Also known as the Mini Schnauzer and the Zwergschnauzer, the Miniature Schnauzer is a playful and affectionate breed. But how do you know whether you are ready to purchase a pet and if this breed is right for you? This information is absolutely necessary in making the decision to purchase a pet.
The origin of the Miniature Schnauzer can be traced back to 15th century Germany. Enthusiasts believe these dogs to have been created by breeding the Affenpinscher and Poodle with the Standard Schnauzer, though this has never been proven scientifically or otherwise.
Throughout its history, the Miniature Schnauzer has been most commonly used for ridding stables, ships, and properties of vermin such as rats, mice, and snakes, proving its superior abilities to work happily while providing companionship.
The Miniature Schnauzer has introduced to the United States in the early 1900s, and the American Miniature Schnauzer Club was established in 1933.
Today, while the Miniature Schnauzer has attained an underground popularity as a companion dog, the breed remains somewhat rare outside of Europe and North America.
Best known for its feisty and spunky nature, the Miniature Schnauzer is full of character. This breed thrives on strong and dependable relationships with humans, and requires almost constant attention. These dogs are highly intelligent and generally easy to train. As a pet, the Miniature Schnauzer is obedient, loyal, loving, and affectionate. This breed adapts well to indoor and city living, and views spending time outdoors as a treat.
Due to its need for human attention and eagerness to please its owner, the Miniature Schnauzer generally responds well to basic training and commands. These dogs are very bright and have the ability to learn to perform most any task their trainer is willing to take the time to teach.
Establishing immediate dominance, trust, and respect is key to successfully training the Miniature Schnauzer. This breed responds best to a stern yet gentle approach, positive reinforcement, and reward-based training.
Benefits and Disadvantages of the Breed
There are many benefits to owning a Miniature Schnauzer. This active breed is always on the go, and often quite amusing and entertaining to watch while at play. The Miniature Schnauzer is intelligent, easily trainable, and capable of learning to perform many impressive tricks and tasks. When properly socialized from a young age, the Miniature Schnauzer gets along well with small children and other pets, known for its gentle approach to children. These dogs are very alert and aware of their surroundings, making an effective watch dog, announcing the arrival of guests and unwanted visitors. The Miniature Schnauzer is obedient, loyal, loving, and affectionate, making an excellent family pet and companion alike.
Unfortunately, there are also disadvantages to owning a Miniature Schnauzer. While this breed adapts well to indoor living, they do require large amounts of daily exercise and room to run and play. Anyone wishing to purchase a Miniature Schnauzer lacking the adequate amount of time and space to dedicate to the dog is strongly advised against doing so. A Miniature Schnauzer not receiving the proper amount of exercise and space will often act out by destroying property, chewing, barking, whining, and ignoring basic training such as housebreaking.
The Miniature Schnauzer has a strong instinct to hunt and will occasionally indulge in a good chase. When on the run, these small dogs are surprisingly quick, and may pose a threat to other animals, neighborhood pets, and small woodland creatures. The Miniature Schnauzer must be leashed or properly secured at all times when outdoors.
Like many companion breeds, the Miniature Schnauzer is known to suffer from separation anxiety. Individuals seeking to purchase this breed who travel frequently, have full time work, or are away from the home on a daily basis are advised to begin researching another breed. During an attack or separation anxiety, the Miniature Schnauzer will act out of nervous destruction and may destroy property, chew, bark, whine, and ignore housebreaking training.
This breed’s thick coat requires almost constant attention, daily brushing, bathing, and wiping to prevent staining and tangles, and maintain its attractive appearance.
As previously mentioned, the Miniature Schnauzer remains somewhat rare outside of Europe and North America and can prove difficult to obtain. Individuals wishing to purchase this breed often encounter such challenges as inability to locate a breeder, high prices, and being placed on long waiting lists.
Common Health Concerns
While the Miniature Schnauzer is typically known as a healthy and hearty breed, they do suffer from a few health problems, including: patellar luxation – dislocation of the knee, progressive retinal atrophy, glaucoma, cataracts, skin allergies, von Willebrand’s Disease – a blood clotting disorder, diabetes, cysts, kidney stones, and liver disease.
Now that you know all about the breed, do you think you are ready to own a Miniature Schnauzer? Remember, purchasing a pet is a big decision and should be discussed thoroughly and seriously with your entire family.