The Miniature Schnauzer is a robust, sturdily built terrier of nearly square proportion. Historically, they were developed to protect the home and farm from rodents and they are often quick and tough. Their gait displays good reach and drive. The Miniature Schnauzer’s coat is double, with a close undercoat, and hard, wiry, outer coat which is longer on their legs, muzzle, and eyebrows. Their facial furnishings add to their keen expression.
The smallest and most popular of the Schnauzers, the Miniature Schnauzer originated in the late 1800s as a small farm dog in Germany. In fact, the Miniature Schnauzer is the only terrier not originating from European Isle breeds. The breed began by mixing the Standard Schnauzer with the Affenpinscher (and possibly Poodle) to produce a smaller dog more adept at protecting the home and farm from rodents.
All the Schnauzers get their name from one individual dog named Schnauzer who lived around 1879—an apt name, since Schnauzer means small beard. The first recorded Miniature Schnauzer was in 1888. The Miniature Schnauzer was recognized as a breed distinct from the Standard Schnauzer by 1899 in Germany. The AKC recognized the Miniature (once called Wirehaired Pinscher) in 1926. Most Miniature Schnauzers today trace back to a single dog named Dorem Display, born in 1945. The Miniature Schnauzer is the only Schnauzer to remain in the Terrier Group in America.
In England they join the other Schnauzers in the Utility Group. The Miniature Schnauzer came to America long after their Standard and Giant counterparts, but in the years after World War II, they far outpaced them in popularity, eventually rising to become the third most popular breed in America at one time. The Miniature Schnauzer remains as a perennial favorite, a smart looking and alert family pet.
The Miniature Schnauzer deserves their place as one of the most popular terrier pets. They are often playful, inquisitive, alert, spunky, and companionable. They are a well-mannered dog that also enjoys being in the middle of activities. They tend to be less domineering than the larger Schnauzers and may get along with other dogs more than most terriers. They are also better with other animals than most terriers, although they may gladly give chase. The Miniature Schnauzer is clever and can be stubborn, but they are generally biddable. They often enjoy children and some may bark a lot.
This energetic breed can often have their exercise requirements met with a moderate walk on leash or a good game in the yard. Their wire coat needs combing once or twice weekly, plus professional grooming every couple of months. Clipping can soften the coat texture.