Mittelschnauzer is a dog from the Schnauzer group, which has proven itself to be an excellent watchman and search engine. The distinctive features of the breed are the square body format, spectacular "eyebrows" and a "beard" made of a long adorning hair.
- Breed name: Mittelschnauzer
- Country of Origin: German Empire
- Birth time of the breed: 1879
- Weight: 17-25 kg
- Height (height at the withers): 45-50 cm
- Life expectancy: 13-15 years old
- The name of the breed translates from German as "medium–sized muzzle": from Mittel – medium size and Schnauze - muzzle.
- Mittelschnauzers are typical leaders who want to dominate everything that moves, so when getting such a dog, get ready to periodically remind her who is the boss in the house.
- Despite the innate suspicion and distrust of strangers, animals behave very emotionally in the family circle, violently expressing their own affection for the owner and the rest of the household.
- Mittelschnauzer is an active breed, "hooked" on regular physical activity and long walks, so before buying a puppy, really evaluate your own capabilities. If you realize that the sofa and TV are still closer to you than daily jogging in park areas, there is no point in starting a standard schnauzer.
- All mittelschnauzers are very smart and quick-witted, which sometimes slows down their training. During training, the dog may cheat or lose interest in the process, so it will have to be constantly stimulated with something.
- Mittelschnauzer is able to get along with cats and other dogs, provided that he grew up with them. But at the sight of small animals, including rodents, the four–legged "bearded man" may not be able to restrain himself - the instinct of the hereditary pied piper turns out to be stronger.
- With proper training, Mittelschnauzers make wonderful service dogs capable of participating in search operations. In particular, the sharp nose of the mittels allows them to quickly pick up the trail and not lose it even in not the most favorable conditions.
Mittelschnauzer is a smart, loyal friend, although not devoid of a healthy share of self-esteem and leadership qualities. Energetic and sociable, Mittel will never let his own owner get bored or at least just relax, so by bringing such a dog into the house, you automatically subscribe to maximum interaction with her and regular walks in any weather. At the same time, if you come up with some "important mission" for a four-legged companion, like protecting the territory, the Mittelschnauzer will easily curb his own emotionality, because work and service to a person for this breed is almost the meaning of life.
History of the Mittelschnauzer breed
Although images of dogs outwardly resembling today's Mittelschnauzers can be found on the canvases of Albrecht Durer and Lucas Cranach the Elder, the true roots of the breed should be sought in 3-4 millennia BC. It was during this period that the territory of modern Germany was inhabited by the so-called peat dogs, who endowed the ancestors of the Mittels with an oblong, massive skull. If we are talking about modern representatives of the Mittelschnauzer family, then they are a "product" of interbreeding. So, according to one version, a gray wolfspitz, a wire-haired pinscher and a German poodle participated in creating the appearance of the "bearded guards". At the same time, some experts attribute kinship with terriers, griffons and even pugs to standard Schnauzers.
The Mittelschnauzers formed into an independent breed quite late. At first, because of the rough, wire-like hair of the animals, they were classified as wire-haired pinchers. At the same time, the people continued to call the Mittels stable pinchers, assigning them the role of rat catchers and keeping them in stables. The starting point in the formation of the breed was 1879, when one of the representatives of the Mittelschnauzer family managed to grab the main prize at an exhibition in Hanover. Despite the fact that the champion was presented to the jury as a wire-haired pinscher, this did not affect the breeders' interest in him in any way. By 1880, the Mittelschnauzers had their first appearance standard, and in 1921, the animals got their own club, which, however, they had to share with the same pinscher.
Mittelschnauzers emigrated to the USA at the beginning of the XX century and made a good exhibition career there, although initially American specialists recorded them in a group of terriers. But already in the mid-40s justice prevailed and, at the numerous requests of overseas breeders, the breed was transferred to a working group. In Russia, the breeding of Mittelschnauzers was engaged only in the late 70s of the XX century. The first seven pepper-colored puppies were born in 1979 from a Dutch bitch and an Australian male, and a few months later they were joined by offspring from two German producers. In the 80s, the USSR finally got the black-colored mittelschnauzers, with whom the specialists of the Podolsk club were the first to work.
Appearance of the mittelschnauzer
Figuratively speaking, the Mittelschnauzer is an intermediate link between rizenschnauzerami and miniature schnauzers , and the main distinguishing feature of all three breeds is their size. An adult mittel is 20 cm below the average rizen and almost 15 cm above the tsverg. Among other things, the standard Schnauzer is distinguished by a stockier physique, which gives its figure a pleasant compactness and solidity.
The Mittelschnauzer has a large, elongated skull with a slightly pronounced occipital protuberance and a flat forehead. The muzzle of representatives of this breed is wedge-shaped, with a blunt end and a noticeable stop.
Teeth and jaws
All Mittelschnauzers have large teeth and impressive jaws that close in a scissor bite.
Purebred individuals have a massive nose lobe, with well-opened nostrils, so the nose of the Mittelschnauzers is excellent. The only acceptable color of the lobe is black.
The eyes of the Mittelschnauzer are dark, oval-shaped, set straight. The animal's gaze is open and inquisitive.
By nature, the Mittelschnauzer has triangular ears hanging on cartilage, but most domestic breeders stop this part of the body to their wards and artificially form its delivery. As a result, the cropped ears take a standing position and have a pointed triangular shape.
The neck of the Mittelschnauzer is moderately muscular, of normal thickness, with a spectacular nape. The skin on the neck and under the throat is tightly stretched, without noticeable folds and wrinkles.
Mittelschnauzers are characterized by a rectangular body format with a slightly sloping topline. The back of dogs of this breed is short and strong, with a deep, strong loin. Chest of sufficient depth and width, clearly protruding forward. The groin line is matched.
The legs of the Mittelschnauzer are straight, not very narrow, but not too wide. The hind limbs are noticeably pulled back, the shoulder blades are adjacent to the chest, the elbows are well pressed against the body. The thighs of an adult animal are elongated, with a good amount of muscle mass. The lower legs are elongated, sinewy, hock joints with normal articulation angles, without obvious inversion inwards or outwards. The paws of the Mittelschnauzer are short, arched.
The tail is in the shape of a crescent or sickle, of natural length. According to the updated European standard, the Mittelschnauzer tail is not docked, so animals whose owners have arbitrarily shortened this part of the body are disqualified at foreign exhibitions. In Russia, this innovation has not gained popularity yet, so most domestic breeders still practice cupping.
The coat of the Mittelschnauzer is hard and coarse with a thick undercoat and a normal length awn that fits well to the animal's body. In the area of the forehead and ears, the hair is very short, while the muzzle and brow arches of the dog are decorated with long strands of the adorning hair – the so-called "eyebrows", "beard" and "mustache".
The Mittelschnauzer has only two standard colors – black and "pepper and salt". The latter is a multi-tone consisting of harmoniously combined gray, silver and steel shades. By the way, black and pepper individuals are bred separately from each other and exhibited in different rings. Exceptions are exhibitions in the UK and the USA, where black and pepper mittelschnauzers are exhibited on the same site.
Defects and defects of the Mittelschnauzer breed
The following appearance defects can prevent a middleweight Schnauzer from getting the championship title:
- too short or, conversely, excessively elongated limbs;
- lightweight physique;
- elbow eversion;
- cow footwork;
- non-standard height (deviation up to 3 cm in any direction).
As for disqualification at competitions, animals with behavioral deviations, congenital defects of color and physique, as well as various deformities can fall under it. Atypical bite, insufficient or too high growth, as well as inconsistency with the breed type will also help exclude Mittel from the list of contestants.
Photo of the mittelschnauzer
The character of the mittelschnauzer
All mittelschnauzers are specialists of a wide profile, capable of equally successfully getting used to the role of an energetic companion, a harsh bloodhound or even a rescuer. Such an innate trait of character as suspicion of strangers makes excellent guards out of dogs: a Mittelschnauzer with an almost photographic memory will instantly determine who exactly is standing on the threshold of his house – a guest invited by the owners or an intruder. Among other things, the breed is characterized by ingenuity, turning into fox cunning, which Mittelschnauzers are happy to use not only in relation to their own kind, but also in communication with the owner. Yes, yes, get ready for the fact that you will have to measure your wit and intelligence with your pet quite often and especially during the training process.
The outstanding mental abilities of the breed, which Mittel lovers talk about so much, do not manifest themselves by themselves – they need to be constantly developed. Intellectually, the standard Schnauzer has been growing all his adult life, so it is very important to communicate with him as much as possible and more often. As for the emotional component, the Mittelschnauzers can be called, without exaggeration, enthusiastic natures. Whatever these bearded clever girls do, they always give themselves to the cause completely and without a trace. If you have managed to win the love of a pet, get ready for the fact that he will express it violently and often at a time when you do not expect it at all. At the same time, the schnauzers are absolutely unobtrusive and quickly understand the intentions of the owner, who wants to get rid of the dog's tenderness as quickly as possible.
The desire for leadership in the breed is expressed very vividly, therefore, throughout his life, the Mittelschnauzer will test your authority for strength in the most incredible ways. By the way, having received a single indulgence, the animals are inspired even more and try from the bottom of their hearts, so it is more expensive to concede to the Mittelschnauzer even in small things. Well, a little bit about love for children, more precisely, about the attitude towards them. In fact, the Mittelschnauzers do not have too tender feelings for the younger generation. It's just that they naturally have a habit of being loyal and patronizing to weaker creatures, so that harmless pranks of the dog to the little ones, of course, will be forgiven, but they will not tolerate outright disrespect for their own person. Accordingly, if your heir loves to drag the Mittelschnauzer by the "beard" or take away a bowl of food from him, it is better to explain to him that such fun is fraught with aggression from the pet.
Education and training
Mittelschnauzers are very clever, clicking any training tasks like seeds. Another thing is that representatives of this breed do not always want to solve them, so pet training should be based on his passion for the process. If the Mittelschnauzer is bored with monotonous repetitions of commands, believe me, he will find a way to dodge this uninteresting activity.
It is necessary to educate and socialize a standard Schnauzer puppy from the first days of life. It's trite, hackneyed, but nevertheless: if you indulge the baby even in minor things, it will be impossible to retrain him later. So do not be fooled by the tender looks of your ward and immediately "turn on" a serious host. In addition, abruptly extinguish all outbursts of aggression in your direction: it is today that the bite of a tiny Mittelschnauzer does not seem painful, and tomorrow, when the dog grows up, it will be laughable. It is also important to understand that getting used to the role of alpha males, teenage puppies often lose their minds and pose a threat to the owner. The first sign that the Mittelschnauzer "forgot himself" and fell into a rage is his glazed look. It will be difficult to stop such a dog, so just try to switch its attention to some object.
The puppy Mittel, who has gone too far in his games and trashes the apartment, can be punished, but without fanaticism. The usual slap with a slipper and a menacing shout will have a sobering effect on a raging teenager. It is useless to seriously beat up a Middleshnauzer who has gone into a rage. Firstly, because in the heat of anger it is easy to harm an animal, and secondly, because an enraged Schnauzer is insensitive to pain and can perceive physical violence as a signal to attack. Punishing a dog retroactively is one of the most pointless measures. No matter how smart the Mittelschnauzer is, he still won't think to link together the negative coming from the owner and the wallpaper streaked an hour ago.
If due to circumstances the puppy has to be left alone in the apartment, throw him more toys. It can be not only store balls, but also all kinds of fruits and vegetables that the baby will roll on the floor and gnaw. A typical mistake of owners who are not familiar with the breed is buying a puppy for a child to learn the basics of training. The innate leadership qualities of the Mittelschnauzer will not allow him to obey someone whom he considers to be obviously stupider than himself, and the child in the eyes of the dog looks exactly like a creature of the lower order.
Don't put off getting to know the street and other dogs. By the age of 8 months, a standard schnauzer should calmly perceive his four-legged brethren and not shy away from the sounds of public transport and human crowds. If you are raising a future watchman, do not try to "make friends" with a large number of people. In particular, do not allow your guests and acquaintances to appease the Mittelschnauzer with treats and affection. However, it is also not worth raising a ferocious man-hater from a pet. The Mittelschnauzer-watchman should treat strangers calmly, with slight suspicion, but not ferocity.
Owners raising exhibition animals will have to teach their pets not only to respond adequately to large crowds of people, but also to tolerate the touch of strangers. Well, in order for the Mittelschnauzer to get used to tactile contact, it will have to be massaged and combed more often. It's not a bad idea to involve outsiders in this case. For example, ask someone you know to check your pet's teeth, having previously fixed the dog's head with a so-called garrote. By the way, it is better not to use goodies at all when teaching a Mittelschnauzer an exhibition stand and correct behavior in the ring.
Maintenance and care
In dimensions, the mittels are significantly inferior to their relatives, the Schnauzers, which makes their maintenance in the apartment more comfortable. But if you are interested in the opinion of the Mittelschnauzer himself, then there is no doubt that he will vote with all four paws for a house with a garden or a large plot where you can freely run around for days on end.
With proper care, the shedding coat of the Mittelschnauzer does not fall out like many other breeds, and almost does not have an unpleasant canine smell. And yet, if you are not indifferent to the appearance of a pet, you will have to mess with his "fur coat" often and a lot. It is better to start with the most dirty areas – tufts of wool between the fingers, to which sand, small debris and liquid dirt stick during walks. Breeders recommend washing the paws of apartment mittelschnauzers after each walk, simultaneously choosing motes entangled in the wool. Do not forget about the adorning hair on the muzzle, which the animal constantly dirties during meals, so after each feeding we wipe the "mustache" and "beard" of the dog with a clean dry cloth.
You can bathe mittelschnauzers once a month using shampoos and balms for coarse hair. By the way, in order to achieve maximum effect, detergents should be diluted with water in a ratio of 1: 1. After a bath, clean wool is soaked with a cotton towel and dried with a hairdryer. In order to comb the dog, stock up on a set of different-sized combs. For example, metal combs with rare teeth are suitable for "mustache" and "beard". It is better to treat the fur on the body of the Mittelschnauzer with a massage wire brush that penetrates deep into the undercoat. This process is quite time-consuming, as you will have to thoroughly work out the tangled areas of the lower layer of the "fur coat".
At least twice a year, mittelschnauzers are trimmed, removing the dead undercoat, thereby creating optimal conditions for faster renewal of the coat. Hair pinching can be carried out manually (silicone finger pads – to help) or with the use of a trimming knife. First of all, the neck and croup are treated, gradually descending to the body and thighs of the animal. The head of the Mittelschnauzer is not trimmed, but cut short with a typewriter, maintaining a single length of the coat 2-3 mm. Frequent haircuts throughout the body, which are practiced by some owners, are not at all beneficial to the Mittelschnauzer. A hair that is constantly cut eventually changes its structure, becoming softer. In addition, the undercoat of such Mittelschnauzers often falls off.
Once a week, take a few minutes to care for the ears of the Mittelschnauzer. Carefully inspect the pet's ear passages: are there any specks or excessive amounts of sulfur secretions in them. If there are any, remove them with a cotton swab and veterinary lotion. It is better to examine the eyes of the Mittelschnauzer every day, removing the lumps accumulated in their corners with a napkin. If there are signs of acidification of the mucous membrane, you can wipe your eyes with a clean cloth soaked in chamomile infusion. Tooth brushing is not mandatory for middleshnauzers who feed on industrial feeds or regularly consume special solid treats from pet stores. Dry croquettes and pressed bones will perfectly cope with the plaque. In all other cases, the dog's teeth will have to be cleaned manually or with a special brush.
Mittelschnauzer is an active dog, which needs to be physically "unloaded" regularly for a happy and long life, so it will not be easy for an unsportsmanlike owner with the breed. You should walk your pet twice a day, but it should not be a spontaneous "cutting circles around the area." It is very desirable that the promenade takes place in a lively rhythm and is interspersed with physical exercises, tasks for ingenuity and endurance, as well as games. If the Mittelschnauzer lives in a house where there is a large yard, or even better – a fenced plot of land, you can take him out for a walk less often. Just make some sports equipment for your ward, on which he could improve his physical form.
You can take a Mittelschnauzer puppy outside two weeks after the first vaccination, although some owners are reinsured by not letting the animals go for a walk until they are 4 months old. The owners of the mittels explain such actions by their desire to protect the puppy's body from street infections. In fact, bacteria and microorganisms inhabiting the environment are not so dangerous for the Mittelschnauzer. The worst thing is that a puppy who has been sitting in four walls gets used to the street very badly and socializes even worse, so if you want to get a ferocious, suspicious beech, lock the Mittelschnauzer in the apartment and do not let him out on the street until the age of 6 months.
Feeding the Mittelschnauzer
The owner of the Mittelschnauzer will have to choose between industrial feed and natural nutrition on his own, since veterinarians have not decided on the ideal food for this breed. The Mittelschnauzer himself will absorb both "drying" and meat products with equal pleasure. At the same time, it is important to remember that the food from the store – if these are options not lower than the premium class - is balanced in composition and contains the entire complex of trace elements necessary for the dog. As for the "straight woman", then the owner of the mittel will have to tinker to include in the pet's diet all those products that will provide his body with vital amino acids. In addition, you will have to spend extra on vitamin and mineral fertilizing.
Products included in the diet of the mittelschnauzer:
- lean meat or its waste;
- cereals (oatmeal, rice, buckwheat);
- sea fish;
- vegetables and greens;
- boiled egg (no more than once a week);
- fermented milk products.
Meat for schnauzers is given raw, chopped into medium-sized pieces (puppies can be cut smaller). In any case, do not scrape and do not scroll the meat into minced meat – you will only spoil the product, and deprive the pet of most of the calories. The bones of the bird will also not bring any benefit, but the young mittel will be sincerely glad to have a brain calf bone.
Health and diseases of Mittelschnauzers
The list of hereditary diseases in the breed is impressive, which, however, does not make the Mittelschnauzers regular customers of veterinary clinics. It is also important to understand that not all dogs have genetic ailments. Moreover, if a puppy was born from healthy parents, his chances of a long and happy life are quite high.
Typical diseases of Schnauzers:
- bladder infections;
- hip dysplasia;
How to choose a puppy
- Evaluate how the appearance of the puppy meets the requirements of the standard, but don't get too hung up on it. It is extremely difficult to guess the future champion in a two-month-old baby, even for a specialist.
- Measure the height and weight of the puppy. At two months, a male Mittelschnauzer should be at least 28 cm at the withers, and his weight should not be less than 4 kg. "Girls" are usually shorter and lighter.
- When you first meet a small Mittelschnauzer, carefully monitor his reaction. Preference is given to bold, inquisitive hustlers who are willing to make contact.
- It's great if the breeder shows you the father of the puppies, but this rarely happens. Do not miss the opportunity to look at least at the bitch, as well as to assess her temperament and habits, which are likely to be inherited by offspring.
- If you are offered puppies from the first litter of a young bitch who did not have time to acquire prestigious diplomas, do not hesitate to ask about the exhibition achievements of her ancestors.
- The Litter Inspection Act, which is available in every self-respecting kennel, helps a lot in choosing a puppy. Request this document from the breeder and carefully read the results of the conclusions. If almost half of the newborn mittelschnauzers were rejected by a club specialist, it is better to bypass such a nursery side.
- The right little mittelschnauzer should not have traces of a hernia on the abdomen. Dirty fur, unpleasant smell from the puppy's mouth, bloated "belly" signal that the breeder does not strain himself too much with caring for pets.
Photos of mittelschnauzer puppies
How much does a mittelschnauzer cost
You can buy a Mittelschnauzer puppy for both $150 and $300. In the first case, it will be a pet with not the most outstanding external data, but with a full set of documents and a clean pedigree. $250 - $300 are usually asked for kids with a promising exterior, from "star" parents who will be able to claim championship titles in the foreseeable future.