Breed Spotlight: Miniature Schnauzer

3 min read
Sep 28, 2022

Miniature Schnauzer Quick Stats


12 – 15 years


12 – 20 lbs


12 – 14 inches


Yes, minimally


Friendly, intelligent, playful

Common Health Problems:

Entropion, progressive retinal atrophy, myotonia congenita

Miniature Schnauzer: How Do I Look?

The miniature schnauzer, also known as the toy schnauzer, is a small but sturdy dog with bushy eyebrows and a long beard. Despite their gray hair, they have soft and youthful features and possess a spunkiness that’s sure to brighten your day.

Coat Type and Colors

Miniature schnauzers have a double coat, with the topcoat consisting of wiry hairs.3 Their undercoat is short and thick, making them minimal shedders. They’re most well-known for their full eyebrows and scruffy beards.

The American Kennel Club recognizes three colors of the mini schnauzer, including:

  • Black
  • Black and silver
  • Salt and pepper


Miniature schnauzers’ ears are small and v-shaped. When cropped, their ears stand close to their head in proportion to their skull.3 While cropped ears are the breed standard set by the American Kennel Club (AKC), the procedure is purely cosmetic and isn’t deemed necessary for all mini schnauzers unless they’re entering dog shows.

Shedding and Grooming

The miniature schnauzer doesn’t shed often, and they don’t produce much dander, which makes the breed hypoallergenic. Despite this, they do require a high-maintenance grooming schedule to keep their hair short and their face cleaned and styled.

In addition to a grooming appointment every 4 – 6 weeks, the mini schnauzer’s coat should be brushed roughly three times a week to prevent matting or skin conditions from forming under their double coat.

Drooling Level

Miniature schnauzers aren’t known to be heavy droolers, so don’t expect to have slobbery furniture if you adopt one!

Miniature Schnauzer

Miniature Schnauzer: Personality Traits

What My Adoption Bio Would Say:

If any dog should be called a lover, it’s me! Whether it’s my owners, my owners’ friends, pets, it doesn’t matter — I want to meet and love all of them! It’s my life mission to make my family happy; I’m always eager to please, and even more eager to play. I promise you’ll have a spunky pal for life in me.


The miniature schnauzer temperament is widely considered social, and they’re often called a “people” dog. They’re incredibly friendly to both family and strangers, but they’re also loyal to their pet parents at the end of the day. They’re happy as long as they can spend time with you. This desire for connection makes them prone to separation anxiety, so they require hands-on pet parents who can be available to them as often as possible.

Exercise Needs

Miniature schnauzers require daily exercise, but the good news is that they’re happy to tag along with whatever you’re doing. A nice walk, a trip to the store, or a jog on your favorite nature trail will serve them just fine.

Good with Other Pets?

Despite their alpha mentality, miniature schnauzers get along well with other pets in the home. They’re highly adaptable and can find joy and fun in any situation. Of course, every dog is different, so make sure to start with safe and slow introductions when it comes to bringing a new pet into the home.


The miniature schnauzer is eager to please and highly intelligent, but they can also be stubborn. Stern training can help the mini schnauzer succeed in following commands, especially when assisted by professional trainers.

Once they have a solid training process in place, they’re unstoppable. Miniature schnauzers are well-known for their tricks and have the ability to learn hundreds of different commands. They thrive in agility and obedience competitions.

Good with Kids?

The miniature schnauzer is very good with children and develops a protective nature when raised with them. Their affectionate and playful nature makes them a great fit for families with children.

Barking Level

Miniature schnauzers are notoriously noisy dogs and have a habit of barking at strangers. Training is key to make sure these dogs don’t become the loud pup on the block.

Miniature Schnauzer: A History

The miniature schnauzer is a breed variation of its larger cousin, the standard schnauzer. The standard schnauzer was bred down in Germany in the 1800s to be a quick and agile ratter, a dog used to hunt rats.3 This breed mix to create the mini schnauzer also included the poodle and the affenpinscher.

Today, the miniature schnauzer is part of the terrier group recognized by the AKC, but it is one of the few terriers with no British ancestry due to its German breeding.

Common Breed Name Mixes

  • Miniboz: A  Miniature schnauzer and Boston terrier mix
  • Chizer: A Miniature schnauzer and Chihuahua mix
  • Schnau-Tzu: A Miniature schnauzer and shih tzu mix

Miniature Schnauzer Health Problems

This breed may experience a variety of health issues, including:

  • Cataracts: This disease gives a cloudy appearance in the eye lens that happens with old age.
  • Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA): PRA is a degenerative eye disorder.4
  • Entropion: This is an eye condition that causes the dog’s eyelids to invert.
  • Myotonia congenita: This is a hereditary skeletomuscular disorder that can be seen in puppies within weeks after their birth.
  • Von Willebrand’s disease: This is an incurable blood clotting disorder.

Protect your Pets

Even the healthiest of pups can come with unexpected vet costs. Pet insurance can help keep your dog and your bank account happy.

How Pet Insurance Can Help Miniature Schnauzers

Miniature schnauzers are prone to certain health conditions. Fortunately, a MetLife dog insurance policy may help cover the cost of diagnosis and treatment for certain diseases, such as:1,2

Myotonia Congenita

This is a hereditary skeletomuscular disorder seen in puppies within weeks after being born. These puppies may have enlarged and swollen tongues, peak-shaped lower jaws, and may have difficulty swallowing or getting up. Ensuring you find a puppy with a responsible breeder may avoid this gene from entering the litter. MetLife Pet Insurance can help offset the costs of treatment and surgery for your dog if they’re impacted with this disorder.1,2

Von Willebrand’s Disease

This blood clotting disorder may cause miniature schnauzers to suffer from nosebleeds, bleeding gums, and/or blood in their stool. This is generally diagnosed in dogs as young as 3 years old, and is unfortunately incurable. Von Willebrand’s can be managed through cauterization and careful medication selection.

Pet insurance can help your miniature schnauzer and your wallet by offsetting the costs of expensive and potentially life-saving treatments. Enrolling in a policy when your dog is a puppy can help support their health before a health concern is deemed a preexisting condition.

Protect your Miniature Schnauzer with Pet Insurance

Enroll in 3 Easy Steps

Nothing in this article should be construed as financial, legal, or veterinary advice. Please consult your own advisors for questions relating to your and your pet’s specific circumstances.

1 Pet Insurance offered by MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC is underwritten by Independence American Insurance Company (“IAIC”), a Delaware insurance company, headquartered at 485 Madison Avenue, NY, NY 10022, and Metropolitan General Insurance Company (“MetGen”), a Rhode Island insurance company, headquartered at 700 Quaker Lane, Warwick, RI 02886, in those states where MetGen’s policies are available. MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC is the policy administrator authorized by IAIC and MetGen to offer and administer pet insurance policies. MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC was previously known as PetFirst Healthcare, LLC and in some states continues to operate under that name pending approval of its application for a name change. The entity may operate under an alternate, assumed, and/or fictitious name in certain jurisdictions as approved, including MetLife Pet Insurance Services LLC (New York and Minnesota), MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions Agency LLC (Illinois), and such other alternate, assumed, or fictitious names approved by certain jurisdictions.

2 Provided all terms of the policy are met. Application is subject to underwriting review and approval. Like most insurance policies, insurance policies issued by IAIC and MetGen contain certain deductibles, co-insurance, exclusions, exceptions, reductions, limitations, and terms for keeping them in force. For costs, complete details of coverage and exclusions, and a listing of approved states, please contact MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC.

3 “Miniature Schnauzer,” American Kennel Club

4 “Progressive Retinal Atrophy in Dogs,” VCA Animal Hospitals

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