This breed was first recognized in Germany in early 1910s. They were initially bred for herding, ratting, and guarding fenced dwellings and properties. The original Schnauzer was further bred with smaller dogs such as Affenpinscher and the Miniature Poodles which resulted in the small sized dog known as the Miniature schnauzer and were first exhibited in 1899.
The American Kennel Club first gave them recognition in the year 1926. The original Schnauzer was kept in the working group whereas the Miniature schnauzers were place in the utility group of dog breeds. These dogs have also been part of many dog shows such as the Westminster Kennel Club dog show and even won some prizes. In the year 2008, these dogs were the 11th most popular breed in USA.
Miniature Schnauzer – At a glance
The following list of general and physical characteristics will help you to get familiarized with your Miniature Schnauzer: –
• Breed type: Pure breed (belong to the terrier/ utility group of dog breed). These dogs are registered with the FCI, American Kennel Club, New Zealand Kennel Club, Continental Kennel Club, Kennel Club of Great Britain, National Kennel Club, American Canine Registry, Dog Registry of America, Inc. and others.
• Height: Males have an average height of 14 to 15 inches whereas females have an average height of 13 to 14 inches.
• Weight: Males generally weigh about 11 to 18 pounds whereas females weigh about 10 to 15 pounds at an average.
• Life Span: They have an average life span of 12 to 14 years.
• Available coat colors: The coat is harsh and wiry but can turn soft if proper grooming is done. Available in several coat colors such as Black and Silver, Salt and Pepper, White, Black and others.
Temperament and Personality traits
Miniature schnauzers are extrovert and are full of life. They are highly energetic and are enjoyable and playful the whole day long. They will get along with children, other people and pets very well.
The Miniature schnauzers are caring, loving, intelligent, affectionate, docile and very devoted towards their master and to whom they love.
These dogs do not bark much and will only make a low pitch noise when there is an alarming situation. Hence, these dogs are preferred watch and guard dogs.
Miniature schnauzers will never like to be kept alone and are obviously not good backyard dogs. Sufficient time must be given to them and proper training should be given right from childhood. They can even develop mental diseases and separation anxiety when they are left unattended for a long period of time. They can efficiently perform tasks such as showmanship, tracking, fly ball, obedience and have good dog agility sense.
These dogs are also motion sensitive and would love to chase preys. Many Miniature schnauzers can also attack small pets and cats if they invade his territory. So beware when these creatures are together and always supervise them.
Feeding habits and Nutrition
Feed you Miniature schnauzers with 1 ½ to 1 cup of premium quality dry dog food divided into two equal meals daily. The amount of food to be given to your Miniature schnauzer will depend upon the metabolism, activity level, weight and disease conditions prevailing in your dog in the contemporary period.
Their food should essentially contain meat sources such as lamb or bison and vegetable and fruit sources such as soybean, carrot, blueberry, chickpea and others along with vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin A, Vitamin B Complex, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Riboflavin, DHA, Zinc, Copper, Calcium, Selenium and others.
These dogs generally do not require any additional nutritional dog food supplements until it is recommended by the vet.
Health and Immunization
Your Miniature schnauzer can be affected by various diseases. Some of the common diseases in these dogs include (but not limited to) Cataracts, Entropion, progressive renal atrophy, hyperlipidemia, come done syndrome, Myotonia congenita, Von Willebrand’s disease, Congenital megaesophagus, diabetes, bladder stones, obesity, cancer, osteosarcoma and others.
Miniature schnauzers are also hypersensitive towards various food borne and air borne allergens present in the environment. They are allergic to dust, pollen, dander, sprays, chemicals, bedding etc…
Miniature Schnauzers should be immunized at regular intervals so that they are protected from various diseases caused by dangerous viruses. Some mandatory vaccines for this breed includes: – Parvovirus, Rabies, Distemper, Coronavirus, Hepatitis A and B, Influenza and Parainfluenza vaccines. Inject annual booster shots from experienced vets.
Care and Grooming
The Miniature schnauzers have a double coat. The upper coat is wiry and the under coat is soft. This is the reason why Miniature schnauzers shed minimally (the top coat protects the under coat). Therefore these dogs are perfect house dogs, especially for families who are prone to get allergy due to animal hair. Still, Miniature schnauzers will require brushing with a hard bristle brush at least once in two weeks. You can bathe him with a general dog shampoo that will help to make his coat soft and keep it hygienic. Bathe them at least once a month or if he gets too much dirty.
Professional groomers give a recommended and specific cut for the Miniature schnauzers. Hence, be ready to spend a handsome amount of money to keep their coat in shape. Clipping their hair is often preferred. Cutting sessions could be required once in two months. Do not attempt to cut his hair all by yourself as you can end up creating a mess if you are not accustomed with the grooming process.
Cut his toe nails at least once a month if they do not where it out naturally and brush his teeth at least thrice a week to maintain a good oral hygiene.
You should take your Miniature schnauzers for regular health checkups from an experienced and trusted vet so that if he acquires any disease, it can be cured or prevented at an early stage.
You can adopt or rescue a Miniature Schnauzer according to guidelines set by various organizations that give him recognition (as mentioned above). Make sure you pick up a dog that is not fighting with his litter mates and one whose parents are free from any acute or chronic disease.
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