Miniature Schnauzer: Facts, Personality, And Full Breed Profile

Written by: Bojana Radulovic
Miniature Schnauzers were bred down from their larger cousins, Standard Schnauzers. Check this ultimate guide on Miniature Schnauze to learn what to expect from this breed.
Dog Breed Group:
Terrier Dogs
13 to 14 inches tall at the shoulder
11 to 20 pounds
Life Span:
12 to 14 years

Breed Characteristics:

Apartment Friendly


How well will this breed adapt to apartment living? Is the apartment size the most important factor when it comes to proper living conditions? Is the breed suitable for apartment living?

Good For First-Time Owners


Some dogs aren't suitable for first-time dog owners. Is this breed a good match for someone with no dog experience? Can training help them be on their best behavior with owners with no dog experience? Are they suitable to be handled by someone who is just entering the canine world?

Overall Sensitivity


Some dogs are sensitive. Certain breeds are rough on the outside, while having the softest heart on the inside. In other words, some dogs are 'thick-skinned' while some are 'easygoing.' Is this breed prone to sensitivity?

Tolerates Being Alone


Separation anxiety in dogs is a serious condition that can affect a dog's life quality. Is this breed prone to this condition? Can you leave him alone for hours? How destructive this breed can become when bored, neglected, or not loved enough?

Affectionate With Family


How affectionate this breed will be around his humans? Will he welcome new family friends easily or he will choose to be shy? Some breeds can be clingy with owners, while others don't attach a lot. Will this breed act as the family's best friend?



Some dogs will tolerate children, while others will adore well-behaved ones. Dogs and children should always be supervised, no matter how well trained the dog might be. Will this breed act as a nanny dog or he will stay away from children?

Friendly Toward Other Dogs


Some dog breeds cannot wait to run to the dog park and run with others. Others prefer to be with their humans, and not to be a part of a multi-pet household. Is this breed dog lover or not? How friendly this breed will be toward other dogs?

Friendly Toward Strangers


Some dog breeds tend to be reserved toward strangers and highly suspicious. Others are fast to walk away with them easily. How welcoming this breed is toward strangers?

Drooling Level


If you love to clean all the time drooling level in dogs is a trait that you should mind. Is this breed less likely to drool, or you will always need a towel on hand?

Easy To Groom


Heavier shedding during the shedding season is something that every dog needs to go through. However, some dogs shed just a bit all year round. Is this breed one of them? How often should you groom this dog?

Overall Health


What can you expect from this breed in terms of health? Are there any genetic conditions to vary about? Is obesity a major issue in this breed? By knowing more about the dog's health, you are learning how to help him live a longer and healthier life.

Prone To Obesity


Treats are a great addition to training sessions. Dogs love sweet bites of dog treats but they should be served in moderation. Treats can lead to obesity, next to poor nutrition. Can this breed gain extra weight from treats? How prone to obesity this breed actually is?

Trainability Level


Training some dogs is easier than others. How easy this dog will be to train? What can you expect? Some dogs are huge people pleasers and they will master commands easily, while others will try to outsmart you.

Intelligence Level


Dogs are smart beings. We do our best to train them, but they do still end up training us to adapt to their needs. How intelligent is this breed? Will he try to outsmart you? Or he will need multiple training sessions to master basic commands?

Prey Drive


Dogs were bred for a specific purpose. Those who were bred to hunt have natural instincts to hunt, even today. This is why many dogs, like Terriers, will chase other animals. They will also have a hard time concentrating on your commands when there is something small moving. Is this breed prone to following his prey instincts?

Barking Level


How vocal this breed is? Can you expect neighbors to ring you often to calm your dog? Or you can sleep without worries of hearing your Fido bark? Some breeds are highly vocal, others have unusual sounds, and some are silent. Is this breed prone to barking?

Energy Level


Low-energy dogs are happy with regular walks and indoor chill times. High-energy dogs are always ready for action. Is this breed a couch potato, energetic dog, or somewhere in between?

Exercise Needs


Some dogs are more than happy with a slow stroll down the street. Others need hours of active time to stay happy and fit. Is this breed demanding in terms of exercise? How much exercise this breed needs to stay happy and healthy?

Playfulness Level


Some dogs never lose that puppy spirit, not even in their senior years. Others are more serious and prefer having a job to do. Is this breed demanding in terms of playfulness? Can you expect playfulness in their senior years as well?

Miniature Schnauzer is a small dog of the terrier group. They are known for being extremely alert, family-attached, highly intelligent, and obedient.

Did you know that Miniature Schnauzer is one of the smartest dogs breed alive? Here is what more you should know about this breed.

Quick Facts

Real name: Miniature Schnauzer
Other names: Zwergschnauzer (Dwarf Schnauzer)
Origin: Germany
Breed type: Terrier
Weight: Male 11 to 20 lb (5.0 to 9.1 kg), Female 11 to 20 lb (5.0 to 9.1 kg)
Height: Male 12 to 14 in (30 to 36 cm), Female 11 to 13 in (28 to 33 cm)
Lifespan: 12 to 14 years
Litter size: 3 to 8 pups
Color: Black, pepper and salt, black and silver
Coat: Harsh and wiry when hand stripped, soft and curly when unclipped

Miniature Schnauzer History

The famous Miniature Schnauzer is the smallest and most popular of the Schnauzers, who originated in the late 1800s, as a small dog in Germany. This is one of Europe’s supreme all-around farm dogs.

Some documents claim that this breed first appeared in the 15th century, and it is believed that this breed was more prominent in size than it is today.

It’s believed that old-time German farmers bred the Standard Schnauzer down to miniature size so that they could work better as fearless barnyard ratters.

With this rat-dog background, the Miniature Schnauzer is listed as part of Terrier Group with other popular rat-catcher breeds. However, this Mini is particular because it has no British blood in his veins because the vast majority of terrier breeds were developed in the British Isles.

Only a few were created outside of Britain – the Rat Terrier or the Cesky Terrie, for example, were created with crosses to existing British breeds.

The Miniature Schnauzer is a true product of Continental stock:

This mix explains why Mini was born to the traditional work of small terriers, why his personality is so unique and different. This is an overly friendly dog, obedient, and willing to please.

Now, ratting days are behind this breed, and today the fabulous Miniature Schnauzer is best known for its attractive appearance and unique and charming personality.

This breed is often a winner at various dog shown. Of the three Schnauzer breeds, the Miniature ranks consistently highest in AKC registrations.

Miniature Schnauzer Physical Appearance

The Miniature Schnauzer is an active dog of terrier type. This Mini dog strongly resembles his larger cousin, the Standard Schnauzer, in general appearance.

In Miniature Schnauzers, eyes are deep-set, small, and dark brown. They are also very expressive and prominent in appearance.

The body is short and deep, while the underbody doesn’t present a tucked up appearance at the flank, while the backline is straight. The overall length is equal at the height at the withers.

The chest is too broad or shallow in brisket, while the tail is set high and carried erect.

A properly presented Miniature Schnauzer will have a docked tail, while others are penalized on dog shows. Forelegs are straight and parallel and have strong bones.

The elbows are close, while the shoulders are muscled, clean, and flat. The toes are compact.

Everything is this breed is equally spread and well-built. The coat is wiry, with substantial undercoat.

The hindquarters have strong-muscled, slanting thighs. They are well bent at the stifles, while the hocks extend beyond the tail.

Miniature Schnauzers are often described as non-molting dogs, and this is the main reason why this breed is considered to be a hypoallergenic breed.

They have a rather bushy beard and mustache, next to bushy eyebrows that give them a sharp look. Their ears are rarely cropper. Plus, ears cropping and docking of tails is now illegal in a number of countries across the globe.

North American White Coat Controversy

White Miniature Schnauzers are not that common, but they can be found. Moreover, they are even recognized by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale. However, they are not accepted for conformation showing by the American Kennel Club and Canadian Kennel Club.

The main issue here is that no one can settle on the origin of the white variation: whether it was contained within the genes of the recognized initially breed, or whether it was the result of subsequent modifications. So far, this is the most significant controversy in this breed.

Miniature Schnauzer Nutrition

To keep your Miniature Schnauzer healthy and happy, you will have to feed him right.

This breed should do fine on high-quality dog food, whether commercial to home-prepared, as long as you respect the food amount and your veterinarian’s instruction.

If you want to put your Miniature Schnauzer on a raw food diet, or BARF diet, talking with your veterinarian first is mandatory.

As you probably know so far, any diet should be appropriate to the dog’s age, and specially adjusted to puppies, adults, or seniors.

Also, some dogs are naturally prone to overweight, so make sure that you fed your dog right among and observe his weight level.

Treats are essential and should be included in the training, but make sure that treats aren’t substituted for a meal.

Eating too many sweets to your dog will eventually lead to obesity.

Being a responsible pet owner means that you know which human foods are safe for dogs, and which are not.

If you have any concerns about your dog’s weight, check with your veterinarian about your dog’s weight and diet.

If your dog is obese already, you should take him to the vet, follow the instructions, and start a weight loss program.

Also, make sure that the dog’s bowl for water is always filled with clean and fresh water. This is especially a must when you leave your house for hours and leave your Miniature Schnauzer alone.

Miniature Schnauzer Temperament And Personality

The Miniature Schnauzer is one of the most popular terrier pets. They are playful, alert, great companions, and nosy.

They love to know everything that happens around them, and they simply adore when they are in the middle of activities.

Also, they tend to be less oppressive than other Schnauzers and may get along better with other dogs than most terriers. They also tend to be stubborn, though they are highly intelligent.

They enjoy being around children, but since they are small in size, it’s welcoming to educate your children on how to behave around dogs.

They are excellent watchdogs, which is why they tend to be very vocal.

So, if yoU are living in an apartment you should know that barking might be an issue if you don’t teach your Miniature Schnauzer from an early age to be less of a barker.

They are always willing to please, and since they have strong territorial instincts, they are excellent watchdogs. They are also easy to train since they are eager to please.

Miniature Schnauzers are highly playful, and they can quickly become bored and, in those moments, can invent their own fun. They can compete in dog agility trials, tracking, showmanship, and obedience.

For a small breed, they have an enormous high prey drive, which means that they will always run after birds or other small animals, which is why they should be on a leash all the time when they are not in a fenced area.

Miniature Schnauzer Training

Miniature Schnauzers are friendly and eager to please, but that openness doesn’t mean that they will be super easy to train.

The truth is that they are easy to train if you know how to use positive training and exercise based on a reward system.

Next to great treats, you must offer your Miniature Schnauzer great mental stimulation, because they are easily bored.

If you tend to repeat the same training in day after day, your Miniature Schnauzer will definitely get bored, and some may even become destructive.

They should be trained from day one and socialized from an early age. If needed, think about puppy training classes.

If you love outdoor sports, this dog will be next to you every time. They are also great in canine sports, as mentioned earlier, and it can be fun activity both for you and your canine.

Miniature Schnauzer Exercise

Small dog, no exercise, right? People who are just thinking about owning a dog often wrongly believe that a small dog means a 5-minute walk and exercise. However, that’s so far from the truth.

Smaller dogs sometimes may demand a higher amount of exercise and owners’ dedication, and Miniature Schnauzers are no exception.

This small dog is active, and he will demand longer walks and regular daily exercise.

Regular exercises are mandatory to maintain their physical and mental health.

Since they are not hyperactive dogs, they are suitable for apartment living and city life as long as you can deal with barking.

They thrive on open space, and when they have a backyard where they can play catch with the owner all day long. This dog is the happiest when he is with his family.

Again, since the breed has strong prey drive, they should never be allowed off-leash if they aren’t inside a fenced area. Their urge to chase small animals is simply too strong.

To provide proper training and exercise level, you should know your dog’s health condition, as well.

Miniature Schnauzer Health

The Miniature Schnauzer is generally a healthy breed.

Of course, inherited medical issues may always occur, but responsible breeders will always screen dogs for common medical problems and present medical documents to you.

If you don’t get any, be sure that you are dealing with the non-responsible breeder. This breed is prone to following medical issues:

  • cataracts
  • hyperlipidemia
  • pancreatitis
  • liver shunts, and
  • urinary stones

This is why grooming should be taken seriously for this breed. Dental care is important as much as regular vaccinate.

Recommended Health Tests for Miniature Schnauzers:

  • Ophthalmologist Evaluation
  • Cardiac Exam

Miniature Schnauzer Grooming

The Miniature Schnauzer has a double coat with a soft undercoat that requires maintenance.

You should provide frequent brushing, combing, and grooming to look its best.

You can expect low shedding, while some of the dog’s coat can easily be stripped by hand.

The Miniature Schnauzer owners choose to let professional groomers maintain their dog’s coat and nails.

To have the best looking Miniature Schnauzer, you must visit a professional dog groomer once in eight weeks. Any professional assistance should only help with keeping your Miniature Schnauzer without that famous dog smell – if you feel this breed in terms of smell check his body for any sign of infection.

A bath should be performed only when necessary. Dogs have different pH skin values than humans do, and they don’t need frequent baths.

If you have to bath your Miniature Schnauzer think about homemade shampoo. Ears and gums should be checked weekly.

Since the breed has long facial hair, always double-check for skin and if anything is tangled.

The Bottom Line

If you want a dog who sturdy little athlete and loves spending time outdoors being active, the MIniature Schnauzer just might be a dog for you.

This little watchdog is a low shedder and makes an excellent watchdog, although he is usually polite to everyone.

You should also bear in mind that you must provide this breed enough exercise, companionship, and proper socialization sho you could have a well-behaved canine.

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