The Miniature Schnauzer is an incredibly distinctive breed and one of the most recognizable on the planet. One glance, and you know this dog has some serious personality. Miniature Schnauzers stand proud, hearty, and robust, tracing their history back as far as Germany’s fifteenth century.
At heart, Miniature Schnauzers are intelligent and affectionate little dogs and attack life with all the vim and vigor they can muster. Should you be the proud parent of a Miniature Schnauzer, your days will be a continuous round of fun and laughter.
Everything You Need To Know About The Miniature Schnauzer:
1. Size Of Dog
The Miniature Schnauzer may be small, but he will do well in an apartment, house, or farm. He has a lot of energy for exploring.
The Miniature Schnauzer is only 12 – 14 inches in height and weighs 5.4 – 9.1 kg, depending on height and gender. Males tend to be a little taller and heavier than their female counterparts.
2. Exercise Requirements
Miniature Schnauzers have a medium energy level. Daily walks will help them to maintain both physical and mental health. They will adapt to living in a city or out in the country but having a fenced yard is preferred to have room to run around and play. They love a good game of chase the ball with their human companions.
If they are not in a fenced area, Miniature Schnauzers should be kept on a leash. They have a strong prey drive and will need to be leashed, so that they do not chase small animals.
3. Feeding Your Miniature Schnauzer
Make sure to feed your pet nutritious and age-appropriate food. Find something rich in minerals, nutrients, and essential vitamins. Miniature Schnauzers have different dietary requirements at different ages. Because they are prone to some health problems, it is vital to pay attention to their needs.
- Puppies – As a puppy, he needs a minimum of 22% protein and 8% fat. The protein will help to support muscle growth. You want the fat content low, so that your dog does not grow too quickly.
- Adults – After your puppy grows and reaches his full size, feed him an adult recipe rich in animal protein with a moderate amount of fat.
- Seniors – Metabolism slows down at this point, so you will want to choose food made for small breeds and feed smaller amounts. It is important to prevent obesity to keep him in tip-top shape.
Commercial treats are ok but are akin to potato chips for humans. They may taste great, but they won’t have a lot of nutritional content.
Here are some appropriate training treats for a Miniature Schnauzer:
- Hot dogs (cut into tiny pieces)
- Liver treats
- Unbuttered popcorn
Treats are great training tools but be aware of the sodium content. Dogs do not do well with high amounts of sodium and can become dehydrated quite quickly. You also want to make sure your dog is not consuming too many calories. Becoming obese is especially dangerous for smaller dogs like the Miniature Schnauzer.
Miniature Schnauzers are alert and spirited, but they also love to please. They are obedient, friendly, intelligent, and calm in demeanor. Miniature Schnauzers are not aggressive dogs.
Unlike other terriers, they are not burrowing animals. They are excellent at catching rats, but they were not innately wired to burrow and hunt. This makes the Miniature Schnauzer less aggressive than other breeds of terrier.
As much as they have a lot of energy for play, Miniature Schnauzers also need their downtime. They love a quiet afternoon of snuggling as much as they love going out to play. They need a good balance of both.
6. Your Miniature Schnauzer With Other Pets
Miniature Schnauzers are generally good with other breeds of dogs. They may be a little standoffish with larger dogs and bossy with smaller ones. But, if socialized from an early age, the Miniature Schnauzer should get along with other dogs.
Miniature Schnauzers are not great with strangers. If you bring a new pet into the home, take the time for proper introductions and training.
7. Training Your Miniature Schnauzer
Miniature Schnauzers are pretty easy to house train. Be consistent and work with him while he is young, so he knows where he is to go to the bathroom.
Basic obedience commands can also be taught. Use treats to teach him to sit, stay, and come. Make sure to teach commands in short periods, so he does not become bored with the lessons.
Miniature Schnauzers are easily distracted, so make sure to do your training in an area free of outside stimulus. This is especially important when you are teaching him to come. Start indoors, so he does not get distracted and dart off on you. Once he is comfortable indoors, try using the command outside in a fenced yard. This is to keep him safe, so he does not get lost or injured.
The double coat of a Miniature Schnauzer consists of a wiry topcoat and a soft undercoat. He will require frequent brushing and combing to keep looking handsome and dapper. This breed does not shed a lot. Many owners have their Miniature Schnauzers taken care of by a professional groomer who will clip their coat to keep it looking tidy.
About once a month, you should bathe him. His nails should be trimmed monthly or as needed, and check his ears every week for debris or an abundance of wax. They can be cleaned as needed.
9. Socializing Your Miniature Schnauzer
This breed does not particularly like strangers, so the more you can socialize him from a young age, the better. Introduce him to other people, new surroundings, and other animals. It is a good idea to keep him on a leash when introducing him to new dogs. Do not keep too tight of a leash, though, or he may feel trapped.
Miniature Schnauzers may also get along with cats if they are introduced at a young age. Just introduce them slowly and in a controlled environment.
Your Miniature Schnauzer may get along with other species as well. If you have birds, a rabbit, or guinea pigs, they should be able to live in the same house as a Miniature Schnauzer. That being said, it is not a good idea to allow interaction without human supervision. Most dogs have a hunting instinct, so it is impossible to predict what may happen if left to their own devices.
In A Nutshell
A Miniature Schnauzer makes a great companion. He is very family-oriented and loves to play. He also makes an excellent watchdog – he is sure to announce guests’ arrival at the home.
Stephanie was born and raised in Saskatchewan and currently lives in Alberta, Canada. She started her career as a school teacher twenty years ago and has taught English Language Arts to students in grades three through twelve. She is currently exploring her love of writing and exploring topics she is interested in while also learning more in her field of expertise. She is passionate about lifelong learning.