Miniature Schnauzers are a German bred dog, named for the word schnauze meaning muzzle. They are the result of crossing the Standard Schnauzers with the Affenpinscher, and the Poodle as a third ancestor. They were bred to be ratters, trackers, hunters and watch dogs, but are now most commonly preferred as house pets and loving companions.
The Miniature Schnauzer is usually gray, black, white, or a combination of the three colors; having boots, jackets or similar markings. They are also bred as a Standard Size Schnauzer.
Often described as "alert" or "energetic" the Mini Schnauzer is a favorite family dog. They have strong protective instincts and watch dog abilities, giving a hearty warning howl at any approaching stranger. They will alert of intruders, and keep pests away, proving to be a loyal and useful companion around the house and while traveling. Mini Schnauzers are also social creatures, that enjoy playing with children and bonding affectionately with their owners. They need to be made aware that the master has the highest authority, or they may be inclined to disregard commands. If the dog is not properly socialized and exercised well, they can develop behavior issues such as small dog syndrome, separation anxiety, snappiness and willful behavior.
Because the nature of this breed is to track, hunt and explore, they can be inclined to take the lead. If not adequately checked, the Miniature Schnauzer will try to assume authority, and can get aggressive. They will need to be trained from an early age to respect the master's commands, whether that is to sit, wait, or heel, etc. If given consistent and firm boundaries from their master, the Mini Schnauzer will be obedient, responsive to commands, and respectful to authority.
Miniature Schnauzer can suffer from a variety of ailments such as skin allergies, kidney stones, diabetes, eye site problems, liver failure, and weight gain. To avoid developing any serious health issues, they will need regular checkups and food portion moderation.
In spite of their miniature stature, this active dog has energy levels that require regular long walks or runs, and visits to spacious park areas where they can romp and play. Miniature Schnauzers who spend a good amount of time outdoors getting exercise, prove to be the most well-adjusted pets.
Miniature Schnauzer can be compatible with apartment living, as long as they have ample opportunities to exercise. They are vivacious by nature, but can adapt to their environment when they have a consistent walking regime, and a balanced schedule.
Their thick wiry coat will need daily brushing to avoid matted hair. Should this occur, the tangles will need to be cut off, rather than combed through. Miniature Schnauzers are hypoallergenic and do not shed. However, the coat length and the hair around the face will need to be washed and trimmed regularly. Once or twice a year, these pups could do with an over-all cut either professionally or personally.