Miniature Schnauzer

Other names: tsvergo , miniature schnauzer , dwarf schnauzer , wire-haired pinscher

The Miniature Schnauzer is a small but strong, temperamental and cheerful dog. Behind her spectacular and harmless appearance hides a very serious character.

Brief information

  • Breed Name: Miniature Schnauzer
  • Country of Origin: Germany
  • Birth time of the breed: 1888
  • Weight: 4-8 kg
  • Height (height at the withers): 30-35 cm
  • Life expectancy: 12-15 years


  • The Miniature Schnauzer is the smallest dog from the Schnauzer group and the smallest of all service breeds in the world.
  • The hunting and watchdog qualities that dominate the character of the progenitors of the Miniature Schnauzers have been fully preserved by representatives of this breed. Vigilance, fearlessness and intuition of the Tsvergs allow them to serve in the police and customs.
  • A miniature miniature Schnauzer with a funny appearance feels like a big, serious dog, so at any moment he is ready to stand up for his home and owner, to whom he is selflessly devoted.
  • Tsverg gets along well with all family members, especially loves children, for whom he becomes a wonderful playmate and entertainment. Giving his sincere love to his family, he is in dire need of reciprocal feelings.
  • Energetic Miniature Schnauzers have excellent athletic abilities.
  • The dog needs education and training. In this case, she shows the best traits of her breed: courage, intelligence, sensitivity, endurance, devotion.
  • In urban conditions, the tsvergs feel comfortable, but they like life in a country house more.
  • Miniature Schnauzers need regular care for their thick, stiff fur. They systematically need trimming and haircuts.
  • There are 4 generally recognized colors of tsvergs: black, white, black with silver and "pepper with salt". There are other options recognized in individual countries.

Miniature Schnauzer is a universal dog. He can be a hunter, a sensitive watchman, a strict customs officer, or he can just light up your house with rays of joy and happiness. They say about this brave temperamental dog: "He is always in a good mood." His energy is manageable, and his cheerful disposition is preserved even at a respectable age. He is a favorite of the family, enthusiastically taking part in collective festive fun, shopping trips, trips to nature, always ready to keep company with his owners going for a jog or bike ride, not averse to playing football. According to the FCI rating, Miniature Schnauzers are among the ten most popular dogs on the planet.

Breed characteristics

Aggressiveness ?
Moderate ( Rating 3/5)
Activity ?
Average ( Rating 3/5)
Training ?
Easy ( Rating 4/5)
Molt ?
Minimum ( Rating 1/5)
Need for care ?
High ( Rating 4/5)
Friendliness ?
Average ( Rating 3/5)
Health ?
Average ( Rating 3/5)
Cost of maintenance ?
Low ( Rating 2/5)
Attitude to loneliness ?
Moderate Time ( Rating 3/5)
Intelligence ?
Very Smart ( Rating 5/5)
Noise ?
Above average ( Rating 4/5)
Security qualities ?
Bad guard ( Rating 2/5)
*Characteristics of the Miniature Schnauzer breed are based on expert assessment and reviews of dog owners.

History of the Miniature Schnauzer breed

Miniature Schnauzer

It is reliably known that the historical homeland of the Miniature Schnauzers is Germany. Presumably their progenitors are German Pinscher – a breed that has an ancient origin. These medium-sized dogs were famous for their ability to mercilessly destroy small rodents, especially rats, and had excellent protective qualities. It is known that initially smooth-haired and wire-haired puppies were found in the litter of German pinschers. Since the middle of the XIX century, breeders began to subject the offspring of pinchers to separation. Smooth-haired dogs continued to be called pinchers, and wire-haired dogs were called stable pinchers or rattlers (rat catchers). The latter soon got the name – Schnauzers, which means "muzzle" in German. It indicated an expressive feature of their appearance – a muzzle with a beard having a rectangular shape. In 1895, a Pinscherschnauzer Club was established in Cologne, the organizers of which approved standards, including for schnauzers.

A lot of enthusiastic breeders became interested in the new breed, and soon they began breeding work to create miniature schnauzers, which were called miniature Schnauzers. In German, "zverg" means "dwarf". According to one version, dogs of small breeds are involved in the creation of the breed, in addition to the Schnauzers themselves: affenpinchers , miniature pinscher , poodles , spitz , possibly some breeds of terriers. The opinion that the miniature Schnauzers appeared solely due to the crossing of the smallest individuals of Schnauzers, most cynologists deny, since the first miniature Schnauzers were completely black, which confirms the participation in the miniaturization of dogs of at least representatives of affenpinchers.

Miniature Schnauzer puppies

The goal of the breeders was the intention to breed a miniature breed of dogs with the character and temperament of Schnauzers and at the same time suitable for living in urban conditions, capable of becoming a companion for their owners. The main initiator of the creation of the new breed was a German breeder, a passionate fan of Pinscher and Schnauzer, the chairman of the Pinscher Schnauzer Club - Josef Berta.

In 1902, the Pinscherschnauzer Club published its first studbook, where, in addition to pinschers and standard Schnauzers, 14 Miniature Schnauzers also found their place. The first official representative of this breed is a male named Jocchio Fulda Midget, born in 1898.

Already in the 30s of the last century, miniature Schnauzers became popular both in Western Europe and overseas - in the USA and Canada. The first two representatives of this breed, who appeared in Russia in 1974, were originally from the United States. However, mostly Tsvergshauzers were imported to the territory of the former USSR from Czechoslovakia, where their planned breeding began in 1962. In 1978, Czechoslovak border guards, who used Tsvergs as service dogs, presented a "batch" of their pets to Lviv colleagues. From the Lviv kennel, miniature Schnauzers with vicissitudes fell into the hands of first Moscow, and then Leningrad dog handlers. Even the official permission of the USSR Ministry of Internal Affairs was needed for the "special operation". Most of today's Russian Tsvergshnauzer champions in one way or another retain the genes of their "serving" ancestors from Czechoslovakia.

Video: Miniature Schnauzer

Appearance of miniature Schnauzers

Charmingly harsh miniature Schnauzer

The Miniature Schnauzer is a strong, stocky, muscular dog. He looks important, proud, and shaggy eyebrows give his appearance a serious severity – such an appearance contrasts with the miniature of the king, which invariably causes a smile.


The peculiarity of the body of the Miniature Schnauzer is the high front part, the back line is inclined from the withers to the rear. This can be noticed even in a one-month-old puppy. This addition helps the zverg to develop greater speed when running. The lumbar part of the trunk is short, giving the dog a compact appearance and a square shape. The sternum is powerful. When moving to the groin, the chest forms an elegant arcuate line.


Medium length, strong, muscular. Nobly bending, smoothly passes into the withers.


The head of the monster is proportional to the body, tapers from the ears to the eyes, and then to the tip of the nose. The skull is strong, the occipital protuberance is absent. The forehead is flat and smooth, the line of transition from the frontal part to the nose is emphasized by expressive eyebrows. The muzzle is blunted, it is turned off by a bristly short mustache and beard. The nose is black with wide nostrils.

Jaws, teeth, lips

The cheekbones of the Miniature Schnauzer are moderately developed, the jaws are powerful, the bite is perfect, scissor-like. The teeth of the monster should be white, strong. The incisors are arranged strictly in a row. Smooth, black lips are closely adjacent to the jaws, their corners are closed.


The V-shaped ears of the king are set high, the tips are bent downwards, in the direction of the temples. The front lower edges of the ears are slightly adjacent to the cheeks.


The eyes of a miniature Schnauzer are small, dark in color, and oval in shape. The look is always lively, curious, expresses vigilance, convincing that the dog is always on the alert. The eyelids should be dry, tightly fitting to the eyeball.

The muzzle of a miniature Schnauzer


Forelimbs strong, straight, muscular. The ulna bones do not protrude either inwards or outwards. The hind limbs look oblique when viewed from the side. Set back, they give the dog's body a rapid dynamic outline. The lower legs, elongated, with developed muscles, turn into strong hock joints. The paws are round in shape, the fingers are short, arch-shaped (the so-called cat's paw). The claws are black, short.


Miniature Schnauzer with a trimmed beard

Miniature Schnauzers move freely, maneuverably, energetically, elegantly. Their running is sweeping, clearly coordinated and fast. Strength, sinewiness and power are felt in the movements. The dog carries the forelimbs as far forward as possible, the rear ones provide the necessary impetus to the dynamics of movement. The back line remains flat.


Planted high, pointing upwards. According to modern standards of the FCI (International Cynological Federation), the tail of a Miniature Schnauzer should remain natural. Previously, it was supposed to be stopped up to three joints. Many owners of tsvergs who do not participate in international exhibitions continue to cut the tails of dogs today for their own aesthetic reasons or for medical reasons: sometimes the tail of a dog is too broken.


The coat of the tsverga is stiff, wire-like, thick. The undercoat is also thick, dense. On the neck, shoulders, ears and skull, the fur glistens.


Until 1976, the FCI standards included only two colors of miniature Schnauzers – "pepper and salt" and pure black. In 1977, on the initiative of Germany, the organization recognized another color – black and silver, which is the most popular today. The fourth, white, color was approved by the FCI in 1992. In Russia, in 2006, the chocolate-tan color was recognized, but international cynological organizations have not yet approved it for the most part.

Miniature schnauzer pepper and salt
Black Miniature Schnauzer

The typical color "pepper and salt" is a combination of two–tone (black and white) and one-color (black or white) hairs with the dominance of their two-color part. As a result, depending on the shades, and they are allowed, the wool acquires a uniform dark gray or silver-gray color.

The color black with silver implies the dominant black color of the coat and undercoat. The areas of fur above the eyes, on the cheekbones, beard, chest, lower parts of all limbs, the inner region of the hind limbs, around the anus are painted white.

Miniature Schnauzer color black with silver
White Miniature Schnauzer

Possible vices

In the appearance of the Miniature Schnauzer and its character, there are features that do not correspond to the breed standard. Among them:

  • round-shaped skull, its expressive massiveness;
  • the presence of folds on the body;
  • pointiness and elongation of the muzzle, or is it, on the contrary, too short;
  • elongation of the back, as well as its curvature;
  • soft, long, wavy wool cover;
  • malocclusion, rare teeth, their yellowness, tendency to caries;
  • pathological nervousness and suspicion, self-doubt, timidity or excessive aggressiveness.

Photo of a miniature schnauzer

The character of the Miniature Schnauzer

A child reads a book to miniature Schnauzers

A descendant of Schnauzer, tsverg inherited from him all the main features of the breed. "Little big dog" is how the miniature Schnauzer is often characterized, implying the dog's diminutiveness, coupled with its serious disposition and excellent physical qualities. This dog has a stable nervous system, lightning-fast reaction, he is vigilant and distrustful of strangers, ready at any moment to demonstrate to a stranger that he is not to be trifled with.

The guard qualities of a miniature Schnauzer are manifested from the age of a puppy. The courage and dedication of an adult dog knows no bounds, and it copes perfectly with the role of defender of the house and its owners. A trained dog always acts according to plan: first it warns the attacker with a menacing growl and deafening barking, and if this does not work, it will surely leave its own trademark on the enemy's calf – an impressive bite mark.

Tsverg is a born hunter, a thunderstorm of rats, mice, moles, weasels. He treats the representatives of the cat tribe with suspicion. If a certain friendliness to a cat living in the same house with him can be taught, then a stranger cat may not be well.

The individuality of the Miniature Schnauzer is in the contrasts of his behavior. He often puts on a dignified and respectable appearance, but at any moment he can transform into the most cheerful dog in the world. He is cunning, resourceful and sneaky – these character traits he inherited from his grandparents, about whom they say: "When the trick was played, the Schnauzer was first in line." At the same time, he is kind–hearted and touchingly devoted to all family members - from young to old.

Education and training

Walking of miniature Schnauzers

Miniature Schnauzers, despite their diminutiveness, need serious education and training, otherwise they turn into hysterical pustolaek. Tsverga's temperament, his natural tendency to aggression, and willingness to engage in a decisive battle at any moment manifest themselves at a very early age. This forces us to pay special attention to the education of obedience in the dog. First of all, the puppy needs to be made to understand who is the boss in the house, since he will only obey the one he considers the leader. Actually, Miniature Schnauzers need an authoritarian, but not a brutal upbringing.

It is necessary to stop the desire of the little monster to bite, gnaw at anything and grab everything that lies in a prominent place, decisively, but not rudely. You can try to distract the dog, "talk" to him strictly, and if this does not have an effect, gently shake him by the scruff of the neck. A good method in the fight against the evil inclinations of the king is to teach him to bring objects of interest to him, and try to imperceptibly replace them with suitable toys, of which there should be a lot. The little fidget will perceive this as a game, and will be happy to join it.

Miniature Schnauzer with his beloved mistress

Miniature Schnauzers are very smart, hardworking, with rare exceptions, they can be trained perfectly and are always ready to learn new things. However, it must be remembered that these dogs are individualists, and formulaic, often repeated exercises will cause them rejection. With the help of various tricks, they can begin to shirk from classes. Do not let the dog outwit you, but do not deceive him yourself: miniature Schnauzers have excellent memory, they draw conclusions quickly, and you will simply lose their trust, without which the upbringing and training of the dog will become more complicated.

Tsvergi learn various tricks with pleasure, as they have remarkable abilities to imitate. When training a Miniature Schnauzer, one should also use the sensitivity inherent in this breed to perceive the intonation of the owner's voice, his gestures and views.

With proper upbringing, the monsters will never show gratuitous aggression, and the commands of the owner, including those given with the help of gestures, will be remembered for life. Showing perseverance and rigor when training a dog, we must not forget that it is extremely necessary for a miniature Schnauzer to constantly feel love and attention. If he is deprived of them, he can easily get out of submission.

Two friends
Lay down to rest

Care and maintenance

Caring for Miniature Schnauzers has a number of nuances due to their temperamental nature and appearance.

You need to prepare in advance for the appearance of a flower in the house: remove floor decor items, shoes, pots with flowers, containers with household chemicals. Wiring and network cables should also be inaccessible to the dog. But given the sneakiness of puppies of this breed, their ability to sneak unnoticed into the most inaccessible corners, it is better to limit their "habitat" to one room for a while, reliably blocking access to other rooms. In the kitchen, the fidget should be allowed to be only during feeding.

Tsverg babies are fed 4 times a day, puppies from 4 to 6 months are gradually transferred to three meals a day. It is advisable to feed Miniature Schnauzers older than 8 months twice a day. Many owners succumb to the manipulations of these cunning people with a desperate "hungry" look, and feed the dogs additionally, which should not be done.

Sweets, smoked meats, spicy dishes from the master's table should be excluded from the dog's diet.


In the menu of the miniature Schnauzer, it is necessary to include energy-intensive, nutritious foods. Among the ready-made feeds, choose premium or super-premium products for small active breeds. Tsverg, which has an excellent appetite, will also not object to natural products, but it is not recommended to combine them with ready-made feeds.

The basis of natural nutrition should be meat – chicken, beef (including offal, soft raw bones, for example, chicken necks), as well as rice and oatmeal porridge with vegetables. Every week the dog should be given boiled sea fish, low-fat dairy products, yolk, non-exotic seasonal fruits.

Tsvergi need long walks and regular jogging. You need to walk them at least three times a day in any weather. They get used to the regime, and if it is violated, they will not fail to remind the owner of responsibility, showing perseverance.

From an early age, the Miniature Schnauzer requires care for its thick and stiff coat. Despite the fact that a puppy up to 4 months still does not need daily combing, it is better to accustom him to this procedure early, lightly scratching the dog's fur with a sparse comb once every 2-3 days. Gradually, the baby-monster needs to be accustomed to washing his beard. First, after feeding, clean it with a dry cloth. When the puppy gets used to it, rinse the beard with warm water, then wipe it dry.

Washing the miniature Schnauzer

The miniature Schnauzer does not need full-fledged regular bath procedures (2-3 times a year is quite enough), but its fur on paws, chest, beard, in the area of intimate places needs to be cleaned with water with specialized shampoo, at least weekly. It is convenient to wash the dog in the bathroom with a shower, putting it on a rubber mat. The optimal water temperature is 38-39 ° C. After that, the dog needs to be dried and combed. The thick and tough coat of the tsverga remains wet for a long time. If there is time, it is better to dry the wet dog with several towels, using them alternately. Frequent use of a hair dryer for this purpose can cause the dog's skin to become too dry.

It is advisable to comb an adult dog at least twice a week. Before this, it is better to slightly moisten the wool with conditioner, spray or balm. Use two combs: first comb your pet with a fluff, then with a single-row comb with rounded teeth. Regular combing will save you from fighting with tangles, although they will still form periodically on the paws, beard and armpits of the dog.

Miniature Schnauzers need regular trimming – plucking of dead hair, which these dogs do not fall out on their own and prevents the renewal of the wool cover. This procedure can be carried out only after the dog has had a change of teeth. The frequency of trimming is 2-3 months. It can be done manually or with the help of special devices – a stripper and a trimmer. In the area of the ears and throat, the wool should be plucked exclusively with your hands, and very delicately. Trimming, which takes a long time (at least 4 hours), is an element of communication between the owner and the pet, helps to strengthen friendship between them. In cold weather, after trimming, the dog should walk in a warm jumpsuit for at least two weeks.

About once in a month and a half, tsverga will have to undergo another procedure – a hygienic haircut. With the help of sharp scissors, it is necessary to shorten the growth of eyebrows and beards, correcting their shape, cutting out the regrown hair between the pads of the paws, in the genital area and anus.

For Miniature Schnauzers taking part in exhibitions, a hygienic haircut will not be enough. They need to be given into the experienced and gentle hands of professional groomers, since the haircut of the tsvergs of different colors (single-color and combined) requires a separate, strictly verified approach. For the same reason, it is also better to entrust the trimming to the master.

Health and diseases of the Miniature Schnauzer

Miniature Schnauzers have good health. It seems that their innate cheerfulness and optimism scare away ailments. However, they have a tendency to some diseases. Among the main ones are eye diseases that usually manifest themselves in old age: glaucoma, cataracts. Veterinarians advise from a very early age to regularly wipe the corners of the eyes of the worms, where secretions accumulate, in order to prevent the formation of hard crusts.

Miniature Schnauzer training

Miniature Schnauzers also have allergies to certain foods. The owner should definitely find out what is the irritant. Also, the gastrointestinal tract of a dog can react painfully to a sharp change in nutrition, for example, the replacement of ready-made feeds with natural products. Changes in the menu should occur gradually.

Among the diseases characteristic of the worms are inflammation of the skin, as well as the appearance of benign and malignant tumors on the body. Inflammation of the skin is usually accompanied by hair loss, the formation of bald spots on the back, comedones (white and black acne). Skin diseases worsen after trimming.

Infectious diseases, poisoning instantly affect the behavior of the monster. Even with a slight lethargy of the dog and its unwillingness to go for a walk, you should immediately contact a veterinarian.

All major vaccinations of the Miniature Schnauzer should be done before a year.

How to choose a puppy

Regardless of whether you want to purchase a miniature Schnauzer as a companion dog or dream of a champion pet, the owner of prestigious awards, go for a puppy to a kennel, to a breeder whose reputation you are sure of. In this case, the pureblood of the dog will be confirmed in its puppy card, on the basis of which the adult dog will receive its own pedigree, the baby will also have a passport with information about the vaccination.

The Miniature Schnauzer met a rabbit

Miniature Schnauzers, as a rule, begin to be sold when they turn 1.5-2 months old, however, those who want to buy a dog with an exhibition perspective should wait and buy a grown-up puppy: the exterior of the miniature fully manifests itself only by 6 months.

In any case, your chosen one should be an active, cheerful, curious, moderately well-fed puppy, a kind of sturdy little hog. His fur is supposed to be shiny, his eyes and ears are clean. Feel the dog, checking if there are any "bumps" on his body. The bulge between the shoulder blades should not alarm you – this is a normal reaction to vaccination.

Take a closer look at how the little monster plays with his brothers and sisters: does he show excessive aggression. Keep in mind that male puppies are more likely to start fights than bitches, and their fighting tendencies are the norm. It is also useful to observe the parents of your future pet. They should be energetic, alert, but restrained (warning growls and barks in your direction are quite natural). Finally, make sure that the chosen kid shows interest in you, does not show his teeth, is ready to make contact, and, in general, despite his innate wariness and distrust, he is friendly.

Photos of miniature Schnauzer puppies

How much does a miniature schnauzer cost

The cost of a thoroughbred Miniature Schnauzer puppy starts from 18,000 rubles. In the documents of the parents of such a puppy, the assessment for the exterior is "very good" or "good". As a rule, there are no champions among his closest ancestors.

Puppies of titled parents cost from $250 to $380, depending on the region of Russia.

It is worth remembering that kids who have even the most famous ancestors in their pedigree will not necessarily become prize-winners of championships and participants in breeding breeding. But a healthy, cheerful purebred Miniature Schnauzer puppy, growing up in an atmosphere of love and attention, will give you joy every day, demonstrating all the advantages of this wonderful breed.

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