Dog Breeds: Miniature Schnauzer: Characteristics & Care

Standing side profile of a Miniature Schnauzer dog

The tiny schnauzer is a little terrier dog breed from Germany with a square form, a bushy beard and eyebrows, and a medium-length coat that sheds little. These small dogs, who were descended from the bigger standard schnauzer, are tough and independent. They are adaptable enough to live in apartments or wander a farm. Additionally, they tend to be highly vigilant and family-focused.

Breed Overview

GROUP: Terrier

HEIGHT: 12 to 14 inches

WEIGHT: 11 to 20 pounds

COAT: Medium-length, wiry double coat

COAT COLOR: Black, black and silver, or salt and pepper

LIFE SPAN: 12 to 15 years

TEMPERAMENT: Friendly, lively, alert


ORIGIN: Germany

Characteristics of the Miniature Schnauzer

Typical characteristics of little schnauzers are intelligence and alertness. They are often fairly noisy and serve as effective watchdogs. Additionally, they often like playing and have very loving attitudes.

Affection Level High
Friendliness Medium
Kid-Friendly High
Pet-Friendly Medium
Exercise Needs Medium
Playfulness Medium
Energy Level Medium
Trainability High
Intelligence High
Tendency to Bark High
Amount of Shedding Low

History of the Miniature Schnauzer

The origins of the common schnauzer may be found in Germany around the 15th century. They were hardy farm dogs who helped with cattle herding, pest control, and other tasks including protecting property. This breed was developed from the gigantic schnauzer specifically for these jobs.

Farmers then desired a smaller dog that could hunt pests in the late 19th century. The poodle and affenpinscher were also used in the development of the tiny schnauzer in addition to the ordinary schnauzer. The little schnauzer, a cross between these two breeds, was friendlier and more willing to please than many other terrier-type dogs.

As a result, the tiny schnauzer gained popularity as a loyal companion dog. Other well-known people who owned little schnauzers include performer Mary Tyler Moore, politicians Elizabeth and Bob Dole, martial artist/actor Bruce Lee, and others. The breed was initially acknowledged by the American Kennel Club in 1926.

Miniature Schnauzer Care

Miniature schnauzers need a moderate amount of exercise each day, and they should receive training and socialization from a young age. Plus, their coat needs regular grooming.


Small-breed schnauzers are active dogs. These tiny dogs need exercise for at least an hour every day, whether it be by walking, jogging, running about freely in a safe space, playing fetch, or another activity. can help stimulate the minds of these intelligent canines. And participating in canine sports might test their physical and mental limits.

When exercising outside, always keep your miniature schnauzer on a leash or in a gated yard. When given the chance, the breed's high predation drive may compel it to swiftly chase for apparent prey.


A wiry topcoat and a velvety undercoat make up the tiny schnauzer's double coat. Although it doesn't shed much, it has to be brushed and trimmed frequently. To get rid of any pet hair that has come free and avoid tangles, brushing is advised once a day. Then, most owners choose to have their dog's coat groomed by a groomer every one to two months, though you may easily learn to do this at home.

Depending on how dirty your dog gets, aim for once a month for a bath. Check your dog's ears at least once every week for anomalies and wax accumulation. Additionally, check to see if it requires a monthly nail cut. Plan to wash its teeth every day as well.


A tiny schnauzer must have proper training and in order to be content and well-adjusted. To stop undesirable behaviors from developing, begin as early as feasible. The breed often picks things up fast, but because of its high level of intellect, it might get bored with monotonous training. As a result, it's crucial to use positive reinforcement techniques to make training sessions enjoyable.

From an early age, try to introduce your dog to a variety of people, pets, and environments. Mini schnauzers are often tolerant of other dogs and strangers. However, because of their hunting drive, they might not be able to live in harmony with smaller domestic pets, such rodents.

Additionally, be warned that this breed may occasionally be rather noisy. Therefore, early bark control efforts are crucial to preventing problem barking.

Common Health Problems

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

  • Hyperlipidemia

Diet and Nutrition

Keep fresh water on hand at all times for your small schnauzer. And feed it a premium, nutritionally sound dog food. Two measured meals each day are customary. To make sure you are addressing the specific needs of the dog, you should talk to your veterinarian about the quantity and kind of diet. To avoid overeating, stay wary of snacks and any excess food.

As miniature schnauzers are prone to having high fat levels (hyperlipidemia), some might need a special diet to help manage their fats. This should always be prescribed by a veterinarian. 

Where to Adopt or Buy a Miniature Schnauzer

Since the tiny schnauzer is a somewhat common breed, it is worthwhile to search regional animal shelters and rescue organizations for a dog in need of a home. Expect to pay between $500 to $2,800 on average for a puppy from a reputable breeder, however prices might vary greatly.

For further information to help you find a miniature schnauzer, check out:

  • American Miniature Schnauzer Club
  • American Miniature Schnauzer Club Rescue Program
  • American Kennel Club Marketplace

Miniature Schnauzer Overview

  • Friendly and affectionate

  • Can get along well with kids

  • Doesn't shed much

  • Can be very vocal

  • Somewhat involved grooming needs

  • High prey drive

More Dog Breeds and Further Research

As with any breed, do plenty of research on the miniature schnauzer before deciding to bring one home. Talk to veterinarians, breed owners, reputable breeders, and rescue groups to learn more.

If you’re interested in similar breeds, check out:

There’s a whole world of potential dog breeds out there—with a little research, you can find the right one to bring home!

  • Are miniature schnauzers good family dogs?

    Well-trained and socialized miniature schnauzers can be excellent family dogs. They are typically tolerant of kids and enjoy family playtime.

  • Are miniature schnauzers good apartment dogs?

    Miniature schnauzers can adapt well to various living situations, including apartments. However, they are prone to barking and might disturb neighbors.

  • What were miniature schnauzers bred for?

    Miniature schnauzers were bred down from the standard schnauzer in the late 19th century to work as ratters on farms. They were also kept as friendly family pets.


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