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Your Pet, Our Passion.

Schnauzer (Miniature)

The Miniature Schnauzer is a small, sturdy, muscular dog with an alert outlook. Their eyebrows, moustache and leg hair gives them a very distinctive appearance.

The need-to-know
  • 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
Generally healthy breed

The Miniature Schnauzer can be prone to:
- Urolithiasis which is when stones form in the urinary tract and can cause pain.
- Schnauzer comedo syndrome which is an inherited skin disorder where blackheads and bumps can develop on the skin. 
- Congenital hereditary cataract which is a condition where a dog is born with the a cloudy lens in the eye, and this can result in blindness. 
- Hereditary cataracts which is a condition where the lens in the eye becomes cloudy and this can result in blindness. 
- Progressive retinal atrophy which is an inherited disorder where part of the eye degenerates and wastes away which can result in blindness.
- Atopy¹ where the skin reacts to allergens in the environment and becomes sore and itchy.
- Diabetes mellitus² which is a condition where dogs develop very high sugar levels because they do not produce a normal amount of insulin. 
- Hypothyroidism³ where the thyroid gland is underactive and does not product enough thyroid hormone. This can result in low energy levels, weight gain and skin problems. 
- Hyperlipidaemia which is a disorder where the levels of fat in the bloodstream become too high. 
- Pancreatitis where the pancreas becomes inflamed, this can result in serious illness. 
- Mycobacterium avium complex which is where the immune system doesn't work properly which can result in overwhelming infection. This condition can also affect humans.

Priority Kennel Club health schemes and testing: 
- DNA testing for mycobacterium avium complex, which tests whether or not a dog has the potential to be affected by this condition
- Eye screening scheme

¹C. A. Sousa, 'The ACVD task force on canine atopic dermatitis (II): genetic factors', 2001, Veterinary Immunology and Immunopathology
²R. Buvik, 'Genetics of endocrine diseases in Miniature Schnauzer:(Review of literature)', 2014, Institute for Animal Breeding, Nutrition and Laboratory Animal Science, Szent István University
³A. M. W. Y. Voorbij et al, 'Central hypothyroidism in miniature Schnauzers', 2016, Journal of Internal Veterinary Medicine

Key Facts

Lifespan: 12–15 years
Weight: 5.4–9.1kg
Height: 30–36cm
Colours: Salt and pepper, black with silver markings, solid black or white in colour, although white is rarely seen
Size: Small
Kennel Club group: Utility


Family-friendly: 5/5
Exercise needs: 5/5
Easy to train: 5/5
Tolerates being alone: 5/5
Likes other pets: 3/5
Energy level: 5/5
Grooming needs: 2/5
Shedding: 2/5
Miniature Schnauzer lying on a chair in a garden


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.

Miniature Schnauzer standing on the grass

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.

did you know?

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!