These dogs were bred at the end of the 19th century in Germany, by crossing the Standard Schnauzer with representatives of smaller breeds, such as the Miniature Pinscher, Affenpinscher, and probably Poodle or Spitz.
In Germany, this breed is known as Zwergschnauzer (“zwerg” means “dwarf”). There is no detailed information about exactly how the work on creating the Miniature Schnauzer breed started but the goal was obviously to breed a smaller version of the Standard Schnauzer. They were mainly kept on farms as excellent rat hunters, watchmen, and companions.
The first documented Miniature Schnauzer was a black female named Findel, who was born in October 1888. In 1895 in Germany, Cologne, enthusiastic breeders created the world’s first club for this breed. A serious blow to the population was dealt during the First World War, however, after there was a significant increase again.
During the Second World War, many breeds in Europe were practically destroyed, and the Miniature Schnauzer also did not escape this sad fate. It was only through the great efforts of enthusiasts that these dogs were saved.
However, the almost extinction still left its scars. Today we don’t have as many shades of these dogs as there were in the beginning. Shades of ash and black dominate now, while at the beginning of the 20th century, you could still find a Miniature Schnauzer in almost any color.
These are small dogs with a proportional and athletic build. The chest is pronounced. Their muzzle is square, with a beard and mustache. Limbs are of medium length, and the ears and tail are usually docked.
The Miniature Schnauzer is, in fact, a miniature version of the German Standard Schnauzer, which is widely known throughout the world. Despite its small size, it is a very lively and courageous dog that can be a bully and bark even at large dogs.
In the circle of his family, this dog shows great love and affection and can be a wonderful companion to a person of any age. He is very attached to his family and does not tolerate being separated for long. You can still leave him alone for a while, though. But not for too long, and not daily, as this breed needs communication, company, and human contact.
The Miniature Schnauzer can be a bit stubborn but is highly trainable if the owner knows how to approach the animal. Do not use aggression, as this will cause the dog to become reserved and cause harm to his character.
The Miniature Schnauzer is good with children, and although it is not suitable for the role of a nanny, nevertheless, he will always be happy to play with your child, go for a walk with him, and generally have a good time together. At the same time, remember that if a child is under five years old, it is better to not leave him alone with a dog, since children at this age still do not understand how to behave in the presence of an animal.
They have a fairly high energy level, love to play, spend time with his people, and sometimes even more than with other dogs. He needs daily walks but he may as well spend most of his day at home, although, accept the fact that your pet will try to participate in whatever you’re doing. If he does not receive attention for a long time, and there are no activities, he gets bored and becomes unhappy.
The Miniature Schnauzer (Zwergschnauzer) lends itself well to training and generally enjoys the learning process. Due to their high intelligence, they can be taught a wide variety of commands, in addition, they can participate in competitions at dog shows, obedience, and agility.
Usually, there are no problems during the training process but you need to always keep a positive attitude, have a lot of patience, and treat your pet with kindness. Rudeness and violence are unacceptable. Better, get a good sense of humor and pockets full of treats so that your four-legged friend will enjoy the process.
The Miniature Schnauzer has long hair and a beard, which some owners trim, while others leave it as is.
There are different opinions on this, and this is purely a matter of taste. But in any case, you will need to brush your pet at least two to three times a week and bathe at least once a week.
Nails should be trimmed three times a month, and ears cleaned 2 – 3 times a week. Eyes should be cleaned daily.
Also, additional cleaning of the coat after a walk may be required (if you decide to not trim your dog’s coat). The breed can tolerate both cold and heat. With a lack of activity, they tend to become overweight.
The Miniature Schnauzer can have some diseases, among them:
- Progressive retinal atrophy;
- Bladder stones;
- Myotonia congenita;
- Von Willebrand disease;
- Congenital megaesophagus.