The cute little mustache gives this breed their signature look, but this dog's not in disguise! More than just a nose cozy, the Miniature Schnauzer's mustache protects her face from the small vermin she was bred to hunt.
Miniature Schnauzers got their start as farm dogs and are natural-born team players; they are sometimes partnered with German Shepherds to protect property and sheep. They also have exceptional hearing and like to howl along with other dogs — so if you're looking for a canine companion who can harmonize on your vocals, this breed might be for you.
Miniature Schnauzers are a popular breed among Americans and celebrities. Martial arts legend Bruce Lee owned one of these bold and bouncy dogs.
The Miniature Schnauzer is originally from Germany, which makes her the only terrier developed off the British Isles. This small-sized and medium-energy breed can grow to between 13-15 pounds and lives an average of 12-14 years. The breed is recognized by the American Kennel Club and classified as a member of the Terrier group.
AKC Recognized: Y
Breed's Original Pastime: Hunting
Breed Group: Terrier
Average Lifespan: 12-14 years
Bark Factor: I love to talk!
AKC RANKING 11
AREA OF ORIGIN Germany
DATE OF ORIGIN 1800s
ORIGINAL FUNCTION ratting
TODAY'S FUNCTION earthdog trials
AVERAGE SIZE OF MALE Height: 12-14 Weight: 13-15
AVERAGE SIZE OF FEMALE Height: 12-14 Weight: 13-15
OTHER NAME zwergschnauzer
Energy level Medium energy
Exercise needs Medium
Playfullness Very playful
Affection level Very affectionate
Friendliness toward other dogs Friendly
Friendliness toward other pets Friendly
Friendliness toward strangers Friendly
Ease of training Moderately easy to train
Watchdog ability High
Protection ability Not very protective
Grooming needs Moderate maintenance
Cold tolerance Medium tolerance
Heat tolerance Medium tolerance
BEHAVIOR & TRAINING
WHAT IS A MINIATURE SCHNAUZER'S PERSONALITY LIKE?
This friendly little fireball is incredibly brave—Miniature Schnauzers are a playful and mischievous breed, and that energy shines through in everything they do. But they're also super lovable and very snuggly. These dogs are wonderful with families and great with kids. And more than anything else in the world, Miniature Schnauzers want to be with their people as much as possible.
WHAT IS MINIATURE SCHNAUZER BEHAVIOR LIKE?
Muscular and rugged, Miniature Schnauzers are an athletic breed. These dogs are enthusiastic about almost everything, and boy, do they let you know. Can we be running? Playing? Maybe howling? This is a very vocal breed. Miniature Schnauzers often make good citizens at the dog park, so consider taking your little buddy out to make some furry friends.
These busy, bold little buddies make great canine companions. And because they're a vigilant breed, they make outstanding watchdogs. But as we mentioned, they're a bit howl-happy. Be sure to discourage excessive barking early and often.
HOW EASY IS IT TO TRAIN A MINIATURE SCHNAUZER?
These small dogs have very big brains. They learn quickly, but those smarts sometimes mean that your Miniature Schnauzer might lose interest in training if it runs too long or becomes too repetitive. They respond well to games and food rewards.
CARE & HEALTH
HOW MUCH DO MINIATURE SCHNAUZERS SHED AND WHAT ARE THEIR GROOMING NEEDS?
A Miniature Schnauzer's double coat is wiry and thick and is designed to slough off dirt. Their long hair needs daily brushing to prevent mats and tangles. If you're planning to show this dog, she'll need professional hand-stripping; otherwise schedule clippings every other month. Miniature Schnauzers are infrequent shedders.
WHAT HEALTH PROBLEMS DO MINIATURE SCHNAUZERS HAVE?
Most Miniature Schnauzers are fairly robust, but eye and heart problems are prevalent in this breed. Others also develop skin issues. Some tend toward pudginess, so be mindful of meals and snacks.
Breed history has moved while this section is under construction. Please check out the first tab for fun facts about this breed's history. You can also read on to learn about this breed's ideal family situation.
ARE MINIATURE SCHNAUZERS GOOD FOR PEOPLE WITH ALLERGIES?
The American Kennel Club lists Miniature Schnauzers among its breeds recommended for allergy sufferers. This breed sheds infrequently and predictably and produces less dander than most dogs.
You can reduce your furry friend's impact on your allergies with frequent baths and brushings to reduce loose hairs and allergy-aggravating proteins in your pet's dander. Use a damp cloth to wipe off your dog after playing outside. Smaller dogs have less surface area, so they produce comparatively less dander than larger breeds — definitely something to keep in mind with a dog as small as a Miniature Schnauzer! Remember that no breed is 100% hypoallergenic, and any breed can aggravate allergies.
WHAT IS A MINIATURE SCHNAUZER'S BEST DAY?
This dog wants room to run, fuzzy critters to chase, and somebody to cuddle with after she's done playing. Most of all, a Miniature Schnauzer's best day involves being with you.
SHOULD I ADOPT A MINIATURE SCHNAUZER?
Miniature Schnauzers are very adaptable and will make for cheerful apartment dogs as long as they get enough exercise. They'll be just as happy to run around in rural environments, though. They're not particular about the weather either — Miniature Schnauzers are equally comfortable in warm and cool climates. They need regular grooming and people who will play and snuggle with them. If you're willing to put in the time for cuddles, combing, and canine caroling, a Miniature Schnauzer would love to be your fun-loving furry friend.
Have you decided that a Miniature Schnauzer is the perfect dog for you? Why not be your new best friend's hero and adopt a rescue! Be sure to check out our article on what to expect when you're adopting a dog or cat.