The Loyal Miniature Schnauzer

descriptive textDog breed info
Miniature Schnauzer
Weight: 12 — 16 lbs
Height: 12” — 14”
AKC Rank 2008 #11
Lifespan: 12—15 yrs
Group Terrier
Origin Germany

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    Dog Breed Info - The Miniature Schnauzer

    I'm a Miniature Schnauzer named "Amy"
    from a Dog Breed Rescue Group

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    Breed Overview

    The Minieture Schnauzer is one of the most affectionate, energetic and eager to please family dogs in the lineup of dog breeds.

    This is a true family dog that appreciates lots of “hands-on” treatment in the way of tummy rubs, back, chest, head, behind-the-ears and in-front-of-the-tail rubs, plus chin-rubs. They love to be touched and cuddled.

    The unusual beard and extra long eyebrows and dark markings on the face make them easy to recognize. The pointed ears come from cropping, something mostly done in America

    Schnauzer’s come in Miniature, Standard and Giant sizes, each a separate breed. The original job of the Schnauzer was to catch rats and other small vermin and to protect fruit carts, as well as function as companion dogs for their masters.

    The Miniature Schnauzer was developed in the late 1800’s as a small farm dog. It was derived by crossing the Standard Schnauzer with the Affenpinscher and possibly the Poodle. All the Schnauzers get their name from the one dog “Schnauzer” who was exhibited around 1879 , an apt name, since “Schnauzer” means “small beard.” The Miniature Schnauzer was exhibited as a breed separate from the Standard Schnauzer by 1899 in Germany, although it wasn't until 1933 that the AKC divided the Standard and Miniature into breeds. The Miniature is the only Schnauzer is the only Schnauzer to remain in the terrier group in America. The Miniature Schnauzer came to America long after the Standard and Giant counterparts , but in the years after WWII, they far outpaced them in popularity, ultimately rising to become the 3rd most popularly breed in America at one time.


    Schnauzers are a little tricky to train. They are VERY intelligent! But… they learn on their own schedule. Don’t be discouraged. They ARE trainable, especially if you use clicker training which works for any dog, any size. Pick up a little clicker at the pet store. It's so simple to use and the dogs love the method.

    Crate Training

    Want to crate train your Miniature Schnauzer? It's easy and if you're interested, take a look and you'll see what to do. Crate training your puppy will save many headaches and problems.

    Potty Training

    Miniature Schnauzers and puppies are fairly easy to house train, potty train, toilet train, housebreak or whatever you want to call it. If you have a puppy, decide if you want to crate or paper potty train it. For the best results, we have a page at Crate vs Paper Potty Training which will help you decide and from there you can get all the information you need to get the job done. Always praise the pup profusely when she goes potty in the RIGHT PLACE so she knows she has done a good thing. Either method will work for this breed.

    If you have an older dog, take the dog outside every two hours until she gets the idea which door leads to her potty area. Older dogs catch on to the potty or housebreaking pretty fast once they are shown what to do.


    Miniature Schnauzers are playful, inquisitive, alert, and companionable dogs. They are a well-mannered house dog that also enjoy being in the middle of all family activities. This breed is less domineering than the larger Schnauzers and less dog-aggressive than most terriers. It's also better with other animals than most terriers, although, it will gladly give chase to a squirrel or rabbit. They can be stubborn. Some bark a lot. I know. I've owned several.

    If you happen to get a Miniature Schnauzer with a separation anxiety problem, that can be dealt with by investing a few hours of work on your part and some "tough love."

    Two Mini Schnauzers to keep each other company.
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    Friendly Toward Other Dogs

    Somewhat. The Mini Schnauzer can be a little reserved but generally warms up to most dogs, at least in their size range. Bigger dogs tend to frighten them a little.

    Friendly Toward Other Pets

    No. Not good with cats, but other dogs, OK.

    Friendly Toward Strangers

    Yes, bring on your friends and neighbors. Schnauzers LOVE people as long as you sanction them. Keep in mind, Schnauzers are highly protective of their family and might be reluctant to admit strangers through your door if not properly introduced. A Schnauzer is a family watchdog first…. and you have to let him know your guest is not someone to be wary of.


    Very playful little dog. Keep plenty of toys and chew things on hand, because Schnauzers are active and inventive and must channel their energy.


    Very affectionate! One of the most cuddly, affectionate lap dogs I have ever owned. Get a female. She’ll love you to death!

    Good with children

    A Miniature Schnauzer will put up with children to a substantial degree. Keep the toddlers away, and the very noisy kids. Six years and up, fine. Under five years can put your Schnauzer to the test. They tolerate, but it’s not fair to the dog to give him too much poking and pulling.

    Good with Seniors over 65?

    Yes! A Miniature Schnauzer is a perfect dog for a senior. Not too heavy, can run around the house for exercise and get someone to give walks. The Schnauzer is so affectionate and loving it would warm any seniors heart, and a great watchdog too!

    Living environment

    Apartment, farm, city, anywhere is OK. The Schnauzer is an indoor dog, needing to share its life with PEOPLE. This breed does not do well alone and should not be left in a yard too long.

    Schnauzers tend to get cold in snow and cold winters' so need a heavy coat with hood and a raincoat.

    Back yards are nice but not necessary for the Mini Schnauzer. They get their fun on walks, jogging with you and from chasing balls.

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    Energy level

    Moderate. Not hyper or excessive energy. Just what you’d want.

    Exercise needs, daily

    Two walks around the block a day will do it, or, several good games of “fetch” will suffice. Miniature Schnauzers, especially males, MUST burn off the energy they do have.

    They are very intelligent dogs and get bored easily so keep them interested in something.


    Excellent watchdog! If someone throws a newspaper on the doorstep, they’ll bark like crazy!

    Guard dog

    No. All bark, no kill intruder.


    No. I've brushed my current Schnauzer for 11 years and there is not a single hair in the brush.


    See groomer every 6 to 8 weeks.
    Wash, dry and brush beard beside and under jaw after each meal.Brush head to tail 3 times a week.


    Suggested Reading About The Miniature Schnauzer
    Click on the cover photo for more book information and editor reviews.

    • Book at the left is an Owners Guide to the Mini Schnauzer.

    • 2nd book from the left has 101 dog tricks and some of them will entertain your dog for hours. It's a lot of fun!

    • 3rd book from the left is "50 Games To Play With Your Dog" and I can tell you the games are easy to teach and perform. They are a nice variation for the dog's routine.

    • The book on the right is by the American National Red Cross and deals with dog illness, emergencies and injuries. It's a valuable reference manual for all dog owners. Vol 2, 2008, includes a DVD.

    Here's more Mini Schnauzer info!

    Miniature Schnauzers Rule
    Everything Miniature Schnauzer - Schnauzers Rule is a complete owner's guide for the Miniature Schnauzer lover and dog enthusiasts. Topics include dog grooming, obedience and trick training, housebreaking, Schnauzer contests, FREE dog eCards, and more! Schnauzers Rule - Got Schnauzer?

    Miniature Schnauzer Breeders

    In the event you decide to go looking for Miniature Schnauzer puppies, be SURE to find reputable breeders that really know what they are doing. Be sure the puppy has been well socialized and started in obedience training.
    Miniature Schnauzer Breeders with puppies for sale.

    Miniature Schnauzer Rescue

    In the event you are seriously considering the adoption of a Mini Schnauzer and are looking for a Miniature Schnauzer rescue group or groups in your state, here are several links that might help:
    Petfinder - Dog Rescue - (Nationwide) When you adopt, check for dog health records. Question serious past problems if possible.
    Adopt A Pet This is an interesting site that may give you some ideas. If necessary, go online and look for Mini Schnauzer Rescue groups and don't forget your local dog pound and rescue kennels.

    Dog Health Issues For The Miniature Schnauzer
    Below: The dog illness / illnesses or medical problems listed for the Miniature Schnauzer by various vets.

    This is basically a healthy breed. Don’t let the list below scare you! Your own dog will probably never have ANY of these problems. These are dog illness and medical issues this breed is prone to that have been listed by various veterinarians at different times over the past decade or so and some pertain to puppies and very young dogs that a breeder would deal with.

    The information contained herein has been gathered from numerous books by veterinarians and is intended as general information only. Every dog and situation is different. You must see your vet. Our information is for general interest only and not intended to replace the advice provided by your own veterinarian.

    • Urolithiasis—A urinary tract disease caused by the formation of excessive amounts of crystals into “stones” or sometimes called urinary calculi, kidney stones or bladder stones in the Miniature Schnauzer. These stones can land anywhere in the unitary tract, including the bladder, and block it, making it either difficult to urinate or impossible to do so. At the least, they will irritate the tract lining and may allow blood and certainly pain… into the tract. This is serious and a vet must be seen immediately if you suspect the tract is blocked. Signs to look for: Frequent urination, often in unusual places, blood in urine, dribbling urine, straining, weakness, depression, no appetite, vomiting and pain.

    • Patent ductus arteriosis—Canine congenital heart failure. Before birth, blood from the heart passes the lungs by a small vessel called the ductus arteriosis. That small vessel is supposes to vanish after birth and the infant breathes on it’s own With this disease, the vessel does not go away resulting in improper circulation of blood.

    • Hypothyroidism—An underactive thyroid gland produces too little thyroid hormone which reduces the Miniatures Schnauzer's metabolism level. Hypothyroidism stems from the dog’s immune system attacking the tissues of the thyroid gland. Bottom line is the dog becomes symptomatic. The cause can be a predisposition for thyroid problems, air pollution and allergies. A FEW symptoms of the disorder include lethargy, weight gain, skin infections, dry skin, hair loss, slow heart rate, ear infections, depression. See your set right away.

    • Progressive Retinal Atrophy—An inherited, untreatable disease of the retina affecting both eyes causing blindness. It’s in the genes of the dog and is not painful. Starts with night blindness and progresses as the retina gradually deteriorates

    • Atopic dermatitis's—Atopy. Hereditary. Shows at 1 to 3 years age in some Miniature Schnauzers. Skin allergy triggered by dust mites, pollen, poor quality foods and other garbage we put into the dog’s environment. Many breeds are prone to this. The dog will lick, rub, chew and scratch the infected areas. Allergens can also come from fleas, bacteria and yeast infections. See your vet. There are many treatments ranging from medicines, antihistamines, diets, bathing, cleansing the house of dust mites and so on.

    • Schnauzer comedo syndrome—An inherited condition usually found on the backs of Miniature Schnauzers. It appears as blackheads, small bumps or scabs on the skin and is only noticed after a grooming. This causes no problem unless a bacterial infection sets in in which case an antibiotic is given to deal with the skin infection and reduce the pain and itching for the dog. This might affect other breeds but as yet is unknown.

    • Von Willebrand"s Disease—A deficiency in clotting a factor in the blood. The affected dog does not properly utilize the blood-platelets for blood-clotting. Thus, the dog is prone to excessive bleeding if in an accident or surgery.

    • Retinal dysplasia—Caused by trauma, hereditary or damage from an infection.. Abnormal development of the retina with folds in the outer layers. The folds are small and may not bother the dog, however, larger obstructions can lead to blindness. Retinal dysplasia is a congenital problem that does not necessarily worsen with age.

    • Glaucoma - Painful pressure builds in the eyes and eventually causes total blindness.

    • Diabetes—The pancreas manufactures the hormone INSULIN. If the pancreas stops making, or makes less than the normal amount of insulin, or if the tissues in the body become resistant to the insulin, the result is called “diabetes.” The Miniature Schnauzer can NOT control her blood sugar without injections of insulin on a regular basis, but given the insulin, the dog can live a normal life like a human can. If the dog does not receive the insulin injections at the same time each day of her life, the dog will go into a coma and she will die. Some causes of diabetes may be chronic pancreatitis, heredity, obesity or old age, but no one is sure. Symptoms are excess drinking and urination, dehydration, weight loss, increased appetite, weight gain, and cataracts may develop suddenly. Treatment is in the form of the insulin injections daily and a strict diet low in carbohydrates and sugars. Home cooking may be suggested in some cases. Frequent trips to the vet for blood glucose monitoring will be needed but diabetes is not directly a death sentence.

    • Pulmonic stenosis—Mal formed Pulmonic valve (Pulmonic valve dysplasia) in the heart causing partial obstruction of blood flow from the heart to the lungs. The heart has to pump harder to force blood to the lungs and back. In severe cases the dog can develop congestive heart failure due to the overworked heart.

    • Pancreatitis—A life-threatening disease commonly affecting middle age and older Miniature Schnauzers, Miniature Poodles and Cocker Spaniels. The pancreas produces enzymes that help process food. With the disease, the pancreas begins digesting it’s own tissue. Vomiting, loss of appetite and abdominal pain follow in most cases. Some dogs will die from lack of response to treatments PREVENT the disease by not allowing the dog to become obese, and not giving high-fat foods to the dog. Info thanks to

    • Epilepsy - A serious seizure disorder that usually appears at around age 2 to 4 or 5 years of age in the dog.

    • Portosystemic shunt—Can be hereditary. Incorrect flow of blood from the gastrointestinal tract to the liver causing unclean blood toxins to bypass the liver and it’s cleansing function. Since the liver can not detoxify properly, the toxins cause health problems in the body. Most cases will show lethargy, disorientation, depression, weakness, throwing up, hyperactivity and maybe seizures, as well as diarrhea. Treatment can come in the form of medical, dietary or surgical, depending on the individual dog, age and severity of the case and finances.

    • Valvular heart disease—Usually older dogs. A progressive disease. Heart valves thicken and degenerate. Symptoms include difficulty breathing, reluctance to exercise, fainting, excessive coughing, no appetite, constant fatigue. See vet immediately for treatment program!

    • Lens luxation—Hereditary. Weak fibers holding the lens of the eye allow the lens to dislocate. The eye can not focus. This leads to painful, red eyes that tear a lot and can lead to Uveitis or Glaucoma if not treated right away. If detected early, surgery and medication might solve the problem.

    • Cataracts - Hazy or cloudy vision similar to humans. If not treated, can cause blindness.

    • Obesity - Miniature Schnauzers tend to gain weight quickly. How much you feed them must be watched closely, especially as they age.

    • Sick sinus syndrome—A disturbance in the rhythm of the heart. Common visible symptoms are weakness and fainting. Treatment can be by medicine but that is often only temporary. More likely will be a pacemaker if the condition is chronic and severe. Implanted pacemaker prognosis is good. This procedure is not inexpensive. Common to Miniature Schnauzers, Boxers, Pugs, Cocker Spaniels, Dachshunds and Pomeranians.

    • Malignant Melanoma—A tumor in the cells that produce pigment, and probably hereditary. The source is commonly the mouth, around the toe nails back of the eyes and skin . The oral cavity is most common. These tumors are most likely to be found in dogs with dark skin. How fast the tumor develops, the probability of metastasis and how quickly it spreads (metastasizes) in the body depends on ‘where the tumor is located in the Miniature Schnauzer. A metastatic melanoma (a tumor that has spread) more often occurs in middle age and older dogs. Symptoms: Seizures and problems breathing as the cancer spreads. The death rate is high, even with surgery, radiation and chemotherapy. This is a serious disease.

    • This breed is sensitive and possibly allergic to a commonly used drug group known as 'sulphonamides.' Caution must be used when planning to use this drug.

      Heart Rate - Normal heart rate for a dog is 70 - 160. A large breed at rest would be at the lower end while a small dog like the Mini Schnauzer racing around the yard would be at the high end.

    Other problem could occur with your Miniature Schnauzer. If you notice any problems with your dog, take it to the vet immediately. This website is for general information only and is not intended to, in any way, be a medical guide.


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