Miniature Schnauzer

Miniature Schnauzer

Country of origin: Germany
Registries: AKC, UKC, CKC
Occupation: Vermin hunter,
companion, performance
Size: 12 to 14 in tall; 12 to
16 lbs
Longevity: 14 to 16 years
Exercise: Daily walks and
Training: Challenge
Grooming: Difficult
Colors: Salt and pepper, black,
silver and black

With a terrier-like temperament but a greater willingness to respond to obedience training, the Miniature Schnauzer is the smallest, most recent, and overwhelmingly most popular of the various sizes of Schnauzers (see p.126). Developed from wire-haired Pinschers from the Bavarian region of Germany, the family of heavily whiskered dogs now called Schnauzers acquired their name from Schnauze, the German word for “snout”. The Standard Schnauzer, from which the Miniature descends, was a herding dog and this is perhaps why all Schnauzers are so amenable to training. Until early in the 20th century, bitches produced pups that grew to both Standard and Miniature size. It’s possible that both Affenpinscher and Miniature Pinscher bloodlines were used to ensure the smaller size of what is now the Miniature breed. Like Poodles, Miniature Schnauzers don’t moult. Their hair grows prolifically and needs regular trimming, usually about every six to eight weeks. Neither as feisty nor as opinionated as some terriers of equal size, they are amongst the most popular dogs in North America. Originally bred for ratting, today the breed has an equable temperament and is an excellent companion in active families. Unfortunately, increased popularity has encouraged indiscriminate breeding, resulting in some lines having a nervous disposition. However, this is a robust breed and a hearty barker, but not snappy or intolerant. It settles into family routines and is usually good with other dogs.

In many parts of the world cropped ears are the unique and defining feature of the Miniature Schnauzer. This look is so ubiquitous that some people mistakenly assume that this breed has naturally erect ears. Cropping the ears is a surgical procedure, however, a cosmetic alteration with no medical benefit to the dog.



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