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About the Miniature Schnauzer
You will find that the
typical well-bred Miniature Schnauzer is relatively small in
size but in no way toyish or delicate. When you pick him up you
will discover he is sturdy, heavy, and muscular... a ruggedness
combined with the elegance and beauty of a pure-bred. He makes
an excellent companion because he is extremely obedient and
quick to learn, is devoted, playful and affectionate. His
alertness makes him an excellent guard dog. He is spunky and
fearless but not aggressive so that he can run with other dogs.
And, like other terriers, he will go to ground to attack vermin
of all kinds. One must become aware of these characteristics
lest he be lost, stolen, or a victim of an accident. In the
suburbs he should be fenced in or walked on a leash.
He is as much at home in the city with
a small amount of exercise as he is in the country where he
appears tireless. And, he easily adapts to any change of
condition or climate. His deepest need, however, is to live as a
part of the family, going where they go, doing what they do.
Sleeping on the bed, or in his own, beside his owner is his
great joy. The Miniature Schnauzer does not shed, so he often
can be enjoyed by persons who are allergic to other breeds of
dogs. In return, the owner must keep him groomed to maintain his
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
WHERE DID THE MINIATURE SCHNAUZER COME FROM?
The breed originated in the late 1800's in Germany as a smaller
version of the Standard Schnauzer that could live more easily as
a house pet but still hunt vermin.
WHAT DO THEY LOOK LIKE?
The Miniature Schnauzer has a stocky build, wiry outer coat and
fairly thick whiskers and leg furnishings. For more information
see the Breed Standard and the
accompanying Slide Show. You
may also order the "Illustrated Discussion of the Miniature
Schnauzer Standard" in our Publications
AREN'T THERE DIFFERENT SIZES?
The Miniature, Standard, and Giant Schnauzers are distinct
breeds though their conformation is very similar. The Standard
Schnauzer was bred to keep the vermin population down on the
farm, herd and guard the farm. The Giant Schnauzer was bred to
do all those things plus pull carts and also has been used for
police work. The Miniature, Standard, and Giant Schnauzers have
similar but distinct personalities. For more information on the
Standard and Giant Schnauzers please visit the Giant
Schnauzer Club of America and the Standard
Schnauzer Club of America web sites. By the way, there is no
recognized breed named the Toy Schnauzer.
WHAT KIND OF PERSONALITY DO THEY HAVE?
The standard says it all: "The typical Miniature Schnauzer
is alert and spirited, yet obedient to command. He is friendly,
intelligent and willing to please. He should never be
overaggressive or timid." The Miniature Schnauzer is
generally sweet, loving and loyal. They often have a favorite
person, even though they will love the whole family. They will
bark when someone comes to the door. Properly trained, though,
they will stop when the owner indicates that the person at the
door is welcome and not a threat. Schnauzers are generally
intelligent and learn quickly. Many have excelled in formal
obedience trials. They are seen more and more in agility
competitions also. Though the breed was not originally bred to
'go-to-ground' for prey, he will gladly chase rodents wherever
they go, including under ground. Miniature Schnauzers are
eligible to participate in Earthdog Trials and some excel at
DO THEY SHED? DO THEY CAUSE ALLERGIES?
Schnauzers shed very little. They tend to cause fewer and less
severe reactions in people allergic to dogs than breeds that
shed more. Of course, anyone allergic to dogs should spend time
around the breed before buying a Schnauzer because individual
reactions vary widely.
DO THEY REQUIRE A LOT OF GROOMING?
Miniature Schnauzers should be groomed every five to eight weeks
to look their best. This is something most people choose to let
a professional do, but some choose to learn to do it themselves
(see the AMSC's Pet Grooming
section). The equipment needed - clippers and scissors - will
pay for itself after just a few groomings. They do need to have
at least a weekly brushing out of the beard and leg furnishings
and may be bathed as often as weekly. Most people choose to
machine clipper pets as this is the most convenient way to keep
them looking sharp. The breed is double coated with a wiry top
coat so for the show ring, the dog needs to be hand stripped or
plucked. A usual pattern can be found in the AMSC award winning
grooming chart - see Publications. Most
pet groomers are not knowledgeable of the stripping process or,
if knowledgeable, might be reluctant to take the time to
properly complete the task.
WHAT COLORS DO THEY COME IN?
The US breed standard recognizes 3 colors: Salt & Pepper,
Solid Black, and Black & Silver. No other colors are allowed
under the breed standard. Whites and parti-colors are
specifically disqualified. Salt & Pepper and Black &
silver are bicolor patterns. In the Salt & Pepper, the
eyebrows, beard and legs will be light gray or silver white.
When stripped for the show ring, the body hair is banded in
various shades of black, white, gray and tan. Black &
Silvers follow essentially the same pattern as the Salt &
Peppers except the top coat and undercoat color are solid black.
The beard and legs tend to be more silver than white and the
dark hair may extend farther down the legs. Solid Blacks are
entirely black with a black undercoat, except they may have a
small white patch on the chest. When the Salt & Peppers are
machine clipped, the characteristic banded hairs disappear and
they become a solid shade of gray, which can vary from a very
light gray to dark slate gray. Some people will refer to dogs
who have a very light gray undercoat as 'Silver', but they are
'officially' Salt & Pepper. As they age, many solid Blacks
and Black & Silvers fade from black to gray. Salt &
Peppers will often fade to lighter shades of gray.
WHAT SIZE AND WEIGHT ARE THEY?
The Breed Standard calls for the
height at the withers or shoulder blades to be at least 12"
and no more than 14". It does not specify any particular
weight for the breed. That will depend on size and bone
structure but a dog measuring 12" to 14" will be 11 to
20 lbs. Some breeders are producing Miniature Schnauzers that
are under 10" tall. This is a disqualification according to
the breed standard. Sometimes the term 'Toy' is used to describe
them. The 'Toy' Schnauzer is not a separate breed, it is simply
an undersized Miniature Schnauzer.
WHERE CAN I FIND A PUPPY?
Not all breeders are knowledgeable or have the good of the breed
at heart. Your best bet to find a healthy, well-adjusted puppy
is from a serious breeder who is knowledgeable of the breed and
the health problems commonly seen. Neither the AMSC nor the AKC
regulates breeders. An AKC registration does not guarantee
quality. It certifies only that the animal is purebred and is
the offspring of the parents shown on the registration
certificate. Even then, its accuracy depends on the honesty of
the breeder registering the litter. Visiting some local dog
shows is also a good way of meeting serious breeders in your
area. For more tips on how to determine if a breeder is
reputable, please visit Sources.
Wednesday, December 14, 2005
Copyright 1969, 1979, 1991, 1995 American Miniature
Schnauzer Club, Inc. All rights reserved.