The breed remains one of the most popular, and as of 2008 is the 11th most popular breed in the U.S, primarily for its temperament and relatively small size. The American Kennel Club recognizes only three colors for the Miniature Schnauzer: salt-and-pepper, black-and-silver, and solid black. Solid white is considered a disqualification, although, a small patch of white is only allowed on the solid black. In the United Kingdom, the small white patch on a solid black is also considered a fault. Other colors, such as parti (multi) colored, chocolate and liver colored schnauzers are available on the pet trade and can be registered as pure-bred by some organizations, but are not currently recognized by any legitimate clubs for conformation shows.
Miniature Schnauzers normally have a small, squarely proportioned build, measuring 12 to 14 inches (30 to 36 cm) tall and weighing 11 to 15 pounds (5.0 to 6.8 kg) for females and 14 to 18 pounds (6.4 to 8.2 kg) for males. They have a double coat. The exterior fur is wiry and the undercoat is softer. The coat is trimmed short on the body, but the hair on ears, legs, and edge of the body, a.k.a. the "furnishings", are retained. The first Breed Standard for the Schnauzer, established in 1907, required specific color formation: "Color: All salt and pepper color shades or similar bristly equal color mixtures and solid black. Faults: All white, speckled, brindle, red, or bran colors.
The long eyebrows and full beard are trademark grooming characteristics of all sizes of the Schnauzer. Although this cut can make them look very fierce, the hair actually helps them decide if they will fit through an opening.
Miniature Schnauzers are often described as non-shedding dogs, and while this is not entirely true, their shedding is minimal and generally unnoticeable. They are characterized by a long head with bushy beard, mustache and eyebrows; teeth that meet in a "scissor bite"; oval and dark colored eyes; and v-shaped, natural forward-folding ears. (When cropped, the ears point straight upward and come to a sharp point.) Their tails are naturally thin and short, and may be docked (where permitted). They will also have very straight, rigid front legs, and feet that are short and round (so-called "cat feet") with thick, black pads.
The Official Standard of the Miniature Schnauzer describes temperament as "alert and spirited, yet obedient to command. Friendly, intelligent and willing to please. They should never be overaggressive or timid." Usually easy to train, they tend to be excellent watchdogs, with a good territorial instinct, but more inclined toward vocal notification than attack. They are often guarded towards strangers until the owners of the home welcome the guest, upon which they are typically very friendly to them; unlike some of their terrier cousins, they are not typically aggressive. However, they will express themselves vocally, and may bark to greet their owner, or to express joy, excitement, or displeasure. In German, the verb schnauzen means to snap vocally (as in repartee,) or to give lip to something, or to talk back.
Proper socialization with other dogs and people is important. The breed is generally good with children, but as with any dog, play with small children should be supervised. They are highly playful dogs, and if not given the outlet required for their energy they can become bored and invent their own "fun." Schnauzers have a "high prey drive" (appropriate for a ratting dog), which means they may attack other small pets such as birds, snakes, and rodents. Many will also attack cats, but this may be curbed with training, or if the dog is raised with cats.Miniature Schnauzers can be active pets, and will play fetch, frisbee, or jog happily with their owners.
Schnauzers require regular grooming, either by stripping (the approved method), or by clipping (a short-cut usually reserved for family pets). Stripping removes the loose, dead coat; it may be done by hand, called finger stripping, or plucking, or with a stripping knife; either way, it is a laborious process. Many Miniature Schnauzers who are family pets have regular grooming appointments to have their hair clipped; clipping, using a mechanical clippers (or shaver), produces a soft, silky, skin-close trim. Whether stripped or clipped, the coat is close at the body, and falls into a fringe-like foundation on their undercarriage, called furnishings, which can be left to grow, but must be combed regularly. All Schnauzers, whether they are minis, Standards, or Giants, often sport a beard, created by allowing the hair around their noses to grow out. Left unclipped or unstripped, the body hair will grow two to four inches, and will often tangle into mats and curls.
The earliest records surrounding development of the Miniature Schnauzer in Germany come from the late 1800s. They were originally bred to be farm dogs in Germany, to keep the rats and other vermin out of the barn.
Crossing to other breeds, such as the Affenpinscher, Poodle and Miniature Pinscher, had the side effect of introducing colors that were not considered acceptable to the ultimate goal — and as breeders worked towards the stabilization of the gene pool, miss-marked particolors (mixed colors) and white puppies were removed from breeding programs. Since the 1950s, white puppies have re-emerged as a potential color variant, giving rise to the White Schnauzer Controversy.White Schnauzer Controversy
The White Schnauzer is one of four color varieties of the Miniature Schnauzer recognized by the Pinscher-Schnauzer Klub of Germany and the World Canine Organization. Not all dog fanciers accept the white variety as a legitimate variation for conformation (show) standards and they are not accepted by either the American Kennel Club or the Canadian Kennel Club. The controversy rests on the disputed origins of the white variation, if it is a naturally occurring, albeit recessive, color, an albino characteristic, or an unhealthy genetic mutation.
Today, the American Miniature Schnauzer Club and the American Kennel Club standard describes the White Miniature Schnauzers as a disqualification from conformation shows. The American Miniature Schnauzer Club and AKC maintain the colors from original breed standards. They are not albino dogs, and white dogs described as Miniature Schnauzers are affectionate and robust dogs who exhibit all the qualities of their colored counterparts.
The White Miniature Schnauzer Initiative was established in 2006 in Germany for friends and breeders of the White Miniature Schnauzers worldwide to promote interest and provide an informative network for sharing ideas and information and to give breeders the opportunity to exchange and expand the gene pool of the white Miniature Schnauzers worldwide. Source : Wikipedia
Top photo shows, Million, a Philippine Champion,
my dog's sire (father dog).
Bottom photo shows, Miggy, a Philippine Champion,
(with uncropped ears), my dog's first friend.
My dog has also been declared a
Philippine Champion in May 2009, what a blessing.