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Miniature Schnauzer

The Miniature Schnauzer is a small terrier originally bred in Germany in the 19th century. Its appearance is distinguished by its "small beard." Known for being less aggressive than the typical terrier, Miniature Schnauzers are lovable members of many families today.

Physical Characteristics

The Miniature Schnauzer has a double coat comprising of a close undercoat and a wiry, hard outer coat, which is longer around the eyebrows, legs, and muzzle. The abundant facial "furnishings" compliment its keen expression. The Miniature Schnauzer, with an almost square proportioned and robust body, has a sturdy build. As it was developed to catch rats, it is tough and quick, with a far-reaching stride.

Personality and Temperament

The companionable, playful, spunky, curious, and alert Miniature Schnauzer is a well-mannered and gentle house dog that loves to be surrounded by engaging activities. It is less aggressive towards dogs than many terriers, and less dominating than other larger Schnauzers. And although it is generally submissive, it can be stubborn or sly. Some Miniatures occasionally have a tendency to bark a lot, but all enjoy the company of children.

Care

The Miniature Schnauzer's wire coat requires combing every week, plus shaping and scissoring. Stripping is good for show dogs, while clipping (or styling) is sufficient enough for pets, as it softens the texture of the coat. The exercise requirements of the energetic Miniature Schnauzer can be met with a moderate on leash walk or a playful game in the garden. And although the dog is capable of living outdoors in temperate or warm climates, its emotionally needs are best met with a cozy "dog area" indoors with its family.

Health

The Miniature Schnauzer, with a lifespan of 12 to 14 years, sometimes suffers from health problems like mycobacterium avium infection, cataract and retinal dysplasia. Other major health issues that may affect it are urolithiasis and progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), while some minor health problems include von Willebrand's disease (vWD), myotonia congenita, Schnauzer comedo syndrome, and allergies. A veterinarian may run DNA or eye exams to identify some of these issues.

History and Background

Developed in Germany in the late 19th century, the Miniature Schnauzer was originally bred as a small farm dog to keep the rats and vermin away. It was not only the most popular Schnauzer, but the tiniest of its class, and touted to be the only terrier that did not originate from the European Isle stock. It is also believed the Miniature Schnauzer was derived from crossbreeding Affenpinschers and Poodles with small Standard Schnauzers. Incidentally, the name "Schnauzer" comes from an eponymous show dog exhibited in Germany in 1879; translated from German, the word schnauzer means "small beard."

In Germany, the Miniature Schnauzer was displayed as a distinct breed from the Standard Schnauzer in the late 1890s. However, it was not until 1933, that the American Kennel Club grouped Miniature and the Standard into separate breeds. In the United States, the Miniature is the one and only Schnauzer under the Terrier Group. In England, this breed became part of Schnauzers under the Utility Group.

The Miniature Schnauzer was introduced to the United States much later than the Standard and Giant Schnauzers, but after World War II, the Mini became more popular than the other Schnauzers, eventually becoming the third most popular breed in the U.S. This alert and smart-looking family pet and show dog remains a constant favorite among dog lovers.

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  • A Top Breed
    04/29/2014 01:31pm

    I have had many breeds, and the Mini Schnauzer is the tops. They have strong personalities, and feel more like little humans, than dogs. I fall in love with every Schnauzer I meet. They can be emotional, and moody at times. But always a great companion. If you scold them, they may sulk for a while. If they did something bad, they will look shameful, and wait for you to forgive them with a big hug. My dog is an average barker, not really yappy. They are talkers as well, and people who are not familiar with the Mini Schnauzer may think they are barking, when in fact they are talking.
    Schnauzers love activity, they love to go on drives, walks, they love visitors, and I forgot to mention, they are also very intelligent.
    If you are a small dog person, this is an excellent dog to have, but never, never abandoned them, they are part of the family, as all dogs are. Never abandoned a dog, unless they are still puppies, and you are rehoming them. And even then, it can be traumatizing for one.

    I could write a book, about how wonderful Mini Schnauzers are, there are too many things to mention. The "only" negative, is that they are prone to certain health conditions. So feed them quality food, I recommend home cooked, not dry commercial foods. Dry food most often contains corn, high in carbs, our oldest Schnauzer has diabetes now, and is blind. We do not give any vaccine that is not legally necessary. No flea treatments, only natural. Dry food is also refined, so if it isn't good for us, it must not be good for our dogs.
    Love a Schnauzer, or send him to me.

  • 08/15/2014 05:42pm

    I agree as my babies are my family and I love them so much as they keep me going as I'm disable and they help me feel better. I have a question I have been trying to find an answer to and thats is a natrual flea treatment to use on my babies as I won't use anything that will hurt them do you know of anything to use?

  • 08/18/2014 10:26am

    This is a difficult one.
    I have been trying now for two years to find a natural treatment for fleas.
    There are many, but for me, not one so far, has been truly successful. This
    year with the extreme hot weather and humidity, it is worse. We have tried
    essential oils, citrus mixtures....etc.

    However, to help my Schnauzer feel more comfortable, I give him a
    bath every night, or every other night before bed. This keeps him from
    being miserable during the night scratching. It is only a temporary
    solution, but it makes them feel good while it last. Soap smothers
    the fleas, and they fall off. But once the dog goes out in the morning
    to potty, they pick up more.

    I am still searching, maybe soon, I will find something that works.
    I have made a commitment not to use the Vet flea treatments at all.
    They contain an insecticide, and it cannot be good
    for them, but bad, which will most likely affect the
    dog later, perhaps cancer. I'm not willing to take the chance. I'm not
    a vet, but as a former nurse, I know about medications, vaccines, and
    the side affects of treatments. I know if humans are at risk, so are pets.

    Candy, I am so sorry that you are having to deal with this, or more so that
    your Schnauzer is. There are many natural treatments I have not got around
    to trying yet. A Holistic Vet, once said, the healthier a dog is, the more
    likely their own body is going to fight certain health problems. If their
    immune system is strong, they are not going to develop things like
    heart worms. That is why, I decided to put my dogs on a healthy whole
    diet, not the refined dry dog foods, in which nutrients have been depleted.
    Candy, I wish I knew something that worked a hundred percent..

  • My Sophie
    11/25/2014 06:41pm

    My 6 year old miini schnauzer Sophie had some teeth extracted a year ago and then 2 weeks ago I took her to get her teeth cleaned and get a check up as she was drinking water excessively. The Vet put her on gabapentin, granadilla and an antibiotic. A week later I took her back in and was told to make an appt for teeth cleaning. The vet called me and said they need to extract the rest of her teeth. After his was done I noticed Sophie was loosing equilibrium and bumping into things... I Thought it was the pain meds, but once off all meds she continued to bump into walls, doors etc. I tookg her immediately back to the Vet who said Sophie was almost totally blind!!!! She said it is probably SARD.So now she has no teeth and is blind, my poor baby. I took her today to an Opthamologist who now is going to run more tests. I'm just sick over this. Has anyone experienced anything like this before?

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