AKC Dog Breeds: Miniature Schnauzer

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Terrier Group
Height:12-14 inches  Weight: 11-20 pounds  Color: Salt and Pepper, Black and Silver, and Black

The Miniature Schnauzer is a robust, active dog of terrier type, resembling his larger cousin, the Standard Schnauzer, in general appearance, and of an alert, active disposition. Believed to have been derived from breeding the Standard Schnauzer with a small Affenpinscher or possibly Poodle, the intention was to retain the same hunting skills as the Standard that could also be a house pet. Originating in the early 1800s in Germany as a farm dog and ratter, it wasn't until 1899 that Germany recognized it as being a separate breed from the Standard Schnauzer. It wasn't until 1933 that the AKC separated the Miniature and Standard Schnauzer into two different breeds. They are also the only Schnauzer remaining in the Terrier Group. Following World War II, they gained popularity in the United States, becoming one of the most popular breeds in America.

General Appearance
The Miniature Schnauzer is a small, squarely-proportioned dog with a long head, bushy beard, mustache and eyebrows. The thick, prominent eyebrows and long mustache are often trimmed to accentuate the dog's square cut shape. The front legs are very straight. The tail is usually docked. The oval eyes are dark colored, and the v-shaped ears fold forward when left natural or are cropped to a point and stand erect. It has a long head, strong muzzle, a well-developed black nose and a scissors bite. Coat colors include salt & pepper, black, white or a harsh black & silver outer coat with a soft undercoat.

The Miniature Schnauzer is a small and very popular dog breed, enjoying an impressive top ten position on the AKC popularity list. Loyal, devoted, and affectionate, the Miniature Schnauzer is an excellent choice of a companion dog or family pet, and is suited to both inexperienced and experienced dog owners. The Miniature Schnauzer is a friendly and sociable dog with a pleasant disposition. Although this breed can bark a lot, they will raise the alarm if something is amiss, and this makes them effective watchdogs. Intelligent and quick to learn, the Miniature Schnauzer is easy to train and is very good at obedience training. These versatile dogs are usually eager to please their owner, but can be a little stubborn and headstrong at times. The Miniature Schnauzer is a dog that likes to give and receive love and affection, and is not suited to individuals or families with little time to devote to a pet. He has plenty of energy, and enjoys exercise and joining in with family activities. These mild mannered dogs will get along with children when brought up with them, and also tend to get along with other pets. The Miniature Schnauzer's attitude to strangers can vary depending on his personality - some may be very welcoming and others may be aloof or timid.

Before purchasing a Miniature Schnauzer, you should consider what it takes to maintaining their coat. Seeing as they do not shed, weekly brushing is needed to prevent the hair from matting. Before bathing and clipping, they need to be thoroughly brushed in case of any mat-buildups. Brushing in an upward direction will help to avoid missing any mats. First, start by brushing the leg hair in an upward direction, starting from the top and working your way down. Be careful not to forget the armpits, belly hair, and in between the toes, as these areas tend to mat up easily. If you do find a mat, place your hand between the mat and skin to minimize the discomfort of removing the mat. The eyebrows are to be combed forward, while the beard should be combed from the flat of the muzzle down and the underneath combed forwards. It is a good idea to run a brush down their back to help stimulate the skin, and remove any buildup of dirt and natural oils.

Health Problems and Life Expectancy
The life expectancy of the Miniature Schnauzer is around 12-14 years. The breed has a number of health problems and disorders linked to it, and this includes: vWD, liver problems, cataracts, thyroid problems, inflammation of the pancreas, epilepsy, allergies, and skin problems. Regular exercise is a must for all Miniature Schnauzers. They gain weight very easily, which can result in major health problems. With the proper diet and exercise, these can be avoided.

Activity Level

The  Miniature Schnauzer loves interactive play with his family, such as playing fetch or tug-of-war. Mind-stimulating toys are a great outlet for this breed when they are left alone, or the family is busy. They tend to have a naughty streak in them when they are left unattended for long periods of time, as they do get bored quite easily. The Miniature Schnauzer is a good dog for apartment life. It is fairly active indoors and will do okay without a yard.


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