Miniature Schnauzer Information ~ The Breed
Many times owners look at these cute puppies and forget that they grow up and have individual traits & needs. For instance; a Lab may live happily outside while Miniature Schnauzers need to be with their humans. Each breed has specific instincts & needs that develop as the puppy develops. Our number one concern is finding the right owner for our dogs and then secondly, matching the right puppy to the owner. It is so important to us that potential owners know about the breed before the adoption of one of our babies, so please take the time to read this Miniature Schnauzer information before deciding on adopting.
Affiliation Recognition: AKC, CKC, FCI, AKC, UKC, KCGB, CKC, ANKC, NKC, NZKC, APRI, ACR
Height: 12-14 inches Weight: 13-18 pounds
Life Expectancy: Miniature Schnauzers are hardy, healthy pets with a generous life span of approximately 17 years, showing no signs of age until quite later in life.
Living Conditions: The Miniature Schnauzer is a popular choice for many prospective owners being that they are hypoallergenic and non-shedding dogs. They are a good dog for apartment dwellers or someone with a house and yard. Miniature Schnauzers are fairly active indoors and will do okay without a yard. They are energetic little dogs that need daily exercise (long, brisk, walks, and love play sessions off the leash). Miniature Schnauzers easily adapt to any change of condition or climate. Their deepest need however, is to live as a part of the family; going where they go, doing what they do. Sleeping on the bed, or in his own space beside his owner is his greatest joy.
Miniature Schnauzers are delightful companions with their energetic, charming, and perky personalities. They make an excellent companion because they are devoted to their home and family, good with children, very intelligent, quick to learn, curious, playful, and are easy to train.
The typical Miniature Schnauzer is alert and spirited, yet obedient to command. He is friendly, intelligent and willing to please. They should never be overaggressive or timid. The Miniature Schnauzer is sweet, loving and loyal to the entire family and demands time and companionship from its owner.
The Miniature Schnauzer is a little dog with a "big dog" attitude. Miniature Schnauzers are not random incessant barkers. They are discriminating and intelligent dogs and assume their natural duty is to defend. Once mature, they have a strongly developed territorial instinct that makes them an ideal guard dog, as he defends vocally rather than physically. A good Schnauzer will bark at anyone who may appear as a threat to his home. They are often guarded of strangers until the owners of the home welcome the guest, upon which they are typically very friendly to them.
If properly introduced, the Miniature Schnauzer will get along with other dogs, but will not accept every dog that comes its way.
The breed is generally good with children, recognizing that they need gentle play. Miniature Schnauzers are highly playful dogs, and if not given the outlet required for their energy they can become bored and invent their own "fun".
The breed excels in formal obedience trials and are seen more and more in agility competitions. They are frequently used as Therapy Dogs. Miniature Schnauzers are also eligible to participate in earth-dog trials and greatly excel at them.
Appearance: The Miniature Schnauzer resembles his larger cousin, the Standard Schnauzer, in general appearance, and of an alert, active disposition. The Miniature Schnauzer is relatively small in size but in no way toyish or delicate. When you pick him up you will discover he is sturdy, heavy, and muscular; a ruggedness combined with elegance and beauty.
The Miniature Schnauzer is a squarely-proportioned with a bushy beard, mustache and eyebrows, and a strong muzzle. The thick, prominent eyebrows and long mustache are often trimmed to accentuate the dog's square cut shape. The front legs are very straight. The tail is usually docked. The oval eyes are dark colored, and the v-shaped ears fold forward when left natural or are cropped to a point and stand erect.
- Colors: There are four AKC accepted colors for Miniature Schnauzers.
- Salt & Pepper: The eyebrows, beard and legs will be light gray or silver white. The hairs of the harsh topcoat are banded, alternating black and white and then back to black again. Any combination of black & white banded hairs, and solid black & white unbanded hairs, with the banded hairs predominating; all mixtures from light to dark with tan shadings are permissible. Salt and Peppers come in various shades of gray from almost silver white to almost black. Salt and Peppers will often fade to lighter shades of gray.
- Black & Silver: Follow essentially the same pattern as the Salt and Peppers except the topcoat and undercoat color are solid black. The beard and legs tend to be more silver than white and the dark hair may extend farther down the legs.
- Black: Entirely Black with a black undercoat, except they may have a small white patch on the chest.
- White: Entirely White. White Miniature Schnauzers have been in existence for over 100 years and can be traced to turn of the century Germany. Throughout most of the rest of the world, the White Miniature Schnauzer may be shown in Conformations shows sanctioned by the FCI in International competitions. The White Miniature Schnauzer is becoming very popular in Europe as a show dog. 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.
From pedigree research the "white" (gelb or "yellow" as it was called in early German records) gene was introduced into the Miniature Schnauzer breed mainly through a German black Champion Miniature Schnauzer named Peter V Westerberg (PZ604), born in November 1902. Peter was obviously carrying one "e" gene because it is recorded that he was bred to a female named Gretel VD Werneburg (PZ1530) (color unknown) and produced a "yellow" female pup named Mucki VD Werneburg (PSZ 8) born October 1914. Mucki was bred to a grandson of Peter named Pucki VD Werneburg, a dark Salt & Pepper PSZ12 who produced the black German Champion Peterle VD Werneburg, PSZ11 born June 2, 1916, who also had to have the "e" gene since his dam was yellow. Peter V Westerburg or his grandson, Peterle can be traced to in nearly every Miniature Schnauzer line researched in AKC records. For example, if you trace every ancestor in the 5th generation of Dorem Display, you will find every dog goes back to Peter Von Westerberg. With so many line-bred crosses, it is statistically impossible to eradicate the "white" "e" gene by visual appearance alone. Those former claims that the "white" gene has been eradicated from the Miniature Schnauzer lines could not be proven, because the DNA test was not available until 2006.
Today, the American Miniature Schnauzer Club and the American Kennel Club standard describes the White MiniatureSchnauzers as a disqualification from conformation shows. The White Miniature Schnauzer may compete in other AKC sanctioned events such as agility, Canine Good Citizen, Obedience, or Earth-dog trials. The White Miniature Schnauzer may be shown in conformation events in the USA in international dog shows sanctioned by the IABCA (International All Breed Canine Association). White Miniature Schnauzers are still considered a "rare" breed in the U.S. and may also be shown in the rare breed classes in IABCA.
Germany is the country of origin of the Miniature Schnauzer, and since the Miniature Schnauzer was meant to resemble the Standard Schnauzer. The first Breed Standard for the Schnauzer - 1907- required The American and the Canadian Miniature Schnauzer Clubs in North America established their breed standards for judging the Miniature Schnauzer in 1934, long before Germany began to recognize the White Miniature Schnauzer. Germany's Pinscher Schnauzer Klub (PSK), the original parent breed club, changed their standard to include the White Miniature Schnauzer as an acceptable 4th color for breeding and for show. The Federation Cynologique Internationale (FCI) now acknowledges white in the breed standards set forth by the countries of breed origins.
References: After testing several unrelated white dogs from around the world, it has been recently proven by DNA testing that the genotype for the White Miniature Schnauzer is "e/e" at MC1r (commonly referred to as the "E" locus). "E", normal extension of black, allows the A-series alleles to show through, and "e", recessive red/yellow, overrides whatever gene is present at the A locus to produce a dog which shows only phaeomelanin pigment in the coat. Skin and eye color show apparently normal eumelanin, although some "e,e" dogs appear to show reduced pigment on the nose, especially in winter (snow nose), but after sunbathing in warm weather, they regain the black pigment on their noses, much like humans getting a tan in summer. Most white Miniature Schnauzers with correct harsh coats will have a yellowish streak on their backs and head when their hair is hand stripped and the ends become blown or dead. It is assumed this is why they were originally called "yellow" in German records.
There are two forms of melanin (pigment) in mammals' hair coats. The first is called eumelanin. The base form of eumelanin is black. Eumelanin can also appear brown (often called liver in dogs) or blue-gray. The second pigment, which varies from pale cream through shades of yellow, tan, and orange/red is called phaeomelanin.
All dogs have alleles at every locus. Not all proposed alleles have been proven to exist. The generally recognized color loci in dogs are referred to as: A (agouti), B (brown), C (albino series), D (blue dilution) E (extension), G (graying), M (merle), R (roaning), S (white spotting) and T (ticking.) There may be more, unrecognized gene series, and in a given breed, modifying factors may drastically affect the actual appearance. The newest proposed locus is the K locus for dominant black in certain breeds, including the Miniature Schnauzer.
White Miniature Schnauzers do not possess the "d" allele, which is commonly known as the Dilution gene responsible for diluting both eumelanin and phaeomelanin pigment. This stands to reason because true white Miniature Schnauzers have black skin pigment and dark eyes.
Genotypes for the white Miniature Schnauzer are proposed as follows showing they can "carry" for any of the other 3 colors of solid Black, Black & Silver, or Salt & Pepper:
- aw,aw D,D e,e k,k (white carrying for S&P)
- aw,at D,D e,e K,k (white carrying for S&P, B&S, and black)
- at,at D,D e,e K,k (white carrying for B&S, and black)
This "e,e" genotype for the white Miniature Schnauzer proves that all of the other 3 colors can carry a gene for the white and also that any of the 3 colored schnauzers bred to another schnauzer of any color that is carrying one "e" gene can produce a white puppy from that mating.
Therefore, a Black & Silver with the genotype of at,at; E,e; K,k bred to another Black & Silver with the same genotype can produce a white puppy. The statistical odds are:
- 50% will be: at,at; E,e; K,k, (Black & Silver)
- 25% will be: at,at; E,E,; K,k (Black & Silver)
- 25% will be: at,at; e,e; K,k (white)
Mating 2 whites together will produce 100% white puppies because white is a double recessive gene phenotype.
Rumors: Some of the early breeders of Miniature Schnauzers thought the white puppies were albino because when they are first born, they have pink skin and noses. Many early breeders destroyed them at birth mistakenly thinking they were albino and therefore defective. Those who did not destroy them found that within a few hours and days their skin pigment turned to black on their noses, around the mouth and eyes and the pads of their feet and bellies.
Through rumors circulated that the white minis carried defective or lethal genes similar to the blue merle dogs or white boxers and that the white miniature schnauzers have medical problems and deafness, the truth is that White Miniature Schnauzers have no different health problems than their colored counterparts.
Another rumor that has spread throughout North America is that the White Miniature Schnauzers were fraudulently bred up from West Highland White Terriers to get the white coat color." Therefore we can assume that the Miniatures are not the result of medium sized Schnauzer mating but of an outcross of Schnauzers to Monkey Pinschers" from "History of the Schnauzer and Miniature Schnauzer" by Joseph Schwabacher, copyright 1930, page 35, translated from the German for the Schnauzer Club of America. So Miniature Schnauzer came from a combination of Black or Salt & Pepper Schnauzers, and Affenpinschers which are Black, Gray, Silver, Red, and Black & Tan BUT not White.....Interesting!
Coat Color Inheritance in the White Miniature Schnauzer by Karin N. Rice, March 2006