The Miniature Schnauzer is a amall dog of the Schnauzer type that originated in Germany in the mid-to-late 19th century. The Miniature Schnauzer developed from crosses between the Standard Schnauzer and one or more smaller breeds such as the Poodle, Miniature Pinscher, or Affenpinscher. The breed remains one of the most popular, and is currently the 10th most popular breed in the U.S.
Miniature Schnauzers are known for being fiercely loyal to their owners and
their owners' property, a characteristic written into the breed standard. They
have an inquisitive and bold nature. According to at least one breed club, this
dog make an excellent family pet. The Miniature Schnauzer gets
along well with other animals but, like most working terriers, cannot
distinguish between small pets—such as reptiles and fancy rats—and vermin, and
must not be left alone with such animals.
The dogs should be compact, muscular, and be "square" in build (the height at
the withers should be the same as the length of the body). They have long
beards, eyebrows, and feathering on the legs. In the USA, ears are sometimes
cropped to stand upright and the tail is normally docked short. British
Schnauzers have uncropped ears, as ear cropping is illegal in the United
Kingdom. Since April 2007, docking has also been banned in the UK.
Miniature Schnauzers' coats are wiry (when hand-stripped) and do not shed, which adds to their appeal as house pets. Miniature Schnauzers that are shown at dog shows needs to be hand-stripped to achieve the wiry texture that the breed standard calls for. Pets that are not shown, can be clippered. This will however turn the coat soft and make the dog lose color. The AKC, CKC and the KC (UK) recognizes only three colours: black, salt and pepper, and black and silver. The FCI, however, also recognizes white Miniature Schnauzers. Some breeders cross-breed Miniature Schnauzers with other breeds to try and introduce new colours, a practice that is discouraged by all major Schnauzer breed clubs.
Their height is 12 to 15 inches (30.5 to 38 cm) at the withers (American standard) or 30-35cm (FCI, German standard) at the withers, and they generally weigh 11 to 20 pounds (4.5 to 7 kg).