The schnauzer dog breed dates back to 15th century Germany. The miniature version of the dog was created near the end of the 19th century. The breed has been recognized by the American Kennel Club since 1926. If this is the type of dog that you are considering, it is important to evaluate the pros and cons to ensure that this breed is the best fit for you.
The personality of each dog, even among the same breed, is different. However, miniature schnauzers often have the same types of personalities and temperament. Miniature schnauzers are very active small dogs that require plenty of exercise. They are very protective of their homes and owners and will bark if they think danger is imminent. These dogs also tend to be aggressive with other dogs, though this can be remedied with proper training and socialization.
Miniature schnauzers are a good choice for anyone who has the time and energy to spend time with the dog. They are good with children, especially because they are a very playful breed. However, because these dogs have a predatory nature, it is not recommended to introduce these dogs into a home with other small animals, such as cats and rodents. If you do have other smaller pets, a young miniature schnauzer that is raised its whole life with the other pets can still do well.
The miniature schnauzer breed does not shed much, thus requires frequent grooming of its long, thick coat. If you are unable to have your dog groomed, this breed is not the right choice for you. However, if grooming appointments do not deter you, a visit to a groomer every two to three months works well. You can reduce the amount of visits to the groomer by brushing the dog frequently and removing the dead fur from its undercoat. You must also clean the dog's beard frequently to remove food and other debris.
Like many purebred dogs, miniature schnauzers have a list of potential health problems as they grow older. Ear infections are common in these dogs; therefore, it is important to clean the dog's ears weekly to prevent infection. Other potential health problems with this breed include liver problems, eye problems, diabetes and kidney stones. Take your miniature schnauzer to the vet annually to ensure that it is not suffering from any of these ailments. The life expectancy of this breed ranges around 12 to 15 years.