You Got the Look: Miniature Schnauzers are quite distinctive in appearance. They should be compact, muscular, and be "square" in build (the height at the withers should be the same as the length of the body). They have long beards, eye-brows, and feathering on the legs. Ears are sometimes cropped to stand upright, and the tail is often docked short.
Their coats are wiry, and do not shed, which adds to their appeal as house pets.
Miniature Schnauzers are highly recommended for dog owners who suffer from asthma. However, their coats have to be clipped every three months as they do not shed. The AKC recognizes only three colors: black, salt and pepper, and black and silver.
Height is 12 to 15 inches at the withers, and they generally weigh 10 to 15 pounds.
Child's Play: Miniature Schnauzers are known for their friendly personality and mischievous sense of humor, as well as intelligence and energy. They are very loyal and protective of their owners.
While very good with children and most other pets, the Miniature Schnauzer does best when growing up with them. Owing to their use as ratters, they should not be trusted around small pets, as they will often attack and possibly kill them. The Miniature Schnauzer makes an excellent watch dog, barking at visitors to its home. They tend to be reserved with strangers and take some time to warm up to visitors to their home.
HealthWatch: Miniature Schnauzers are prone to diabetes, bladder stones and pancreatitis. With proper care, without feeding the dog sweet or fattening food, it can often be avoided. Miniature Schnauzers with uncropped ears are prone to ear infections and deafness later in life if the ears are not checked regularly or dried out after swimming. Perfect weight varies on what size the dog is; if the dog is 14 inches high, then the perfect weight would be 14 lbs. They should not be overfed since they gain weight easily. They can also develop a type of skin allergy which shows up as a 'hot spot' often around the neck area which can be tender for the animal forming a hard crust after weeping.
History Book: The earliest records surrounding development of the Miniature Schnauzer in Germany come from the late 1800s. In the breed's earliest stages, several small breeds were employed in crosses to bring down the size of the well-established Standard Schnauzer, with the goal of creating a duplicate in miniature.
Crossing to other breeds, such as the Affenpinscher and Miniature Pinscher, had the side effect of introducing colors that were not considered acceptable to the ultimate goal — and as breeders worked towards the stabilization of the gene pool, mismarked particolors and white puppies were removed from breeding programs.
As puppy mills commonly trade breeding stock back and forth, the gene is introduced into other mills (in exchange with Fox Terrier or Poodle infused particolors, etc.) and so the white gene becomes firmly established in that population. Commercial breeders sell to pet stores, and these form the genetic basis of the vast majority of "backyard breeder" dogs. As none of these animals are bred for the show ring, the fact that they do not exhibit quality in type is irrelevant. Crossbred animals would have very great difficulty surviving in the show-breeding gene pool — they would find it difficult to win or produce offspring who could.
It does not however, lend any credibility to the argument that white schnauzers are purebred and should be perpetuated as such.
The earliest recorded Miniature Schnauzer was in 1888, and the first exhibition was in 1899. With their bold courage the Miniature Schnauzer was originally used for guarding herds, small farms and families. As time passed they were also used to hunt rats, because they appeared to have a knack for it, and its small size was perfect to get into tight places to catch them. The AKC accepted registration of the new breed in 1926, two years after they were introduced to the United States.
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