Miniature Schnauzer Dog Breed

Country of Origin: Germany
Height: 12–14 inches
Weight: Approx. 9–17.5 pounds
Coat: Double coat with hard, wiry outercoat and soft, close, dense undercoat
Colors: Salt and pepper, black and silver, solid black
Other Names: Zwergschnauzer
Registries (With Group): AKC (Terrier); UKC (Terrier)

Origin and History

Schnauzers have been popular farm dogs in Germany for centuries. They were hardworking, tough dogs who eradicated vermin but were also good family companions. Sizes ranged because there was no set type, and the larger dogs were used to pull carts, guard livestock, and hunt pests. The smaller dogs were used as general vermin exterminators.

The Miniature Schnauzer began to develop when fanciers of the Standard Schnauzer bred the smallest of the Standards with Affenpinschers and small black Poodles. Miniature Pinschers, Wire Fox Terriers, and Zwergspitz may also have been used in the mix. By the end of the 19th century, the Miniature Schnauzer was exhibited as a breed different from the Standard. (The Giant Schnauzer also sprang from the Standard, and like the Miniature, is considered a separate breed.)

Today, he is known throughout the world as an attractive companion and family dog. Many clubs label him as a "terrier," even though he did not "go to ground" for his prey like traditional English terriers did. Although he may not be used for farm work much anymore, he is still a capable and spirited pet.

Personality Profile

The Miniature Schnauzer is a popular and much-loved companion. He is rugged and alert and makes an excellent watchdog. He is fearless without being aggressive and he gets along well with children and other dogs. This breed is friendly and easy to socialize.

Care Requirements


Daily sessions of exercise for the Miniature Schnauzer are necessary or his energy will turn to destructive behaviors. He is a hardy and healthy breed and is willing and able to go anywhere his family wants to go.


The Miniature Schnauzer's tough outercoat and soft undercoat (considered a "broken" coat) require stripping or clipping to keep it from getting too bushy or unruly. A professional groomer can strip him so that he looks show-ring ready; otherwise, clipping is fine. His distinctive appearance includes feathering on the legs, a bushy beard, and profuse eyebrows.

Life Span

The average life span of the Miniature Schnauzer is 15 or more years.


The Miniature Schnauzer is a smart dog who learns quickly. With methods that encourage and reward him, the Mini Schnauzer will pick up almost anything. He is a proven competitor in obedience and an eager and able agility dog.

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