About Miniature Schnauzers
bold, alert, loyal
Lifespan: 12 - 16 years
Recommended for: school age children, energetic people
Maintenance: medium to high
Dumpage Rate: low
The Schnauzer originated in Germany (Bavaria), where the standard
and giant breeds were used for herding cattle and as guard dogs.
The word 'Schnauze' in German means muzzle. Records of Schnauzer-type
dogs date back to the 16th century and the breed is thought to
have Poodle, Pinscher and Spitz ancestry. Standards arrived in
Australia in 1934, miniatures in 1962 and giants in the 1970's.
Schnauzers come in three sizes - miniature, standard and giant.
They have a robust, almost square shape. The eyebrows are prominent
and it has generous whiskers and a moustache. The miniature will
reach 33-36cm (13-14") in height and weigh around 7kg (15lb).
Standards are around 45-47cm (18-19") and 13-18kg (30-40 lb).
Giants reach about 56-69 cm (25-27") tall and weigh 36-50kg (80-110
lb). There are three coat colours: salt and pepper (probably the
most common); solid black (most giants are black); and black and
Because they are bold and alert, Schnauzers are considered to
be good watchdogs. Most owners say they are good with children
but can be wary of strangers. Although there have been reports
of some Schnauzers being aggressive, overall the temperament of
the breed is good.
Overall, Schnauzers are a robust breed, but there are some problems.
They are sometimes born with heart defects so when buying a puppy,
make sure it has been checked thoroughly by a veterinary surgeon
and that the parents are free from heart defects. On occasion,
some inherited disorders may be seen in the Schnauzer, including
cataracts, bladder stones and hip dysplasia. Most breeders are
aware of these potential problems and take action to avoid using
afflicted dogs in breeding programmes.
Miniatures and standards will live for 14-16 years, while giants
average 12 years.
Depending on the size, Schnauzers cost between $7 and $15 to feed
Average litter sizes vary from around 3 to 6 for the mini to 3
to 12 for the giant.
Most owners describe Schnauzers as clean, friendly, family dogs
which are quickly house trained. They make a very good child's
pet but need to be socialised with children while still young.
exercise Standards and giants need a backyard but many miniatures
are kept in units. A yard is preferable however and all Schnauzers
enjoy regular walks.
Schnauzers can be quite dominant if they are allowed to get away
with it. They require owners who are committed to training them
in obedience. Potential owners are best to choose a breed according
to the size and energy level that they are able to accommodate.
Miniature Schnauzers were originally bred to be proficient ratters
and tend to chase small animals if they get the chance. They do
best when kept as the only pet in the house.
Exhibition Schnauzers have their coats 'stripped' six to eight
weeks before a show. Stripping is a time-consuming process which
involves plucking the hair out by hand, usually three or four
sessions of around an hour over a few weeks. This means the coat
should regrow neatly in time for the show. Pet Schnauzers are
usually clipped approximately every eight weeks by their owners
or trimmed professionally for $30 $50 per visit. They do not moult.
Always keep the head well groomed and trim around the eyes to
prevent matting and eye problems.
Schnauzers are described by their owners as 'quick learners' but
are easily bored. They have a reputation for ability in obedience
and agility work.
In Australia, Schnauzers are considered good companions and watchdogs.
All three sizes are increasingly used as pets for therapy. Overseas,
giant Schnauzers are used for guard and rescue duties.
In 1999 the Miniature Schnauzer was ranked in 22nd in popularity
from 180 breeds by the Australian National Kennel Council.
For planned litter enquiries please call our office
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