The Miniature Schnauzer Dog Breed – A Complete Guide:
Miniature Schnauzers are one of the most popular dog breeds in the world. They have been bred since ancient times and they are still used today.
There are different types of miniature schnauzers, but all of them share some common characteristics. Some of these traits include: small size, long legs, short body, flat face with prominent nose, round ears and curly tail.
They are known for their affectionate nature, loyalty and love of attention. They make excellent family pets, because they are friendly and do not bark too much.
However, they require a lot of exercise and mental stimulation to keep them happy.
A typical miniature schnauzer weighs between 10–15 pounds (4–6 kg). Their height ranges from 20 inches to 26 inches (51 cm to 61 cm) at the withers.
There are two basic sizes of miniature schnauzers: the Standard and the Miniature. The Standard is a bit larger than a regular German Shepherd; it stands between 18–22 inches (46–55 cm) tall and weighs around 25–30 pounds (11-14 kg).
The miniature version of the schnauzer is around a foot shorter and lighter. It typically stands between 15.5 inches to 19 inches (40 cm to 48 cm) tall and weighs between 10 pounds to 15 pounds (4.5 kg to 6 kg).
Schnauzers come in three colors: salt and pepper (silver), black, and dark brown (saddleback). The American Kennel Club only recognizes the salt and pepper and black color varieties.
The German Kennel Club recognizes all three colors.
The American Kennel Club (AKC) recognized the first miniature schnauzer in 1913. It is a relatively new breed of dog.
They were bred down from the larger standard schnauzer to produce a smaller dog that would be suitable as a ‘household pet’ rather than a working farm dog.
They are still used as working dogs on farms in some parts of the western United States, where their ability to hunt rodents and protect the property makes them a valuable asset to farming families.
Working standard schnauzers can grow to between 60-70 pounds (27-32 kg) in weight and stand over two feet (61 cm) at the shoulder, making them difficult to accommodate in most homes.
However, on farms, they have a working life that only lasts until they are around six or seven when their eyesight begins to fail and arthritis starts to set in.
Until then they can work long hard hours rounding up cattle, herding sheep or even guarding the property from unwanted intruders.
By the time they retire they are covered in scars and fit for nothing but retirement. This is where the smaller miniature schnauzer comes into its own.
The miniature can do the same work on a fraction of the food and at a tenth of the size, which makes them a better option for a pet rather than a farm hand.
After World War I, many German Shepherds were put down as anti-German feeling grew in America. At the time, schnauzers were also used for herding and guarding so the breed was also targeted.
Some of the dogs were spared by being hidden by American soldiers who had come to love the dogs during their time serving in Germany.
Some schnauzers remained, but they were a rare breed in America for almost twenty years until the birth of the miniature version renewed interest in the breed.
Ears and tail
The most notable feature of the schnauzer is its beard. Both the standard and the miniature have a long beard that covers the muzzle and hangs down in front of its chest.
The ears are traditionally cropped and stand straight up from the head at right angles. Between the years of 1936 to 1946, docking (the traditional ear cropping) was banned throughout most of the world.
However, in the late 40’s it was banned in America as well. Since then the American Kennel Club (AKC) has only allowed dogs to be registered if they are uncropped.
Most European countries still have ‘traditional’ schnauzers with docked ears and a tail that is traditionally docked as short as possible.
However, it is possible to buy long-eared and tailed schnauzers from overseas sources for between $1,000 and $2,000.
Schnauzers can be bold and playful, or more aloof and independent. They are fiercely loyal, demonstrative and protective of their family.
This makes them a favorite among families with children.
They also get on well with other dogs and pets in the home. They are obedient and eager to please which makes them relatively easy to train.
They are generally healthy, but like all breeds they are prone to certain health conditions. These may include eye problems, joint dysplasia, skin problems, stomach disorders and hip dysplasia.
They have a lifespan of between 10 and 12 years.
Exercise and care
Schnauzers need plenty of fresh air, exercise and activity to prevent them from getting bored and taking it out on your shoes! They are working dogs so you need to take them on regular walks or they will quickly begin to make their own entertainment.
Grooming is relatively easy. A quick brush once or twice a week will keep their coats neat and clean.
Ears should be checked regularly and wiped clean and the teeth brushed at least three times a week.
Their nails will also need clipping if you do not clip them yourself, it is important to take them to a professional for this, as improper clipping can cause pain and bleeding.
The standard schnauzer is larger than the miniature. It reaches up to 13″ in height and its weight should be proportionate, reaching between 20 and 23 pounds.
The beard should be thick and fall between the forelegs and chest down to the top of the thighs. The ears and tail should be docked as short as possible.
The miniature schnauzer is the smaller of the two.
Sources & references used in this article:
A molecular diagnostic test for persistent Müllerian duct syndrome in miniature schnauzer dogs by S Pujar, VN Meyers-Wallen – Sexual Development, 2009 – karger.com
Veterinary medical guide to dog and cat breeds by J Bell, K Cavanagh, L Tilley, FWK Smith – 2012 – books.google.com
Long-term chemotherapy with lomustine of intracranial meningioma occurring in a miniature schnauzer by DI JUNG, HJ KIM, C PARK, JW KIM… – Journal of veterinary …, 2006 – jstage.jst.go.jp
Photoreceptor dysplasia: an inherited progressive retinal atrophy of miniature schnauzer dogs by CJ Parshall, M Wyman, S Nitroy… – … in Veterinary & …, 1991 – repository.upenn.edu
Genomic analyses reveal the influence of geographic origin, migration, and hybridization on modern dog breed development by HG Parker, DL Dreger, M Rimbault, BW Davis… – Cell reports, 2017 – Elsevier
Diagnosis of chronic active hepatitis in a miniature schnauzer by AD Hendrix – The Canadian Veterinary Journal, 2004 – ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
Miniature schnauzers under primary veterinary care in the UK in 2013: demography, mortality and disorders by DG O’Neill, C Butcher, DB Church, DC Brodbelt… – Canine genetics and …, 2019 – Springer
Trainability and boldness traits differ between dog breed clusters based on conventional breed categories and genetic relatedness by F Sefton – 1969 – Pet Library
Small cell anaplastic carcinoma of primary lung tumor in a miniature Schnauzer dog by B Turcsán, E Kubinyi, Á Miklósi – Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 2011 – Elsevier