Canine Breed Spotlight: Miniature Schnauzer


The Miniature Schnauzer

Dog breed group: Terriers
Average lifespan: 12 to 14 years


The Miniature Schnauzer is known in Germany as the Zwergschnauzer– “zwerg” means dwarf and “schnauzer” comes from the German word for beard or whiskered muzzle in reference to the dog’s beard. Miniature Schnauzers were bred with the intent to create a smaller version of the Standard Schnauzer. They were developed in Germany by crossing breeding the standard size Schnauzer with smaller dogs, such as the Miniature Pinscher, Affernpinscher and possibly the Miniature Poodle or Pomeranian.  Originally these dogs were bred and used as ratters. While they still retain that ability, the Miniature Schnauzer is mostly a companion dog today.



Miniature Schnauzers are very spirited, friendly and intelligent. They are very much a companion dog and will follow you around and will want to be with you at all times. They are quite active and need plenty of mental and physical stimulation, including exercise and interesting activities to keep them from getting bored. The make a good watch dog and always look out for their family. When properly socialized they are very polite to strangers, make a good family pet and get along well with other pets in the household. They are eager to please, but do have a stubborn streak. This makes them obedient, but they can sometimes be difficult to train.


Is this breed right for you?

  • They are a very vocal breed, and do like to bark.

  • Miniature Schnauzers are still ingrained with their chasing and digging instincts, so they do need to be supervised when outside.

  • They are a low-shedding breed. However, their coat does require frequent grooming, clipping and upkeep.

Health concerns

Miniature Schnauzers are more prone than other breeds for the development of bladder stones.

Miniature Schnauzers are known to be prone to a wide variety of eye issues. This list includes, but is not limited to:

  • Entropion is a condition where the dog’s eyelid will roll inwards toward the eye, causing the lashes to rub against and irritate the cornea. This condition usually requires surgery to correct it.

  • Cataracts are an opacity in the lens of a the dog’s eye, causing them to have blurry vision.

  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) is a genetic disease that causes the retina to degenerate in both eyes, leading to progressive vision loss and ultimately blindness.

  • Glaucoma occurs when the fluid produced in the eye can not be properly drained due to a blockage. This build up of fluid cause an increase of eye pressure and eventually damages the internal structure of the eye.