A miniature schnauzer ideally looks like a smaller version of the standard schnauzer, which is the older of the breed. Although schnauzers were popular dogs in their homeland of Germany, by the late 1800s, people were moving from farms to cities and needed a smaller dog to fit in their smaller homes. The miniature schnauzer was created to fit the bill.
The average miniature schnauzer is about 12 to 14 inches high from the ground to their withers (highest point of the shoulder). They average a weight of 13 to 15 pounds, but can be much larger.
The coat of a miniature schnauzer is called wire-haired, because it is tough and course to the touch. The undercoat, however, is softer. The breed doesn't shed, but if it is not stripped once a year it can grow into a tangled mass resembling a neglected poodle.
The usual colors of miniature schnauzers are all black, all silver and a salt and pepper mixture of grey and white. The Encyclopaedia of Dog Breeds states that purebreds many have large patches of white spots, but these are disqualified from the show ring.
Ears and Tail
All schnauzers, standard and miniature, have long, thin tails and semi-floppy ears that fold towards the eyes. In North America, the ears are often cropped into a small pointed shape and the tail docked. This is illegal in many counties, including the UK.
Loosely translated, "schnauzer" means "muzzle." The miniature schnauzer grows a long, curved beard and bushy eye brows that are often lighter in color than the rest of the head.