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Miniature Schnauzer Dog Breed InformationDescription: The Miniature Schnauzer is a strongly built dog that ranges from 12 to 14 in height. Both sexes weigh from 13 to 15 pounds. This is a very square-looking dog with a long head and strong jaws. The ears and tail are usually cropped. The Miniature Schnauzer has a hard outer coat over an undercoat which is soft. The usual coat colors for the Miniature Schnauzer are salt and pepper, black, black and silver, and occasionally white.
History: The Miniature Schnauzer originated in Germany in the late 19th century. Crossing the Standard Schnauzer with the Affenpinscher and Miniature Pinscher produced the Miniature Schnauzer. These active dogs were used to hunt rats and other vermin on farms, and were adept at following their prey into tight spaces. The Miniature Schnauzer also found service as guard dogs for families and herd animals. They are alert watchdogs and will not hesitate to bark when they think something is amiss.
Temperament: The Miniature Schnauzer is an energetic, active dog that loves to play. This dog is very alert, but should not be overly aggressive. The Miniature Schnauzer should be taught how to socialize with other dogs while young, as they tend to be dominant with them otherwise.
Miniature Schnauzers are easy to train, but do have a “high prey drive” which must be addressed if other pets are present in the house. The Miniature Schnauzer is good with children and enjoys the companionship of their family.
Health Issues: Usually, the Miniature Schnauzer is a fairly healthy breed of dog. They can be subject to cataracts and retinal atrophy, both of which can lead to blindness. If the fat levels in their blood rise too high, they can get pancreatitis. Miniature Schnauzers can develop diabetes, cysts, and Von Willebrand’s Disease (a type of hemophilia). Diabetes and pancreatitis can be avoided in part by watching the dog’s diet so that it does not become overweight. A low fat dog food is probably suitable for this breed.
Grooming: The Miniature Schnauzer needs to have its coat stripped twice yearly, at the very least. Additionally, it is a good idea to brush the dog every week to keep the fur from being matted. The eyebrows, beard, and moustaches should be combed to keep them from tangling, and can be trimmed to keep them neater. It is a good idea to clean the facial hair with a damp cloth after the dog has eaten. The ears should be cleaned regularly to prevent infections. As the teeth are prone to decay, brushing every week is a good idea. Be aware that human toothpaste can be poisonous to the Miniature Schnauzer, and use one designed for dogs.
Living Conditions: The Miniature Schnauzer is a very good indoor dog and will be happy in either a house or apartment. This dog becomes strongly attached to the family and benefits mentally from being with them. The Miniature Schnauzer is playful and lively and needs daily exercise, preferably a long walk. This dog must sleep inside.
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