Average Height: 12-14 in
Average Weight: 10-18 lbs
Average Life Span: 12-14 yrs
Coloring: Black, salt and pepper, black and gray, white
Area of Origin: Germany
Similar Breeds: Standard Schnauzer, Giant Schnauzer, Affenpinscher, Toy Poodle, British Terriers (Cairn, Bedlington, Fox, etc.)
History and Origin:
The Schnauzer is an old German dog, with evidence of it dating to the fifteenth century. It was used as a general farm dog it guarded property, herded livestock, and served as an effective ratter. In the late nineteenth century, farmers desired a more compact dog specializing in ratting, and bred smaller Standard Schnauzers to the Affenpinscher and the Miniature Poodle. The Miniature Schnauzer became a recognized breed in Germany in 1899, and became recognized in the American and United Kennel Clubs during the 1920s. Today, the Miniature Schnauzer enjoys extensive popularity across North America as a delightful family companion.
Personality and Temperament:
The Miniature Schnauzer is a friendly, robust, and obedient little dog, much more inclined to curl up beside its owner for a nap than its British terrier cousins. It is eager to please, spirited, yet docile, and is devoted to its love ones. The Schnauzer can develop timidity around strangers if not socialized properly, but is typically outgoing with all dogs and people it meets. It is intelligent, playful, and sturdy, suitable for children who recognize its small size. The Miniature Schnauzer is an option for a nervous or first-time owner desiring a terrier, as it is typically much more relaxed and attentive than other terrier breeds.
Exercise & Training:
While the Miniature Schnauzer is content being a family dog, it still requires a significant amount of physical and mental stimulation to keep it happy and healthy. It is an excellent jogging companion, and excels in sports such as agility, flyball, or earthdog trials. An intelligent and willing breed, the Miniature Schnauzer is exceptionally easy to train; it picks up on commands with ease, and will happily obey. It has also enjoyed success in obedience trials due to its innate desire to please. While small in stature, the Miniature Schnauzers physical needs and its tendency to bark make it unsuited for apartment life; a fenced yard in which the dog can play is ideal.
If kept short, the Miniature Schnauzers coat requires little grooming. A brushing once or twice a week will help keep a growing coat free of tangles. Professional grooming three or four times a year will keep the dogs coat at a manageable level, and stripping, whether by hand or with a knife, is needed twice a year when the soft undercoat is shedding out. If the trademarked Schnauzer beard and furnishings (the fringe-like fur that adorns its legs and belly) are desired, they need to be combed daily to keep them free of matting. Bathe only when necessary to avoid excessive drying of the skin. As a very light shedder, the Miniature Schnauzer may be a suitable choice for allergy sufferers.
The Miniature Schnauzer shares heritage with the Standard and the Giant Schnauzers; the Standard Schnauzer was bred with the tiny Affenpinscher and the Toy Poodle to develop the Miniature Schnauzer. The Miniature Schnauzer also shares ancestry with the British Terriers, such as the Cairn and the Fox Terrier.
Interesting Facts about the Miniature Schnauzer:
1. The Miniature Schnauzer is currently ranked 11th on the American Kennel Clubs most popular breed list.
2. Actors Mary Tyler Moore, Bill Cosby, and Bruce Lee have all owned Miniature Schnauzers.
3. The Schnauzer name comes from the German, schnauze, meaning nose. This refers to the significant beard that is characteristic of the Schnauzer.