THE ORIGINS OF THE MINIATURE SCHNAUZER

The miniature schnauzer is a smaller version of the Standard Schnauzer which originated in Germany. The schnauzer was a watch dog and although able to bark very loudly to warn of approaching dangers it was not a directly aggressive dog. You may well find that your miniature schnauzer has retained this trait of warning of approaching ‘strangers’ to the house or garden. They are a vocal breed and will always let you know if there is someone at the door!

Friendly and faithful, the breed soon had many admirers and it is believed that in order to develop a smaller dog that would be better suited to life in small houses or city apartments the standard schnauzer was cross bred with smaller German breeds such as the Affenpinscher.

This theory may well account for the fact that the miniature schnauzer is not just a tiny version of the standard but has a distinctive look all its own with finer features, an endearing personality and quick to learn. The miniature schnauzer makes an ideal family pet. Miniature schnauzers first came to the UK in 1928 imported from the United States and Europe and soon the breed gained many admirers and began to be developed through the work of several breeders for the show ring as well as for those wanting a stylish pet.

Although the appearance of the miniature schnauzer has been refined over the past century it has remained relatively free of health issues being a sturdy and well built dog with the energy and fitness to compete in agility as well as the show ring. In recent years there has been concern about the spread of hereditary eye disease among miniature schnauzers, which has led to the Kennel Club Assured Breeder Scheme requirement (supported by the breed clubs) that all miniature schnauzers should be eye tested after 1 year of age on an annual basis up to at least 8 years of age to ensure they are unaffected by hereditary cataracts, congenital hereditary cataracts and progressive retinal atrophy. Full details can be found on the Miniature Schnauzer Club page: Hereditary Eye Problems

The lifespan of a miniature schnauzer is on average 12-14 years, so you are taking on a long term commitment when you purchase your puppy, but one which will be amply repaid by the devoted and companionable little dog you have chosen.

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Copyright J Atkinson & L Clarke