure that the puppy is going to a decent home.
- Breeder has so many young puppies (under 6 weeks old) for sale. You may see them listing tens or even hundreds of Miniature Schnauzer puppies for sale.
- Breeder doesn’t give guarantees. He/she doesn’t have a “take-back” policy for the pets he/she is breeding.
A responsible breeder, on the other hand, pays more attention to the puppy’s welfare and ultimately ensures that the little guy finds a nice home. The breeder will ask questions to see to it that his/her puppies are going to live a comfortable life. Besides, almost all of them have contracts for buyers to sign pledging not to contribute to the overpopulation of dogs6.
Finding an ethical dog breeder with Miniature Schnauzer puppies for sale can be difficult but it’s totally worth the extra effort. You will get a happy and healthy pooch for a companion. That’s to say, avoid going to just any site or store to get a Miniature Schnauzer dog because you will almost certainly be supporting a puppy mill6.
Miniature Schnauzer Shelters
You can also opt to adopt your furry friend from an animal shelter or a Miniature Schnauzer rescue. This is the best way, in my opinion, because you not only get to bring in a new fun-filled member into the family but also help a dog in need of a new home.
It’s almost impossible to go wrong with a Miniature Schnauzer rescue or animal shelter. Why? Because these organizations usually put the interests of the animal first. They have a comprehensive screening process that ensures their pets are matched with the most appropriate and responsible owners49.
That’s a good thing for you as well because you will end up with a pet that’s perfect for your lifestyle and compatible with your family. So what can you expect when trying to adopt a Miniature Schnauzer rescue? Here’s an overview of the process:
- Filling in a questionnaire
Shelters use this phase to try to help you find out which pet will suit you best. They will ask questions like how active your life is, how much time you spend at home, whether you’ve owned pets previously, the size/age of dog you’re looking for, the amount of resources (including time) at your disposal for caring for the animal, if you have enough space (like yard) and whether you have other people living with you.
It’s very important to be truthful when answering the questionnaire. That’s how the shelter will determine if you can, in fact, live happily with a Miniature Schnauzer49.
- One-on-one interview
This is where shelter staff calls you in for a little chat about the information on your questionnaire. It’s not so much of an interview as it is a matching process. If the staff feel like your home and lifestyle are not suited for owning a pet, they may decline your application at this point. At the same time, if they feel like you and a Miniature Schnauzer won’t make a good pair, they may recommend another breed of canine or a different pet entirely49.
At this point, the shelter staff will introduce you to the Mini Schnauzer that is potentially yours. You may be asked to bring in the other members of your family, including other dogs that you have. This ensures that your new family member will get along easily with the already existing ones. If things don’t go well – like if fights break out – the entire process is likely to fall through49.
- Contract signing
But if everything goes well up to this point, then you will have gotten to the paperwork. Basically you will sign documents that contain the shelter’s expectations for the care of the Miniature Schnauzer. He may be neutered or spayed before you finally take him home49.
This is not a grilling process, but rather an introduction (if you may). So don’t put yourself under immense pressure to appear like the “ideal” Miniature Schnauzer owner. If anything, you should also ask as many questions as possible to know exactly what type of Miniature Schnauzer you will be getting and the kind of shelter you’re dealing with. Here are a few things to inquire:
- Why is the Schnauzer in the rescue? Was he surrendered by the owner? If so, why? Is he a stray or rescue? Is he a victim of animal cruelty? What was his condition when he was brought to the shelter50?
- Has the Schnauzer been adopted before? If yes, why was he returned?
- Does he get along with kids and other home pets? What’s his typical initial reaction to strangers50?
- Can you walk the dog easily and calmly on a leash in public or does he need more training50?
- Is he currently under any form of treatment? Does he require any special health or medical care? Are there any notable dietary restrictions and ongoing treatments50?
- Can you return the pet if he doesn’t get along with your family50?
Getting answers to these questions will help you understand the overall wellbeing of the pup. You will get to know whether he needs more training and if he requires any form of medical care. And, you will be told whether you have the option to bring him back in case things don’t work out at home.
I should mention that most Schnauzers that are available in shelters are adults, which is a good thing in many ways. For starters, adult dogs usually have training. If you will need to housetrain your pup, then it will be minimal. Besides, they are calmer and have grown out of the exploratory chewing (also known as adolescent chewing) phase3. You won’t be forced to take measures like using a deterrent spray to stop the dog’s chewing habit. If you would rather have a puppy, you can still opt to look for a responsible breeder who has a Miniature Schnauzer for sale.
Ways to Identify a Miniature Schnauzer Puppy
Once you identify a responsible breeder or an animal shelter of preference, the next step is to adopt your puppy. Since the breeder is ethical, you can work with the benefit of the doubt that he/she won’t try to sell you a different breed while lying that it’s a Mini Schnauzer. And, it’s a safe bet that the shelter won’t try to pull a scheme like that on you. Nonetheless, it won’t hurt if you know how to identify a Miniature Schnauzer. Here’s a brief guide:
- Check size and weight. An adult Mini Schnauzer has a height of 12 to 14 inches and a weight of 11 to 20 pounds1. Obviously, these numbers usually increase with age. At birth, the tiny puppy weighs between 4 and 9 ounces and has a total length of 3 to 7 inches47. The weight will double within the first two weeks and in a month it will be in the 1.5 to the 2.5-pound range. By the time he is two months, a Miniature Schnauzer will have doubled his weight once again, this time getting a 3 to 5 pound reading on the scale. He will attain half of the adult size within 16 weeks, and by the 6th month, he will have reached 75% to 85% of what his adult weight and size will be. By simple calculation, a 6-month old Schnauzer should weigh roughly 9 to 16 pounds. His growth rate will start to decline until he hits his full Miniature Schnauzer size (12 to 14 inches tall and 11 to 20 pounds heavy) in about a year47. From there, any physical changes will largely depend on nutrition and excesses. Remember that Schnauzers are prone to overweight and shouldn’t be overfed or kept without exercise.
- Notice physical Miniature Schnauzer characteristics. The first and most telling sign here is the rectangular (almost square) body. His total length from front to back (chest to buttock) appears equal to the height of the withers11. The head, which features black nose and blunt snout, is rectangular as well. However, the width narrows very slightly between the ears and eyes. Speaking of which, purebred Miniature Schnauzers have small, brown eyes that are set deep in the sockets. Their ears are high-set, whether cropped or uncropped. The tail, which is usually docked, stands erect11.
- Look at the facial hair. Mini Schnauzers are best known for their bushy mustache and beard. Their entire collection of facial hair falls straight at the muzzle. The long eyebrows appear bushy as well, so don’t forget to observe them48 when looking at a Miniature Schnauzer for sale or adoption.
- Check hair on the legs. Miniature Schnauzers are among the furriest dogs, more so on the face and legs. While observing the puppy, check to see whether he has long hair on his legs. The hair should hang straight and nearly touch the ground48.
- Feel the coat. Miniature Schnauzers are double-coated. When you feel the puppy you should be able to distinguish between the soft undercoat and wiry topcoat. While at it, check that the fur is medium in length; not too long or too short48.
- Look at the coat color. If he is purebred, then he can only have one of three colors: black, black & silver or salt & pepper48. Not sure how to identify these Miniature Schnauzer colors and markings? Check our guide on “Standard Miniature Schnauzer Colors”.
- Observe the temperament. If you’ve lived with the pup for a while and still can’t tell whether he is a Mini Schnauzer, you can take some time to notice his temperament. A typical Miniature Schnauzer is a friendly family dog who will get along with everyone in the home. More often, he picks one “leader” and follows that person around everywhere they go. That’s the deep-rooted loyalty of this breed. He is intelligent and very easy to train. Even so, his hunting and ratting instincts are ever-present. Meaning you will see him chasing vermin, birds and a host of other small animals48. He will even try to dig them up when they hide underground.
How Much Does a Miniature Schnauzer Cost?
The upfront Miniature Schnauzer price varies from one breeder or shelter to another. You will also be charged significantly more if you adopt a show puppy.
Having said that, the average cost of a Miniature Schnauzer for sale ranges from $500 to $2,700 when you acquire him from a breeder. Needless to say, the cost will be on the higher side (tending towards $2,700) if he is a show dog.
If that’s a lot more than you can manage, you can consider getting your pup from an animal shelter or rescue. Most of them charge between $50 and $300.
Don’t forget that keeping a Miniature Schnauzer is also an expense. Expect to spend the highest amount – an average of $2,674 – in the first year after adoption to keep your pooch happy and healthy. The expense reduces in subsequent years, and in the dog’s lifetime, you will spend an estimated $23,41051.
Needless to say, dogs bring lots of joy and health benefits to humans. They reduce stress, improve heart health, keep you active and fit, and so much more. Ultimately you will find that the total Miniature Schnauzer price is nothing compared to the benefits.
When Can a Miniature Schnauzer Start to Mate?
Like most dogs, Miniature Schnauzers reach sexual maturity in a little less than one year. But that can vary widely from one dog to another and also from males to females. For instance, male dogs generally begin to breed at 6 to 12 months of age. Bitches can take longer than that. Some breeders wait up to 18 months before breeding their bitches52.
That’s highly recommended because you don’t want to breed her too early. Too early means before or during her first heat cycle. Otherwise, she may experience damage and her pups may be weak and unhealthy. In other words, waiting won’t hurt as long as you don’t wait until past her prime. Although female dogs don’t experience menopause, they lose their fertility as they grow past their prime52.
Regardless of age, you should always get a veterinarian to perform a comprehensive physical exam before matching a bitch and stud. While at it, your vet will check to determine the maturity of the dogs and if they are in fact ready to breed. It will also help a great deal if you do extensive research on the lineage of each dog. That way you will know the possible genetic implications of breeding them53.
If everything is okay in both pups, you can go ahead and breed them. Sometimes the stud requires help, especially if it’s his first time mating. Vets are excellent at assisting dogs to mate and reproduce. Make sure you have one on speed dial in case your pups need some form of assistance. At the very least, your vet will tell you what to do.
Although an adult male Miniature Schnauzer can mate literally every single day of his life (as is the case with all dogs), you should never allow that to happen. Otherwise, it may lead to popular sire syndrome52, a situation where the stud’s undesired genetic traits spread rapidly as a result of frequent breeding.
Most studs can produce quality sperm for 3 to 5 days straight. After that, he will need to rest, replenish his sperm count and ultimately produce better quality sperm. That’s how to get a bitch pregnant with good quality puppies in the entire litter.
Miniature Schnauzer Pregnancy and Puppy Delivery
A Miniature Schnauzer bitch will carry puppies for an average of 61 to 63 days. Some give birth earlier (56 days) while others experience delayed labor (66 days). Usually, you may begin to notice signs of pregnancy around three weeks after mating. Here are a few things to watch out for53:
- She may appear to be in heat for longer than her usual.
- May appear lazy and way below her level of activity.
- Vulva stays swollen for longer than usual.
- Attitude may change. She may look more affectionate than she usually is, especially towards people and other dogs.
- Morning sickness may kick in by the third week. It’s usually accompanied by dry heaving and vomiting
- At that same time (third week), distant thumbs of heartbeats can be heard through a stethoscope. Breeders and vets can usually check for pregnancy by palpating the dog’s abdomen.
- By the end of the fourth week, the mother-to-be will start to appear thicker than her usual Miniature Schnauzer size.
- The change in size will be more noticeable in weeks 6 and 7. That’s around the time when you will notice clear discharge. It shouldn’t be a concern.
- In the 9th week, your dog will start to act secretive as she nests and prepares to birth her puppies. It’s not uncommon for nipples to start leaking and the Schnauzer’s interest in eating to disappear almost completely.
The latter signs indicate that it’s time to prepare a nesting place for your Miniature Schnauzer. Also called a whelping box, a nesting pen or nesting box is an enclosure where your Schnauzer pup can deliver her litter comfortably and decently. It also acts as the Miniature Schnauzer puppies’ home in their early life.
The best whelping box for Miniature Schnauzer should have an extension where puppies can roam freely as they try to walk. That’s something to keep in mind as you purchase or construct a nesting pen for the bitch. Let her get comfortable in it as the delivery day approaches54.
She will lie on her side, then start to pant and possibly howl when she is ready to birth the puppies. If you’re not experienced with littler delivery, ou may want to give your vet a call because it won’t be long before the contractions begin. While a Schnauzer Miniature can give birth by herself, you will get some comfort knowing that your vet is fully aware of the situation. In case the vet is needed he/she will be prepared to come within short notice.
Puppies usually come head first, but in a few cases, they may emerge with their hind feet. The Schnauzer will lick them to open the amniotic sac and allow the puppies to breathe. That should be a natural process but if for one reason or another, your dog fails to do that, you may have to intervene quickly. In the end, she will clean up by eating the entire umbilical cord.
Puppies usually start to suckle immediately they are delivered and cleaned. That’s the time when the mother’s milk is rich in colostrum, which in turn contains antibodies that will help the little ones to fight off diseases and infections54.
Note that it’s not unusual for a Miniature Schnauzer (or other dogs, for that matter) to give birth to one or two dead puppies in a litter. Some usually emerge alive but die shortly after. While stillborn births are fairly normal, they require more attention because they can result in dystocia or other complications that may end the mother’s life. That’s why you need a vet on standby.
If the mother cannot be helped, the vet will deliver the puppies anyway. In which case you will definitely need to budget for a puppy nursing kit for feeding your new family members. Such risks are why it’s not advisable to breed your Miniature Schnauzers. Instead, consider neutering and spaying them to encourage responsible dog ownership.
Popular Miniature Schnauzer Dog Names
50 Cent’s Miniature Schnauzer is called “Oprah Winfrey”. There’s really nothing preventing you from giving your little buddy the same name. But it seems like a lot of work having to call him the entire name every time. In fact, the general rule of thumb is that the name shouldn’t be longer than three syllables.
At the same time, it shouldn’t be too short. A single syllable name wouldn’t be the best for your adorable furry friend. And don’t pick one that sounds like an order either. For example, “Pete” sounds a lot like “Sit”. If you give your Schnauzer such a name, he will probably sit every time you call him.
That’s the kind of misunderstanding that you want to avoid from the get-go. Remember that your dog should come to you when you call him. It’s really the most important aspect of your relationship with your dog. You don’t want to get it wrong.
Some of the best names for Schnauzer dogs are Abel, Bismarck, Blitz, Dalton, Nano, Oscar, Otto, Rascal and Tiny for male pups. If you have adopted a female you can name her Agatha, Annette, Bangle, Cherry, Fairy, Ida, Spark or Tawny. You can also choose to name your pooch after his personality. In which case names like Gracie, Artemis, Diva, Hunter, Gore, Merry or Meister may sound more appealing to you.
I think it’s worth mentioning at this point that I have a friend who named her dog Sponagle Beeswanger. Sponny for short.
8 Reasons Why You Will Love Your Miniature Schnauzer
After the naming comes the loving; and yes, it is two-way. If you give your Schnauzer some love he will give it right back and then add some more. This adorably bearded dog is a cuddle mania and protector, kind of like a half man-half animal, except with unconditional loyalty. Spend just a few days with him and you will find reason after reason to like him. Here are a few of them:
- The intelligence: Schnauzers are very smart. They are easy to train; in a very short time, your pup will learn how to do his business in the potty and relax on the pad.
- The signature beard: if dogs were ranked based on the beard, the Schnauzer would win hands down. His bushy face gives him a cute look even when he has just woken up with a bed head.
- Lots of cuddles: Schnauzers have no problem showing cuddly affection. Your pup will lie next to you and probably fall asleep in your comfort.
- Easygoing attitude: these happy dogs are good with children and will get along with almost every other pet. They don’t mind welcoming guests with warm whiskery smiles, of course, unless they haven’t been trained to not be suspicious of guests.
- Protection: your Schnauzer may wear a friendly face but that doesn’t mean he won’t warn you at the first sign of an intruder. Whether it’s a passion or animal, he will let you know.
- He will miss you: whether you’ve traveled for days or gone to the store for a few minutes, your little pup will miss you dearly. And he will react with the same excitement every time you come back.
- Fits in the family: playing family games? The Schnauzer will join in. Doing some cleaning? He will be there to provide laughter. It doesn’t matter what the family is up to, this pup will find a way to fit in and entertain.
Miniature Schnauzer Dog Shows
Is your Miniature Schnauzer a show dog? Or perhaps you’re a dog lover who would like to watch how Miniature Schnauzers face off against other breeds? There are plenty of shows that are guaranteed to leave you super excited.
Three of the shows are national. They are the AKC/Eukanuba National Championship, the Westminster Kennel Club Annual Dog Show and the National Dog Show. These three are the grandest dog shows in the US, and they are all conforming shows. That means dogs are judged based on how closely they conform to their respective breed standards55.
Of the three, the AKC/Eukanuba dog show is the newest, yet the largest. First held in 2011, it plays host to over 3,400 dogs each year. Location varies, although Orlando (Florida) has hosted more installments than any other place. The exact date varies as well, but it’s always held in mid-December55.
So, how can you enter your Miniature Schnauzer to the AKC National Championship? First, he will need to exhibit in a local AKC-sanctioned show. If he ranks top 25 among all Miniature Schnauzers in the country (based on points collected), he will qualify for the National Championship55.
Honestly, that sounds like easier qualification criteria compared to that of the Westminster Kennel Club Annual Dog Show. In the latter, your Schnauzer Miniature must have won at least one 3, 4 or 5-point major award, or have Championship status, or be invited to enter the show. A total of 2,500 dogs usually exhibit in this show which takes place in mid-February at the Madison Square Garden, New York City. It’s the oldest show and dates back to 187755.
The National Dog Show is nearly as old. First held in 1879, this dog show was the brainchild of the Kennel Club of Philadelphia (Pennsylvania). These days it’s held at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Centre (Oaks, Pennsylvania) in mid-November and hosts up to 2,000 show dogs55.
Both the Westminster Kennel Club Annual Dog Show and National Dog Show are usually broadcast on TV. If you can’t make it to one or both of the events at least you can watch them from the comfort of your couch in the company of your Miniature Schnauzer. And if you miss out on all three events you can consider a local annual dog show.
There are well over 22,000 AKC-organized events each year for show dogs. You can choose an event that is close to you and one that suits your pup using this event planner by the AKC. Options include conformation dog shows, specialty events, agility trails, scent work, fast CAT, field trials, obedience trials, hunting tests and 12 other categories to make it a total of 20 types of events.
Some Fun Facts About Miniature Schnauzer
Are you a Miniature Schnauzer owner? Are you planning to adopt one of these furry pets? It’s only fair that you get to know some of the most interesting things about the breed. They may be small but these hearty pups are full of character.
- The name Schnauzer originated from Germany and it translates to “muzzle.” It’s a reference to the dog’s square snout and lots of facial hair.
- Mini Schnauzers are similar to Standard Schnauzers save for the bigger size of the Standard.
- Mini Schnauzers are different types of Terriers. Unlike other Terriers, Schnauzers are happy, friendly and almost always non-aggressive.
- The trademark mustache is not just for the breed’s gentlemanly look but also protects the face from aggressive prey.
- Mini Schnauzers have small and round paws, like those of a cat.
- Mini Schnauzers are very intelligent and observant. They make perfect watchdogs.
- Mini Schnauzers are not the quietest dogs. They tend to bark more than the average dog.
- Training a Mini Schnauzer is a breeze (and fun) thanks to the breed’s high intelligence level.
- Mini Schnauzers work extremely well with German Shepherds. For a long time, they were used together for security purposes. The Schnauzer’s alert nature means he will notice something first and then bark to alert the German Shepherd, who will then launch an attack.
- Mini Schnauzers enjoy long walks each day.
- They don’t shed, despite their furry coats.
- They are as close to hypoallergenic as any dog gets.
Miniature Schnauzer Frequently Asked Questions
- Are Schnauzers good family pets?
Absolutely! Mini Schnauzers are hearty, friendly and love to engage in family activities.
- Are Miniature Schnauzers healthy?
Although they are generally healthy dogs, Miniature Schnauzers are prone to getting overweight and suffering from bladder stones, cataracts, skin irritations, thyroid disorders, and liver shunts.
- Do Miniature Schnauzers bark a lot?
Schnauzers can be very vocal dogs, especially if they have not been properly trained. They are naturally suspicious and may bark at anything and anyone.
- Do Schnauzers like to cuddle?
Yes, they do. Miniature Schnauzers are among the most affectionate dogs and can spend hours on end cuddling with the owner.
- Do Schnauzers smell?
Yes, they do it with their nose, LOL! Seriously, though, Miniature Schnauzers have excessively oily skin which have an unpleasant odor when they are not properly groomed.
- Can Miniature Schnauzers be left alone?
No. Miniature Schnauzers get bored when left alone and may vent out the frustration using undesirable behavior like barking excessively.
- Are Miniature Schnauzer easy to train?
Yes, they are. Miniature Schnauzers are among the most intelligent dogs. They will learn whatever you train them quickly and perform it enthusiastically.
- When can Miniature Schnauzers get pregnant?
A female Miniature Schnauzer attains sexual maturity anywhere between 6 and 12 months. However, it is recommended that a breeder waits until she is 15 to 18 months before attempting to breed her, and never breeding in the first heat.
- How much exercise does a miniature schnauzer need?
Miniature Schnauzers need at least 30 minutes of exercise per day. While walking is the most ideal exercise for a Mini Schnauzer, you can try to incorporate games and activities, treadmill, swimming, park games and so on.
- How much is a Miniature Schnauzer?
$500 to $2,700 when you acquire him from a breeder. Shelters and rescue centers charge between $50 and $300.