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Miniature Schnauzer

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Life span: 12-14 Years

Height: 10 – 12 inches

Weight: 10 – 20 lbs.

Being of the Schnauzer type, the Miniature Schnauzer is a small breed that originated in the 1800’s in Germany. As with the Standard Schnauzer, the Miniature Schnauzer has a long-hanging beard and bushy eyebrows which are accented by its large brown eyes. The breed has a coat that comes in three different color schemes – salt and pepper, black and silver, and solid black.

This loving breed is affectionate with its family, but wary with strangers. They are loud pets that will not hesitate to warn you when someone is near their territory, making them great watchdogs. They are never aggressive and enjoy being the center of attention at all times.

Physical Characteristics

Their ears are small and fold down, and their tail is small as well and remains erect, curving at the end. The eyes are brown with a black nose. Their double coat is made up of a soft and dense undercoat, with a long and wiry coat. Their hair is longer on their face, paws, chest, and eyebrows. Coat colors include black, grey and light grey.

History

Originally known as the Wirehaired Pinscher, this breed  is yet to be removed from the small Terrier group, even though they are more fitting for the Standard Schnauzer in the utility group. They were meant to be ratters, hunting rats and vermin, but are now known mostly as a companion. Unlike most breeds, this breed’s popularity increased instead of decreasing after WWI. They were brought into the United States in 1924, where it became highly popular, leading to its acceptance into the American Kennel Club in 1926.  

Personality

This happy breed is extremely intelligent and loving with its family. They get along well with children and are tolerant with them. However, they are wary of strangers and if they sense anyone within their territory will not stop barking until they are properly introduced. They enjoy being the center of attention at all times. Although they get along well with large pets, they are not fit to be around smaller pets due to its nature.

Health

This breed may suffer from many diseases, including:

  • Cataracts, in which the lens of the eye clouds, causing partial or complete loss of vision.
  • Entropion, which affects both lower eyelids, is an inward rolling of the eyelid and is treated through various surgeries to prevent ectropion (a rolling out of the eyelid).
  • Megaesophagus, which is a defect in the esophagus that results in the regurgitation of the dog’s undigested food.
  • Myotonia Congenita, which is similar to muscular atrophy, is a disease in which the muscles contract easily and the thigh and shoulder muscles are prominent. Symptoms begin when they are only a few weeks old and include hair stiffness, difficulty getting up and “bunny hopping” when running.  
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA), in which the dogs may become night blind at first and progressively lose their day eyesight as well.
  • Urinary Stones, which can either pass on their own or need treatment. Symptoms include difficulty urinating, blood in urine, bad smelling urine and constant urination.
  • Von Willebrand’s Disease, which is a blood disease that affects the clotting process, its symptoms can be nosebleeds, prolonged bleeding from surgery, occasional blood in stools, etc.

Care

They should be brushed daily, bathed monthly and have their hair trimmed every two months. Their nails should be trimmed regularly, as well as their teeth brushed and ears checked for any dirt to prevent infections. They are moderately active and therefore need daily exercise, preferably in the form of activities with their owners, and a fenced yard where they can play freely. Training should be easy, given that they are extremely intelligent and love to please their owners. Early socialization is a must for this breed.

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