- The miniature schnauzer was developed from crossing standard schnauzers with affenpinschers, miniature pinschers, poodles and possibly fox terriers and Scottish terriers. Some accounts even include the Pomeranian. They were developed in Germany in the late 1800s.
- The breed was developed as a small farm dog and ratter.
- The schnauzer is the only terrier not originating from European Isle stock.
- The earliest record of a miniature schnauzer is from 1888. The earliest record of one being exhibited in a dog show is from 1899.
- The name schnauzer comes from the German word, schnauze, meaning snout, possibly because of the heavy whiskers.
- The first miniature schnauzers came to America in 1924.
- The standard and miniature schnauzer were at first considered variants of the same breed, and were shown together at early dog shows. They were divided into separate breeds in 1899 in Germany, and in 1926 in America.
- After World War II, miniature schnauzers began to grow in popularity, eventually peaking as America's 3rd most popular breed.
Miniature Schnauzer Behavior Concerns
- Makes a loyal and fun companion, as well as an excellent watchdog.
- Playful and good with children.
- Bold, watchful, busy, and often mischievous.
- Takes a second to get to know strangers, but is then quite friendly.
- Most get along well with other dogs.
- Gets along with other pets.
- Does best with reward-based training involving food or games.
- Learns quickly, but also bores quickly, and may come up with its own ideas.
- Some tend to bark a lot, which should be discouraged from an early age.
Miniature Schnauzer Suggested Exercises
- Makes a lively and alert housedog.
- Its exercise needs can be met with a long walk or short run, along with a vigorous game. They also need a chance to sniff and explore in a safe place or on leash.
- Miniature schnauzers tend to enjoy and do well at dog parks.
- Games and tricks provide needed mental exercise.
Miniature Schnauzer Grooming
- Coat is hard and wiry, longer on the legs, muzzle, and eyebrows.
- The coat needs combing once or twice weekly.
- Many pet owners elect to have their dogs professionally groomed, or clipped into a trim that is more easily cared for. This must be repeated every other month.
- Show dogs must have their coat plucked and stripped.
- Shedding is below average.
Suggested Miniature Schnauzer Nutritional Needs
- Miniature schnauzers tend to stay in good weight or to be slightly overweight.
- Adult dogs should be fed a balanced diet, with restricted calories if the dog starts to gain too much weight.