Miniature Schnauzer History of the Breed
The Miniature Schnauzer was exhibited as a distinct breed as early as 1899. It's thought to have been derived from breeding the smallest of the
Standard Schnauzers with Affenpinschers, gray Spitz, and the black Poodles in a highly selective breeding program. Some authors speculate that
Miniature Pinschers, and Wire Fox Terriers may also have contributed to the mix. Four Miniatures imported by Mrs. M. Slattery of the Marienhof Kennels
in 1924 were the foundation stock for the breed in America.
Miniature Schnauzers were first registered as a separate breed in 1926. In 1933, the Schnauzer Club of America was divided into the Standard Schnauzer
Club of America and the American Miniature Schnauzer Club, with both breeds competing in the AKC Terrier Group. In 1945, The Standard Schnauzer was
moved to the Working Group.
The Miniature Schnauzer was developed as a farm dog, with a particular aptitude as a ratter. No matter what the size, (no matter whether Teacup, Toy or
Miniature), they combine the traits of intelligence, strength, and valor, to be able and willing to attack rodents in their lairs. While possessing these traits,
they are however, a remarkably sociable and human-oriented creature. He is equally at home in rural and urban environments, and his small stature
makes him particularly well-suited to apartment and city living. Today’s Miniature Schnauzer is predominantly a charismatic companion: naturally happy
and completely devoted to its people. This breed also excels as a guard and watch dog, with keen hearing and a sharp bark. Miniature Schnauzers are
highly intelligent, obedient and trainable, making them competitive in both obedience and training.
Like most, if not all terriers, schnauzers also display a wonderful enthusiasm. While not going out of its way to pick a fight, a typical schnauzer usually
will not retreat from an aggressive encounter, and is quite capable of giving a good account of itself. In short, Schnauzers think they are BIG dogs.
However, they are quite gentle with children, and have relatively few health problems. For these reasons, veterinarians commonly recommend the
Miniature Schnauzer as one of the breeds of choice for families.
With the population of the United States moving to smaller living spaces, and multifamily housing, this smaller breed is becoming more attractive as a
companion pet. Many of the physical traits of the teacup and Toy Schnauzer make it particularly suitable for today’s housing situations. It is a compact,
sturdy breed, with a coat that requires minimal grooming.
A big plus for the Miniature Schnauzer is that they DO NOT SHED. The AKC ranks the Miniature Schnauzer as one of the top 10 hypoallergenic breeds. For
families who have family members with allergies, the Miniature Schnauzer is a very good choice.
Another wonderful characteristic of the breed, is that they are not yappy dogs no matter what the size. Even the more vocal pups being intelligent dogs,
can be trained not to bark incessantly. They are usually only apt to bark at the approach of other dogs or strangers, making them great watchdogs.
Origin of the Name
The word Schnauzer should be pronounced "sh-now-tser" with the German Z sounding like TS - as in Mozart, which is spoken "Motsart." It comes from
the German word "Schnauze" meaning snout. This obviously refers to the wonderful whiskers on the muzzle which are the trademark of all Schnauzers
and give them such an unforgettable look.
The Toy size is not "officially" recognized as their own breed. Toys are still registered as Miniature Schnauzers, but when you meet them in person, you'll
see that they are clearly NOT the same size as a miniature. Size is where the differences stop. Personality, structure, and longevity in a well-bred Toy are
the same as a regular Miniature Schnauzer, they are ALL Schnauzer in every way.... just in a smaller package.
There are many breeders in the United States who have been breeding toy sized Minis for over 25 years. Toys are still relatively new to Canada, and are
now starting to pop up in nearly every province. All the "standard colors" can be registered by the AKC, as well as what we call "the Lost colors" of white,
parti, and Liver (also referred to as chocolate). However the standard colored Toys cannot be shown in AKC conformation classes, as they do not meet
the breed height standard for a Miniature Schnauzer. We look forward to the day when the “Toy Schnauzer” is a recognized breed.
Interestingly enough, the original “Miniature Schnauzer” was bred to be a 10 lb dog or Toy size…smaller and low to the ground in order to catch varmints.
However, when the larger dogs started winning in the show ring, the breed standard was raised to what it is now, 12-14 inches at the shoulder. Once the
breed standard was raised, you started seeing 14-20 lb miniatures. A Toy is considered under 12", and/or 7-11 lbs by most breeders. The Toys come in
all the same colors as the Miniatures. Toys should be bred to meet the breed standard with the exception of size. Teacup schnauzers are considered to
be 6 lbs or less, and should retain the same compact, stocky shape of their larger relatives.
Toy schnauzers are a good choice for; retired couples who want a canine companion that is easy to travel with, apartment dwellers, and anyone needing
a dog that is easy to lift. Families also find the Toy size a suitable and sturdy size for smaller children. The smaller size, however, does not mean less
energetic. They are the ideal little dog for the person who would normally want a "big" dog because they are active, and want a jogging/hiking partner!
What we love about Schnauzers is that they are so willing to please. If you want to sit and watch TV, they can be a couch potato, too. But, when you are
ready to go out for a brisk walk or jog, they are more than ready and willing to go.
Understanding the Different Schnauzer Colors
According to the breed standard there are only three registered colors for the Miniature Schnauzer: Black, Black & Silver, and Salt & Pepper. So if you
want to show your dog, it must be one of these three colors recognized by the Schnauzer Club. However, the AKC recognizes all of the colors. Because
the Schnauzer Club only recognizes the three colors, those are the only ones that can be shown in the AKC conformation class. A registered Miniature
Schnauzer of any color or size, can participate in AKC agility classes.
The “Lost Colors”
Because the original Miniature Schnauzers were a result of breeding the Standard Schnauzers with the Affenpinscher, Poodles, Terriers, etc, a gene pool
for colors other than the three standard colors was created. If you go back and research Schnauzer history, you will discover that once the Schnauzer
Club was formed, to closer resemble their larger cousin the Standard Schnauzer, they decided on only the three colors: Black, Black & Silver, and Salt &
Pepper. As the dogs were being crossbred you can imagine what may have happened when crossing several different breeds with one other. There were
several results which included the “broken patterns” or the parti colors, as well as shades of red. These colors were unacceptable to the purists that did
not want to see anything other than the breed standard. Anything different than that perfection, was eliminated or taken out of the gene pool. In other
words, if it was not one of the 3 desirable chosen colors, it was drowned/killed. One of the early Miniature Schnauzer breeders in Oklahoma, Wanda
Dickerson, was one of the first breeders in the United States to get a Black & White Parti from a miniature she had purchased from Canada. When she
called the AKC, they told her to drown the puppy. Refusing to drown a perfectly good puppy, she started breeding the “Lost Colors”. She was also one of
the first to produce the liver or chocolate colored miniature schnauzer. Wanda and others worked hard to get the AKC to eventually start registering all
of the colors. Today, there are many different breeders breeding for the parti colors, chocolates or livers, and whites. They are more common now than a
few years ago, and have proven to be very popular with dog lovers.
We have selectively bred our dogs to encourage these rare and unique colors. While the staunch show breeders have selectively bred to discourage any
of the recessive genes/rare colors. Below are some of the pups that have been produced by us, and are examples of the many colors that can be found in
our breeding program.
|Miniature Schnauzer History,
Characteristics, Sizes, & the
Many Different Colors!
THE LIVER OR CHOCOLATES
Green Eyes & Chocolate Food Pads
CHOCOLATE or LIVER
Black Nose & Black Foot Pads