The Miniature Schnauzer has been an American Favorite for over 20 years. Miniature Schnauzers have consecutively ranked amongst the top 20 most registered dogs according to the AKC (and for good reason). Their spunky attitude and hearty spirits have made them suitable pets for practically any environment. From the vast countryside to the compact city apartment, Miniature Schnauzers have found their place in a variety of homes, filling in their role as the missing piece to a happy family.
Miniature Schnauzers have been part of happy families as early as the late 1800's. They quickly grew in popularity after the World Wars, becoming more popular than the Standard Schnauzer before becoming officially recognized in 1933.
It's believed that Miniature Schnauzers were created by breeding the Standard Schnauzer with smaller dogs such as Miniature Pinchers, Affenpinschers, Poodles, and/or Pomeranians. While it's uncertain how exactly they came to be, why they came to be is simple: to make a smaller version of an already awesome and loyal breed.
Miniature Schnauzers grew up to be rodent catchers, and while that role has long since retire, the instinct to chase small animals lives in all of them (without my e-collars, my Miniature Schnauzers would chase squirrels all over the neighborhood).
All Schnauzers are distinguished by their signature skirt and mustaches. Originally meant as a shield against bites and scratches when out hunting, their mustaches now make them heartthrobs for all the bitches in the yard.
The Miniature Schnauzer is the smallest amongst the Schnauzer breeds, clocking in at around 10 pounds on the light side and 20 pounds on the heavy side. Recent popularity in even smaller versions have led to the rise in "toy" and "teacup" Schnauzers, but the AKC still recognizes them as just "really small" Miniature Schnauzers. Miniature Schnauzers used to get their tails docked to prevent field related injuries, as well as their ears clipped for showmanship. While both of these practices have declined in popularity (and thankfully so), these are still the defining traits that you see in most Miniature Schnauzers during competitions.
Originally, Miniature Schnauzers came in all sorts of colors and mixtures (parti-color), but over time the standard or "desired" look settled down to just three: black, silver, or salt & pepper. Recent trends has brought back the desire to have varied-colored Miniature Schnauzers, such as White, Tan, parti-color, or the jaw-dropping Red-Wheaten Schnauzer.
There's nothing "miniature" about a Miniature Schnauzer's personality. Bringing one into your home means opening your doors to a flood of love and loyalty. But if your family and household isn't prepared to manage the flow, you may find yourself drowning in the energy they give out.
Miniature Schnauzers are loyal to a fault. There's nothing they rather do more than spend their time with their favorite human. Likewise, they tend to get really anxious and upset if they are left alone from their favorite companion for too long. Miniature Schnauzers also crave mental stimulation and are amazing at learning new tricks (for a tasty treat that is) but they tend to get bored pretty quickly.
Having a Miniature Schnauzer that is both bored and anxious is a recipe for disaster, and tends to leave owners with a not-so-pleasant surprise when they return after a long day from work.
Unlike the Standard and Giant Schnauzers, which are Working Dogs, Miniature Schnauzers are considered to be Terriers. And like all Terriers, Miniature Schnauzers LOVE to be heard. Miniature Schnauzers are excellent watch dogs, being able to hear a pin drop. They alert their owners to anything that is out of the ordinary, but if left uncontrolled they tend to alert their owners to no end, barking at anyone (or anything) they don't recognize until it goes away.
In short, Miniature Schnauzers are compact dogs that are simply too amazing for their own good. Without a dedicated owner to act as a moral compass, Miniature Schnauzers tend to have their personality on display at all times rather than just at the right times. But if given the love and devotion they deserve, Miniature Schnauzers really act as like another child in the family.
6 Pro's and Con's of Miniature Schnauzers
Einstein intelligence with eagerness to learn.
Dedicated watch dog with a lock-n-loaded bark
Hypoallergenic coat with very little shedding
Loving and ready to put a smile on your face
Loud but non-aggressive
Perfectly fine spending the day at home or hiking up a mountain.
Stand their ground towards strangers
Easily bored and will find its own "fun"
Instinctual drive to chase animals
Loves to dig and get their paws dirty
Barking can go on for hours if untrained
High anxiety when alone for too long