Miniature Schnauzers originated in Germany and were first bred in the late 19th century. The schnauzer breed comes in three sizes – standard, miniature, and giant. The miniature is a mixture of schnauzer, affenpinscher, and poodle. They were bred as working dogs, mostly for ratting and vermin control. The breed was first recognised by the American Kennel Club in 1926.
There are a variety of four colors of miniature schnauzer, salt and pepper, black and silver, black, white. With salt and pepper the most popular. They stand around 13-14 ins with the male weighing 11- 18 lbs and the females 10-15 lbs.
Miniature schnauzers shed very little hair, their coat needs grooming and clipping regularly as their coat can become tangled and matted if left to grow long. Their grooming is quite specific to the breed, but because of the popularity of the breed most professionals will be familiar with them.
They do make excellent family pets, are generally very good with children, and like being part of the family. They are real characters and love to play. Although they have an affectionate and friendly nature, they can be headstrong and stubborn. Which means they really do need firm gentle training. They can be troublesome if allowed to rule the roost.But they do respond well to training, as they have lively minds they will enjoy the challenge. They require plenty of long walks, and shouldn’t be left alone for long periods.
Miniature schnauzers can get along with other dogs if socialised early on. But they are fearless and won’t back away from a fight. If raised along with a cat there won’t be any problem, but they might chase other cats. Small furry pets like rabbits, hamsters or guinea pigs need to be kept out of the dog’s way.
They make good guard dogs, and will bark at strangers but are unlikely to bite unless they feel threatened. Although wary of visitors to your home at first, they soon come round once a
person has been accepted into your home.
Miniature schnauzers have a life expectancy of 12 – 14 years. Some time and effort in selecting a good breeder, giving your dog a healthy diet, keeping all vaccinations etc. up to date, plenty of exercise and mentally stimulating training will go a long way to making a very happy, healthy and rewarding fifteen years for you and your dog.