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
My Miniature Schnauzer experience!
Member Name: suziedre
Advantages: Affectionate, funny, and loving
Disadvantages: Bark! Bark! Bark!
When I got my own house almost 2 years ago, I knew that eventually I would get a dog. When my parents next door neighbour got a miniature schnauzer puppy, I was so taken by how cute it was that I did a little research and decided that that would be the breed I would go for.
Miniature Schnauzers originated in Germany in the 19th century, and were developed from crosses between the Standard Schnauzer and breeds such as Poodles and Affenpinschers.
They comes in four colours - black, salt and pepper, black and silver, and the rarer white. They can grow up to 14 inches high, and weigh up to 15lbs.
Lookswise, they have stocky little bodies, and their outer coat is wiry while their coat underneath is softer. Generally they are described as 'non-shedding' breeds. I have asthma, so this was one of the factors of me getting a miniature schnauzer, as they are said to be good for people with allergies. I have never really been affected by dog hair but I knew that living with one full time might be a different story, so I had to be cautious. To say they are non-shedding is not strictly true - once their hair gets to a certain length, you will find that some of it will shed. However, if you keep their hair clean and groomed, you should 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 bath for a while, and in those cases it is more likely general dust, dirt, pollen etc in his hair affecting me as opposed to the hair itself.
Anyway, in January I managed to find a breeder nearby whose bitch had just had a litter of puppies. As soon as one of the male pups was handed to me, I fell in love and put down a deposit right away (after making sure the breeder was legit, and I was able to see the mother). I visited him twice more before finally taking him home at 8 weeks old.
I named my puppy Sawyer after the character from Lost. He is 11 months old now and steadily growing out of the mischevious puppy phase; however as I have found out, miniature schnauzers are by their nature, very mischevious! I would say that they have more unique little personalities than any other breed of dog I have come across.
Here is a wee rundown of the things I have noticed about this funny little breed:
1) They are very protective, very much devoted to their owners and the people they love. For example, when my mum feeds my baby nephew, Sawyer will often lie down at her feet as if he's being a little guard dog.
2)... this protectiveness does mean that they can get a bit 'barky'. A lot. If anyone comes to the door or walks past the window, you can bet that Sawyer will run around like maniac barking as if to tell me something's up and/or tell the 'intruder' to go away.
3) Their bark is loud. Shockingly loud and piercing given their relatively small size. This can be annoying, I won't lie - however as a single woman living alone, woe betide any burglar who tries to get in. I hope they're not wearing earmuffs ;)
4) They are very inquisitive (nosey). I can't so much as blink without Sawyer noticing. They will follow you about the place and never take their eyes off you for a second.
5) They make the strangest wee 'roo' noises when happy or excited. Or walk around making low grumbly noises if they're moaning about something.
6) They do become devoted to you, and so *can* get upset if you leave them, howling etc. This also stems from them getting bored easily, so you will need lots of toys and chews to help stimulate their brains.
7) They are very cheeky and mischevious. Don't leave anything lying around or you may find a miniature schnauzer running off with it.
8) They can cope with not being walked every day as they do love to sleep, however be prepared for them having mad half hours, where they run around the living room in circles; head down and tail between legs.
9) They have silky white hair on their legs, fluffy eyebrows, and little white beards. They do require brushing daily, and you will need to take them to the groomers around every 8 weeks to upkeep their look. However they do look fantastic when they are brushed, and this prevents matting.
I have become a big fan of this breed since getting Sawyer. I have a 5 year old niece and a 6 month old nephew, and Sawyer is wonderful with both. They do like to play and can get rough sometimes, but this can easily be kept in check. Of course I wouldn't leave any dog alone with children, but I trust Sawyer implicity with the kids - the worst he has ever done is pull the sock off my nephew's foot and run away with it!
I see a lot of these little dogs around nowadays, and while I would recommend this breed, please do note that their popularity does sadly mean that puppy farmers have started breeding them a lot. If you are considering getting a dog, please, please research the breeder thoroughly before giving them money. You should always be able to see at least one parent with the litter, and you should be able to go to the breeders home rather than collecting the puppy at a random 'meeting point'.
Thanks for reading!
Summary: A friend for life
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