The term Schnauzer comes from “Schnauze,” the German word for snout, and is applicable because of the dog’s distinct beard.
The Miniature Schnauzer is one of the most popular dog breeds due to its size and temperament. They were developed in Germany around the late 1800s. Originally breeders wanted a miniature version of the popular Standard Schnauzer. They tried bringing the size down by crossbreeding the Standard Schnauzer with other breeds, such as the Affenpinscher, Poodle and Miniature Pinscher, These dogs where originally bred a “ratting” dogs to catch rodents. Thus they have very strong hunting instincts.
Schnauzers require very specific grooming and are very high maintenance. They are known for the distinctive beards, which give them a wise and noble appearance. They do not shed a lot of hair, which make them hypoallergenic and suitable to those with pet hair allergies.
Minis are about 30-36 cm in height. Males weigh about 5.4 -6.8 kg and females 5.0 to 5.9 kg. Their tails are usually docked as puppies and some dogs also have their ears cropped.
Their colours usually vary from black and silver, salt and pepper and pure black. There are also some white schnauzers though the breeding of white Schnauzers is controversial, as many associations won’t allow them in conformation competitions. There is rare cases of multi-coloured, chocolate- or liver coloured pups, but those colour variations are considered faults.
They are generally healthy dogs, but can be prone to diabetes, hyperlipidemia (which can lead to pancriatitis), bladder stones and eye problems. They can generally live up to 12-15 years.
They are highly intelligent, friendly, energetic and alert dogs that make good guard dogs. They will bark when they spot a possible intruder, but are not incessant barkers. They will bark at strangers but once they see their owner welcomes the visitor, they will stop perceiving the visitor as a threat and stop barking. They are not aggressive towards people, unless the pose a threat. They don’t really like to be picked up and are not lap dogs. They are very territorial so they do well in homes where they are the only pet, but they can learn to get along with other pets if they are properly socialized as puppies.
If you live in a complex or have a small yard, only want one pet and want a good (but not too noisy) guard dog, the Miniature Schnauzer is a ideal choice. They have a high cute factor and are highly trainable.
See also: Standard Schnauzer
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