They don’t have the word “terrier” in their name. They were first bred in Germany rather than more common terrier homelands of England and Scotland. And, in stark contrast to many terriers, they’re actually known for obedience. Still, anyone who has ever lived with a Miniature Schnauzer knows that these spunky pups are terriers through-and-through.
With their bushy beards and prominent eyebrows, Miniature Schnauzers often have a humorously gruff appearance – an effect that is reinforced by their tendency to bark and put on a confident air. In fact, with their families, Minis are very affectionate, playful, and loyal dogs. They also have tons of energy, making them less than a perfect match for some people.
Like other terriers, Mini Schnauzers have the confidence of a dog many times their size. However, unlike other terriers, they tend to be less confrontational with other dogs and have an easier time on walks and at dog parks. They’re also more attentive toward their people, and perhaps less gregarious with strangers. Some Minis form a strong bond with one person, and may become overprotective.
Health Problems & Life Expectancy
The life span of a Mini is usually somewhere around 12-15 years. However, with luck and proper care, they can easily live beyond the upper end of that range. The Mini is hearty and naturally athletic, without a lot of health problems endemic to other breeds. One serious (though thankfully rare) problem the breed is susceptible to is Canine Juvenile Renal Disease.
Miniature Schnauzers come in four different looks: black, white, salt-and-pepper, and black-and-silver. With the purebred dog being so popular, it’s no surprise that there are also many half- and part-Schnauzers out there. Many of these dogs are deliberately bred as hybrids to combine desirable aspects of different breeds (just as the Mini was originally bred from the Standard Schnauzer and other, smaller breeds).
White Miniature Schnauzers
There’s some controversy over whether a white Miniature Schnauzer is a true Mini, or the result of genes being introduced from outside the breed. Some people have also argued that white Minis are actually albinos. However, both of these claims seem to be false, and in any case matter little to the many people who own these dogs as pets.
Owning a Miniature Schnauzer
Thanks to its handsome looks and people-pleasing personality, the Mini Schnauzer is one of the most popular dog breeds in the world. They’re equally happy sitting in your lap or running by your side. However, they’re not perfect pets – and they’re definitely not suited to everyone. Here are a few important facts to consider before getting a Mini:
Energy Level. Miniature Schnauzers range from energetic to flat-out hyper. Younger dogs in particular need lots of exercise to keep that energy from being expressed in destructive ways.
Shedding. Great news for people with dog allergies. Healthy Minis shed very little (though it’s not quite correct to say they don’t shed at all). The breed is generally classified as hypoallergenic.
Barking. Minis are very vocal, barking not only when they’re agitated, but when they’re happy (such as when their owner returns). This makes them effective watchdogs, but they can also be extremely annoying.
If you’re interested in buying a Mini Schnauzer, you can find reputable breeders in every part of the country. You can also find plenty of irresponsible people attempting to sell this popular breed. Be sure to do your research and support someone who takes proper care of the dogs and will sell you a healthy animal.
Another great choice is to adopt a Mini Schnauzer. Sadly, a lot of people underestimate how much exercise and attention these dogs require. As a result, a lot of Minis wind up at shelters and rescue operations.