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Miniature Schnauzer: The Ultimate Guide

By Kerry
Updated on

The Miniature Schnauzer is a tough, muscular, and fearless dog that is well-known for its serious facial expressions and grumpy appearance. Although, this is far from how these dogs would be described personality-wise, as they are both bright and friendly and super affectionate when it comes to their families.

When you are bringing a new dog into your home, it is really important to do your research and find out as much about the breed as possible. This will help you to figure out if this is the right breed of dog for you, but it will also help to prepare you for a future of caring for and living with them.

Miniature schnauzer

Thankfully, we are here to help you with all the information you need about the Miniature Schnauzer in this article. We have created the ultimate guide to the breed, so you can find out everything you need to know, all in one place. Just keep reading to find out more about these wonderful dogs.

Miniature Schnauzer Key Facts

There are so many things that you will need to know about the Miniature Schnauzer if you are considering this breed, but we are going to start with a few key facts about them that are handy to know.

Average Lifespan

On average, the lifespan of a Miniature Schnauzer is between 12 and 15 years. 

Minimum Exercise (Per Day)

Well, the amount of daily exercise needed for a Miniature Schnauzer is around 60 minutes, about 10 minutes less than their bigger brothers and sisters. Although take into consideration that not all Miniature Schnauzers are of the same weight or age, which can affect their exercise needs.

The Schnauzer’s ancestry means they like to be constantly on the go. Spending multiple decades strolling through farms has developed them into a very active breed. That’s why they may have moments of madness in your home environment. 

Besides ensuring they get the right amount of exercise daily, try to make sure they get plenty of mental stimulation by playing plenty of games and providing opportunities for them to learn.

Coat Length

Miniature Schnauzers are known for their longer coats. Interestingly, their coats can actually come in 3 different types, which are wire haired, super coat, and mega coat. 

The wire coats are usually the standard coat for Schnauzers, but over the years, breeders have found out that if they are careful with their breeding, it is possible to achieve a softer coat too. Super coats can also be achieved too, which are silkier and finer than the wire coats.

Minimum Cost (Per Month)

You can expect to pay at least $70 a month on caring for your Miniature Schnauzer when it comes to paying for things like food, insurance, essential items, treats, and more. You will need to carefully consider this breed’s ongoing costs before bringing one home with you.

Miniature Schnauzer Appearance

Miniature Schnauzers will usually have square bodies with wiry coats, and their rectangular heads are adored with bushy eyebrows. They have walrus-like mustaches and luxuriant bears, and their ears are often cropped to stand erect.

Miniature Schnauzers have a blunt snout and black nose, and the width of the head narrows slightly between the eyes and the ears. You will probably first notice their small and deep-set brown eyes. These dogs have a dark brown eye color, and their eyes are oval-shaped.


Miniature Schnauzers are a small dog breed.

Average Height

The Miniature Schnauzer will usually stand between 12 to 14 inches tall at the shoulder.

Average Weight

These dogs can range in their weight from anywhere between 11 and 20 pounds.


The Miniature Schnauzer is a breed that is full of life, and they are energetic extroverts that just love to be in the middle of family action. They might even run up and tackle you when you are sitting down to get your attention.

These dogs like to touch you and be near you pretty much all the time, no matter what you are doing. For this reason, it is likely that they will follow you around the house and sleep at your feet.

Due to the fact that the Miniature Schnauzer is a terrier, they can also be completely full of themselves. They can be feisty at times, and they love to keep themselves entertained.

These are neither aloof nor independent dogs, and they need to be in the company of people for much of the day, especially in close contact.

They are also very intelligent, which makes training them really easy, but it will also mean that they are masters of manipulation when they want to be.

This, in combination with their epic stubbornness, will keep you on your toes and can present certain challenges at times. With that being said, they are not as feisty as some other terriers, and they certainly aren’t as aggressive.

Just like with any other breed of dog, it is really important that you socialize your Miniature Schnauzer from a young age. This is when you expose them to as many different people, sights, sounds, dogs, and experiences as possible while they are still puppies.

Socialization will help ensure that your Miniature Schnauzer puppy grows into a well-rounded dog.

Apartment Living

Pretty much all Schnauzer breeds can be good dogs for living in apartments due to their overall temperaments. Miniature Schnauzers are usually the best fit for apartment living, as long as you still provide them with sufficient daily exercise.

Good for Novice Owners

These dogs are very loving and affectionate, which makes them fit into most households well, but they do aso have stubborn tendencies that can be difficult for first-time dog owners to handle.

They can sometimes get an attitude and refuse to do anything that they don’t want to do, which may require someone with some dog training experience to handle.

Sensivity Level

Miniature Schnauzers can be very sensitive when it comes to the mood of those that are around them. They will pick up on when you are feeling down, and they might even try to cheer you up.

This is one of the reasons these dogs are a great choice for an emotional support dog, as they can help uplift their owner’s spirit and mood. 

Tolerates Being Alone

Miniature Schnauzers can be very hit and miss when it comes to being left alone. Some won’t mind being left alone for the entire working day, but others should not be left alone for more than a few hours at a time.

These dogs are known for loving company, so they might not always react well to being left alone for too long.

Tolerates Cold Weather

Miniature Schnauzers can handle temperatures as low as 32 degrees Fahrenheit. But they do not tolerate extremely cold temperatures well.

They have a double coat and were originally bred to work on cold German farms, so they have inherited a good tolerance for colder temperatures. However, they will still need protection from frostbite and hypothermia.

Tolerates Hot Weather

Miniature Schnauzers Are also able to tolerate hot weather moderately well. Their double coat, paws, and nose help them regulate their body temperature, helping keep them cool in warmer weather.

Affectionate With Family

Miniature Schnauzers are one of the most affectionate dogs that you will find, and they just love to cuddle up next to you and follow you wherever you go. Most of their downtime will be spent quietly relaxing with you, and they are at their happiest when they are in your company.


The Miniature Schnauzer is a breed of dog that loves to be in the company of others, including children. This is especially true if they are raised with children, as they will play with them and protect them.

This companionship is often encouraged, as they can help each other to burn off some steam. Overall, children and Miniature Schnauzers are a great combination.

Dog Friendly

A Miniature Schnauzer will usually get along with and play well with other dogs, and they typically are not aggressive toward other dogs, whereas many other terriers are. They are generally brave and fearless around large dogs, but this trait can sometimes get them into trouble.

However, smaller mammals like rats and gerbils are not the best companions for Miniature Schnauzers, as it is in their nature to hunt and kill such animals. There is no amount of training that can change this, as it is what they were originally bred for.

Friendly Toward Strangers

Miniature Schnauzers are very protective of their family, especially around strangers. This is why it is important to let your dog know that people are welcome in your home. Otherwise, they can become a bit hostile and protective in their behavior when there are strangers around. Early socialization with new people can help with this.

Health And Grooming

Miniature schnauzer

Now that you know everything you need to know about the temperament and personality of the Miniature Schnauzer, it is important to learn more about their health traits and grooming requirements. 


The Miniature Schnauzer is a low-shedding breed, which is great for those that suffer from allergies. They have a double coat with a wiry topcoat and a soft undercoat, which will require frequent brushing, combing, and grooming to keep it looking its best. Even though this breed sheds very little, they do tend to shed more in the winter and summer to prepare for the change in weather.


Miniature Schnauzers do not drool much at all. So, if you notice that your dog is drooling excessively, it could be a sign that they have an underlying health condition. You should consider taking them to see a vet, just to be on the safe side.


Miniature Schnauzers will need to be groomed around every 5 to 8 weeks to ensure that they are looking their best. Most people will take their dogs to professional groomers to do this to save some trouble. However, you can learn to do it yourself over time.

The Miniature Schnauzer will require their coat to be brushed out around 2 or 3 times a week so it doesn’t get matted. This is especially important around the longer hair on the face and legs. You will also need to check the armpits, as this is in an area where mats are more likely to form. It is also beneficial to wash their beard after they eat.

Miniature Schnauzers that are going to be shown will usually have their coats hand-stripped, which is a process of removing dead hair. This is something that is time consuming and should not be attempted by those with little or no experience in doing so.

You will need to brush your Miniature Schnauzer’s teeth every day in order to remove a buildup of tartar and bacteria. This will also help to prevent things like bad breath and gum disease. You will also need to trim their nails once or twice a month if they are not being worn down naturally to prevent painful tears and other problems. If you hear their nails clicking on the floor, they are probably too long.

Finally, their ears should be checked on a weekly basis for things like redness or a bad odor, which can be signs of an infection. When you are checking the ears, you should wipe them out with a cotton ball and ear cleaner.

General Health

Generally, these are really healthy dogs, but there are some health conditions that they are predisposed to.

Common Health Problems

Some of the most common health problems for Miniature Schnauzers to develop are:

  • Entropion
  • Cataracts
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy
  • Urinary Stones
  • Myotonia Congenita
  • Von Willebrand’s Disease
  • Congenital Megaesophagus

Potential For Weight Gain

This breed is more likely than others to put on weight, which you will need to keep an eye on.

Miniature Schnauzer Trainability

Miniature Schnauzers are typically easy to train, but their intelligence, high energy levels, and natural prey instincts can sometimes become challenging.

They can also be quite stubborn at times, especially if there are distractions, which is why they typically benefit from early training and socialization and positive reward-based training.


These dogs are very intelligent, which can come in handy in their training. They tend to pick up new commands and tricks quickly.

Potential to Bite

It is not typically in the nature of these dogs to bite or be aggressive towards people.

Tendency To Bark Or Howl

Miniature Schnauzers will only usually bark and howl if they see/hear something out of the ordinary or feel threatened.


The Miniature Schnauzer was originally bred to be a ratter or guard dog on farms, and they were developed in the mid-to-late 19th century. They originally come from Germany, and were created through crossing the Standard Schnauzer with smaller breeds.

Some of the breeds used in the Miniature Schnauzer’s development were Miniature Pinscher, Affenpinscher, and perhaps the Poodle or Pomeranian.

In Germany, these dogs are known as the Zwergschnauzer, and the word zwerg actually means dwarf. There are not currently any records on how the Miniature Schnauzer was developed, but it is clear that they had intended to create a smaller version of the well-established Standard Schnauzer.

The earliest record of a Miniature Schnauzer was a black female that was called Findel, born in October 1888. 

The first breed club was later formed in Cologne in Germany, but this club actually accepted lots of different types of dogs. The Two World Wars were very hard on dog breeding, especially in Europe, and some breeds were almost lost forever.

However, the interest in the Miniature Schnauzer breed only got bigger after the Second World War, and they are just as popular today.

One thing that has changed since these dogs were first created is the preferred colors. They used to come in all different colors and sizes, with red, black and tan, yellow, or parti-color coats.

Today, different shades of black and silver are much more common. Interestingly, after attitudes towards ear cropping are currently changing with the times, the appearance of the miniature Schnauzer might just change again.

Something else that is interesting to learn is that even though the Miniature Schnauzer is considered a Terrier by the American Kennel Club, the Standard Schnauzer is classified as a working group member.


On average, most Mini Schnauzer puppies sold from reputable breeders will cost between $500 and $2700.

Miniature Schnauzer Fun Facts

  • The Schnauzer breed comes in 3 different sizes, which are Miniature, Toy, and Standard
  • The Miniature Schnauzer is the most popular of all the Schnauzer breeds
  • This breed used to be called Wirehaired Pinschers
  • Their whiskers matted to protect them from being scratched by small animals while hunting
  • These dogs have excellent hearing, and they can hear frequencies that are two times higher than people can and at four times the distance

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About the author


Kerry White is an avid dog lover and writer, knowing all there is to know about our furry friends. Kerry has been writing for PetDT for three years now, wanting to use her knowledge for good and share everything she can with new dog owners.Kerry has two dogs herself - a German shepherd called Banjo and a chocolate labrador called Buttons. Kerry knows more than anyone how adjusting to new life with a puppy can turn your life upside down, and she wants to ease some of the burdens through her articles.