Miniature & Toy Schnauzer Kisses & Hugs There's a time for Play and a Time for Love
A dog breed who's got it all in one small package: intelligence, affection, extroverted temperament, humorous and a personality that's twice as big as they are. Throw in that walrus mustache and enthusiasm and they will make you laugh everyday. With a Miniature Schnauzer in your home you'll never be alone, not even when you go to the bathroom!
Heritage of Love Noble of Heart Gentle of Spirit Regal of Stature
Pronounced (Shnou'zer). The term "Schnauzer" comes from the German word "snout" and means colloquially "mustache" because of the dog's distinctively bearded snout. The Miniature Schnauzer is a small breed of a dog that is cousin to the Standard Schnauzer that was bred down from the Standard Schnauzer originating in Germany in the mid-to-late 19th century.
So, just what is a Miniature or Toy Schnauzer you may be wondering?
Miniature Schnauzers (a man-made breed) developed from the Standard Schnauzer are believed to be a cross between the Standard Schnauzer, a robust squarely built, medium-sized dog and either a Poodle, a type of water dog also squarely built, but well proportioned dog or the Affenpinscher, a toy terrier-like breed also referred to as the Monkey Terrier. All of these dogs originated in Germany and farmer's bred down the Standard Schnauzer to create a smaller more compact sized farm dog equally suited for ratting (to catch rats). There is NO such thing as a Toy Schnauzer but if you have been looking for one - they DO EXIST but not "Officially" recognized.
In 1895 in the first volume of the Pincher-Schnauzer Klub's stud book contained Standard Schnauzers, Smooth Coat Pinchers, Miniature Pinchers, and what was called Wire-haired Pinchers (now known as Miniature Schnauzers). The oldest Miniature Schnauzer appeared in 1888 and was an all black female named Findel. Out of 8 bitches (females) registered in that first volume of the stud book were 3 black, 3 yellow, 1 black and tan and 1 salt and pepper. There was evidently much crossing between the types and their registration was more dependent upon their outward appearance versus their genetic make-up.
Example: One Miniature Pinscher is registered as having a Standard Schnauzer Dam and then a Miniature Schnauzer was listed as having a Miniature Pinscher Sire. Today the standard is: Black, Black and Silver and Salt and Pepper in the United States and in Germany they acknowledge White to be included in the standard.
*It's from these breed outcrossings while developing the Miniature Schnauzer, that other colors came about, the parti, the liver and white is considered to be from the outcrossing.*
Miniature Schnauzers were first imported to the Us in the 1920's. The Wire-haired Pinscher Club of America was formed in 1925 for all sizes and in 1926 the name was officially changed to "Schnauzer". During that time there was no distinction between the Standard and the Miniature sized Schnauzers and they were shown together. The two types were not separated in the breed listing until late 1926. It was the American Kennel Club in 1926 that accepted registration of the new breed and in 1933 the Wire-haired Pinscher Club split into two groups, the American Miniature Schnauzer Club and the Standard Schnauzer Club of America. The start of the modern Miniature Schnauzer we see today is generally considered to have begun in 1945 with the first Miniature Schnauzer, "CH Dorem Display" to win "Best in Show" at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. He was born on the 5th day of April 1945 and lived to be nearly (14) fourteen-years old. Almost every living Miniature Schnauzer in America today can trace it lineage back to Dorem Display.
Miniature Schnauzers come in miniature, and toy sizes and the toys are a smaller version of the miniature. Miniature Schnauzers according to AKC are described as measuring 12-14 inches tall with NO weight range to reference, and have a very square-shape build. Here at Stillions Miniature Miracles our Miniature Schnauzers range from 13-20 lbs. full grown, measure anywhere from 12-14 inches for Miniatures and our Toy Schnauzers range from 4-12 lbs. full grown, measure anywhere from 9-11 inches for Toys. Colors we raise are: Black, Salt & Pepper, Black & Silver and Liver Parti's and colors.
All Miniature & Toy Schnauzers have a double coat, with a wiry outer fur and a soft undercoat. Miniature & Toy Schnauzers are often described as a non-moulting meaning (don't shed) dogs. They are characterized by a rectangular head and bushy beard, mustache and eyebrows. Miniature and Toy Schnauzers are hardy, healthy pets with a generous life-span of approximately 17 years, showing no signs of age until quite later in life.
AKC recognizes Miniature & Toy Schnauzers as "Miniature Schnauzers" when it comes to registration.
Miniature & Toy Schnauzer's Coat Colors
What are the different colors of Miniature Schnauzers? The standard colors for the Miniature Schnauzer in the US are the Salt & Pepper, Black & Silver and Black. This simply means these three colors are the only allowed colors that meet the breed standard for conformation showings. But, in Germany where the breed originated white is included in the breed standard.
Today, Miniature Schnauzers come in a variety of colors from the standard listed above to the non-standard colors listed here: White Chocolate, Platinum Silver, Wheaten, Liver, Liver Parti, Liver Tan, Liver Pepper, Liver Tan Parti, Liver Pepper Parti, Salt & Pepper Parti, Platinum Salt & Pepper Parti, Black & Silver Parti, Black Parti and whats being called Phantom, Red, Red Wheaten, Sable, Red Pepper, Red Parti, Wild Red Wheaten, Black & Rust and Liver & Rust. (and as time goes on I am sure there will be more). In the last few years, new colors have become quite popular like Merle's and Merle Parti's - but Merle's are a crossbred dog breed. Salt & Pepper: is the most common color for the breed here in the US. In fact, when the breed was first registered in the US the Salt & Pepper was the only officially recognized color allowed. For those who are not familiar with the Salt & Pepper Schnauzer, they have many variations to their shade. They can be born so dark you can mistake them for a black Schnauzer or they can be born so light they can be mistaken for a white Schnauzer. The lightest almost white looking Schnauzer is often called a "Platinum Silver" even though they are indeed a Salt & Pepper. Salt & Pepper Schnauzers have what is called banded hairs, the hairs by their eyes have a banded appearance and describes the default color of the Schnauzer. When no other genes are at play, a banded color is the result. They often have pale tones to them, which rapidly disappear as they mature and fade out to light gray or silver white in the eyebrows, whiskers, cheeks, under the throat, inside ears, across chest, under tail, leg furnishings and inside the hind legs.
Black & Silver: generally follows the same pattern as the Salt & Pepper. The entire salt & pepper section must be Black. The black color in the topcoat is a true rich color with a black undercoat. The stripped portion is free from any fading or brown tinge and underbody should be dark.
Liver: here we are talking primarily about the Liver Miniature Schnauzer and the variations of Liver. Miniature Schnauzers either are black based or brown based.
All Chocolate Miniature Schnauzers must have brown skin, nose, lips, eye rims, paw pads and generally have green or hazel eyes. To compound the rarity of the Liver gene both parents must carry and pass this gene to their offspring to get this coloring. Because of the additional genes that code for coat color masking, there is a wide range of liver coloring intensity. They can be any hue from a very dark liver to a very light pale wheaten, cream or if the color is masked can be pure white, the so-called white chocolate. All these shades will,, however, have brown skin, nose, pads, eye rims and lips. Only the black based standard Schnauzers are recognized in the show ring and maybe one day brown based Schnauzers will be added to the standard.
Liver & Tan:follows the same as the black & silver because it is the recessive color.
Liver Pepper: is a chocolate Schnauzer that has Liver peppers (banded hairs) of liver/brown that always fade to a lighter liver as adults. They will have brown or green eyes, brown nose, lips, pads, eye rims and pads. Black:are an entirely solid black color with a black undercoat except they may have a small white patch on the chest. They can have tipped toes and some stay rich and dark in color an others on occasion can turn a dark grey color.
Black & Tan: have solid black bodies with copper (rust) markings on eyebrows, inside ears, chest, and furnishings.
Parti Pattern: means that the base color is covered in large or small patches or white. A Liver Tan Parti, Liver Pepper Parti and even a White Schnauzer can mask (hide) a parti coat.
Platinum: will have a light silver color that usually change over time from a light Salt & Pepper or a light Liver Pepper to Platinum.
Wheaten aka Cream: has a yellow, cream or red coloring of the coat and have a yellow strip down the top-line of the back. They can either be black based or brown based.
White: is not an albino, Albinos have pink noses as adults which is a lack of pigmentation. They are born solid white and will have black nose, pads, eye rims, lips, silver/black tinted skin tone and black eyes.
White Chocolate (Liver): is visually a white schnauzer with brown base; brown nose, pads, eye rims, lips, pink hue to their skin and green, gold or hazel eyes.
Red: is a darkened version of the Wheaten or Cream that has a darker red coloring.
Sable: have black tipped hairs. The coat can be a gold to yellow, silver or grey or tan color. Some Sable's might only have black in their whiskers.
Phantom: is a black and silver Schnauzer that has a very strong contrast between its black and silver colorings or a liver and tan that has a very strong contrast between its liver and tan colorings. Phantom is a term used to describe the bright markings and could be used to describe black and silver or liver and tan schnauzers. *Note* not all black and silver or liver and tan Schnauzers are phantoms.
Fading: fading is a prominent trait in the Schnauzer breed most will change from their original puppy color with some that fade a few shades while others can be dramatic.
Ticking & Roan: is generally regarded as a dog having a base color (white) that has muted (flecked or speckled) spots with color and spots w/sprouted colored hairs. Both display a pattern that produces heavily flecked spots, that are dominant over non-ticking or non-roan. Not all Schnauzers will have ticking or roan as they are not born with these flecks and the flecks become more pronounced as the dog matures, and parents must carry the gene to be expressed. Generally Ticking is only on the skin and can appear on head and the body, while Roan can appear heavier on the snout and legs and can range from just a few to an all over pattern, where the flecking color will remain as the hair grows out from the body. Both Ticking & Roan are considered to be "rare." (Ticking & Roan Examples pictured below).
Ticking (pictured below) is a term explaining the self-colored spots found on Parti's and Parti-Carriers. Our Toy Schnauzers; Lady, Pepper and Gizmo, have ticking that can be seen when they are clipped down (on their skin).
-Parti denotes any color on a pure white background-
In 1880 the Germany's Pinscher-Schnauzer Klub (PSK) published its first Schnauzer breed standards book, which detailed all acceptable colorings for the breed including: "white with black patches" (Parti-Color). It appears that Schnauzers with white and black patches existed at that time, although not in large quantities, as this first book of breed standards did not name a single registered Schnauzer with this color pattern. Furthermore, the subject of patched dogs was not raised by Schnauzer enthusiasts until the 1930's.
However on September 4, 1929, a litter of black Miniature Schnauzers was born at the Abbagamba Kennel in Germany belonging to a "Countess v. Kantiz". This litter included (3) three-black and white patched (parti's) "Schecken" in German, puppies. The parents of these puppies had demonstrably been purebred black for six generations. Though possible, no-one knows for certain whether there had been additional puppies in any of the prior litters that had any of the patches prior to six generations of this litter for they most likely would have been removed by the breeder.
The Countess v. Kantiz was certain that no "mis-alliance" had occurred (stating this fact on several occasions) and decided to take a chance on breeding these Parti dogs. As a Geneticist would have predicted, the pairing of the siblings; "Ilfis" and "Isluga" produced the three Parti-puppies; "Moira", "Modiala" and "Medina". Yet another incestuous mating involving the dogs "Liara" and "Leander" from the second generation of Parti Schnauzers once again produced six beautiful Parti-puppies.
So, therefore, the Parti and other colors are extremely "Old-Blood" found in most of the early lines bred. We use AKC, UKC and IHR e.V. for registrations.
Pics of Countess v. Kantiz and Parti's back in the days
So, what is the difference in the types of Coats? We are frequently asked; What is the difference in the thickness of a coat? Well I will try to explain with a few words and a few photos.
Schnauzers have different types of hair. Hair types vary from the coarse German bristle terrier type hair (seen in the show ring) to the ultra soft sheltie type hair and somewhere in the middle is the cotton candy type that can get yucky matts. There are others that have a straight hair type and those with a dense curly hair type. There can even be other variations in-between. Honestly, it is harder to produce the heavier thicker coats referred to as Mega-Coats, which is why there is a higher price paid for these sought after Schnauzers. However, if you live in a wooded area or where there are a lot of sticky weeds then maybe the wiry-coat is better for you.
It all comes down to preference and the coat does not determine the personality of the animal. There is not a defining standard as to the labeling of the thickness of the coat, but it is up to the Breeder's discretion and is a term we as Breeders have coined in order to distinguish between the many different coats: Regular or Wire-Coat, Super-Coat, and Mega-Coat.
These examples of different Schnauzer Coats are not our dogs.
*Breeding two Partis will result in all Parti pups*
Ex: of what a Saddleback Black Parti looks like. SMM Property
Ex: of what a Saddleback Chocolate Parti looks like. SMM Property
*There is no such dog as a Saddleback or Blanketed Schnauzer, but it is a term we use for our Miniature, Toy and Tiny Toy Schnauzers*
Saddleback or Blanketing (pictured above & below) is a term explaining the Schnauzer being patterned like a Holstein cow; which are random spots of color on a white background. No two Schnauzers will have the same pattern. The base color of a Parti is always white and the darker color can range from a small area like (Lady's rear-end) to larger areas like (Gizmo) and their off-spring (Apache) listed below. The Saddleback has the darker color that is connected along the back without a full break (separation) on the white background.
Merle (pictured) is Not a purebred Miniature Schnauzer
What is a Merle? The Merle pictured below is a pattern in a dog's coat, though is commonly incorrectly referred to as a color. The merle creates mottled patches in a solid or piebald coat, that have blue or odd-colored eyes, and can affect skin pigment as well. Health issues are more typical and more severe when two merles are bred together. Merle gene can affect all coat colors.
In addition to altering base coat color, the merle gene also modifies eye color and coloring of the nose and paw pads. The merle modifies the dark pigment in the eyes, to blue or part of the eye to be colored blue. *Note* - Merle mutated gene can be hidden (not expressed).
Giant Schnauzer Standard Schnauzer Miniature Schnauzer Photo courtesy of Apple Rain Art
The Miniature Schnauzer: generally stands about 12-14 inches tall at the shoulder and can weigh between 12-20 lbs full grown.
The Standard Schnauzer: generally stands about 14-16 inches tall at the shoulder and can weigh between 26-44 lbs full grown.
The Giant Schnauzer: generally stands about 24-26 inches tall at the shoulder and can weigh between 55-110 lbs full grown.
Then there's the Toy Schnauzer: generally stands about 9-11 inches tall at the shoulder and can weigh between 3-12 lbs full grown.
You may wonder..."Where do all the different sizes come from?" as described above, the Miniature Schnauzer derived from the Standard Schnauzer said to have come from the Affenpinscher and/or Poodle. This is where the many colors, markings and variation of sizes originated from even back in the 1800's.
**These are an average estimate of height and weight and can vary**
*Information provided on Miniature & Toy Schnauzers are from standards and researching history, personal acquaintances, and personal knowledge of the breeds*
Miniature Schnauzer Standard
General Appearance: robust and active resembling their larger cousin, the Standard Schnauzer.
Head: rectangular and strong, top of skull is flat.
Muzzle: is strong in proportion to the skull, ending in a moderate build.
Eyes: are small and very dark brown color, oval in appearance. Ears: uncrossed, small and v-shaped, folding close to the head. Neck: strong and well arched, blending into the shoulders.
Body: short and deep, the underbody does not present a tucked-up appearance at the flank.
Tail: set high, carried erect, and docked long enough to be clearly visible over the backline of the body.
Legs: straight, with covered hair, round paws with thick pads.
Coat: double coat with a hard, wiry outer coat and close smooth undercoat.
Color: standard is, Salt & Pepper, Black, and Black & Silver (White in Germany).
Height: 12-14 inches
Weight: Faults: any deviation to the foregoing points listed.
The American Kennel Club, AKC does recognize non-standard colors and does register them as purebred Miniature Schnauzers and all non-standard colors can participate in every AKC sanctioned event except for Comformation.
Below is a list of health disorders that can be commonly associated with this breed:
Cataracts Cataracts in dogs occur when the eye lens is gradually covered by an opaque cloudiness. Miniature Schnauzers are prone to severe cataracts, which can appear anywhere from birth to six years old. The condition will affect the dog’s vision and can lead to complete canine blindness. However, sometimes the condition can be corrected and vision can be restored with surgery.
Progressive Renal Atrophy (PRA) Progressive retinal atrophy in dogs is a condition that causes the dog’s retina to slowly deteriorate. PRA is an inherited disease that appears when the dog is still young, at around three years old. It begins with night blindness, but will eventually develop to completely blindness in both eyes within a year or two. Although the condition is not painful for the dog, there is no cure for PRA.
Entropion Entropion in dogs is a condition where a dog’s eyelid will invert and roll inwards toward the eye, causing the lashes to rub against and irritate the cornea. This is a painful condition that will require surgery to correct it.
Other Eye Conditions Other less common eye conditions that have been seen in Miniature Schnauzers include retinal dysplasia, glaucoma in dogs, and lens luxation.
Urinary Stones Miniature Schnauzers are more prone than other breeds for the development of bladder or kidney stones at some point in their lifetimes. In fact, urinary stones are more common in Miniature Schnauzers than any other breed. Miniature Schnauzers can develop several different kinds of stones, the most likely of which include struvite and calcium oxalate stones.
Struvite Stones Struvite stones are more common in females, typically appearing at the same time as a canine urinary tract infection. It is believed that Struvite stones occur frequently in Miniature Schnauzers because of breed-related weakness in their urinary tract. When the urinary tract infection that caused the stones is treated with antibiotics, the stones should go away, but sometimes they may require surgery.
Calcium Oxalate Stones Calcium oxalate stones are more common in older male dogs, occurring when the dog’s body cannot handle calcium correctly. This problem can be managed through diet but may require surgery to remove. Urinary stones can be especially dangerous in males because their narrow urethra is more easily blocked. This is a life-threatening emergency.
Pancreatitis Pancreatitis in dogs is a common condition in Miniature Schnauzers that involves an inflammation of the pancreas. It is an emergency situation which will require your dog to be hospitalized and given supportive care, including intravenous fluids. The dog will then need to stay on a low-fat diet for the rest of their life. If your dog has pancreatitis, symptoms may include, fever, lethargy, abdominal pain, vomiting, and diarrhea.
Myotonia Congenita Myotonia is a genetic muscle disease that is sometimes found in Miniature Schnauzers. When a dog has Myotonia, their muscles will contract easily, which causes them to be stiff. The condition causes their muscles to become hyperactive, making them grow too large, bulging muscles that make it difficult for them to get up and move around. Myotonia will also cause difficulty when swallowing because their tongues will swell. There is no cure, but Myotonia can be treated with medication. However, affected dogs won’t be able to exercise or eat normally. A small portion of Miniature Schnauzers can have this condition.
Hypothyroidism The number one inherited disease of dogs in general, canine hypothyroidism, is another condition commonly seen in Miniature Schnauzers. Hypothyroidism is a condition that occurs when a dog doesn’t produce sufficient amounts of the thyroid hormone, which regulates many of the body’s systems. It affects a dog’s metabolism, leading to depression, weight gain, lethargy, hair loss, and even an intolerance to the cold. If Hypothyroidism goes untreated, it can lead to issues with the immune system, cardiovascular system, and reproductive system. Luckily, treatment are relatively easy and inexpensive.
Cushing’s Disease Cushing's disease in dogs is another condition seen with some frequency in Miniature Schnauzers. It affects females more than males and typically occurs in middle-aged dogs between six and eight years old. Cushing’s Disease can cause increased thirst and urination as well as weight gain. It is also connected to an overproduction of adrenal cortex hormones, which can cause sudden blindness.
Skin Problems Miniature Schnauzers can encounter some skin conditions that may include allergies, non-tumorous growths, and tumors, especially sebaceous gland tumors. Most commonly, they develop a skin condition called Comedo Syndrome, in which the dog develops blackheads along its back. In fact, the condition is so common it is commonly referred to as “Schnauzer bumps.” In addition to the blackheads, some dogs will also have scabbing and dog hair loss. The blackheads may feel crusty and are a blockage of the dog’s hair follicles. Comedo Syndrome can be prevented through a healthy diet, consistent dog grooming, and regular bathing. Just like with human acne, you should not squeeze these bumps.
Miniature Schnauzers can also get malassezia dermatitis, a yeast infection that causes hair loss, itchiness, a foul smell, and can also lead to other infections. Other conditions may be triggered by allergies, metabolic disorders, or a lack of grooming or bathing. Pay close attention to your dog’s diet and maintain consistent grooming habits to help prevent skin problems.
Heart Disease Miniature Schnauzers are more likely to develop some forms of heart disease in dogs, including mitral valve disease, sick sinus syndrome, and pulmonic stenosis. Mitral valve disease causes the valve to wear out, sick sinus syndrome will cause the heart to beat irregularly, and pulmonic stenosis is an obstruction of blood flow to the heart.
Dental Problems Miniature Schnauzers are very susceptible to periodontal disease in dogs, in which food and plaque are trapped in their teeth, causing them to develop an infection in their gums and the roots of their teeth. This is a serious condition that shouldn’t be taken lightly, as it can lead to heart disease (see above), kidney or liver damage, and weakened joints, not to mention your dog may lose teeth and have difficulty eating. Not taking care of your dog’s teeth can actually reduce his lifespan. Frequent dental cleanings, or cleaning your dog’s teeth yourself at home, can go along way to maintaining a healthy mouth. You can ask your veterinarian and/or breeder for tips on how to clean your dog’s mouth as well as how to inspect it for issues.
Ear Infections Miniature Schnauzers are known to get ear infections in dogs, which can be quite uncomfortable for the dog. The infections can be caused by allergies, bacteria, and yeast. If you notice your dog scratching or shaking their head more than usual, or they are sensitive about having their ears touch, it may point to an ear infection. The earlier you catch an ear infection, the less pain your dog will suffer.
Conclusion In general, Miniature Schnauzers are healthy little dogs although any dog can develop health issues, regardless of their genetics. Miniature Schnauzer health problems can usually be dealt with when discovered early, and many can be prevented altogether. However, when they do develop health problems, it can be difficult to tell because they are stubborn dogs who don’t want to let anything slow them down.
*Not all Miniature Schnauzers will develop any of the health issues listed above during the course of their lives. Pay attention to your pet so you can notice if anything is out of the ordinary, and take your Miniature Schnauzer in for regular veterinary checkups to catch things early. If you are proactive with any health issues and maintain a healthy diet, and exercise your dog regularly, you may have a pet that can live for up to 15 years or more*