The MINIATURE SCHNAUZER is a breed of small dog of the Schnauzer type that originated in Germany in the mid-to-late 19th century. Miniature Schnauzers developed from crosses between the Standard Schnauzer and one or more smaller breeds such as the Poodle and Affenpinscher, as farmers bred a small dog that was an efficient ratting dog. They are described as "spunky" but aloof dogs, with good guarding tendencies without some guard dog's predisposition to bite. Miniature Schnauzers are reognised in three colours internationally: solid black, black and silver and a colour known as 'salt and pepper'. There is a controversial fourth colour variant in Miniature Schhnauzers, pure white, which is not recognised universally.
The breed remains one of the most popular world wide, primarily for its temperament and relatively small size.
These dogs have a very square-shaped build, measuring 13 to 14 inches (33 to 36 cm) tall and weighing 10 to 15 pounds (4.5 to 6.8 kg) for females and 11 to 18 pounds (5.0 to 8.2 kg) for males. They have a double coat, with wiry exterior fur and a soft undercoat. In show trim, the coat is kept short on the body, but the fur on the ears, legs, belly and face is retained.
They are described as non-moulting dogs, and while this is not entirely true, their shedding is minimal and generally unnoticeable. They are characterised by a rectangular head with bushy beard, moustache and eyebrows teeth that meet in a "scissor bite"; oval and dark coloured eyes, and v-shaped, natural forward-folding ears. Their tails are naturally thin and short, and may be docked (where permitted). They will also have very straight, rigid front legs, and feet that are short and round (so-called "cat feet") with thick, black pads.
These dogs have a temperament described as "alert and spirited, yet obedient to command...friendly intelligent and willing to please....never over-aggressive or timid". Usually easy to train, they tend to be excellent watchdogs with a good territorial instinct, but more inclined toward barking than biting. They are often aloof with strangers until the owners of the home welcome the guest, upon which they are typically very friendly toward them.
They are highly playful dogs and, if not given the outlet required for their energy, they can become bored and invent their own 'fun'. They can compete in dog agility trials, obedience, shownmanship, flyball and tracking. Schnauers have a high prey drive, which means they may attack other small pets such as birds, snakes and rodents. Many will also attack cats, but this may be curbed with training, of if the dog is raised with cats. You have to adore this little pup:
I like the idea that these are a virtual non-moulting dog. That would make it a favourite with me.