Miniature Schnauzer Breed Information
Alternative names -
Zwergschnauzer (Dwarf Schnauzer)
Country of origin - Germany
Classification and breed standards
FCI:|Group 2 Section 1 #183|Stds
ANKC:|Group 6 (Utility)|Stds
CKC:|Group 4 - Terriers|Stds
The Miniature Schnauzer is a breed of small dog of the Schnauzer type that originated in Germany in the mid-to-late 19th century. Miniature Schnauzers developed from crosses between the Standard Schnauzer and one or more smaller breeds such as the Poodle, Miniature Pinscher, or Affenpinscher. The breed remains one of the most popular, and is currently the 10th most popular breed in the U.S.
1. Quick Facts
Miniature Schnauzer Quick Facts
Weight: | 10-15 pounds (5-7kg) |
Height: | 12-14 inches (30-36cm) |
Coat: | Harsh outer coat with a soft undercoat
Activity level: | Fairly active
Learning rate: | High
Temperament: | Very perky, bright-eyed, loving, intelligent, energetic, affectionate, obedient, playful, happy, alert, feisty (Temperament can be quite variable)
Guard dog ability: | High
Watch-dog ability: | Very high
Litter size: | ?
Life span: | ~15 years
The Official Standard of the Miniature Schnauzer describes temperament as "The Miniature Schnauzer http://www.akc.org/breeds/miniature_schnauzer/ As such they tend to be excellent watchdogs. They are often guarded of strangers until the owners of the home welcome the guest, upon which they are typically very friendly to them. "Miniature Schnauzers are not by nature aggressive, as are some of their Terrier cousins. They should be relatively fearless. Once mature, the Schnauzer has a strongly developed territorial instinct. He is an ideal guard dog as he defends vocally rather than physically. ... A good Schnauzer will bark at anyone who may appear a threat to his home....... Schnauzers are not random, incessant barkers. They are discriminating and intelligent guard dogs that assume this duty naturally." from the New Miniature Schnauzer, 2nd edition, pg 12, by Dan Kiedrowski, Howell Book House Publishers, 1997.
The breed is generally good with children, recognizing that they need gentle play. Miniature Schnauzers are generally highly intelligent and easy to train. They can, however, require a great deal of attention and affection from their owner, regardless if they are to be used as show dogs or home pets. If not given affection on a regular basis the breed can become depressed, which can decrease their mental and physical health.
They are highly playful dogs, and if not given the outlet required for their energy they can become bored and invent their own "fun".
The earliest records surrounding development of the Miniature Schnauzer in Germany come from the late 1800s. They were originally bred to be farm dogs in Germany, to keep the rats and other vermin out of the barn. In the breed's earliest stages, several small breeds were employed in crosses to bring down the size of the well-established Standard Schnauzer, with the goal of creating a duplicate in miniature.Crossing to other breeds, such as the Affenpinscher and Miniature Pinscher, had the side effect of introducing colours that were not considered acceptable to the ultimate goal — and as breeders worked towards the stabilization of the gene pool, mismarked particolors and white puppies were removed from breeding programs.
The earliest recorded Miniature Schnauzer was in 1888, and the first exhibition was in 1899. With their bold courage, the Miniature Schnauzer was originally used for guarding herds, small farms, and families. As time passed, they were also used to hunt rats, because they appeared to have a knack for it, and its small size was perfect to get into tight places to catch them.
The AKC accepted registration of the new breed in 1926, two years after they were introduced to the United States. The American Kennel Club groups this breed with the Terriers as it was developed for a similar purpose and has a similar character to the terrier breeds of the Britain and Ireland. The Miniature Schnauzer was recognized by the United Kennel Club in 1948. The United kingdom Kennel club however, does not accept the Miniature Schnauzer as a Terrier and lists it in the utility group for shows such as Crufts.
Miniature Schnauzers are prone to diabetes, bladder stones and pancreatitis. They are occasionally genetically disposed to ideopathic hyperlipidemia (high levels of triglycerides, i.e. fats, in their blood). Hyperlipidemia makes pancreatitis much more likely for the affected dog. With proper care, without feeding the dog sweet or fatty foods, it can usually be avoided. As with many other types of dogs, mini schnauzers are not to be given any chocolate, since in any breed, it can act as a poison. All Miniature Schnauzers but especially those with natural (uncropped) ears should have their ears checked regularly and dried out after swimming. They should not be overfed since they gain weight easily. They can also develop a type of skin allergy, which shows up as a 'hot spot' often around the neck area, which can be tender for the animal forming a hard crust after weeping.
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