What I Need to Know About Miniature Schnauzers

Miniature schnauzers are often brimming with zest.
i Duncan Smith/Photodisc/Getty Images

Miniature schnauzers are cute and furry, but committing to a new pet goes far beyond the approval of physical appearance. If you're mulling over possibly having one of these jolly terriers in your residence, be sure to closely acquaint yourself with the breed, which has roots in Germany.

Physical Appearance

When miniature schnauzers reach adulthood, they're usually between 12 and 14 inches in height, from their shoulders, regardless of sex. Adult miniature schnauzers are slight dogs, generally weighing 13 to 15 pounds. They're equipped with double coats, which are dense and smooth on the inside and tough on the top. Their fur appears in numerous color schemes, which are silver and black, black and white and pure black. Miniature schnauzers have thick mustaches, one of their most distinctive and unforgettable physical features.


These German canines got their start at the end of the 19th century, when they were bred to work on farms. Their primary duties involved retrieving pests, including rats, in true terrier fashion. The breed's background consists of affenpinscher, miniature pinscher and standard schnauzer heritage, and might even include a little poodle ancestry. In Germany, miniature schnauzers were considered by some to be their own individual breed, different from their standard-sized kin, in 1899. Modern miniature schnauzers often retain lots of their work ethic from years past, and as a result frequently run after the small rodents they encounter.


Miniature schnauzers are often thought of as being pleasant and bright dogs, usually a pleasure to train. They are often considered to be curious, courageous, spirited, friendly and watchful animals who bond tightly to the humans in their lives. Many of them adore the company of children, too. As far as interactions with fellow pets go, miniature schnauzers aren't usually as truculent as other varieties of terriers, although they occasionally pursue them, whether birds or cats. With youthful introductions and the right socialization, however, miniature schnauzers often can live in the same homes as other animals harmoniously and successfully. Wee pet rodents might be problematic due to miniature schnauzer's intense "ratting" pasts.

Physical Fitness

Miniature schnauzers are capable of living comfortably and happily in a wide range of spaces, from spacious rural residences to tiny urban condominiums. Regular and plentiful exercise is important for the breed -- think outdoor fetch or walks around the park. A minimum of two daily fitness sessions are necessary to keep miniature schnauzers content and in optimal condition.

Coat Care

Miniature schnauzers don't shed much, but still need regular maintenance to keep their fur looking and feeling great. Aim to give your miniature schnauzer three combing or brushing sessions weekly. By doing this, you can halt the emergence of unsightly and uncomfortable knotting of the fur. Routine professional trimming at the grooming salon is also a smart idea.


If you give your miniature schnauzer plenty of love, attention and care, his average life span is between 12 and 14 years. Make sure to take care of all of his nutritional, fitness and veterinary requirements. Note that miniature schnauzers are prone to various medical ailments, including the skin condition follicular dermatitis and the eye issues progressive retinal atrophy and cataracts.

the nest