The Miniature Schnauzer Life Span: What Do They Know About Their Own Age?
A miniaturized breed of dog, the miniature schnauzer was first bred in Germany during the early 1900’s. The original purpose for breeding them was to produce a small companion dog which could be trained quickly and efficiently. However, they were not intended to live very long lives. A typical miniature schnauzer will live only about 10 years or less.
In general, it is believed that the reason why these dogs are so short lived is due to their small size and lack of exercise. They do not get enough physical activity, and thus cannot maintain muscle mass.
When they reach around 5 years of age, they begin losing weight rapidly. By 9 years of age, they are considered too weak to survive any longer. At 13 years of age, they are considered to be beyond saving.
However, there is another theory which states that the miniature schnauzer’s short life spans may be due to genetic factors. There is some evidence that suggests that certain genes predispose the dogs towards having shorter lifespans than other breeds.
These same genes also increase susceptibility to various diseases such as cancer and heart disease later in life.
It is important to remember that these are only theories, and that there is no definitive proof that either of these are true. It may very well be a combination of both factors.
More research will need to be done to find out the real cause of why miniature schnauzers die so young.
In any case, if you are planning on getting a schnauzer, you should make sure that you can be financially stable enough to afford up keeping it for the entire time that it is alive. In addition, just because the breed has a shorter life span than other dogs, this does not mean that you cannot enjoy it while it is alive.
Take advantage of the time that you do have with your pet and try to make the most out of it.
The Miniature Schnauzer’s Physical Characteristics
The miniature schnauzer is a solidly built, strong dog. It stands at around 9 inches tall and weighs around 16 pounds.
The most prominent feature of this breed is its distinctive thick fur. The fur is typically white, but may also be black or black with white patches. The fur will always be present around the nose, eyebrows, and paws.
The miniature schnauzer is a compact dog with protective features to help it survive. The fur that covers its body acts as an excellent insulator against both warm and cold weather.
Its muzzle is shaped like a vulture’s beak, which allows it to dig through earth and burrow into small spaces in search for food. Its strong, curved teeth allow it to eat a wide variety of food types. It has muscular legs and a bushy tale which it can use to fend off attackers, as well as keen eyesight. The ears are covered in fur and angled backwards, which makes it easier to hear potential danger from far away.
The Miniature Schnauzer’s Life Expectancy
The average life span for a miniature schnauzer is about 13 years. The oldest known miniature schnauzer died at the age of 16.
The Miniature Schnauzer’s Potential Health Problems
Just like most other dog breeds, the miniature schnauzer is prone to a variety of health problems. The most common include:
There are several tests and procedures that can be done by your veterinarian to detect these problems while they are still in their early stages. If caught early enough, they can often be treated effectively.
Your veterinarian will most likely run diagnostics on your schnauzer at least once a year. A few of the tests that might be included are:
Complete blood count
These tests are not exclusively used for miniature schnauzers, however your veterinarian may suggest them more frequently for your dog.
Miniature schnauzer’s require regular physical examination by a veterinarian at least once a year, and more frequently as they get older. By having your pet examined on a regular basis, you may detect a problem before it becomes serious enough to threaten the life of your beloved pet.
The Miniature Schnauzer’s Physical Development
The following facts describe the physical and mental heights and maturity of a miniature schnauzer as it grows older. It is divided into several sections: infant, to 8 weeks; 8 weeks to 6 months; 6 months to 3 years; 3-6 years; and 6 years to end of life.
This describes the growth pattern and typical development of a miniature schnauzer.
The average height of a miniature schnauzer is 9 inches and the average weight is around 16 pounds. Female miniature schnauzers are on average slightly smaller than their male counterparts.
From Infancy to 8 weeks: The first few weeks of your schnauzer’s life (or as it is also called, the neonatal period) are very fragile. Your schnauzer is a completely helpless creature that is unable to move about on its own.
It is important for its mother to stay close and keep it warm, both of which she will do naturally.
Weeks 4-5: Your schnauzer’s ears will start to stand up and it will most likely begin to open and close its eyes on a regular basis. It will also begin to develop the ability to detect the proximity of other living creatures.
Weeks 6-8: Your schnauzer’s teeth will start to grow and its motor skills will develop. It will begin to use its legs in an attempt to right itself should it happen to fall over.
8 Weeks to 6 Months: By the time it reaches 8 weeks of age, your schnauzer will develop a more muscular body and have all of its adult teeth, however it will not be able to completely control the muscles in its face just yet. During this stage your schnauzer will learn how to walk and run, but will be unsteady and fall often until about 3 months.
During this period your schnauzer will experience a phenomenon called “separation anxiety”. This is when the schnauzer will become anxious, sometimes even agitated, when you are not around.
This happens for several reasons: the absence of a strong parental figure, lack of a secure territory, and the fear of potential danger are all in play.
Your schnauzer is also very curious by nature and has an adventurous spirit. At this age it will begin to explore its surroundings, both inside and outside.
Be prepared for this stage to last until your schnauzer reaches 3 months of age. At this time the desire for exploration will begin to decrease and it will become less restless and more docile.
6 Months to 3 Years: Between 6 months and 3 years of age your schnauzer’s growth rate will begin to slow down. From being a mainly horizontal creature, it will stand up fully on its hind legs and begin to experience an increase in body mass and muscle tone.
It will become more obedient and learn at a very fast pace. During this period your schnauzer’s teeth will also undergo tremendous change.
From 3 to 6 years: Assuming your schnauzer has a long and healthy life, it will remain physically and mentally fit until it reaches the age of 6. At this stage your schnauzer’s growth rate will slow down a bit, although its muscle tone will remain and even increase slightly.
Your schnauzer’s teeth will also undergo a lot of wear and tear, especially if it eats hard food or chews on things. Your schnauzer will experience a steady decrease in conformity during this period. It is not uncommon for schnauzers to act erratically as they reach the twilight of their years.
Over 6 Years: If your schnauzer lives to be over the age of 6 it will experience a very rapid decline in health. It will become fragile, weak, and feeble.
Your schnauzer’s teeth will most likely decay during this period, unless you take very good care of its teeth and see a veterinarian on a regular basis. It is not ideal if you reach this stage in your schnauzer’s life, but if you do, it is important that you prepare for the inevitable.
Death: Over the age of 8 your schnauzer will most likely die from natural causes. You will most likely notice a loss in appetite and energy, and other medical issues such as organ failure or respiratory issues are to be anticipated.
If you pay close attention, you will know when the right time to put your schnauzer down is; never let a dog suffer.
As you can see, the life of a schnauzer is indeed a long and eventful one. With proper care and a suitable environment your schnauzer can thrive for many years.
If you treat it with respect and love, then your schnauzer will most likely return that respect.
I hope you have found this guide useful, and I wish you the best of luck with your new schnauzer.
Brent C. Cartwright
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