Newest Review: ... not, in theory, have any problems with allergies. I find that the only time my asthma/allergies are affected is if my dog hasn't had a ba... more
The best breed in the world!
Member Name: nadia0909
Advantages: Companion, watchdog, great with kids, very funny bold characters
Disadvantages: Not for those at work all day
I am a Schnauzer nut, I own both a mini and a giant both are AMAZING dogs - if you are seriously considering a dog then you may well have to find reasons why you shouldn't get one rather than why you should as far as I am concerned they are compact strong little bundles of fun & mischievousness with the most hilarious personalities and a lot of love to give.
Okay so a little about the stats first of all.
Miniature Scnauzers are the smallest of the three types of Schnauzer (Giants, Standards and Miniatures) and although small they are not in the toy group and are definitely different from small toy dogs such as pekingnese, Shih tzu etc in that they are not yappy but are a scaled down version of the standard so instead of being a typical small breed they are more like a medium breed that has got shrunk in the wash.
The Mini is often described as robust and they are certainly that, they have a squareness about them with flat backs you could rest a pint glass on and nicely proportioned legs, neck and head so they are very able to go for a good run or a full days walk. They are also a very hardy breed and are not prone to any illnesses save for inherited eye problems which should not be a problem if you purchase your dog from a reputable breeder who would have had your puppy checked.
They were originally used in Germany for two purposes - 1) ratting (you can still see from the breed now that they are more than happy to give chase to something small and fluffy- thankfully our ragdoll cat is now boss of the house although my mini did think when he first met the small ball of fluff that we had brought a lovely toy for him to play with!
2) They were used in the back of travelling salesmens carriages to protect the wares - they used minis due to their excellent guarding combined with the benefit of a very small size. (This is still a very useful feature of the mini as they are excellent at detecting what to bark at - my other dogs happily bark at any movement whereas I only really take notice when my mini barks because he always gets it right. I also know a lot of older people who have plumped for the mini based on their brilliant guarding skills yet you are getting a very small easy to care for dog).
The minis come in 4 colours - Pepper and Salt is the grey/white as you see in the pic here and is the most common, black & silver, black and white although white is not recognised within the kennel club.
They have the most amazing double coat which consists of a wire hair coat and a soft hair coat, neither of which coats moult.
This makes them Hypo-allergenic so they are perfect for anyone in the house who has an allergy or anyone who wants to visit or any new members of the household - you never know if your new partner or baby is going to have an allergy so why not get a dog that does not lose hair?
The tricky bit then is that because their hair literally keeps on growing you need to have them clipped or stripped.
Stripping should only be done if you are showing your dog as it requires hairs to be painfully plucked out of your dogs coat and is a requirement for a show (not sure I agree with that one!) whereas clipping is basically using a hair clipper very similar to that of a mans hair clipper which goes through the dogs coat at different grades. Other parts such as the eyebrows are shaped using scissors.
This needs to be done every 4-8 weeks using a professional dog groomer. I learnt to do this myself which saves money and you can buy dog clippers which are quiter and vibrate less than mens clippers along with all the other tools on the internet.
If you do decide to do this yourself you either need to do a lot of research or go on a course because schnauzers look amazing with a great hair cut and rather odd with a bad one, it's all about showing off their square features and their proud little bodies!
Personality wise - where do I start?
One of the funniest things about them is that they talk. Not barking but talking, they make this strange noise from the back of their throat when they are happy and make a very bad mouthed grumbling noise when you send them to their beds. Mine also does a constant snapping his mouth open and closed with no sound coming out of it when he wants to go toilet or when he wants to go for a walk.
It is hard to explain because it is unique to their breed but it is very endearing and entertaining, you certainly can't get bored of them.
They are very funny and cheeky although they seem to see themselves as very big dogs with a heart of a lion they are very brave and protective of you and the family.
They ADORE children which was the biggie for me, having 3 kids I want a dog that naturally loves children rather than just gets on with them and my little one loves nothing more than when he is with them. He is also very gentle and despite the fact that he has had the babies grab his beard (schnauzers are rather proud of their beards) he goes into freeze frame and looks up at me trying to catch my eye so I can rescue him. This is a trait from all schnauzers not just mine and it really is a lovely one.
They are naturally wary of strangers although when they realise they are a friend want lots of love.
They can be very stubborn and go 'deaf' when it suits them, when I call the dogs and he doesn't want to come because he is busy having fun he does a very slow motion walk, you get the distinct impression he is tutting at me.
They have little odour for a dog, to me that is really important - I can't stand dog smell when I go to someones house and it is something no one ever tells you about their breed you have to meet the bred and live with it before you realise but they are low on odour.
The other plus points you never really hear are that they can hold their bladders very well for longer periods of time than a large dog, they physically and mentally grow up a lot quicker than a larger dog - ie mature at 1 whereas a large dog is about 3 yrs. The males are apparently nicer temperaments than the females although I really can't comment on this (but I am getting a bitch very soon so maybe I can add this to the update!)
Well I hope I have done the Mini justice, they really are an Amazing breed suitable to all ages, families, couples and individuals. The only thing I would say is they do have big big hearts and are now bred to be companion dogs and because of this they really do need and deserve some one with them for most of the day. I am not aware if there are any particular breeds which are happy to be left for the entire day every day but the Mini certainly isn't one of them. They love to be by your side, are ready to jump in to your car before you get the car keys and will keep you entertained and give you lots of love so long as you are happy to acknowledge they have very big personalities.
Summary: Can you tell I love this breed?