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Miniature Schnauzer Breed Summary

Intelligent, Affectionate, Playful, Spritely and Loyal

Developed in the mid 19th century, Miniature Schnauzers were originally bred to be guard dogs and catch rats on farms. Though little is known about their development, it's thought they came about by crossing the Standard Schnauzer with a smaller breed, such as a Poodle or Pomeranian, although the exact dog is unknown. The first known dog of this breed was called Findel, born in 1888 and historically it's thought that this breeds' ears were cropped for cosmetic purposes. Nowadays, cropping is mostly seen as unnecessary, unless you have a competing show dog.

Kennel Club Group Utility
Lifespan 12-14 years
Height (at the withers) Males 39cm - 41cm, Females 38cm - 40cm
Weight Males 11kg - 18kg, Females 4.5kg -15kg
Coat Soft and Curly if unclipped, Harsh and Wiry when clipped
Colour Salt and Pepper, Black, Black and Silver, White
Eye colour Brown
Common health issues Cataracts; Entropion (inturned eyelids); Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA); Bladder Stones; Myotonia Congenita; Von Willebrand's Disease; Congenital Megaesophagus
Other Names Zwergschnauzer (Dwarf Schnauzer)

These mini moustached dogs have got the whole package! They're incredibly intelligent making them easy to train and the best type of dog to teach tricks! They're also extremely affectionate and love their humans to bits, the only downside of this is that these dogs will want you to be around most of the day for lots of cuddles and playtime. Miniature Schnauzers have an extroverted temperament and a huge personality and they tend to forget their size when around bigger dogs. They love to be the centre of attention and playing with kiddies comes naturally to them. Because of their spritely manner, they do need a fair amount of daily exercise and aren't great for apartment dwellers (unless you live in a penthouse!). Overall, they make great family pets and will provide you with years of happiness.

To understand the history of the Miniature Schnauzer, it is necessary to start with the Standard Schnauzer. Some believe that the dog may date back to the 15th century, thanks to depictions of similar-looking dogs. Although their exact origins are obscure, they may have been a cross between the 'Dog of the Boulogne' and the Spitz.

Developed in Germany, Schnauzers were originally intended to be medium-sized multipurpose farm dogs that were able to rat, herd, and guard. Over time, farmers decided that they wanted smaller, more compact dogs for ratting. It's unclear whether the Miniature Schnauzer was achieved through mating the smallest of the Standard Schnauzers, or if they were crossbred with smaller breeds such as the Miniature Pinscher, Affenpinscher, and perhaps even Poodles and Pomeranians.

It was not until 1879 that the name Schnauzer was first used. It actually came from a wire-haired Pinscher called Schnauzer, which won the Hanover International Show in that year. The first recognised Miniature Schnauzer was a black female named Findel, who was born in 1888. In 1895, the first breed club was established in Cologne, Germany, although at the time it registered a number of breed types, including the smooth-coated Pinscher.

It was not until 1899 that the Miniature Schnauzer was first recognised as its own breed, and consequently shown as such. The petite breed with its distinctive look became immediately popular. In the 1920s, the Miniature Schnauzer was introduced to the United States, where they were originally known as Wirehaired Pinschers. They were an immediate hit, and the American Kennel Club recognised the breed in 1926. It was not until 1948 that the British Kennel Club registered Miniature Schnauzers when it established its own breed standard. The first Miniature Schnauzer to win the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show was Ch Dorem Display, an American dog. Born in 1945, almost every Miniature Schnauzer in America is a descendant of Dorem.