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Miniature Schnauzer


The Miniature Schnauzer or "Mini" is one of the most popular canines and certainly the best known among the three Schnauzer breeds. Its small stature, generally between 12 and 14 inches in height, makes the breed a good size for many households. But don't be misled by the size, the Miniature Schnauzer packs a lively punch in any environment and you will never miss its Terrier bark and loving personality.

First bred as early as the late 19th century, the Mini evolved down from the original Standard Schnauzer, with the purpose of creating a small companion dog and working farm ratter. The greatest variety in the breed is color. The most common and popular Miniature color is pepper and salt, a gray and white mixture, but solid black and black and silver also exist. In other cases, Minis may be light gray or white, but the latter is not recognized as a true Miniature Schnauzer color in some countries. A light fawn or brownish color appears in most coats, which harks back to the influence of other breeds in the bloodlines.

But is a Miniature Schnauzer the right dog for you? There are several breed characteristics that should be considered if looking at one of these as a companion. First, as a blessing in many households, the Mini is largely a non-shedding breed. That means that there is no natural seasonal removal of hair that scatters over your rugs or clogs your drain after baths. Non-shedding, however, means other things as well: you have to groom the Mini on a regular basis.

Besides grooming considerations, the Mini is an active, robust dog that wants to be near you at all times. It is hard to overlook these dogs, or ward them away. The breed thrives on attention and affection. They are alert, responding to almost every noise and every stranger. Most are highly intelligent with quick minds that make them easily trained, especially in obedience class, and ever so much the clown or entertainer. The Miniature Schnauzer, unlike its related Schnauzer breeds, is considered to be a Terrier. That distinction means these dogs are tenacious, clinging to most tug-of-war toys to the bitter end. It also means they are fast moving, quick in response and ground coverage, and for some, able to release a high pitched bark to get your attention. These are great natural skills for the working Mini as he heads for vermin in your yard, but may be difficult for some owners who want a quiet and settled pet that rarely demands to be near you.

The Miniature Schnauzer is right for you if you want a small active, loving canine companion where you can tolerate a welcoming bark and find time to care for its coat. Its widespread presence and abundant popularity means few seem able to resist the charm of the small bearded one.

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