Is a Miniature Schnauzer right for you?
We want all our puppy owners to be responsible and happy with their new family member. The following information is meant to educate prospective owners about the characteristics and care required when considering the purchase of a Miniature Schnauzer.
An excellent write up on the character of a Miniature Schnauzer can be found here. This is worth reading!
Schnauzers are often described as the small dog with the big personality -.Alertness, fearlessness and adaptability to any circumstance or climate are amongst his chief characteristics. Originally created as ratters, very few Minis now serve that purpose, having "graduated" to the status of "Companion", a purpose to which they are well suited.
ADAPTABILITY: Minis are adapatable to both city and country, house or apartment living. They are non-shedding (hence the frequent suggestion that they are a "hypoallergenic" breed). While they are given to headstrong tendencies, minis are quick learners and proper training (I strongly recommend obedience classes) can make for a well-behaved pet who is a joy to you and a welcome addition to the neighborhood.
SOCIALIZATION: Socialization during the first 16 weeks of a pups life is critical to developing a friendly, outgoing puppy and adult. A good breeder will expose the puppy to a wide variety of experiences in it's first few weeks of life. This process must be continued once the puppy is introduced to it's new home. IF YOU DON'T HAVE TIME TO TRAIN AND SOCIALIZE A PUP, DON'T BUY ONE. Aside from food, shelter, water and regular exercise, Minis thrive on attention. They are best suited for the family with a stay at home parent, retired folks or those who are able to take them along when they work. Make sure you are prepared to work "quality time" with your pup into your schedule.
FAMILIES & CHILDREN: Minis are ideal for any family type and will get along well with children if raised with them. Families with small children need to be very conscious that small children and puppies of any breed should NEVER be left unsupervised. The "moving toy" has teeth, and may bite if poked, prodded, dropped or stepped on. Make sure to talk about the family dynamics with your breeder and allow them to help you choose a puppy suitable for YOUR family. Trust their judgment. They often will have a better idea which puppy is suitable.
CARE: Minis require regular grooming. You should be prepared to brush your puppy at least two to three times a week. You will need to have the puppy groomed every 8 weeks or so(cost varies from groomer to groomer) or you may wish to learn to groom the pup yourself (you'll need proper equipment), be prepared for these expenses. Proper nutrition is a must and don't forget regular visits for shots, flea treatments and a dog license. If these costs are prohibitive, DON'T BUY A PUPPY.
VOCALIZATION: Minis are very expressive and are known for making a wide range of noises. One of our minis actually appeared to have a conversation with our vet. She asked him a question and he responded with various whines and whimpers. He stopped, she asked another question to which he again responded. It would be difficult for anyone to deny that they were "talking" to each other although none of us, including the vet could understand a word that was being said.
Expect your mini to announce your visitors with a bark or barking but they will usually stop once the guest is welcomed inside. We call them our doorbell and welcoming committee as they usually are determined to say hello and either give kisses or bring toys to engage your visitors in play. It is rare for a mini to be completly silent and minis that bark incessantly are the victims of undisciplined owners who have not taught the dog good manners.
EXERCISE: Nearly all Minis welcome a good 30 minute walk and will thrive on being your jogging companion. Hiking, frisbee and a rousing game of fetch or "hide and seek" will give you an opportunity to bond with your pet while satisfying the minis need to "get out and explore". If you are unable to provide at least 30 minutes of physical exercise daily and regular mental stimulation (teaching new tricks or playing games that make your mini "think") please don't get a mini.
Remember the old adage, "you get what you pay for." Puppies should not be purchased on a whim. Be prepared to wait for the right puppy from the right breeder and you will be well on your way to a long and happy relationship with the new addition to your family.