A small grey dog, with wiry hair, bushy eyebrows and muzzle, and ears flopped in a v shape, lying on the grass

Miniature Schnauzer

24 August 2023

Let’s talk about… Miniature Schnauzers: what are they?

  • Miniature Schnauzers are a charming and spirited breed that originated in Germany.
  • They were originally bred by crossing small Standard Schnauzers with Affenpinschers and Miniature Pinschers.
  • They were initially bred as ratting dogs to control pests on farms.
  • With their distinctive bushy eyebrows, beard, and wiry double coat, Miniature Schnauzers have a unique and iconic appearance.
  • They typically stand at around 30 to 36 cm in height and weigh between 5 to 9 kg.
  • These little bundles of energy have an average life expectancy of 12 to 15 years.
Miniature Schnauzer  Exercise Needs 3/5 Grooming Ease 3/5 Trainability 4/5

What is the temperament of Miniature Schnauzers like?

  • Miniature Schnauzers have a lively and friendly temperament.
  • They are known for their intelligence, alertness, and an affectionate nature towards their families.
  • These dogs are often described as confident and spunky.
  • They make excellent companions and are generally good with children and other pets when properly socialised from an early age.
  • While they may have a tendency to be a bit stubborn, Miniature Schnauzers are quick learners and can be trained effectively with positive reinforcement and consistency.
Larry, the Miniature Schauzer

How much exercise do Miniature Schnauzers need?

  • Miniature Schnauzers are an active breed that requires regular exercise to keep them happy and healthy.
  • On average, they need around 1 hour of exercise per day.
  • This can be achieved through various activities such as brisk walks, interactive play sessions, and mental stimulation games like puzzle toys or obedience training.
  • These intelligent dogs thrive on mental challenges, so providing them with opportunities for training, learning new tricks, or participating in canine sports can be highly beneficial.
  • It's important to note that individual exercise needs may vary based on age, health, and energy levels.
  • Miniature Schnauzer puppies are full of energy and should have appropriate outlets for exercise.
  • However, it's important to consider their age and physical limitations.
  • For puppies younger than 6 months, shorter and frequent play sessions are recommended. As a very general rule, aim for around 5 to 10 minutes of exercise per month of age, spread throughout the day.
  • As they grow older and their bodies become stronger, you can gradually increase the duration and intensity of their exercise.
  • It's crucial to avoid excessive strain on their developing joints and bones.
  • Consult with your vet for specific exercise guidelines based on your puppy's age and overall health.
Monty, the Miniature Schauzer

Do Miniature Schnauzers need a lot of grooming?

  • Miniature Schnauzers have a distinct wiry double coat that requires regular grooming to keep it looking its best.
  • Their coat comes in different colour variations, including salt and pepper, black, and black and silver.
  • Grooming these dogs involves several tasks.
  • They should be brushed at least once a week to remove loose hair and prevent matting.
  • Regular trimming of the coat, especially around the face, ears, and paws, is necessary to maintain their iconic Schnauzer appearance.
  • Some owners choose to hand-strip the coat, while others opt for clipping, a professional groomer can advise.
  • Additionally, regular attention to their teeth, nails, and ears is important for overall grooming and hygiene.
  • Like any dog, regular tooth brushing with a dog-specific toothpaste twice daily is ideal. If you can’t manage that often, just do it as often as you can.
Nala and Wilma, the Miniature Schnauzers

Are Miniature Schnauzers easy to train?

  • Miniature Schnauzers are known for their intelligence and trainability.
  • They generally enjoy learning new things and are quick to pick up commands and tricks.
  • With a consistent and positive training approach, Miniature Schnauzers can excel in obedience training and various dog sports.
  • Start training them from a young age, using positive reinforcement techniques such as treats, praise, and play.
  • Keep training sessions short, engaging, and consistent to hold their attention and prevent boredom.
  • It's important to establish clear boundaries and rules to prevent any potential stubbornness.
  • Miniature Schnauzers thrive on mental stimulation, so incorporating interactive games and puzzles into their training routine can be highly beneficial.
  • With patience, consistency, and a gentle approach, Miniature Schnauzers can become well-behaved and obedient companions.
Penny, the Miniature Schnauzer

What do Miniature Schnauzers eat?

  • Feeding your Miniature Schnauzer a balanced and nutritious diet is crucial for their overall health and well-being.
  • Provide them with high-quality dog food that is appropriate for their age, size, and activity level.
  • It's recommended to feed them twice a day, following the feeding guidelines provided by the specific brand of dog food you choose.
  • Avoid overfeeding and monitor their weight to prevent obesity, as Miniature Schnauzers can be prone to weight gain.
  • Puppies should be fed 3-4 times a day until they are 6 months old when this can be reduced to twice daily.
  • Feed them a specially formulated puppy food until they reach about 12 months of age. At this point, you can transition them to adult dog food.
  • Consult with your vet for specific dietary recommendations based on your Miniature Schnauzer's needs.

Are Miniature Schnauzers healthy?

Miniature Schnauzers are generally a healthy breed, but they may be prone to certain health conditions. Some of the health concerns associated with Miniature Schnauzers include:


  • Periodontal Disease - a buildup of plaque and tartar on a dog’s teeth leading to  inflammation, infection and tooth loss


  • Cataracts - a common cause of blindness due to a clouding of the lens of the eye


  • Sick Sinus Syndrome - a heart disease that affects both the rate and rhythm of the heart


  • Diabetes -  a condition where your dog can’t produce enough insulin to control their blood sugar levels


  • Pancreatitis - a potentially serious and painful condition caused by inflammation of the pancreas, often triggered by fatty foods or steroid treatment


  • Bladder Stones - Stones form in the bladder which can be uncomfortable and cause a blockage

This list is by no means comprehensive, if you have any concerns about the health of your dog, or if you want to discuss further if a Miniature Schnauzer is right for you, consult with your vet.

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Information on this page should never replace advice given by your veterinarian. Potential health issues presented are given as a guide only and are not meant to be comprehensive. If you ever have any concerns about your dog’s health, contact your local vet.

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