Just like the name suggests, this is the smallest of the three Schnauzer breeds. These stocky little dogs are only 14 inches tall, but don’t let their appearance fool you. This small breed is quite active and has an outgoing nature.
The Schnauzers were originally bred as farm dogs and ratters. Although they are not aggressive, Miniature Schnauzers are tough and muscular. You are quite likely to find a great variation in their personalities. Some of them are serious while others are goofballs. Likewise, few of them are introverted while others are extroverted.
Pros of Miniature Schnauzer
Are you planning to adopt this small dog breed? Let’s discuss some of the reasons why you would want to get a Miniature Schnauzer.
They are so fond of human companionship that they can become stalking shadows of their owners. For this reason, Miniature Schnauzers are considered extremely loyal to their people. They also get along well with other animals and kids.
Minis are sturdy little guys and enjoy the vigorous play. They make great watchdogs because they are home and family-oriented.
They are quite intelligent and easy to train. All of the Schnauzer breeds are in the top 40 for dog intelligence. However, the Miniature Schnauzer is the smartest of its brothers and is ranked 12th out of the 138 qualifying breeds.
Similarly, Miniature Schnauzers are placed in the “bright dogs” group, according to Coren’s Dog Intelligence criteria. They are very quick learners and on average, learn new commands within 15 repetitions.
Adaptive and Friendly Nature
This dog breed can easily adapt to new environments as long as it’s given enough room to run around. They are quite energetic and love to chase other animals. Miniature Schnauzers are well-suited for the city as well as country life if they are getting their regular exercise.
These canines are very affectionate with family and kids. However, some do get nervous around strangers, but generally, Miniature Schnauzers are friendly towards strangers, too.
Dogs are pack animals by nature. In the case of domestic dogs, their family is their pack. Therefore, you shouldn’t leave a Mini Schnauzer alone for more than four hours at a time. However, some dog breeds are perfectly suited (with proper training) to stay alone for a longer period.
Miniature Schnauzers shed less because they have a double coat. Having said that, the outer wiry coat needs regular attention to keep it looking good. Consequently, you will need to brush your pet daily. So, if you are looking for a lap dog that doesn’t shed much, Mini Schnauzer is the pup for you.
Cons of Miniature Schnauzer
Miniature Schnauzer is not a suitable dog breed for busy families. This is because it requires a lot of attention and care. Similarly, most experts recommend high-quality dog food for these canines. The following are some of the disadvantages of owning a Mini Schnauzer.
Grooming and Exercise
It is true that Mini Schnauzers doesn’t shed a lot but it still requires a lot of grooming. You will need to remove the dead, wiry hair by brushing the coat, beard, and eyebrows. The beard, especially, needs daily cleaning to remove any errant food particles.
Clipping the coat once every 4-6 weeks will help to keep the Schnauzer’s hair in the best shape. If you can’t groom it yourself, you will need to book grooming appointments. This will give a significant boost to the already high cost of keeping a Miniature Schnauzer.
They require a lot of exercise because they were originally bred as ratters on farms. Therefore, you should ONLY get this breed if you CAN provide sufficient exercise to your pet. Lack of physical activity and mental stimulation can quickly develop destructive habits in Miniature Schnauzers.
Genetic Health Problems
Miniature Schnauzers often suffer from genetic illnesses, like eye problems (Cataracts, Retinal Dysplasia), heart issues (pulmonic stenosis), and bleeding disorders. Likewise, they are susceptible to bacterial and viral infections, such as parvo, rabies, and distemper. Many of these infections are preventable through vaccinations, which are recommended based on common diseases.
Mini Schnauzers are particularly prone to some relatively rare diseases of the blood. Haemolytic Anemia and Thrombocytopenia occur when the immune system starts attacking the pet’s own red blood cells or platelets. Heart failure is one of the most common reasons for the deaths of Mini Schnauzers. Therefore, it’s a good idea to get regular health check-ups for this dog breed.
Obesity can be a significant health problem in Miniature Schnauzers. It is a serious disease that may cause or worsen joint problems, digestive disorders, back pain, and heart diseases. For this reason, you must be incredibly careful about the diet of your pup. NEVER feed them a lot of treats and schedule regular exercise to keep them healthy.
Mini Schnauzers are more susceptible to liver disorders, such as portosystemic shunt (PSS) than many other dog breeds. PSS hinders your dog’s ability to remove toxins from its body. Your pet may need numerous blood tests to diagnose PSS.
This breed is known to have oily skin that can attract dirt and smell. As a result, you should always clean the dog’s beard after he/she is done eating. Stuck food particles are a definite cause of bad smell in Mini Schnauzers.
Miniature Schnauzer is an extremely good family dog if you are willing to put in the effort. Owing to their high intelligence, it is quite easy to train them. However, you will need to become the boss as an owner, because this breed can be stubborn. Moreover, it can be an expensive venture to keep a Schnauzer.