The Schnauzers got it all in one small package: intelligence, affection, mischievous, an extroverted temperament, humor, and a personality that’s twice as big as they is.  Throw in that walrus moustache and quivering enthusiasm, and they’ll make you laugh every day.  They always have to be the center of the action and attention…

The first time I looked into a Schnauzer’s eyes, I fell head over heels in love with this breed… The Miniature Schnauzer is a small dog with a whole lot of heart and full of life.  They are people-oriented and wants nothing more than to hang out with you.  They love spending time with you – snuggling into your lap on the couch and being pampered.  They may even run up to you while you’re sitting down and throw their paws around your neck… the ‘lekkerste’ hug ever!  They want to touch you and be next to you all the time, and you can bet they’ll want to sleep plastered to your side.  They are incredibly affectionate.

Mini Schnauzers are incredibly loyal to their family — and they require a great deal of attention. They are very protective of their people and make excellent watchdogs… sometimes to your frustration…  They will alert you to visitors, burglars, and blowing branches and their bark can be piercing.  Some of them can be noisy, but luckily they are excellent in training.

A bored Mini Schnauzer is an unhappy Mini Schnauzer.  Because he’s intelligent and energetic, he thrives on varied activities and exercise.  Make sure that you give him both, or he’ll become destructive and ill-tempered.  They enjoy going for brisk walks and love running around and frolicking without their leash.

Mini Schnauzers learn quickly, but at the same time, can be stubborn.  Really stubborn! Their favorite way of rebelling is to pretend that they don’t hear you when you try to make them do something.  To maintain order in your household, YOU must be in charge and not the Schnauzer.  If you let them get by with something even one time, they’ll remember it forever and you’ll find the behavior escalating.  This is one of the downsides of living with a dog who might possibly be smarter than you are.

They usually play well with other dogs.  They typically aren’t as aggressive toward other dogs as many other Terriers are, but they are brave and fearless around large dogs, a trait that can get them into big trouble.

Mini Schnauzers are high-maintenance in terms of grooming.  Although they are low-shedding, they need to be clipped every five to eight weeks.

Miniature Schnauzers are generally healthy, but like all breeds, they’re prone to certain health conditions.  Not all Miniature Schnauzers will get any or all of these diseases, but it’s important to be aware of it if you’re considering this breed.


Cataracts: Cataracts cause opacity on the lens of the eye, resulting in poor vision. The dog’s eye(s) will have a cloudy appearance. Cataracts usually occur in old age and sometimes can be surgically removed to improve vision.

Entropion: Entropion, which is usually obvious by six months of age, causes the eyelid to roll inward, irritating or injuring the eyeball. One or both eyes can be affected. If your Schnauzer has entropion, you may notice him rubbing at his eyes. The condition can be corrected surgically.

Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA): This is a family of eye diseases that involves the gradual deterioration of the retina. Early in the disease, affected dogs become night-blind; they lose sight during the day as the disease progresses. Many affected dogs adapt well to their limited or lost vision, as long as their surroundings remain the same.

Urinary Stones: These can cause your Miniature Schnauzer to start straining to urinate, pass blood in the urine, need to urinate more often than normal, and have cloudy or foul-smelling urine. While small bladder stones may pass on their own, your vet should be consulted. Dietary changes can’t get rid of existing stones, but they can prevent more stones from forming.

Myotonia Congenita: Only recently discovered in Miniature Schnauzers, this is a hereditary skeletomuscular disorder similar to muscular dystrophy. Symptoms begin when puppies are a few weeks old. Their muscles contract easily and they have prominent muscles in the shoulders and thighs. They have difficulty getting up, their coats are stiff, and they bunny-hop when running. Their tongues are enlarged and stiffen when touched, their lower jaws are peak-shaped, and they have difficulty swallowing. All breeding stock should be DNA-tested for the gene that causes it.

Von Willebrand’s Disease: Found in both dogs and humans, this is a blood disorder that affects the clotting process. An affected dog will have symptoms such as nosebleeds, bleeding gums, prolonged bleeding from surgery, prolonged bleeding during heat cycles or after whelping, and occasionally blood in the stool. This disorder is usually diagnosed between three and five years of age, and it can’t be cured. However, it can be managed with treatments that include cauterizing or suturing injuries, transfusions before surgery, and avoidance of specific medications.

Congenital Megaesophagus: This is a condition in which food and liquid are retained in the dog’s esophagus, causing him to regurgitate his food. As a result, dogs can get aspiration pneumonia or their esophagus can become obstructed. Diet can be adjusted to provide for the least regurgitation. The disease itself can’t be treated, only resulting conditions such as pneumonia; and the prognosis tends to be poor.

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