Mini Schnauzer
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Bearded face cocked, large, expressive eyes reflecting his merry character, the
Miniature Schnauzer is a mischief-maker bent on bringing joy to his world.
Actually, his lighthearted air belies his stolid Germanic origin and camouflages
his tenacious devotion to his family.
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One of three modern breeds with schnauzer in its name, the Miniature Schnauzer
is descended from the Standard Schnauzer and the Affenpinscher, a toy dog with a
terrier-like attitude, with perhaps a dollop of Poodle thrown in. The Standard Schnauzer, itself developed from a combination of German Poodle, gray wolf spitz, and wirehaired pinscher (the German "pinscher" is the British "terrier"), was a versatile farmer's helper, in turn guarding the produce wagons at market and the roadside inns, watching over the farm yard, and catching rats. The Miniature Schnauzer inherited his ancestor's courage and resolve as well as the
job of rat catching on the family farm. The Giant Schnauzer also derives from the Standard Schnauzer by mixture with several extinct varieties of sheep guarding and herding dogs and black Great Danes. Today the schnauzers are three separate breeds rather than a single breed that comes in different sizes. The Standard and Giant breeds are part of the
American Kennel Club working group, but the Miniature finds a home with the terriers. However, unlike the other terriers, the Schnauzer -- the only dog in the group to originate outside the British Isles -- does not "go to ground" after its quarry.

The breed standard
The Miniature Schnauzer is a distinctive dog with a square body, wiry coat, and a rectangular head accented by bushy eyebrows and a luxurious beard ("schnauzer" is translated from the German as "muzzle" or "beard"). He stands 12-14 inches at the withers and weighs 13-15 pounds.His head tapers only slightly from the relatively flat skull to the blunt nose
and has only a slight stop. Thick whiskers decorate the lower muzzle and give the dog its characteristic schnauzer look.
Schnauzer ears can be cropped or left natural. Ears should be cropped between nine-12 weeks of age, when the puppies are past the fear period1. Many Schnauzer breeders keep puppies until the ear crop is done rather than leave it to the
puppy buyer to arrange. The cropped ear must be identical in shape and size, in balance with the head, and have pointed tips. Cropping is surgery and should only be done by a veterinarian.Uncropped ears can be left on their own or can be set to fold over the top of the skull by gluing in place with a special adhesive. Breeders may begin this painless process when the puppy is six-to-eight weeks old. The ears should be left glued in place until the pup is about five months old, after his permanent
teeth are in. Inexperienced Schnauzer owners should depend on the breeder or a veterinarian to glue the ears to assure that air can circulate properly and the puppy can hear. The original set remains in place about three weeks; after which
it must be loosened and the ears cleaned and trimmed, and then reset.The Schnauzer body is square, with the height at the shoulders approximately the same as the length from the point of the shoulder to the point of the buttocks. The tail is docked to about three-quarters of an inch when the puppy is about three-to-four days old so that it will be clearly visible over the topline of the body when the dog is in proper coat. The puppy has little pain sensation at that age; if the docking is done by a veterinarian or experienced breeder, it causes little discomfort.
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Schnauzer coat and grooming
Miniature Schnauzers come in salt-and-pepper (hairs are banded with black bands towards the tips and white ones towards the body; some solid black and solid white hairs are mixed in); black and silver, and solid black. Salt-and-pepper is
the most common. The breed has a double coat. The outer coat is hard and wiry, the undercoat softer and close to the skin. Furnishings, the longer hair on the legs and face, should be thick and not silky. The coat must be plucked or stripped to maintain the wiry texture; clipping will destroy not only the texture but the peppery part of the salt and pepper hairs, leaving the dog a lighter shade of gray. However, many pet owners elect to clip their dogs as stripping takes much time and effort. Thus many dogs that are actually salt-and-pepper colored appear to be light gray or silver. Whether stripped or clipped, the Schnauzer must be groomed frequently to prevent mats, particularly on the legs and in the beard.

Health and temperament
The Schnauzer is generally healthy and hardy. Major problems include hereditary cataracts and pulmonic stenosis (incomplete opening of a heart valve due to thickening of the skin); the breed is also subject to von Willebrand's Disease and hypothyroidism, both suspected inherited autoimmune diseases. The Miniature Schnauzer is a merry dog with a mischievous streak. His character can run the gamut from extrovert to timidity with strangers, but he generally enjoys a good game, likes well-behaved children, and adapts well to apartment living. He can be scrappy at times if confronted with a strange dog.
More and more Schnauzers are competing in the obedience ring and the little dogs often enjoy the challenge of agility training. Those who are interested in earning obedience titles will find a well-bred Schnauzer to be a bright, perky
obedience dog if he understands who is the boss in the relationship. However, many Schnauzers are smart enough to take over the boss' office if they sense a weakness in the human head of the household. Once a Schnauzer sits in the CEO
chair, it may be difficult to convince him to revert to being just another pack member.The breed is 13th in popularity among the 137 registered AKC breeds with more than 14 thousand litters registered in 1993. He is a popular dog with pet stores, and pet store specimens can be high strung or otherwise poor specimens of the breed.

Ref: Canine Breeds 2001

ADI 2002 Copyright

Miniature Schnauzer
Terrier Group
Breed Standard

View video of the Miniature Schnauzer

General Appearance

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.
Faults Type Toyishness, ranginess or coarseness.

Size, Proportion, Substance

Size From 12 to 14 inches. He is sturdily built, nearly square in proportion of body length to height with plenty of bone, and without any suggestion of toyishness. Disqualifications--Dogs or bitches under 12 inches or over 14 inches.


Eyes small, dark brown and deep-set. They are oval in appearance and keen in expression . Faults Eyes light and/or large and prominent in appearance. Ears When cropped, the ears are identical in shape and length, with pointed tips. They are in balance with the head and not exaggerated in length. They are set high on the skull and carried perpendicularly at the inner edges, with as little bell as possible along the outer edges. When uncropped, the ears are small and V-shaped, folding close to the skull.
Head strong and rectangular, its width diminishing slightly from ears to eyes, and again to the tip of the nose. The forehead is unwrinkled. The topskull is flat and fairly long. The foreface is parallel to the topskull, with a slight stop, and it is at least as long as the topskull. The muzzle is strong in proportion to the skull; it ends in a moderately blunt manner, with thick whiskers which accentuate the rectangular shape of the head. Faults Head coarse and cheeky. The teeth meet in a scissors bite . That is, the upper front teeth overlap the lower front teeth in such a manner that the inner surface of the upper incisors barely touches the outer surface of the lower incisors when the mouth is closed. Faults--Bite--Undershot or overshot jaw. Level bite.

Neck, Topline, Body

Neck strong and well arched, blending into the shoulders, and with the skin fitting tightly at the throat. Body short and deep, with the brisket extending at least to the elbows. Ribs are well sprung and deep, extending well back to a short loin. The underbody does not present a tucked up appearance at the flank. The backline is straight; it declines slightly from the withers to the base of the tail. The withers form the highest point of the body. The overall length from chest to buttocks appears to equal the height at the withers. Faults--Chest too broad or shallow in brisket. Hollow or roach back.
Tail set high and carried erect. It is docked only long enough to be clearly visible over the backline of the body when the dog is in proper length of coat. Fault--Tail set too low.


Forelegs are straight and parallel when viewed from all sides. They have strong pasterns and good bone. They are separated by a fairly deep brisket which precludes a pinched front. The elbows are close, and the ribs spread gradually from the first rib so as to allow space for the elbows to move close to the body. Fault--Loose elbows.
The sloping shoulders are muscled, yet flat and clean. They are well laid back, so that from the side the tips of the shoulder blades are in a nearly vertical line above the elbow. The tips of the blades are placed closely together. They slope forward and downward at an angulation which permits the maximum forward extension of the forelegs without binding or effort. Both the shoulder blades and upper arms are long, permitting depth of chest at the brisket.
Feet short and round (cat feet) with thick, black pads. The toes are arched and compact.


The hindquarters have strong-muscled, slanting thighs. They are well bent at the stifles. There is sufficient angulation so that, in stance, the hocks extend beyond the tail. The hindquarters never appear overbuilt or higher than the shoulders. The rear pasterns are short and, in stance, perpendicular to the ground and, when viewed from the rear, are parallel to each other. Faults--Sickle hocks, cow hocks, open hocks or bowed hindquarters.


Double, with hard, wiry, outer coat and close undercoat. The head, neck, ears, chest, tail, and body coat must be plucked. When in show condition, the body coat should be of sufficient length to determine texture. Close covering on neck, ears and skull. Furnishings are fairly thick but not silky. Faults--Coat too soft or too smooth and slick in appearance.


The recognized colors are salt and pepper, black and silver and solid black. All colors have uniform skin pigmentation, i.e. no white or pink skin patches shall appear anywhere on the dog.
Salt and Pepper The typical salt and pepper color of the topcoat results from the combination of black and white banded hairs and solid black and white unbanded hairs, with the banded hairs predominating. Acceptable are all shades of salt and pepper, from light to dark mixtures with tan shadings permissible in the banded or unbanded hair of the topcoat. In salt and pepper dogs, the salt and pepper mixture fades out to light gray or silver white in the eyebrows, whiskers, cheeks, under throat, inside ears, across chest, under tail, leg furnishings, and inside hind legs. It may or may not also fade out on the underbody. However, if so, the lighter underbody hair is not to rise higher on the sides of the body than the front elbows.
Black and Silver The black and silver generally follows the same pattern as the salt and pepper. The entire salt and pepper section must be black. The black color in the topcoat of the black and silver is a true rich color with black undercoat. The stripped portion is free from any fading or brown tinge and the underbody should be dark.
Black Black is the only solid color allowed. Ideally, the black color in the topcoat is a true rich glossy solid color with the undercoat being less intense, a soft matting shade of black. This is natural and should not be penalized in any way. The stripped portion is free from any fading or brown tinge. The scissored and clippered areas have lighter shades of black. A small white spot on the chest is permitted, as is an occasional single white hair elsewhere on the body.
Disqualifications--Color solid white or white striping, patching, or spotting on the colored areas of the dog, except for the small white spot permitted on the chest of the black.
The body coat color in salt and pepper and black and silver dogs fades out to light gray or silver white under the throat and across the chest. Between them there exists a natural body coat color. Any irregular or connecting blaze or white mark in this section is considered a white patch on the body, which is also a disqualification.


The trot is the gait at which movement is judged. When approaching, the forelegs, with elbows close to the body, move straight forward, neither too close nor too far apart. Going away, the hind legs are straight and travel in the same planes as the forelegs.
Note It is generally accepted that when a full trot is achieved, the rear legs continue to move in the same planes as the forelegs, but a very slight inward inclination will occur. It begins at the point of the shoulder in front and at the hip joint in the rear. Viewed from the front or rear, the legs are straight from these points to the pads. The degree of inward inclination is almost imperceptible in a Miniature Schnauzer that has correct movement. It does not justify moving close, toeing in, crossing, or moving out at the elbows.
Viewed from the side, the forelegs have good reach, while the hind legs have strong drive, with good pickup of hocks. The feet turn neither inward nor outward.
Faults--Single tracking, sidegaiting, paddling in front, or hackney action. Weak rear action.


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.


Dogs or bitches under 12 inches or over 14 inches. Color solid white or white striping, patching, or spotting on the colored areas of the dog, except for the small white spot permitted on the chest of the black.
The body coat color in salt and pepper and black and silver dogs fades out to light gray or silver white under the throat and across the chest. Between them there exists a natural body coat color. Any irregular or connecting blaze or white mark in this section is considered a white patch on the body, which is also a disqualification.

Above Breed info is a copyright of AKC 2002