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Miniature Schnauzer dog breed

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Miniature Schnauzer dog breed information and advice

Originally bred as a working dog on German farms, the Miniature Schnauzer was a result of breeding a standard Schnauzer with smaller breeds including Miniature Poodles, Miniature Pinschers and Affenpinschers. Loved for their characteristic beard and stance, they’re one of the most popular breeds across the world.

Is a Miniature Schnauzer right for you? Read our guide to discover information about the breed, including their temperament and personality. We’ll also share tips on how to care for a Miniature Schnauzer from training, diet, exercise and grooming needs.

Miniature Schnauzer facts

Miniature Schnauzer
Lifespan 12 - 14 years
How much £400 - £2000
Size 33 - 35.6 cm
Weight 5.4 - 9.1 kg
Colours pepper and salt, pure black, black and silver
Grooming once a week
Temperament obedient, fearless, intelligent, friendly
Exercise 30 minutes daily

Miniature Schnauzer pet insurance

No one wants a poorly pet, but unfortunately, illnesses and injuries can happen to any dog. Dog insurance for your Miniature Schnauzer can provide peace of mind that your pooch is taken care of. Regular health checks with your vet will help to spot problems from an early stage. And pet insurance can take away the concern of paying for treatment.

Sainsbury’s Bank Pet Insurance

With Sainsbury's Bank Pet Insurance we can insure your Miniature Schnauzer from as young as 8 weeks of age. Once your dog is insured, we can cover it up to any age – as long as you keep renewing the policy without a break. We also cover older dogs, if you take the policy out before their 8th birthday.

How to care for a Miniature Schnauzer

It goes without saying that you’ll need to take your pooch to the vet regularly to check for any health issues. But you’ll also need to think about day to day care for your dog. Here are some tips to help you stick to a routine that will help your dog live a happy and healthy life.

Feeding and nutrition

As a puppy, you should feed a Miniature Schnauzer around 3-4 times a day and gradually move down to 1-2 times a day as they grow. A Miniature Schnauzer will stop growing when they reach one years old. An adult should weigh between 5.4-9.1 kg, depending on their size. To keep your pooch at a healthy weight you should weigh their food using the guidelines on the food packaging. If you’re concerned about your dog’s weight, speak to your vet for advice.


Miniature Schnauzers have a wiry topcoat and soft undercoat so they don’t shed much fur. You’ll need to brush your dog weekly and hand strip any fluffy bits sticking out – usually around the legs. Miniature Schnauzers are considered a hypoallergenic breed and may not trigger allergic reactions in people with dog allergies.

You’ll need to bath your dog, have their coat trimmed every 4-6 weeks and cut their nails often. You can do this all at home but you’ll need to be very careful when it comes to their nails. Make sure you are shown how to do this by a vet first so that you don’t cause your dog any harm. Inside their nails is a ‘quick’ that contains blood vessels and nerves, if this is cut it’ll bleed and cause your dog pain.


Miniature Schnauzers need at least 30 minutes of exercise every day. The best form of exercise is walking, especially off the lead. If your dog is not trained yet, make sure your dog is in a secure area before letting them off.


Miniature Schnauzers are intelligent and obedient dogs who want to please you and receive your praise. This means training them is easy, you can reward your dog with treats or toys to encourage good behaviour. Even house training can be a breeze if you give your dog lots of chances to go to the toilet in the designated area. If you don’t have access to a garden, puppy toilet training can be done using puppy pads.

Temperament and behaviour

Despite being part of the Terrier group, Miniature Schnauzers are less noisy and feisty than other terriers. They have a calm temperament and are good with children and other dogs. But they do have the instinct of a guard dog and are prone to barking. This can be controlled with consistent training.

Common health problems

The Miniature Schnauzer is generally a healthy breed but there are a few health issues that you need to be aware of. Regular vet health checks will help to spot signs of these conditions and provide treatment where possible. Having Miniature Schnauzer pet insurance in place will cover the costs of any treatment your pooch needs to keep them happy and healthy.

Generalised progressive retinal atrophy (GPRA, or PRA)

Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA)

PRA is a group of inherited eye diseases, which slowly leads to blindness. This can take months or years and is sadly not preventable. The condition usually affects dogs aged 3-8 years, but with Miniature Schnauzers signs may develop earlier. There’s no cure but blind dogs can still live happily for their full life expectancy.


Hyperlipidaemia describes an abnormal amount of fat or fatty substances in the blood. Signs of this condition include vomiting, diarrhoea, seizures and abdominal pain. Most hyperlipidaemias in dogs are caused by another disease or by their diet. Sufferers have an increased chance of developing other conditions such as pancreatitis, diabetes or acute kidney injury (AKI). Drugs and changes to the dog’s diet can help treat the condition.

So, is a Miniature Schnauzer right for you?

Their friendly, calm and obedient personality is suited to most families. You can rest easy knowing a Miniature Schnauzer will be your devoted companion for their entire life. You’ll have no problems with training and their exercise demands are minimal. They’re great with children and other animals, so you don’t need to worry about introducing them to your family.

How long do Miniature Schnauzers live for?

A Miniature Schnauzers life expectancy is 12-15 years. Diet, exercise, grooming and training all play a part in your dog’s health and can affect their lifespan. For example, an overweight dog is more likely to suffer from a health problem.

What dog group is a Miniature Schnauzer?

This dog breed is part of the Terrier group because it was bred to hunt and kill vermin and guard their families’ home. Miniature Schnauzers have a similar temperament to other dog breeds in the Terrier group. They are obedient, energetic, fearless and spirited.

What is a Miniature Schnauzer?

Miniature Schnauzers were originally bred in Germany to be a ratting dog on farms. They were also used as guard dogs. The Standard Schnauzer was crossbred with smaller breeds, such as Affenpinscher and Poodle, to create this miniature breed. Ideal for fitting in smaller spaces where vermin nest.

Can Miniature Schnauzers be left alone?

Most Miniature Schnauzers can be left alone, especially with the right training, but each dog is different. If you plan to leave your dog alone, give them lots of toys to play with to keep them entertained. Walk your dog before you leave them as they usually enjoy a sleep after a walk. 

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Vetstream ltd (online) Schnauzer: miniature. In: Vetlexicon Canis. Vetstream Ltd, UK. Website: opens in new window

Brooks D E & Williams D L (online) Lens: hereditary primary cataract. In: Vetlexicon Canis. Vetstream Ltd, UK. Website: opens in new window

Gerding P (online) Cataract. In: Vetlexicon Canis. Vetstream Ltd, UK. Website: opens in new window

Vetstream Ltd (online) Cataract Owner Factsheet. In: Vetlexicon Canis. Vetstream Ltd, UK. Website: opens in new window

Brooks E, William D L & Gould D (online) Retina: generalized progressive retinal atrophy. In: Vetlexicon Canis. Vetstream Ltd, UK. Website: opens in new window

Vetstream Ltd (online) Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) Owner Factsheet. In: Vetlexicon Canis. Vetstream Ltd, UK. Website: opens in new window

Bazelle J & Braund K (online) Hyperlipidemia. In: Vetlexicon Canis. Vetstream Ltd, UK. Website: opens in new window

Terms and conditions

Important information
Sainsbury's Bank plc, Registered Office, 33 Holborn, London EC1N 2HT (registered in England and Wales, no. 3279730) is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority (register no. 184514). Sainsbury's Supermarkets Ltd is an appointed representative of Sainsbury's Bank plc.
Sainsbury's Bank plc acts as an introducer to Pinnacle Insurance plc who is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority (register number 110866). Registered Office: Pinnacle House, A1 Barnet Way, Borehamwood, Hertfordshire, WD6 2XX. Sainsbury’s Bank plc and Pinnacle Insurance plc are not part of the same corporate group.