The miniature schnauzer, originally used to kill rats, comes from Germany and is a mix of the standard schnauzer and the affenpinscher breeds. The schnauzer, whose name means "muzzle" in German, is affectionate and rambunctious and makes a great watchdog.
Keep in mind that miniature schnauzers are not for everyone. They have a lot of energy, bark often and are very demanding of their owner's attention.2
Reconsider getting a miniature schnauzer if you have other dogs in the house. Schnauzers are aggressive with most dogs unless socialized with them.3
Choose a miniature schnauzer if you have children in the house. This dog is friendly and playful with children.4
Note that miniature schnauzers do well living in small apartments or homes. They're able to get enough exercise inside and don't require a backyard.5
Look at a miniature schnauzer's features when choosing yours. The face is long with thick eyebrows, a long beard and a mustache. The expression should be bright with eyes that are dark and oval-shaped. The wiry outer coat is colored either salt and pepper, black and silver, or black.6
Understand that miniature schnauzers are prone to certain health conditions such as kidney stones, liver disease, skin disorders, Von Willebrand's disease (a bleeding disorder) and diabetes.7
Check out potential breeders very carefully, being sure to ask if they are members of breed clubs, specialty clubs or obedience clubs. Affiliation with a club means you can check their references to make sure that they don't run a puppy mill (a place where puppies are constantly bred for financial gain without consideration of the integrity of the breed) and that they screen for health problems before they breed.8
Know that male miniature schnauzers will grow to 12 to 14 inches and weigh 11 to 18 lbs. Females will grow to 11 to 13 inches and weigh 10 to 15 lbs.9
Realize that you'll probably pay between $300 and $1,500 for a purebred miniature schnauzer.10
Expect a miniature schnauzer to live about 15 years.