The miniature schnauzer or toy schnauzer is the smallest schnauzer, and has the appearance and temperament of the standard schnauzer but in a reduced size. It is a very popular dog breed because of its beauty and its characteristic eyebrows and beard. It is playful and affectionate, active and protective. It should not be underestimated for its miniature size because it is an energetic and courageous dog.
- General build: The Miniature Schnauzer has a small and compact physique. Their eyes are oval and dark, with a lively expression. They have a wedge-shaped muzzle, V-shaped ears, and a black nose. Their limbs are vigorous and muscular. The tail is shaped like a sickle, and thankfully, the practice of tail docking is no longer performed as it is considered mutilation. The FCI requires natural ears and tails for the breed standard. Their movement is elegant and highly agile.
- Coat: They possess the characteristic Schnauzer coat, which is rough, thick, and tough. Not to forget their distinctive eyebrows and thick beards. The Miniature Schnauzer does not shed and is considered hypoallergenic.
- Color: The most common color for the Miniature Schnauzer is the well-known “salt and pepper.” However, Miniature Schnauzers also come in solid black, pure white, and silver and black.
- Weight: The Miniature Schnauzer typically weighs between 8.8 and 17.6 Pounds. There are three sizes of Schnauzers: Miniature, Standard, and Giant. To determine the size of your Schnauzer puppy, we’ve prepared an article with tips so you don’t get misled.
- Height: The height of the Miniature Schnauzer ranges from 11.8 to 13.75 inches.
The Schnauzer is a dog of great temperament, intelligent and self-assured. They are fearless, brave, affectionate, and noble. They make great companions, showing sociability and spontaneity within the family. This breed forms a strong bond with their family members. Early socialization and training are essential as they are protective and territorial.
Guard Dog: The Miniature Schnauzer is always alert and highly protective, making them an excellent guard dog that will alert you with persistent barking, which leads us to the next point: they can be quite the barkers.
Barker: It’s likely that they will bark excessively to warn you of any danger or unusual activity. You can train them to stop barking after they’ve given the alert. For instance, when your Schnauzer barks to signal something, respond to their call, let them know you appreciate their protective nature (a pet, praise), and firmly ask them to stop barking.
Training and Obedience: The Miniature Schnauzer is highly intelligent and ranks 12th in Stanley Coren’s intelligence classification. This means they will understand your commands after 3 to 7 repetitions. Due to their intelligence and independent nature, early training and socialization are recommended. We always recommend positive and consistent training methods. Obedience exercises can be a good way to train them.
Living with Children: Schnauzer breed dogs usually get along well with children and other dogs as long as they are well socialized. They can be quite territorial with other pets. Teach children how to play with their pets without causing harm and respecting their resting times.
Adaptation to Solitude: Schnauzers do not enjoy being alone. They can adapt to spending some time alone if they get enough exercise during their daily walks. If they become too bored or their exercise needs are not met, they may become destructive. Prolonged periods of solitude can lead to separation anxiety.
Daily Walks and Activity: Miniature Schnauzers need around two daily walks and are perfectly adaptable to apartment living. It’s important to spend time playing and exercising with them every day to meet their physical needs. You can also try engaging in canine sports like agility.
Coat Care: The tough and thick coat of the Miniature Schnauzer requires regular brushing, preferably daily, and a visit to the dog groomer every three months for a haircut and shaping. The typical Schnauzer cut involves short or shaved fur on the back and torso with longer fur on the legs. Hand stripping is a technique used to remove dead hair manually, as Schnauzers do not shed. This should be done periodically, especially if you plan to show your Schnauzer.
Hygiene: Full baths with specific dog shampoo can be done every month and a half to two months. You can wash with water as needed. Regular brushing usually keeps them clean.
Pros and Cons
Advantages of Miniature Schnauzer:
- Excellent guard and watch dog.
- Adapts well to apartment or condo living and usually gets along with children.
- Considered a non-shedding breed and hypoallergenic.
- Excels in canine sports.
Disadvantages of Miniature Schnauzer:
- Requires daily brushing, with particular attention to the beard, as it tends to get dirty.
- Highly intelligent, with a tendency to bark and be territorial. Early training is important.
- Needs daily exercise and mental stimulation. If they are left alone or become bored, they may become destructive.
The Miniature Schnauzer breed generally enjoys good overall health. However, certain diseases are more common in some breeds. In Miniature Schnauzers, these may include:
- Retinal degeneration.
- Liver problems.
- Kidney stones.
- Von Willebrand’s disease.
- Schnauzer Comedo Syndrome (a type of follicular dermatitis).
History and Origin
This breed hails from the German region of Bavaria, specifically the regions of Wurtemberg and Bavaria. Their ancestors, the Schnauzers and Affenpinschers, were used as rat-catchers, successfully hunting rats and mice while serving as vigilant guardians of stables and farms.
The Schnauzer and Affenpinscher were considered the same breed until their distinction based on coat structure. The most distinctive feature of the Schnauzer is their beard and eyebrows, as the German word “schnauze” means beard-muzzle.
The breed was officially recognized by the FCI in July 1955, and the latest valid standard was published in March 2007. They are classified in Group 2: Pinscher and Schnauzer – Molossoid and Swiss Mountain and Cattledogs, Section 1: Pinscher and Schnauzer. There are three distinct standards based on size: Miniature, Standard, and Giant.
Considering adopting a Schnauzer? You are now well-informed about the breed’s characteristics, helping you decide if you’re a compatible match.
If you’re sure and determined to have a dog as your pet, we advise you to check out our article with over 700 dog names to make the name-searching task less challenging.