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Miniature Schnauzer

 Photo of Miniature Schnauzer
Photo: By Jill Terry

Miniature Schnauzer Books

Group: Utility - Breed Standard


The Miniature Schnauzer was created towards the end of the nineteenth century in Southern Germany. Although not completely clear, it is accepted that the black Poodle, rough coated Black and Tan Terrier and Spitz all played a part in its early development. The Schnauzer breed takes its name from one and of its own kind and is believed to be the only breed to do so. The Mini Schnauzer has always had a reputation of being an excellent watchdog and the fact that he was very vocal more so that directly aggressive. In the earliest days reference was made to the breed of being an excellent rat catcher's dog.

The first Miniature Schnauzer was registered in the stud book of the Pincher-Schnauzer Club in December 1898. However, a representation of a night-watchman and his dog from 1602 stands in Stuttgart, and the dog clearly depicts a primitive schnauzer. Schnauzers were first imported into Britain in 1928 but it was in 1932 that the Miniature Schnauzer were to be registered separately. CCs were awarded in 1935 at the West of England Ladies Kennel Society.


Ideal height: dogs: 36 cms (14 ins); bitches: 33 cms (13 ins). Too small, toyish appearing dogs are not typical and are undesirable.

Sturdily built, robust, sinewy, nearly square (length of body equal to height at shoulders). Expression keen and alert. Correct confirmation is of more importance that colour or other purely beauty points. Height Dogs 14" bitches 13". Coat should be harsh, wiry and short enough for smartness, dense undercoat, Clean on neck and shoulders, ears and skull. Harsh hair on legs. Furnishings fairly thick but not silky. All pepper and salt colours in even proportions, or pure black or black and silver markings on eyebrows, muzzle chest and brisket and on the forelegs below the point of the elbow and the stiffle joint on the vent and under tail. Teeth should have a correct scissor bite. Head and skull; is strong and elongated without pronounced occiput, the forehead should be flat and unwrinkled and runs parallel to the ridge if the nose. Ears should be folded, V-shaped set high. Eyes should be dark set, light eye highly undesirable. Colours Pepper and Salt, Pure Black and Black and Silver. White are still not embraced by the Kennel Club.


An alert, reliable and intelligent dog, they make an ideal watchdog being vocal rather that aggressive. They make excellent companions and, being very affectionate, lap up all the attention you can give them! They're excellent with children, enjoying hours of attention that children can give. Although they can tend to latch onto one particular member of the family, they will go to anybody who is prepared to give them the attention and petting they crave. They are very food orientated, loving to eat and often not known when to stop!

Breed Health

In general they tend to be a healthy breed. Hereditary and congenital cataracts and Generalised Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) have appeared in mini schnauzers in Britain. These conditions are all detectable by a simple ophthalmoscopic examination by a vet. Their average life span is 10 to 15 years.

Breed Care

To keep the harsh coat in good condition, they require regular stripping. The furnishing on their legs and feet require cutting and shaping, along with the shirt, stifle and chest. Head and ears and rear require clipping. Their body can also be clipped they are not going to be shown, but you will end up with a soft coat. If groomed correctly they do not moult, but if left their hair will fall out as the new coat grows underneath. The hairs are easily picked up by a hoover. Their furnishings require combing every day to avoid knots and nails should be clipped 7 to 10 days. A rubber backed pin brush, handled slicker brush, greyhound comb with 2 grades of teeth. nail clippers, stripping knives,thinning scissors, straight edged scissors electric clippers will all be required when grooming the Miniature Schnauzer correctly.


They love to run, but are happy with a short walk and gaining most of their exercising while playing. A 15 minute, or about half a mile, walk a day is enough to keep them in good condition. They are generally quite active, although they often like to sleep throughout the day after a walk and playing.


Miniature Schnauzers are very intelligent and tend to learn things quickly, especially if tit-bits are used as a reward! They tend to be obedient and very willing to please ? especially when there is attention to be won! See our books on training

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