Temperament and Character
Just like humans, the Mini Schnauzer temperament will vary from one individual to another. However, there are certain common traits within the breed.
Despite the cross eyebrows and gruff appearance, the Mini Schnauzer is a sociable dog full of life. He is alert, intelligent, very loyal and eager to please. Spirited yet obedient.
If you are out at work all day, DON’T get a Miniature Schnauzer – they LOVE being around people. As our vet said when describing Max: "these dogs are people-orientated" (or "people-oriented" if you're in America!)
In Max’s case, he is only slightly interested in other dogs, but deliriously happy when he meets new people. This is quite common within the breed.
Even though they will love the whole family, minis usually have a favorite person. Don’t be surprised if your dog follows you everywhere.....we should have called ours "Shadow"!
Mini Schnauzers love to be at the center of attention and have a great sense of fun.
It’s a fact that 94 percent of dog owners say their pet makes them smile more than once day. I'm sure this is nearer 100% among Schnauzer owners.
The typical Mini Schnauzer is generally friendly, intelligent and willing to please. If he is raised properly, he should be neither overaggressive nor timid.
However, they were originally bred as ratters and DO have a terrier's instinct. They show a keen interest in small animals as well as birds. They will chase anything smaller than themselves. (Although if the cats in our neighbourhood stand their ground, Max will back off!)
If you have small pets like birds or hamsters, gradually introduce them to your dog - preferrably when he is still a puppy if possible. Do this in a controlled manner so he begins to understand that the animal or bird is a friend, not a foe.
You should be aware of this if you walk or jog with your Mini Schnauzer near a busy road. Even a well-trained one may take off if he spots a cat or other small animal, so always keep him on a lead near traffic.
Although I am a Miniature Schnauzer lover, it has to be admitted that these dogs are not known for their fantastic powers of concentration!
They are generally easy to train because they are eager to please us. But don't expect them to SIT AND STAY! for more than a few minutes - German Shepherds they are not.
Keep training lively and varied or you may well find you're talking to yourself as your Mini has wandered off to sniff something more interesting or gone to chase next door's cat.
Having said that, their willingness to learn and please you counts for a lot!
Good Housedogs and Companions
Minis are also usually good housedogs and will bark if someone comes to the door. This is something they often learn with age (like how to grow a beard!)
It is quite normal for puppies not to bark at the door for the first few months of their life. Then when they get more confident they will challenge that knock at the door or ring of the doorbell.
With proper training, they are generally not snappy or yappy like some other small dog breeds. They should stop barking when they realise the person at the door is not a threat.
These dogs make great companions for young and old alike. They just love being part of the family and involved in everything.
With their comical bearded faces and quizzical expressions, it's hard not to think of them as human sometimes. If you spend time with your Mini Schnauzer and exercise him regularly, you'll have a happy little character who will become be the best friend you'll ever have.
Many have excelled in formal obedience trials and are seen more and more in agility competitions. Some Mini Schnauzers are excelling in Earthdog Trials where the dog goes to ground after prey. You can find out much more about Miniature Schnauzers on these pages -
Miniature Schnauzer - Breed Characteristics
AKC Miniature Schnauzer Breed Standard
Kennel Club (UK) Miniature Schnauzer Breed Standard
How Much Exercise Do They Need?
Top Ten Tips for Finding Good Mini Schnauzer Breeders
Training Your Mini
History of the Miniature Schnauzer
Schnauzers - Hypoallergenic and Non Shedding
Schnauzer Colors – the Great Debate
The White Mini Schnauzer
Schnauzermania Store for gifts and pet products
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