The Miniature Schnauzer has a distinctive appearance, with a sturdy and square build. He has a bushy beard, and a harsh, wiry coat. The coloring of the coat can be salt and pepper, black with silver, or solid black. The bushy eyebrows lend the Miniature Schnauzer a rather grouchy expression at times. The weight of the Miniature Schnauzer is around 13-19 pounds, and the height is around 12-14 inches.
Miniature Schnauzer Temperment
The Miniature Schnauzer is a small and very popular dog breed, enjoying an impressive top ten position on the AKC popularity list. Loyal, devoted, and affectionate, the Miniature Schnauzer is an excellent choice of a companion dog or family pet, and is suited to both inexperienced and experienced dog owners. The Miniature Schnauzer is a friendly and sociable dog with a pleasant disposition. Although this breed can bark a lot, they will raise the alarm if something is amiss, and this makes them effective watchdogs. Intelligent and quick to learn, the Miniature Schnauzer is easy to train and is very good at obedience training. These versatile dogs are usually eager to please their owner, but can be a little stubborn and headstrong at times.
The Miniature Schnauzer is a dog that likes to give and receive love and affection, and is not suited to individuals or families with little time to devote to a pet. He has plenty of energy, and enjoys exercise and joining in with family activities. These mild mannered dogs will get along with children when brought up with them, and also tend to get along with other pets. The Miniature Schnauzer's attitude to strangers can vary depending on his personality - some may be very welcoming and others may be aloof or timid. As with many other dog breeds, early socialization will help to develop a stable and confident attitude.
When it comes to grooming you will need to put some work in to keep the Miniature Schnauzer's coat in good condition. You should clean his beard on a daily basis for hygiene reasons and ensure that the hair around his bottom is kept trimmed. Brush the coat several times a week. For show dogs, the dead coat will need to be stripped every three months or so, or standard clipping can be used for pet dogs. This breed is a low shedder when groomed properly, and is therefore well suited to allergy sufferers.
Believed to have been derived from breeding the Standard Schnauzer with a small Affenpinscher or possibly Poodle, the intention was to retain the same hunting skills as the Standard that could also be a house pet.
Originating in the early 1800s in Germany as a farm dog and ratter, it wasn't until 1899 that Germany recognized it as being a separate breed from the Standard Schnauzer. It wasn't until 1933 that the AKC separated the Miniature and Standard Schnauzer into two different breeds. They are also the only Schnauzer remaining in the Terrier Group.
Following World War II, they gained popularity in the United States, becoming one of the most popular breeds in America.
Training a Miniature Schnauzer requires consistency and an understanding of being alpha in the family pack. They are a very intelligent breed of dog that must be taught at a young age that they are not the dominant figure in the household. Most Miniature Schnauzers will be stubborn, hard-headed, manipulative, and assertive to get what they want. Through constant repetitions, they will learn that you mean what you say, and there's nothing they can do about. They do however, require a lot of attention and affection on a regular basis as the breed tends to become depressed if neglected.
A method called NILIF, or Nothing In Life Is Free, works amazingly well with this stubborn breed. It is a non-confrontational way to prevent dominance problems in dominant breeds. The dog must perform to get anything they want; he must earn everything, resulting in you keeping a dominant position. This will result in a much happier dog, as they will no longer be confused where they stand in the pack.
Because of the breed's intelligence, they learn very quickly from a confident, but fair handler. More and more are seen in the obedience ring, as their loyalty and willingness to please outshines in this sport. They also enjoy doing agility; a challenging sport that requires much concentration and enthusiasm, a perfect match for this breed.
Due to their breeding, Miniature Schnauzers are known to chase and kill small fleeing creatures (cats, rabbits, mice, etc.). They are also known to act aggressive when other people and animals approach them. They normally aren't fighters (towards other dogs), though will stand up for himself if necessary. Both of these problems must be curtailed at an early age, or you may end up with a suspicious and aggressive animal.
The life expectancy of the Miniature Schnauzer is around 12-14 years. The breed has a number of health problems and disorders linked to it, and this includes: vWD, liver problems, cataracts, thyroid problems, inflammation of the pancreas, epilepsy, allergies, and skin problems. The parents of the Miniature Schnauzer puppy should have CERF certificates.