- Dog suitable for owners with some experience
- Extra training required
- Generally healthy breed
- Enjoys vigorous walks
- Enjoys one to two hours of walking a day
- Small dog
- Some drool
- Requires grooming every other day
- Chatty and vocal dog
- Barks and alerts to visitors/anything unusual
- Could have issues with unknown dogs but gets along with known dogs
- May need additional training to live with other pets
- May need additional supervision to live with children
- Needs a small garden
- Can happily live in the city
- Can be left occasionally with training
|Colours:||Salt and pepper, black with silver markings, solid black or white in colour, although white is rarely seen|
|Kennel Club group:||Utility|
|Easy to train:||5/5|
|Tolerates being alone:||5/5|
|Likes other pets:||3/5|
The Miniature Schnauzer is a lively, active little dog and can make a fun, rewarding companion. They can be very much a terrier at heart however, and do need consistent reward-based training and socialisation. A natural watchdog, they are quite vocal and will be quick to alert the family of any strangers approaching their territory.
History and Origins
Country of Origin: Germany
The Schnauzer has been a working farm dog in Germany since at least the 14th century where it took the role of a fearless terrier largely employed to kill vermin but could also turn their paw to flock-guarding, property guarding and cattle driving.
The ancestry of the Miniature Schnauzer is not quite so clear although we know it dates from the end of the 19th century - with some saying that the Schnauzer was crossed with the Affenpinscher to create this miniaturisation, while other claim that Miniature Poodles, Pomeranians, Scottish Terriers and Miniature Pinchers could have contributed to the breed.
The original idea was to produce a smaller vermin killer but they soon became far better known as companion dogs.
The Miniature Schnauzer is generally a healthy breed, but there are some breed specific problems that they can suffer from which include high blood fat levels, inflammation in the pancreas, diabetes and bladder stones.
While the Miniature Schnauzer is a small dog, they are an active breed who will enjoy long walks and will need over an hour a day’s exercise - plus will enjoy games, training, interactive toys and being involved in all family activities at the rest of the time too.
This is a small dog who doesn’t need much space - although will appreciate a garden. As they can be noisy - especially if left or bored - they are unlikely to do well in a flat or where neighbours can be easily disturbed, unless well stimulated and with constant company.
Small dogs have a fast metabolism, meaning they burn energy at a high rate, although their small stomachs mean that they must eat little and often. Small-breed foods are specifically designed with appropriate levels of key nutrients and smaller kibble sizes to suit smaller mouths. This also encourages chewing and improves digestion.
The coat of the Miniature Schnauzer is harsh, wiry and short with a dense undercoat. All-over grooming is required at least twice a week. Hand stripping is a must for the show ring, but clipping is straightforward and easy for a family dog, although the body colour does pale over the years.
This is an active dog who is smart and busy - and occasionally noisy - who will need training if you want any hopes of a quiet life! They are however a joy to train as they are intelligent and fun - but they will learn bad habits as quickly as good ones so reward-based training should start early and be ongoing. Special attention should be paid to training a reliable recall.
Some Miniature Schnauzers enjoy agility and even heelwork to music so they make great companions for anyone interested in fun dog sports.
If they are to live with cats, it’s best to find a puppy from a cat-owning breeder. Usually they will live happily with their own cats although may well chase others and not be reliable around other small animals.
The Miniature Schnauzer can make an excellent family dog where there are older children.
While many dogs are traditionally thought of as being good with children, all dogs and children need to be taught to get on with and respect each other, and be safe together. Even so, dogs and young children should never be left alone together and adults should supervise all interactions between them.
Did You Know?
- There are three sizes of Schnauzers - the Standard Schnauzer, the Giant Schnauzer and the Miniature Schnauzer. While they all look alike, they have very different personalities.
- Miniature Schnauzer’s thick facial hair isn’t just for show, it was also for protection when they were ratters.
- Their original name was ‘Wire-haired Pinscher’.
- These tiny dogs are incredibly brave and a Miniature Schnauzer called Cash actually chased a black bear off of their owners driveway!