The Miniature Schnauzer is a breed of
small dog of the Schnauzer type that originated in Germany
in the mid-to-late 19th century. The dogs are believed
to have developed from crosses between the Standard Schnauzer
and one or more smaller breeds such as the Poodle, Miniature
Pinscher, or Affenpinscher.
Miniature Schnauzers are quite distinctive in appearance.
They are compact, muscular, and square shaped. Owners
typically groom them with long bushy eyebrows, beards,
and long leg hair. Ears are sometimes cropped to stand
upright, and the tail may also be docked. Their coats
are wiry, and shed very little, which adds to their appeal
as house pets. The AKC recognizes only three colors: black,
salt and pepper, and black with silver markings. Occasionally,
they may be white, but this is rare; this coloration is
allowed in Europe but not by the AKC. Heights of about
13 to 15 inches (330 to 380 mm) are common, and they generally
weigh 13 to 18 pounds (6 to 8 kg).
The dogs are known for their friendly
personality and mischievous sense of humor as well as
intelligence and boundless energy.
A Miniature Schnauzer's personality can
develop based on the family with which it lives. It can
develop certain traits that other family members possess.
While very good with children and most
other pets, the Miniature Schnauzer does best when growing
up with them. He does not respond well to new additions
after he is grown, and can go into a depressive slump
at a new arrival, sometimes causing health problems. This
can be compensated for by lavishing him with extra attention,
but it is better not to induce this stress in the first
Miniature Schnauzers are good guard dogs
in spirit, though the most damage they are likely to do
is to bite the attacker's ankles and bark profusely.
Miniature Schnauzers are often classified
as "working dogs," owing to their past as ratters.
Currently, they are most often employed as companion animals.
Miniature Schnauzers are prone to diabetes
and pancreatitis. With proper care, avoiding feeding sweet
or fattening food, it can often be avoided. Miniature
Schnauzers with uncropped ears are prone to ear infections
and deafness later in life if the ears are not checked
regularly or dried out after swimming.