The Miniature Schnauzer, also known as the Mini Schnauzer, the Dwarf Schnauzer and the Zwergschnauzer, is a stocky, spirited German breed that dates back to the 15th century. These dogs were used to eradicate rats and other vermin on German farms for many centuries. They also were beloved family pets, a role which continues today. Unlike most other terriers, the Mini Schnauzer is not known to be a fighter, but certainly he will stand up for himself if necessary. The Miniature Schnauzer is the most popular of the three Schnauzer breeds (the others being the Standard and the Giant). They do not shed and are considered to be hypoallergenic, making them a good choice for people with allergies or asthma. Senators Bob and Elizabeth Dole, and actors Mary Tyler Moore, Bill Cosby and Bruce Lee, have all owned Miniature Schnauzers. The Mini Schnauzer was admitted to the American Kennel Club as a distinct breed in 1933, as a member of the Terrier Group.
The average Miniature Schnauzer stands 12 to 14 inches high at the withers. There is no weight standard for this breed, but an adult bitch of about 13 inches should weigh about 14 pounds. Their wiry double coat, prolific whiskers and leg furnishings require frequent grooming and must be hand-stripped several times a year. Miniature Schnauzers have the bushy eyebrows, bristly mustaches and shaggy beards of their larger relatives. Many owners prefer to keep their Mini Schnauzers in a short-clipped cut for easier care. Acceptable colors include salt-and-pepper (gray), black-and-silver and solid black. The Schnauzer’s ears may be cropped or left natural under the American standard, and its tail is typically docked.