Hepper is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

Miniature Schnauzer: Pictures, Traits & Facts

Emma Braby Profile Picture

By Emma Braby

Miniature Schnauzer

Height: 12 – 14 inches
Weight: 11 – 20 pounds
Lifespan: 12 – 15 years
Colors: Black, black & silver, salt & pepper
Suitable for: Active families, families with slight dog allergies, families who are at home most of the time, families with older children
Temperament: Loyal, loving, fun, protective, stubborn, energetic, intelligent, vocal

The Miniature Schnauzer has the whole package, packed into a miniature sized one. He has so much character, and with his Schnauzer swag and magnificent mustache, he is a crowd-pleaser for sure. This is why he almost always finds himself in the top 20 most popular dog breeds in America, Great Britain, and Germany.

Despite his small frame, he is very energetic and has a zest for life. He is also very feisty and will stand up to the biggest of dogs if he thinks they need a telling off. He is super affectionate and loving and will protect his family at all costs. You have nothing to worry about with this little guy around.

The Miniature Schnauzer needs a lot of company and a surprising amount of exercise and mental stimulation to keep him happy and healthy. For this reason, he is only suited to families that have a lot of time, and energy, to give him.

Think you’ve got what it takes to take this chap on? Let’s find out if this miniature boy is the Schnauzer for you.

hepper-dog-paw-divider 3


Miniature Schnauzer Puppies

Miniature Schnauzer Puppy
Featured Image Credit: Winsker, Pixabay

The Miniature Schnauzer is not your typical miniature dog, so if you’re after a typical lapdog, this is not the breed for you. Instead, he is full of tenacious terrier character, spunky attitude, and lots of energy. Ideally, he needs to live with a family that can keep up with his energy and provide him with hours of exercise and interactive playtime every day.

The Miniature Schnauzer is terrier by name, but not by nature. Terriers are usually eager to please their master. Although this guy does like to please his family, it is only on his terms and when he wants something. This stubborn little guy is not an obedient pooch. So, if you want a dutiful dog who comes to your side on your every beck and call, the Miniature Schnauzer is not your breed.

He is, however, a protective dog that would do anything for you. If anyone tries to harm his family or comes into their estate unwelcomed, he will frogmarch them straight back out. This shouty Schnauzer makes an excellent watchdog, and although he isn’t the scariest of dogs, he will put up a good fight if he needs to.

Equally, if you have neighbors who are noise sensitive, he makes for an annoying neighbor. If there are noise restrictions in place, he won’t take any notice of them. His terrier nature shines through when it comes to rats and other rodents. Traditionally bred to be a ratting dog, he will exterminate pests without a second thought.

Even your much-loved pet rodents for that matter, so it’s best not to invite him into your life if you have any rodent pets. If this is a deal-breaker for you, you should consider a pet-friendly dog, such as the Cotonese.

Despite his intense grooming needs, he is a low shedding dog who is considered to be a hypoallergenic dog breed. Although no dog is 100% hypoallergenic or completely shed free, he is much easier on those who suffer from dog allergies.

Divider 8

3 Little-Known Facts About the Miniature Schnauzer

1. The Miniature Schnauzer is a terrier

His name is deceiving. Although he is a Schnauzer breed, he is actually a terrier and part of the terrier group. He is not technically a terrier (i.e., he has no terrier lineage), but because he is a ratting dog, he was placed in the terrier group. He is unique in that he has no British blood, whereas all other terriers have British lineage.

2. The Miniature Schnauzer is a fantastic pest controller

Following on from the above fact, being a terrier, he is a brilliant pest controller. So, if you have rogue rats, he will happily solve this problem for you. For this reason, he shouldn’t be placed in a home that has pet rodents because they aren’t likely to live together trouble-free.

3. The Miniature Schnauzer is one of the chewiest canines around

He is a very mouthy pup, which is something to consider before welcoming him into your home. All dogs chew, but the Schnauzer is famous for it. There are many reasons for chewing behaviors, and our top advice is to buy a rubber chew toy that will satisfy his craving.

miniature schnauzer playing tug with dog toy
Image Credit: Natalia Bostan, Shutterstock

Temperament & Intelligence of the Miniature Schnauzer 🧠

The Miniature Schnauzer’s personality is one of the main reasons why we love him so much. He is loud and bolshy, happy to put people and other dogs in their place if he feels as though they are getting out of control. But obviously, he’s allowed to do whatever the heck he wants, when he wants! It’s all part of his charm. Just don’t let him get too bossy.

What he lacks in obedience, he makes up for in affection. When this little guy wants cuddles, you best be ready for them. He will happily waste an afternoon snoozing and lazing in front of the telly if it’s with you. This fluffy canine hot water bottle is family-orientated, and his human pack means the world to him. This sweet-natured Schnauzer is totally adorable.

He loves to be around his humans and ideally needs to be with a family that can spend a lot of time with him. Without company, he can become a little anxious and bored, which is never a good combination, especially for a chewy canine such as this guy.

As we have already mentioned, he is super suspicious of strangers. He will bark until you greet them, or until they leave. Although he is friendly with strangers once his master has welcomed them, he will remain alert. With his raising skeptical eyebrows and mustache-twitching sniffs, you best warn your guests that they are ALWAYS being watched.

The Miniature Schnauzer is a really intelligent breed who will pick up tricks quickly. But because he is so stubborn, he’ll only commit to training sessions if there’s something in it for him. Think lots of yummy treats and high squeaky praises if you want to get anywhere.

Being so intelligent, he needs an outlet. Be that exercise, interactive play, or solo brain games, you need to supply him with something to do. Treat-filled puzzle toys are fantastic for brain stimulation and satisfying his chewy tendencies. A bored Schnauzer will be extra chewy, so do your furniture a favor and purchase a bunch of toys for him to take his intelligence out on. You have been warned!

Are These Dogs Good for Families? 🏡

This guy makes a fantastic family pet, for the right family. Indeed, he is not for everyone, and not every family can handle this amount of dog personality. This is why taking in everything in this guide is essential before you commit to him.

He will happily live with families with older children, young couples, or singletons. He is not suited to inactive families who are looking for a meek and mild lapdog. He is also not suitable for families with young children; he is not very tolerant of young overzealous hands.

The Miniature Schnauzer would happily live in an apartment or a large home, or anywhere in between. He would prefer access to outdoor space, but if you ensure that he gets his daily exercise and interactive playtime, this is not a must for him.

If he is lucky enough to have access to a backyard, you need to make sure that it is secured. The scent or sight of a rat or squirrel will rile him up the wrong way, and he’ll be off like a shot.

Does This Breed Get Along with Other Pets? 🐶 😽

The Miniature Schnauzer gets along with other dogs, and he is also likely to get along with cats too. Just as long as he is socialized as a pup, he will be accepted into the local doggy park gang without issues. He can get too barky and in your face for some pooches, so be sure to keep an eye on your bossyboots Schnauzer.

But, he cannot be placed with a family who has pet rodents simply because of his ratting past. Even if introduced as a puppy and socialized, things may start off well. But as he grows into an adult and comes into his own, his natural rat hating instinct will develop. So for everyone’s sake (especially the rats), this is a risk you should never take.

Black Miniature Schnauzer face
Featured Image Credit: Brett Sayles, Pexels

Divider 4

Things to Know When Owning a Miniature Schnauzer:

Now you know everything that you need to about his personality, intelligence, and the kind of family that he is looking for, let’s take a look at his everyday needs.

Food & Diet Requirements 🦴

Being a small pooch, he only needs around 1 cup of food a day. This is dependant on his energy levels, size, and appetite – because every Schnauzer is different.

Feeding your Miniature Schnauzer a high-quality kibble is crucial. Not only do kibbles provide a well-balanced diet that dogs cannot get from raw meat alone, but they also help to breakdown the plaque in his compact mouth. Finding the right size kibble is also essential, and we would suggest getting one that is specially designed for small breeds.

Miniature Schnauzers puppy eating
Image Credit: Cynoclub, Shutterstock

Exercise 🐕

The Miniature Schnauzer needs one hour of exercise every day to keep his tiny body and intelligent mind healthy and happy. Being super smart, he would appreciate a mixture of activities throughout the week. Why not combine his socialization needs with his daily exercise, and take him down to the local dog park for an enjoyable romp with some of his buddies.

This guy is likely to get cabin fever, and become grumpy as a result. Do not forget his needs, because he will hold a grudge and forget his manners for sure. For those days where you cannot play with him, make sure that he has access to rubber chew toys and other fun games to keep himself entertained.

Training 🦮

Ok, so how do you train a seriously stubborn Schnauzer? Well, there are two tricks here. The first is being persistent and never give up. Don’t give in to his demands because he’ll always remember the time he won you over. And trust us, you’ll never live it down.

The second is to make training sessions short and sweet. Otherwise, he will get bored and move onto something more interesting. Work out what he likes to be rewarded with, and remember that treats are always a big hit with any dog.

You need to address his chewing and nippy behavior as much as you can when he is a puppy. Otherwise, it can become a bit of a problem when he is older. This is another reason to get your Miniature Schnauzer from a reputable breeder. Because they will ensure that he is well socialized with his littermates and parents who will teach him that nipping and overbearing behavior is not ok.

Miniature Schnauzer
Image Credit: Debra Anderson, Shutterstock

Grooming ✂️

The Miniature Schnauzer is a low shedder, but he can have an intense grooming schedule. This is, however, entirely dependant on what hairstyle he opts for. If he goes for a short teddy bear cut, which is clipped close to his body, he grooming routine is much less intense. Grooming him a few times a week will help to keep matting at bay and remove any dirt that he has picked up on his adventures.

However, if he opts for the traditional Schnauzer cut, with the big beard, bushy eyebrows, and long leg hair, he will need grooming every day. If he chooses the conventional cut, he will probably need to go to a professional groomer to get his hair clipped every 5 weeks or so.

He will need his teeth brushing once or twice a week to delay the onset of periodontal diseases that many smaller dogs suffer from. Bathing should take place every 6 weeks with a specially designed doggy shampoo that is gentle on his skin.

Health Conditions ❤️

The Miniature Schnauzer is a relatively healthy breed that enjoys a long lifespan of 12 to 15 years. Just like all purebred dogs, there are particular health concerns that affect this breed more than others. Be sure to familiarize yourself with the conditions and their associated symptoms.

Minor Conditions
  • Bladder stones
  • Cushing’s disease
  • Schnauzer comedo syndrome
Serious Conditions
  • Eye concerns
  • Cardiac conditions
  • Portosystemic shunt
  • Sick sinus syndrome

Divider 5

Male vs Female

Male and female Miniature Schnauzers are not all that different. The most significant difference between them, which is not all that significant, is that males are slightly larger than females. But being smaller pooches anyway, there is only a few pounds and inches in it.

Many owners claim that males can be a little more boisterous than females. However, there is no evidence to suggest that this is true. Training is much more effective in shaping a dog’s personality than their gender.

hepper-dog-paw-divider 3


Final Thoughts

The Miniature Schnauzer is a funny little dog. He is fun and energetic, but if he gets the ‘ump with something, you will know about it! This guy can either be your funny best mate or a grumpy guy, but this is all part of his characterful charm.

If you are after a small but protective breed, look no further than this guy and his Schnauzer surveillance. A one-man band, he has got your back. Just be sure to keep him company, entertain him with interactive play and games, and keep his manners in check. Lovely and sweet, he will keep you smiling and be grateful that you took a chance on him.

See also:

Featured Image Credit: ClarissaBell, Pixabay

Related Articles

Further Reading

Vet Articles

Latest Vet Answers

The latest veterinarians' answers to questions from our database