Apr 19, 2013

Miniature Schnauzer

Mark LOVES Miniature Schnauzers. He loves them like I love Poodles. Ever since I have known him he has wanted to own a Miniature Schnauzer. Part of why he loves the breed so much is because he grew up with one. Animals that we grow up with often imprint themselves into our psyche!

Miniature Schnauzers are coined as being "Smart & Sassy"!

The Miniature Schnauzer is a small breed with a big personality and is ideally suited to the role of family pet. Like all terrier-like dogs, they are sturdy, game little fellows, with great determination and a huge sense of loyalty to their family. They are also a friendly, loving dogs who craves human attention and wants to be a part of the family’s activities. They are extremely handsome dogs; their characteristic bushy beard, moustache and eyebrows convey an air of age and wisdom which isn’t too far-fetched a notion, as the Miniature Schnauzer is a very intelligent dog!

The Schnauzer originated in Germany (just like Poodles!) where it has been known as far back as the 15th century. For centuries, these dogs were kept as herders, guardians, ratters and simply as companions, and eventually developed into three distinct sizes: Giant, Standard and Miniature. The Miniature Schnauzer is the youngest breed of the three, being developed during the late 19th century. In its earliest stages, several small breeds were employed in crosses to bring down the size of the well-established Standard Schnauzer, with the goal of creating a miniature version. Schnauzers were crossed to other breeds, such as the Affenpinscher, Poodle (Yay!) and Miniature Pinscher, resulting eventually in the dog we know and love today as the Miniature Schnauzer.

Some breeds have an air of intelligence – or look intelligent – but the Miniature Schnauzer doesn’t just look intelligent; he is intelligent! Owners will recognise the breed’s qualities of being incredibly alert, lively and mischievous. Miniature Schnauzers thrive on attention and are quick to learn vocal and hand commands. They fit in well with family routines and habits, enjoying being part of the family pack. However, they are equally happy to be a one-person dog and are ideal for all ages, including active people or those of retirement age. They also make excellent guard dogs as they are quick to bark at strangers – or intruders – but do not become aggressive. Again, this makes them ideal as family pets. Like all dogs they need to be socialised with children and other pets from an early age, but they are quick to learn, accepting commands readily. Miniature Schnauzers do very well in obedience and ringcraft.

These dogs are very energetic and can sometimes become bored if not given the attention they crave. Regular exercise and a proper diet are essential to keep your Miniature Schnauzer from becoming bored and possibly destructive. The breed is very adaptable and will be happy in most home environments, including apartments, but regular exercise is essential – they don’t like being cooped up for long periods. Good long walks – or runs – and plenty of games keep the Miniature Schnauzer engaged and fit, which is what they enjoy. And their energetic natures are good for their owners getting exercise, too!

Miniature Schnauzers are very robust, active and sturdy dogs with very few health problems. Miniature Schnauzers remain healthy and active all of their lives, although naturally they begin to slow down a bit as they reach old age. As to longevity, they can live for up to 15 years and are one of the longer-lived dog breeds, which again makes them ideal as family pets.

5 Miniature Schnauzer facts:

The Schnauzer is the only breed known to take its name from one of its kind to win a prize at a show. This was at the International Show in Hanover, Germany in 1879. The winner of the wirehaired Pinscher class was a dog called ‘Schnauzer’, a name that translates literally as ‘small beard’ (which the breed has) and thus the present-day name for the breed came into being.

Miniature Schnauzers have a long lifespan, living for up to 15 years of age, although there have been accounts of some dogs living to the age of 17!

The Miniature Schnauzer has a wiry coat and thus does not moult, which is a plus point if you are houseproud! This also makes the breed ideal for anyone with allergies. All-over grooming with a brush and comb is required at least twice a week. Hand stripping is required for show dogs but clipping is straightforward and easy for a smart family pet, although the body colour does pale as the dog ages. It is necessary for your dog to be properly clipped by an experienced dog groomer every 8 to 12 weeks to keep his coat manageable.

Miniature Schnauzers are very unfussy eaters and thrive on a good, standard dog food diet. They are equally happy with proprietory dog food as they are with natural foods such as meat and fish, and enjoy gnawing on a bone. However, rich and fatty foods should be avoided as some dogs can occasionally suffer from pancreatic problems as a result of over-feeding such foods.

Weight Weight range:
14-18lbs for dogs
11-15 lbs for bitches

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