This breed orginates from Germany. Where it was developed to control vermin and intruders from in the yard and stables. Schnauzers come in 3 sizes, Giants, Standards and Miniatures. The Miniature Schnauzer is the newest of the three breeds developed in Germany 1890s and brought over to the united states in the 1920s. The Miniature Schnauzer was developed by crossing its cousin the Standard Schnauzer with Affenpinschers and Poodles to reduce its size. Because of Miniature's compact size, it is the most popular of the three schnauzer breeds.
Miniature Schnauzers have 3 accepted AKC colors which are salt/pepper (which is found the most common), black and black/silver. You see a vast varation of the salt/pepper color ranging from light silver to almost white to a dark gray the furnishings on their legs, eyebrows, beard and mustach are light cream colored. Black schnauzers can fade into a charcoal steel gray color.
Although the standard for Miniature is around 15 pounds for a female and 20 pounds for a male.. most of the dogs we've seen in rescue have been oversized with males typically being closer to 25 pounds. Sadly this breed has been overbreed in the United States and most of the dogs are from backyard breeders and puppymills and often look little like the dogs in the show rings. Because they are overbreed, it is not uncommon to see Miniature Schnauzers at the shelters.. which is where we get most of our dogs. We tend to get far more males in rescue than females, generally a 1:4 ratio.
Miniature Schnauzers are a high energy dog, They tend to be a bit barkie. Because of their high energy and barkiness many of them are not suited to being apartment dwellers. Their temperaments vary quite a bit and they are not always the best with small children (we do not place them in homes with smaller children unless we know of the dogs history and temperament as being good with children). They are generally good with other dogs but not usually the best with cats.
They are loyal and very intelligent but at the same time can be very stubborn. They learn tricks easily. They are an alert breed which makes them excellent watch dogs. They have a terrier nature so generally are not the type of dog to take on offleash hikes. Their average lifespan is 12-15 years.
Like other nonshedding breeds, Miniature Schnauzers require regular grooming... generally every 6-8 weeks. The frequency can vary depending upon a particular dog's hair growth rate. The grooming is essential for their health, without regular grooming their hair will grow into dread locks and became matted. The mats can lead to ulcers on their skin, and their ears and eyes can became infected as well. A well groomed dog is a healthier dog. Grooming generally cost $45-65.
This breed is also known for having problems with their teeth and will generally require regular dentals once past age six.
Common Diseases and Disorders
Common ailments of this breed include hypothyroidism, diabetes, pancreatitis, bladder stones, cataracts, bladder infections, heart murmur and allergic skin diseases.