Dog Breed Information
The Miniature Schnauzer or "Mini" is one
of the most popular canines and certainly the best known among
the three Schnauzer breeds. Its small stature, generally between
12 and 14 inches in height, makes the breed a good size for many
households. But don't be misled by the size, the Miniature Schnauzer
packs a lively punch in any environment and you will never miss
its Terrier bark and loving personality.
First bred as early as the late 19th century, the
Mini evolved down from the original Standard Schnauzer, with the
purpose of creating a small companion dog and working farm ratter.
The greatest variety in the breed is color. The most common and
popular Miniature color is pepper and salt, a gray and white mixture,
but solid black and black and silver also exist. In other cases,
Minis may be light gray or white, but the latter is not recognized
as a true Miniature Schnauzer color in some countries. A light
fawn or brownish color appears in most coats, which harks back
to the influence of other breeds in the bloodlines.
But is a Miniature Schnauzer the right dog for you?
There are several breed characteristics that should be considered
if looking at one of these as a companion. First, as a blessing
in many households, the Mini is largely a non-shedding breed.
That means that there is no natural seasonal removal of hair that
scatters over your rugs or clogs your drain after baths. Non-shedding,
however, means other things as well: you have to groom the Mini
on a regular basis.
Besides grooming considerations, the Mini is an
active, robust dog that wants to be near you at all times. It
is hard to overlook these dogs, or ward them away. The breed thrives
on attention and affection. They are alert, responding to almost
every noise and every stranger. Most are highly intelligent with
quick minds that make them easily trained, especially in obedience
class, and ever so much the clown or entertainer. The Miniature
Schnauzer, unlike its related Schnauzer breeds, is considered
to be a Terrier. That distinction means these dogs are tenacious,
clinging to most tug-of-war toys to the bitter end. It also means
they are fast moving, quick in response and ground coverage, and
for some, able to release a high pitched bark to get your attention.
These are great natural skills for the working Mini as he heads
for vermin in your yard, but may be difficult for some owners
who want a quiet and settled pet that rarely demands to be near
The Miniature Schnauzer is right for you if you
want a small active, loving canine companion where you can tolerate
a welcoming bark and find time to care for its coat. Its widespread
presence and abundant popularity means few seem able to resist
the charm of the small bearded one.