Miniature Schnauzer

Miniature Schnauzer

Hailing from Germany, the miniature schnauzer is a smaller-sized terrier dog with a medium-length coat that does not shed too much, a squarish build, and their iconic bushy beard and eyebrows. They can be a little feisty at times since they were bred down from the standard larger-sized schnauzer. Thankfully, they are able to adapt to any sized home, whether that is within a small apartment or a vast farm. They are also usually quite alert and family-oriented.

Breed Overview

Like all dogs, the miniature schnauzer has a unique set of characteristics that are important to it. Some of these features include:

Coat: Medium-length with a wiry double coat

Color: Black and silver, black, or salt and pepper

Height: 12 to 14 inches

Weight: 11 to 20 pounds

Life span: 12 to 15 years

Personality: Friendly, lively, alert

Group: Terrier

Hypoallergenic: Yes

Country of Origin: Germany

Characteristics of the Miniature Schnauzer

With a bright and watchful personality, miniature schnauzers are both protective and friendly towards their owners. Thanks to their vocal nature, they can be good watchdogs for any household. Nonetheless, they still have a fun side, and are very affectionate and love playing around. They are also friendly towards children, and are reasonable with other pets in the house. The amount of exercise and playtime they need is not too much but not too little, making them a great dog choice for those who want a more casual pet.

History of the Miniature Schnauzer

Tracing its roots back all the way to 15th century Germany, the standard schnauzers have been a staple in Germany. They were solid dogs for working on farms to protect their property, helping in herding livestock, getting rid of vermin, and more. Its large counterpart, the giant schnauzer, also had similar characteristics.

In the late 19th century, farmers began to want a smaller-sized dog that could still hunt the vermin on their land. Combining a poodle, affenpinscher, and the standard schnauzer together created the miniature schnauzer. With these breeds, the miniature schnauzer was much more friendly and eager to please in comparison to the many other types of dogs in the terrier group.

Besides its hunting capabilities, the miniature schnauzer quickly became a loveable and adorable companion dog for more people besides farmers. Famous people like politicians Bob and Elizabeth Dole, actor Mary Tyler Moore, and even well-known actor and martial artist Bruce Lee owned miniature schnauzers. In 1926, the American Kennel Club finally recognized the miniature schnauzer as a breed.

Miniature Schnauzer Care

Despite their small size, miniature schnauzers still need a decent amount of exercise every day, as well as proper socialization and training starting from a young age. In addition, their coats require regular and consistent grooming.


As loving as they are, miniature schnauzers are rather active little dogs. They need at least one house of exercise every day, such as jogging, walking, fetch, running around freely, and more. Since they are quite intelligent, giving them puzzle toys also could help stimulate their minds. Dog sports are also able to test their strong physical and mental capabilities.

When taking your miniature schnauzer outside, also keep it on a leash or within a fenced area. Since they were originally bred for hunting, they easily run after possible prey if they see any.


For their coat, the miniature schnauzer features a double coat with both a soft undercoat and a wiry topcoat. Despite their low amounts of shedding, they still have to be brushed and trimmed regularly. Giving them a quick daily brushing is definitely recommended to get rid of any excess fur and stop tangles. Most dog owners like bringing their dog to a groomer once every one to two months in order to have their coat cleaned and clipped, but it is possible to learn how to do this at home.

Make sure to bathe your miniature schnauzer every single month, or maybe even more if your dog gets a bit dirty. Examine their ears weekly to look out for any abnormalities like a wax buildup. Every month, look at their nails to see if they need a trim. Finally, always brush their teeth every day. 


Socialization and training are required to bring out the full potential and happiness of a miniature schnauzer. Prevent any bad habits from forming by stopping them at a young age. Their intelligence is a double-edged sword at times, as they quickly learn new skills and lessons but can grow bored of repetitive training. As such, make sure to make your training sessions engaging and fun for your miniature schnauzer, and always use positive reinforcement methods. Your training should be fun for both you and your pet!

From a young age, make sure to expose your miniature schnauzer to various different dogs, people, and locations. They are usually open to engaging with other people and dogs. However, due to their hunting nature, they may not be the best with smaller household pets like rodents.

As aforementioned, miniature schnauzers can be rather vocal at moments with their barking. As such, make sure to work on bark control when they are young to stop any unnecessary problematic barking.

Common Health Problems

The miniature schnauzer overall is healthy, but the breed is prone to some hereditary health issues, including:


Urinary stones


Liver shunts


Diet and Nutrition

Make sure that fresh drinking water is always available and ready for your miniature schnauzer. Give them a nutritionally balanced and high-quality diet, with usual meals being about two per day. Talk to your vet to discuss the type and amount of food to feed your miniature schnauzer to make sure it meets its needs. As always, be mindful of how many treats and extra food you give your miniature schnauzer.

Some miniature schnauzers may need a special fat-managing diet due to their high-fat levels (hyperlipidemia). These diets should also be prescribed and discussed with a veterinarian.

The Cost and Where to Buy or Adopt a Miniature Schnauzer

Since they are quite popular, always check out your local animal shelters and rescue groups that cater to a certain breed who need a home to live in. But, if you want to simply buy a puppy from a well-known breeder, be ready to pay between $500 to $2,800 for your miniature schnauzer, although this price could always vary and change.

If you want specific websites to adopt or simply want to learn more, the following websites are especially knowledgeable about miniature schnauzers:

American Miniature Schnauzer Club

American Miniature Schnauzer Club Rescue Program

American Kennel Club Marketplace


Overall, miniature schnauzers are great little dogs with big mouths. If you are able to dedicate yourself to their specific training and diet, what is waiting for you is an adorable dog that will both love and protect you!

Written by: Max Kahn

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