Let's talk Miniature Schnauzers

All the fun, energy – and exuberant facial hair – of a Standard Schnauzer, in a small but energetic package. The Miniature Schnauzer’s shaggy beard and whiskers, over-the-top eyebrows and floppily folded over ears are among their defining features, alongside sociability, adaptability and intelligence. Miniature Schnauzers’ small size means they can be contented city dogs as long as they get regular exercise. This family-friendly breed can live pretty much anywhere – as long as you’re there.

Official name: Miniature Schnauzer

Other names: Originally known as Miniature Wire-Haired Pinscher

Origins: Germany

Black and white portrait of two Miniature Schnauzer puppies lying down
 Drooling tendencies

Very low

Warm weather? Medium
 Shedding level Low
Suited to apartment living?  High
 Energy Level (high, low, medium)* Medium Family Pet?* 
High
 Compatibility with other pets Medium
Can stay alone?* Medium

 * We advise against leaving pets alone for long stretches. Companionship can prevent emotional distress and destructive behaviour. Speak to your veterinarian for recommendations.

Every pet is different, even within a breed; this snapshot of this breed specifics should be taken as an indication.
 
For a happy healthy and well-behaved pet, we recommend educating and socializing your pet as well as covering their basic welfare needs (and their social and behavioral needs.
 
Pets should never be left unsupervised with a child.
 
Contact your breeder or veterinarian for further advice.
 
All domestic pets are sociable and prefer company.  However, they can be taught to cope with solitude from an early age.  Seek the advice of your veterinarian or trainer to help you do this.

 
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Illustration of a Miniature Schnauzer
Male
30 - 35 cm Height
4 - 8 kg Weight
Female
30 - 35 cm Height
4 - 8 kg Weight

 Baby age  Birth to 2 months
 Puppy age  2 to 10 months
 Adult age 10 months to 8 years
 Mature age  8 to 12 years
 Senior age  From 12 years

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Get to know the Miniature Schnauzer

All you need to know about the breed

Quizzical eyebrows and a bushy beard give the Miniature Schnauzer the look of a distinguished old gentleman even when young – they’re just missing the silk waistcoat and the pocketwatch. The smallest member of the Schnauzer family shares his distinctive features and thick wiry coat with Standard and Giant Schnauzer varieties. But Miniature Schnauzers’ manageable size and alert nature, adaptability and ability to get on with other animals and children, once trained of course, have made them an even more popular choice – and a family favourite. 

This stocky little dog originated in Germany in the late 19th century, when Standard Schnauzers were crossed with other, smaller breeds. Miniature Schnauzers are intelligent, lively and sociable – and they make excellent guard dogs. Yes, you read that correctly. Their tendency to bark, which can be corrected with early training, can have its advantages.

Miniature Schnauzers need to be taken out for regular exercise. Playful and tenacious by nature, in a good way, they enjoy playing games and learning tricks. 

The dogs’ abundant coats can be black, white, black and silver or salt and pepper. To keep them in good condition, Miniature Schnauzers need regular trips to a professional groomer as well as basic brushing at home – AKA the perfect excuse for cuddles.

Side view of a Miniature Schnauzer in a field

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2 facts about Miniature Schnauzers

1. Prey Instinct

Miniature Schnauzers were originally bred as farm dogs to catch rats and other vermin. If smaller animals are around, it’s a good idea (particularly for the smaller animals) to keep them on the lead! 

2. Popularity Contest 

Shhh... don’t tell the others, but Miniature Schnauzers are the most popular member of the Schnauzer family. Perhaps it’s their more colourful coats or their more manageable size, but the Miniature Schnauzer is the runaway favourite of the three breeds according to The American Kennel Club’s latest ranking.

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History of the breed

The Miniature Schnauzer shares their long moustache and square-jawed, bearded appearance with their ancestor, the Standard Schnauzer. For the whole Schnauzer family, it’s all about that beardy muzzle, which gives the breed its name, from the German “Schnauze” for muzzle. The Standard size originated in Germany at least as far back as the 14th century. It was developed to work as a farm dog, catching rats and other vermin, and was originally known as the Wire-Haired Pinscher.

The Miniature Schnauzer came about through crossing with poodles, Affenpinschers, miniature pinschers or even fox terriers and Scottish terriers – nobody is entirely sure which. Or why. But while this doggy cocktail’s exact origins are not clear, what we do know is that the Miniature Schnauzer breed was first officially recorded in 1888 in Germany and first shown at a dog show as a breed in its own right in 1899. It has since evolved into a modern family favourite.[No text in field]
Black and white portrait of a Miniature Schnauzer

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From head to tail

Physical characteristics of Miniature Schnauzers

1. ears

High-set, V-shaped, forward-folding ears.

2. Face

Bushy beard and eyebrows around dark eyes

3. Coat

White, black, black and silver or salt and pepper coats.

4. Fur

Double-layered fur: wiry topcoat and soft undercoat.

5. Tail

Perky, sabre-shaped tail, often to be found wagging

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Things to look out for

From specific breed traits to a general health overview, here are some interesting facts about your Miniature Schnauzer
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Staying Fit As A Fiddle

Even if they are known to be generally robust dogs, there are a few health issues Miniature Schnauzers can be prone to, such as certain eye diseases, including – extremely rarely – congenital cataracts, which can develop later in life. Regular check-ups with the vet will ensure that your Miniature Schnauzer stays on top form and any health concerns are spotted and can be treated quickly. 

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On The Scales

Miniature Schnauzers can have a tendency towards being overweight, particularly if they are neutered. Their weight needs to be monitored regularly, as with any small dog. Following the recommended daily kibble amounts for the breed will help ensure that they maintain that lively and energetic temperament. While they can live contentedly in an apartment, Miniature Schnauzers do need plenty of exercise, and a good mix of walking, running and playing – for mental stimulation as well as burning off physical energy. 

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Caring for your Miniature Schnauzer

Grooming, training and exercise tips

Brushing every few days, and a trip to a professional groomer every 5-8 weeks for a trim will keep Miniature Schnauzers’ thick double coats – a wiry topcoat and a soft undercoat – looking their best. While the dogs themselves may not agree, a monthly bath is a good idea, as is regular nail trimming. Miniature Schnauzers need a fair amount of exercise and enjoy variety: regular lead walks, runs in an enclosed space or lively games for mental stimulation. Miniature Schnauzers are easy to train. It just needs to be fun and interesting to stop them getting bored. Puppy training classes are also great for socialisation.

All about Miniature Schnauzers

Miniature Schnauzers are a lively and active breed and sometimes they just can’t help sharing their excitement with a bark or two. While for a guard dog that can be an asset, if your Miniature Schnauzer is a bit more vocal than you would like, early training can help. 

Don’t be fooled by the hipster beard: Miniature Schnauzers might look hairy but they actually shed very little. 

Other breeds that might interest you.

Sources

1 - Veterinary Centers of America https://vcahospitals.com/ 

2 - Royal Canin Dog Encyclopaedia. Ed 2010 and 2020

3 - Banfield Pet Hospital https://www.banfield.com/

4 - Royal Canin BHN Product Book

5 - American Kennel Club https://www.akc.org/