Miniature Schnauzer

The Miniature Schnauzer is the most popular dog among the Giant, Standard, and Miniature Schnauzer breeds. All three breeds are originally from Germany where the Miniature Schnauzer was used as a farm dog that would go after vermin in the barnyard.

Common Characteristics

  • Size: 1 to 20 pounds
  • Lifespan: 6 to 15 years
  • Pet purchase cost: $501 to $1000
  • Allergies: Moderate
  • Shedding: Moderate
  • Primarily suited for indoors


Common Reasons for Surrender

Miniature Schnauzers are surrendered for a host of reasons, none of which have to do with the breed itself. An unstable economic climate has led to the surrender of many Miniature Schnauzers as their owners simply cannot afford to care for a dog anymore. Sometimes the family moves to a home that is not pet-friendly or they cannot afford the hefty pet deposit required. Physical limitations also result in some Miniature Schnauzers losing their homes as their owners go to assisted living facilities or nursing homes.


Miniature Schnauzers are loving, loyal, and extremely smart. Whether your Miniature Schnauzer is two months old or 10 years old, he can learn new things as long as you reward him with food. (Miniature Schnauzers are food motivated.) 

Miniature Schnauzers don’t shed, although they will still need regularly grooming every six to eight weeks.


Miniature Schnauzers are communicators. They want you to know how they are feeling, and you might not always like what they have to say. If your Miniature Schnauzer is upset with you, he will tell you that by tearing apart a book you’re reading or even tipping the garbage can over and dumping garbage all over the floor. Miniature Schnauzers also tend to be yappy, which can be curbed with training. This breed thrives in a routine-driven home, which can be a pro or a con depending on your personality.

You must keep a careful eye on your Miniature Schnauzer as he will move quickly and can dart out of an open door before you even realize he’s gone. Again, training can curb such behavior.


Because they are prone to pancreatitis, food allergies, bladder stones, and dental problems, Miniature Schnauzers must eat a high quality kibble with a lot of protein. (If you’re not sure what food is best for your Miniature Schnauzer, consult with your veterinarian.) Never give your Miniature Schnauzer foods that contain grains and avoid purchasing grocery store brands, which have been known to cause problems with the Miniature Schnauzer’s teeth.

Miniature Schnauzers cannot eat people food. If you feed table scraps, you risk your Miniature Schnauzer getting sick and you may incur a hefty vet bill of a thousand dollars or more. The only type of food you can safely give your Miniature Schnauzer, which also make good treats, are fruits and vegetables, such as apples, raw carrots, and green beans. Green beans are always ideal if your Miniature Schnauzer needs to lose weight.


An unexercised Miniature Schnauzer is unhappy and potentially destructive. Be sure to walk your Miniature Schnauzer, especially when he’s younger, for at least an hour a day and allot time for him to run off leash in a fenced-in backyard or at the dog park each day.

Possible Health Issues

Keep careful watch on your Miniature Schnauzer. If you notice he has brown on his paws, near his tail, or on his hind end, or if he’s scratching a lot, he may be suffering from food allergies, a common problem with Miniature Schnauzers. Many Miniature Schnauzers also suffer from dental problems because they’ve not been on a high quality kibble diet. The best way to avoid health problems with your Miniature Schnauzer is to provide a high quality kibble diet and avoid feeding table scraps.


Miniature Schnauzers don’t shed, but you’ll still have to brush your dog daily and take him to the groomer every six to eight weeks. Make sure you brush your Miniature Schnauzer’s teeth regularly.


Use a lot of positive reinforcement with your Miniature Schnauzer, and give him a small treat when he listens to your command. Make sure you assert yourself as the alpha (or leader) in the home, or your Miniature Schnauzer will take that role and even try to control who is allowed in your home. If your Miniature Schnauzer tends to run from you, always praise him and give him a treat when he returns, no matter upset you may be with him. He will quickly associate coming back on your command with positivity.


Take your Miniature Schnauzer for a walk and allow him time outside to play every day to keep him entertained. When he’s expended his energy, he will just want to be with you, relax on the bed, or watch TV while sitting on your lap.

We want to thank Miniature Schnauzer Rescue, Inc. for help with this profile.

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