Miniature Schnauzer Dog Breed at a Glance
Ranked 16th overall by the AKC in popularity in the US is the Miniature Schnauzer, which is also known as the Zwergschnauzer. Of the three Schnauzer breeds, the Miniature Schnauzer dog breed is the most popular perhaps because it is so friendly, so obedient, and so smart. It greatly resembles its larger cousin, the standard Schnauzer, but is easy to train and likes to please its owner. It is also a very good breed for kids and will alert owners of any intruder by barking, although it is not a protective breed, so it will not scare anyone way.
Breed Group: Terrier Group
Did you know? Schnauzer in German means “small beard.”
HISTORY of the Miniature Schnauzer Dog Breed
Originated in Germany in the middle or late in the 19th century, the Miniature Schnauzer is a cross between the Standard Schnauzer and other small breeds, including the Miniature Poodle and/or the Affenpinscher. The purpose for this crossbreeding was to satisfy the need of farmers for an efficient ratting dog. Originally, these small dogs were known as Wirehaired Pinchers.
This gentle dog is more open to other dogs than most Terriers, and much less dominating than its larger Schnauzer cousins. It is a happy, playful, and devoted dog that can complete any family. Alert, curious, and spunky, it makes a great companion for children, although it may be sly or stubborn at times. It is also a cat-friendly dog. The Mini is a very sensitive dog, so it does not take well to reprimanding or punishment. Furthermore, it has a high hunting drive and may wander, so keep it on a leash when out and about.
Physical Characteristics of the Miniature Schnauzer
Easily recognizable by its beard, eyebrows, and wiry double coat, the Mini is a dog with character. Its undercoat is close-fitting, while its outer coat is longer at the muzzle, the eyebrows, and the legs.
The common colors of this breed include silver, black, and white. Its coat is wiry, harsh, and rough.
The Miniature Schnauzer weighs between 13 and 15 pounds, and stands between 12 and 14 inches tall, regardless of gender.
Shedding is minimal, so it is an ideal pet for dog owners who may have allergies or don’t want to increase their housekeeping efforts. This is a hypoallergenic breed and doesn’t drool.
HEALTH and CARE of the Miniature Schnauzer Dog Breed
The life expectancy of this small dog breed is between 12 and 14 years, which is average for its size.
Common Health Concerns
Each dog breed is susceptible to certain health issues. The Miniature Schnauzer is typically of healthy dog, but it is at risk of developing the following:
- Portosystemic Shunts
- Atopic Dermatitis
- Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease
- Mitral Valve Disease
- Mycobacterium Avium Infection
- Eye Diseases
The Miniature Schnauzer is a fairly active dog who will need regular exercise to stay fit. Brisk walks to the park should suffice And keep its weight in check, since it is at a great risk of gaining weight. It is easily adapted to small apartments, but it means constant human companionship.
Feed your dog a high-quality dog food to ensure health and longevity. With the average weight of the Miniature Schnauzer being 14 pounds, feed your small dog between 1/2 and 1 cup of kibble each day.
The Miniature Schnauzer requires regular grooming to ensure its remains in good shape. Comb your Mini at least three times a week to avoid tangling and matting. Professional grooming (stripping) is required for show dogs so as to provide that distinctive Schnauzer look.
Otherwise, a regular clipping for pets will keep their coats looking and feeling great. The occasional bath is necessary to keep them clean. Also, check ears regularly to avoid infection from debris or wax buildup.
The AKC officially recognized the Miniature Schnauzer in 1926.