Miniature Schnauzers are small, but sturdy and squarely built dogs. They have the distinctive Schnauzer beard and a wiry coat that may be black, black and sliver, salt and pepper, and in some cases, white. Their bushy eyebrows and the keen expression of their small, deep-set eyes give them the impression of grouchiness at times. The ears, which are set high on the skull may be cropped or uncropped. When uncropped, the ears are small and V-shaped. The head is rectangular, the muzzle is strong and blunt, and covered in the trademark Schnauzer beard. The tail is set high, typically docked, and carried erect.
Size and Weight
Adult Miniature Schnauzers stand from 12 to 14 inches and should be square in proportion. They typically weigh between 11 and 20 pounds.
Coat and Color
The Miniature Schnauzer wears a double coat that consists of a thick, soft undercoat and a wiry topcoat. The loose and dead hair that would normally shed off the body tends to get trapped, making Miniature Schnauzers good pets for people who suffer from allergies and asthma, or for neatniks who disapprove of dog hair. The coat is solid black, salt and pepper, black and silver, or white. Solid white Miniature Schnauzers cannot be shown in AKC shows, but has no bearing on their health or personality.
To stay looking handsome, Miniature Schnauzers need to be groomed every five to eight weeks. Many owners prefer to use the services of a professional groomer, as properly clipping a Schnauzer can be tricky. Show dogs need to be hand-stripped, which is a time consuming process, and is unnecessary for dogs who will not be shown. It is important to brush a Schnauzer two to three times per week to prevent mats. The reason this breed doesn't shed is because the undercoat gets caught in the topcoat, so the loose and dead hair must be brushed out, in order to remove it. Wash the dog's beard after mealtime, to remove food, prevent tangles and keep him looking and smelling fresh.
Check the Miniature Schnauzer's ears on a regular basis for signs of wax buildup, irritation or infection. Clean the ears with a cotton ball and a veterinarian-approved cleanser; never use a cotton swab in a dog's ear canal. Teeth should be brushed on a weekly basis to prevent tartar buildup, promote gum health and keep bad breath at bay. Trim nails monthly if the dog does not wear the toenails down naturally outdoors.