The miniature schnauzer breed is a small dog that makes a great pet. Although they require some socialization before they can be around other dogs or people, they are also loving and loyal. If you are ready to adopt a puppy, here’s how to select a miniature schnauzer:
- Understand their temperament. Miniature schnauzers need socialization to comfortably be around other dogs and people because of their high prey drive. Be sure you are willing to put forth this effort. You should reconsider your choice if you already have other dogs. The miniature schnauzer is both loving and high-energy. They can be very demanding of their owner’s attention. Miniature schnauzers can make good watchdogs, but this also means that they are known to bark a lot. They do not require a backyard to get their exercise.
- Learn about the breed’s physical characteristics. Miniature schnauzers’ wiry outer coats can be salt and pepper, black and silver, or black in color. They grow to about 11 to 14 inches tall, and weigh 10 to 15 pounds. The males are usually slightly larger than the females. There are also standard schnauzers and giant schnauzers if you prefer a larger dog that still looks like the miniature schnauzer.
- Consider your options. There are miniature schnauzers in humane society shelters, although they may not be purebred. You may also want to look into breed-specific rescue organizations, which only have miniature schnauzers. If you are set on a purebred puppy or want a show dog, look for a reputable breeder of miniature schnauzer puppies. Contact breed clubs or other reputable organizations to find a good breeder, and always ask for references.
- Ask about health conditions. Miniature schnauzers are prone to certain health conditions. Ask the breeder about health testing. Some unscrupulous breeders do not do health screening to ensure the health of the dogs they breed. Others will conduct extensive tests to be sure they are not breeding dogs with these often hereditary conditions. Miniature schnauzers are prone to kidney stones, liver disease, diabetes, and a bleeding disorder known as Von Willebrand’s disease.
- Examine the dog physically. Miniature schnauzers should have dark, clear, oval-shaped eyes. The coat is double-layer, with a wiry outer coat and soft inner coat. Before you select a miniature schnauzer, always look the dog over physically. Never adopt a dog that looks sick or lethargic. Some breeders dock the tails or ears of their miniature schnauzers; if you’re not showing the dog, this is purely a personal decision.
Miniature schnauzers are great family pets whether you find them through a humane society, breed rescue, or reputable breeder. Before settling on this breed, make sure that you can keep up with their energy and understand their temperament. Then, learn how this dog breed should look before selecting one to take home.