About Miniature Schnauzers
What is a Miniature Schnauzer
The miniature schnauzer, the smallest of the three schnauzer breeds, is generally a healthy, long-lived and low-shedding companion. Add an outgoing personality, a portable size, and sporty good looks and you've got an ideal family dog. Stocky, robust little dogs standing 12 to 14 inches at the shoulder; weighing 14 to 20 pounds.
The bushy beard and eyebrows give Minis a charming human-like expression. Created to be all-around farm dogs and ratters, they are tough, muscular and fearless without being aggressive. The miniature schnauzer is a bright, friendly, trainable companion. They are small enough to adapt to apartment life, but tireless enough to patrol acres of farmland. They get along well with other animals and kids.
Minis are sturdy little guys and enjoy vigorous play. Home and family oriented, they make great watch dogs.
The hard, wiry coat comes in three color patterns: salt and pepper (hairs are banded with black bands toward the tips and white ones towards the body; some solid black and some white hairs mixed in); black and silver and solid black. These are the only colors recognized by the AKC.
The miniature schnauzer is a merry dog with a mischievous streak. He is very intelligent and highly trainable. His character can run the gamut from extrovert to timidity with strangers, but he generally enjoys a good game, likes well behaved children, and adapts well to apartment living. More and more schnauzers are competing in the obedience ring and the little dogs often enjoy the challenge of agility training. Those who are interested in earning obedience titles will find a well bred schnauzer to be a bright, perky, obedient dog if he understands who is the boss in the relationship. However, many schnauzers are smart enough to take over the boss position if they sense a weakness in the human head of the household. Once a schnauzer sits in the CEO chair it might be difficult to convince him to revert to being just another pack member. If you want a healthy happy miniature schnauzer that will be part of your family for years to come, it is important to find a good breeder.
The breed has a double coat. The outer coat is hard and wiry, the undercoat softer and close to the skin. Furnishings, the longer hair on the legs and face, should be thick and not silky. The maintain the coats wiry texture it needs to be plucked or stripped. However, many pet owners elect to clip their dogs, as stripping takes much time and effort. Thus, many dogs that are actually salt and pepper colored appear to be light gray or silver. Whether stripped or clipped, this schnauzer must be groomed (brushed) frequently to prevent mats, particularly on the legs and in the beard.
Most Mini Schnauzers will need regular upkeep by someone who is knowledgeable in correct schnauzer trimming techniques. Your schnauzer should continue to resemble a schnauzer rather than another breed (which commonly happens when a groomer unfamiliar with correct schnauzer grooming is used.) Ask the breeder of your puppy - or a breed club representative - for recommendations of reliable groomers in your area. Depending on your home environment and the amount of time the dog spends outside, professional grooming should generally take place once every four to six weeks. Your other alternative is to learn to groom your own dog. See the links below for more details on grooming.