Miniature Schnauzer

Breed History

Miniature Schnauzer on log

Miniature Schnauzer is a stocky built, alert and attentive ratter dog that has a huge personality. Most noticeable due to having eyebrows and a long beard giving them features of a human face.

Bred to hunt rats and other small rats, mice, vermin, and squirrel from farmland. Due to changes in the farming industry they aren’t in use in the same capacity. Those are the roots and the reason why they were in need of a perfect farm dog in Germany.

Standard Schnauzer was bred down in the 19th century using different breeds. Rumor has it that it was the Affenpinscher or Poodle. Crossbred with other terriers is common with larger dogs that were breed down. Usually those dogs will have straight ears like a Terrier, but this dog still has ears that come down.

Calmer than other terriers but are still known to have robust energy. As you keep reading you will understand why this is the case and what to do about it in the exercise section.

Cropping ears is done for dog shows and some dog owners are in opposition to the practice. Tail docking is another controversial topic and done for hunting reasons with concerns to safety.

Now they are done for a certain look and many dog owners are in opposition to this practice. For dog shows it is hard to win when the dog will receive a fault for not looking like the rest of the dogs.

Today they still show strong signs of hunting instincts and can cause issues for when this dog is living in boredom. Keeping this dog active will make both the owner and dog happier in the long run.

Registration

Miniature Schnauzer became a separate breed from the standard version in the 1930’s. The split was deserving due to the different smaller dogs that were used in creating the small Schnauzer type.

Known all over the world and many Kennel Clubs show recognition to both the Standard and Miniature Schnauzer. All the major Kennel Clubs show specific recognition to the miniature as a separate breed.

Terrier or Utility are the category where the are put in relation to the dog group. Most of breed standards are the same or close in nature other than the International standard that is more flexible with the standards.

Here are the Kennel Club that have a breed standard and trace their bloodline for many decades.

Size

Male Height: 12-14 inches

Female Height: 12-14 inches

Male Weight: 12-20 pounds

Female Weight: 11-20 pounds

Men are slightly bigger than women, but it is hard to tell the difference in gender upon the first look. Boy dogs lack the size of other breeds where the girls are significantly smaller.

Litter Size

The average litter size is 4-5 puppies. Dogs that are bred down from a larger size have difficulties delivering this breed. Sadly, the mother will have a C-Section most of the time because of the head size is too large to push out naturally.

 In contrast the bigger version will have no issue pushing out the puppies without any assistant because the birth canal fits the puppies. Altercation made by humans are the cause of this process.

Dogs owners should be aware if their dog either can’t have puppies or will need medical assistance. Price will soar through the roof once the breeder must pay anywhere from $1,000-$4,000, prices vary, on the procedure and care for the puppies while the mother is recovering.

Compensation for this labor intensive 8 weeks will make the dogs more expensive than their counterparts.

Colors

  • Black
  • Black and Silver
  • Pepper and Salt
  • White color

The white color is only shown recognition with the international kennel club and is not an official color with any of the other major kennel clubs. For owners with an albino there is recognition in the world somewhere, but others question the way this dog became white in comparison to the other colors. Additional crossbreeding would have to be the case and that is the reason for other Kennel Club’s reluctant behavior with showing this color recognition.

Price

Prices range from $1,000-$5,000 for a miniature version of this breed with paperwork from a major kennel club. Varying prices will depend on if the bloodline is from a champion line, region, supply, demand, currency value, and other factors.

Grooming

Shedding very little all year long you will still find the upkeep on this breed is more than others and should be a part of the decision making to buy this dog.

Nonetheless, here are the areas you need to focus on with this breed.

  1. Brushing
  2. Combing
  3. Bathing
  4. Ears
  5. Nails
  6. Professional Help

Brushing every part of the body starting from the skin outward. Because this dog’s coat can get tangle or mat you want to make sure you are removing any signs of this activity. Multiple brushes per week are a recommendation.

Combing should be done with brushing and both are accomplishing the same mission. Finding the right kind of comb is more important than just combing. Removing tangles or matting is the only goal with combing. Doing these multiple times per week will serve the dog in the best capacity.

Bathe the dog in one or two ways. Put them on a schedule and wash them at least once a week. Other than this method takes the time to wash them when dirty or stinky.

Ears is less of an issue with house dogs but if you live in a desert climate you will experience issues with the ears. Keeping the vet bills low can happen by practicing prevention and cleaning the ears once every two weeks.

Nails should be trim from exercising the dog which is the normal way a dog would trim their own nails. Clipping them is something that will have to occur if you choose to not give your dog a daily outlet, which we don’t recommend.

Unless you have professional experience with grooming dogs, we recommend you go to a professional groomer. Different haircuts will look amazing on this dog and a professional can take care of this and coat health.

Life Span

12-15 years is one of the longer dog life spans in comparison to other dog breeds, especially bigger dogs. That is a very long time to own a dog and as an owner or future owner that is needed to know information.

Health Issues

Allergy – Miniature Schnauzers are sensitive to different foods like soy and will break out if they are eaten. If you buy a new bag of dog food, make sure you check the ingredients for a full idea if they have a meat or soy product as the main ingredient.

Cataracts – Eyes are going to be an ongoing issue once they start. Some conditions are less serious than others but going blind can be in the dog’s future. Living to be 12-15 years old is a very senior age and health problems from the eyes will emerge at some point.

Diabetes – Causes of Diabetes likely come from other forms of health issues like eye problems or liver problems. You will notice the dog will drink a lot of water because they are experiencing chronic dehydration all the time. Weight loss is another symptom you will see over time.

Liver Shunts – Evasion of blood going to the liver is something that affects this dog more than other breeds. Blood is detoxed in the liver and when the veins aren’t working properly and is given from one generation to the next through genetics. Although this is something that can be inherited it is something that can be from improper liver functions in relation to the physical elements of the body part.

Breed Group

Miniature Schnauzer’s are proud members of the Terrier Group. This is a group of dogs that are hunters for very small mice, rats, small birds, and other animals that can interrupt the farm life. Mostly all these dogs are a result of farm life and now they live as companions.

Higher energy than most little dogs you will notice that the sizes vary from large to miniature, but the mission was always the same on farmland.

Here are some of the dogs that make up this breed group

Exercise Needs

All dogs have different energy levels and that’s true within a breed and outside of the breed. Miniature Schnauzers are going to have different exercise requirements but that will vary from dog to dog.

The way we figure out what this dog needs is going to study the behavior of the dog. Currently how is the dog acting? Although you may feel like the dog gets a lot of exercise that may total less than 1 hour a week.

All dogs should receive at least 7-14 hours on average per week. When the dog isn’t receiving the proper amount of exercise it will be apparent in their behavior and how well they listen to the owner.

Bad behavior will be excessive barking, digging, chewing up items, nipping, biting, jumping, and overall too much energy. No dog owner wants to admit that they haven’t been giving their fair share to the relationship.

Once you start meeting the dog halfway you will understand that the behavior changes immediately. Recovery from exercise and calm behavior will be the results of exercising every day possible.

Here are some of our general guidelines to start. Increase if bad behavior continues and maintain when you reach a challenging output.

Morning: Hour (run, walk, or treadmill)

Evening: Hour (run, walk, or treadmill)

I would recommend mixing these up as much as possible when the dog is younger and when they reach a senior age continue to walk the dog but for shorter time periods. That time is dependent on the level of energy the dog has.

Training

  1. Exercise program
  2. Commands
  3. Socialization

The main course is going to be exercise. Most time-consuming and high maintenance activity when it comes to training. Every morning you will need to put in another round day after day, year after year. When the dog gets older you will need to exercise them less because after a long run it is almost impossible to not see great behavior after a 45-minute run in the morning. Putting in the work daily will make people see and wonder why their dog doesn’t act like that. An outlet is everything and more to every dog.

Command training is a smaller part of any training program, or at least it should. Although trainers and owners alike want to teach the dog to sit, stay, and lay they will still misbehave no matter how much you tell them commands. Repetition from a small child can teach a dog a command forever. Remember, before you feed them, give them water, and enter or exit a door make them do a command. We call this life rewards and the dogs are most responsive to life rewards than treats that get old fast or praise that is fake to begin with.

Socializing should happen when the exercise program is in full effect. Don’t try to cheat the system and exercise the dog at the park. Get them the proper exercise daily and when you get to the park go on another walk to get the dog calm and ready to socialize. Wild dogs in packs walk and run all day long they don’t sit in a cage for weeks and come out to play. Attempt to make it like their nature and training will be a breeze.

Additional Resources