The Miniature Schnauzer is a small, sturdy, muscular dog with an alert outlook. Their eyebrows, moustache and leg hair gives them a very distinctive appearance. They can be salt and pepper, black with silver markings, solid black or white in colour, although white is rarely seen. Ideally, adult males are 36cm in height and weigh 8kg. Adult females should measure 33cm and weigh 7kg.
A medium-sized wirehaired-Pinscher type dog, found in 15th century Bavaria, was used for ratting and other general farm duties. It is from this dog that all three sizes of Schnauzer descend. The Miniature Schnauzer dog breed is a result of crossing the Standard Schnauzer with the Affenpinscher and other small breeds.
The Miniature Schnauzer is a lively, active little dog and can make a fun, rewarding companion. They can be stubborn and wilful, however, and do need consistent training and socialisation. A natural watchdog, they are quite vocal and will be quick to alert the family of any strangers approaching their territory.
The Miniature Schnauzer is generally a healthy breed, but there are some breed specific problems that they can suffer from which include high blood fat levels, inflammation in the pancreas, diabetes and bladder stones.
An hour's daily exercise is needed for an adult, but he will take more if you can offer it – this dog is quite adaptable and will fit into his family's routine.
Small dogs have a fast metabolism, meaning they burn energy at a high rate, although their small stomachs mean that they must eat little and often. Small-breed foods are specifically designed with appropriate levels of key nutrients and smaller kibble sizes to suit smaller mouths. This also encourages chewing and improves digestion.
The coat of the Mini Schnauzer is harsh, wiry and short with a dense undercoat. All over grooming is required at least twice a week. Handstripping is a must for the show ring, but clipping is straightforward and easy for the smart family pet, although the body colour does pale over the years.