Breed Group: Terrier Height: 12 to 14 inches at the shoulder Weight: 11 to 20 pounds Life Span: 12 to 14 years
Lively and active, the Miniature Schnauzer has a larger than life personality and loves to participate in everything you do. He’ll follow you around the house, alert you to someone at the door – possibly more heartily than you might desire.
Did You Know the Miniature Schnauzer Has a Larger Than Life Personality?
Miniature Schnauzers can only be shown in American Kennel Club conformation shows in salt and pepper — by far the most common color — black and silver, or black. White Miniature Schnauzers cannot be shown in conformation in the U.S., although they can in some other countries.
A relatively recent breed, the Miniature Schnauzer used to work hard at eradicating vermin, a necessary job on a farm. While he will still chase rodents — mice, rats, and squirrels certainly know when he’s around, as do birds — today his job is to be a companion. His urge to hunt vermin typically makes him successful in earthdog trials; some Miniature Schnauzers absolutely excel at them. Smart and athletic, he can shine in obedience and agility too.
The same instincts that make him good at earthdog trials also means he is a wee bit too interested in pocket pets like gerbils and small birds to be left alone with them. If you have smaller pets, be sure to keep them in a separate room. Introduce the Miniature Schnauzer slowly while you watching like a hawk so that he realizes they are family members too. Even after they’ve gotten used to each other, it’s best not to leave them together unsupervised.
Lively and active, the Miniature Schnauzer has a larger than life personality and loves to participate in everything you do. He’ll follow you around the house, alert you to someone at the door, and he’ll let real burglars know this is not the house to come into. His natural tendency toward barking can be curbed through training so that he’s not an annoyance to people who aren’t deaf.
Ear cropping is currently a heated debate in the Miniature Schnauzer world. The breed standard calls for either cropped or uncropped ears. Traditionally dog show winners have had cropped ears, so many show people wish to keep the cropped ears because they believe they can’t win without them. Some show people, however, have come to view the practice as a cruel, painful procedure for a cosmetic result. The topic is debated by pet owners, too, and everyone has their own ideas about what they prefer. Cropping is generally done at eight weeks of age, so if you have a puppy selected from a breeder’s litter, let her know whether or not you want your Miniature Schnauzer’s ears cropped.
Tail docking is called for in the breed standard. The original purpose of docking, or shortening, the tail was to prevent injuries while running in the field. Docking is usually done at three or four days of age, so it can be difficult to find a puppy without a docked tail. A Miniature Schnauzer can be shown with an undocked tail, but it’s considered a fault, which makes it more difficult to win.
A Miniature Schnauzer can only be shown in American Kennel Club conformation shows in salt and pepper — by far the most common color — black and silver, or black. The white color is another hotly debated issue within the world of Miniature Schnauzer fanciers. White Miniature Schnauzers cannot be shown in conformation in the U.S., although they can in some other countries, such as Germany. A white Miniature Schnauzer makes a fine pet; other than color, there is no difference.
Other Quick Facts About the Miniature Schnauzer
Miniature Schnauzers shed only a tiny bit, and might be a good choice for some people who are typically allergic to dogs. However, it’s not a dog’s hair that triggers allergies, but dander (dead skin flakes) and saliva. There’s no escaping any of those when you live with a dog, no matter what breed it is. The best advice for an allergic person is to spend some up-close and personal time around the breed to assure themselves that there won’t be a problem living with them.
Despite his small stature, the Miniature Schnauzer is not a lap dog. He’s athletic and energetic, and needs more daily exercise than just going around the block.