Miniature Schnauzers
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Thread: Miniature Schnauzers

  1. #1
    Senior Member rosemaryninja's Avatar
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    Miniature Schnauzers

    I'm going off to college in August and my parents are thinking of adding another to the pack (it seems they are finally fulfilling their wish of substituting their human daughter with a canine). I have been tasked to help them select my replacement.

    The dog will have to be:

    small -- Beagle size or below
    easy to exercise -- My dogs currently walk/jog 3 miles a day. Despite my parents' repeated promises, I am thinking that once I'm gone it will probably be down to 1-2 miles a day or every other day. My dogs are getting on and I think they will be able to deal with this. The new dog needs to be able to as well.
    non-yappy -- Sorry, this is a non-negotiable with my dad, who grew up with Dobes, Boxers, Rotties and GSDs.
    low-shedding -- For my mom

    Grooming-wise, I don't think they're willing to do very much at home. They'll be willing to send the dog to the groomer's maybe 2-4 times a year. (I'm not familiar with the world of grooming, so I'm not sure how much is considered "normal.")

    As for training... I don't know. Obviously the more trainable, the better. My parents are not really the up-for-a-challenge type. Perhaps anything below the difficulty level of a Beagle. It's really hard to gauge.

    Okay, so what do you guys think? Would a Miniature Schnauzer fit the bill? I think it would go okay except for the training perhaps. I have zero training experience with any breed besides the Beagle, so I'm completely unfamiliar with the "terrier personality." If not, what else would you suggest?

    Thanks all.
    -Melissa
    Life is never dull with a Beagle

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  3. #2
    Senior Member MyCharlie's Avatar
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    Re: Miniature Schnauzers

    Barking - Charlie is a barker and it is a loud, annoying bark. I hate it. He doesn't bark a LOT, though, only when there are people outside the house, but it always scares the crap out of me! And it makes me appreciate my in-laws' maltese's little yappy bark. So it depends on what your dad is against - the constant barking, or the noise itself.

    Grooming - It's too early for me to think about math but Charlie goes every 8 weeks which is around six times a year I think? I comb him in between every 1-2 weeks. And he is kept cut pretty short (no skirt at all). So they may need to do more grooming than they wanted. But it's actually pretty easy. I just have a metal comb that I run through him while he's sleeping.

    Size, exercisability, low shedding - those are all great.

    Training - Charlie was super easy to train. Housebroken within a week, does great at obedience training, does agility. He is really an awesome dog and has never gotten into anything in the house. He caught on very easily to the "house rules"

    My only negative is his barking at and being aggressive toward people. When I talk to other schnauzer owners, I always hear "yep, that's a schnauzer for ya" But I can't imagine they are all like this or they wouldn't be so popular. So I would just make sure they get a confident, easy going pup who likes people and then keep him exposed to people a lot in that first year.

    Sorry I was so long! LOL You know how we all are, ramble on when talking about our babies.
    Last edited by MyCharlie; 01-11-2009 at 09:19 AM.

  4. #3
    Super Moderator Curbside Prophet's Avatar
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    Re: Miniature Schnauzers

    Well, I like Elsa's roo-rooing, so I may not be much help in this department. Mini's are thought to be barkers, that was part of their job. Elsa's the exception and only alarm barks, or during really fun play.

    Elsa's sent to the groomer every three months. I do comb her out weekly, sometime daily if a lot of outdoor junk is stuck to her, which happens a lot when it's wet. Elsa's skirted btw. I very rarely find Elsa's hair on my clothes or furniture. I do find it rolled up in the dust bunnies under the couch though...go figure.

    Elsa does have a lot of energy...when asked for it. She's also comfortable settling down on the couch all day.

    She's 20lbs and about 14-15 inches tall at the whithers. That's a small dog to me.

    Training wise of course I'm biased, but IMO Mini's are easy to train. They are an independent breed, much like a hound dog, but they don't have the nose of a hound dog, so...

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    Super Moderator RonE's Avatar
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    Re: Miniature Schnauzers

    My only experience with a miniature schnauzer is with my daughter's Zeke, but he's spent a lot of time with us.

    My wife and I and my daughter adore him, but he is a constant challenge. He may be poorly bred, poorly socialized or poorly trained (or some combination) but he cannot be trusted around strange dogs or strange people. He will attack dogs four times his size, so we limit his opportunities to do so. (He plays well with Molly and Esther because both have put him in his place early on.)

    He doesn't bark continuously, but it is shrill and annoying.

    His housebreaking is mostly fine (but took a while) but he lifted his leg on my daughter's fake Christmas tree. (I asked how she knew which of her two male dogs did it and she said, "Oh, we know.")

    Zeke has a home for life, but my daughter will never get another schnauzer.

    All of the problems could probably be resolved with lots of professional training and diligence, but it doesn't sound like your parents necessarily want a project dog. Zeke is the product of backyard breeding and I suspect that is at least part of his problem with regard to temperament. If it was strictly a question of training and environment, I would expect similar issues from Dante, the newer addition to her household. Dante has none of Zeke's problems.

    What I do like is that Zeke is very affectionate and loyal toward his immediate family, doesn't shed significantly (though he needs frequent baths to avoid smelling like an outhouse,) and doesn't eat $100-worth of kibble every month.

    In fairness, many people would say that beagles are especially challenging and you and I both know that this is not necessarily the case.
    Last edited by RonE; 01-11-2009 at 09:36 AM.

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    Re: Miniature Schnauzers

    My grandpa had a miniature Schnauzer named Fritz . He got him at the pound when Fritz was about 9 months old. So we don't know where he came from or his background. Anyway, Fritz was a terrier through-and-through. He chased critters, dug for critters (we could say "look, Fritz, it's a critter!" and he'd dig a big hole, LOL. We kids thought it was hilarious), barked at critters, etc. I think his entire life was dedicated to trying to catch a squirrel (or some other critter).

    He growled at people who touched him wrong, and snapped if you tried to pick him up. I don't think he ever actually bit anybody, though. He was highly opinionated, and let you know his opinions quite clearly. He wanted dinner RIGHT ON TIME, and would bark until it was served. He barked about everything. Happy, sad, mad, excited, bored.....you name it, he barked about it. To be fair, my grandpa encouraged the barking (he was a little hard-of-hearing, so it didn't bother him). He was a real character.

    My grandpa combed him every day. I don't know if that was needed, though. He was kept in a skirted haircut (which I really dislike), so he would get burrs and leaves stuck in his skirt and in his beard. Schnauzer fur is like velcro and picks up everything. He weighed about 35 pounds, but was fat. He might have been around 25 pounds if he was of a healthy weight.

  7. #6
    Senior Member GroovyGroomer777's Avatar
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    Re: Miniature Schnauzers

    Min Schnauzers should be professionally groomed every 4-6 weeks unless the owner keeps them clipped very short (little/no skirt/feathers) or is willing to comb them out weekly. (Daily would be ideal but I know that most owners will not do this)

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    Super Moderator RonE's Avatar
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    Re: Miniature Schnauzers

    Oh, yeh, the critters.

    Zeke is the only dog I've ever had around that actually caught a squirrel (other than the one that practically fell in Charlie beagle's lap.) It was a red squirrel, at that. They are much quicker than a grey squirrel but, apparently, not quicker than a miniature schnauzer.

    The hunting dogs I've had all devoted their lives to trying to catch a squirrel, but it took a 17-pound schnauzer to accomplish that dubious task.

    (Red squirrels are kind of parasitic little rats, anyway.)

  9. #8
    Senior Member rosemaryninja's Avatar
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    Re: Miniature Schnauzers

    Actually, I made a post the other day wondering how to humanely get rid of the rats that occasionally visit our house from the reservoir across the road. And my parents are about as likely to own any kind of rodent or small pet as they are a Lamborghini. So the critter thing is really a plus. Digging won't be an issue, either, as this will likely be an apartment dog.

    My parents will not comb out the dog. Sorry. They will love it, feed it, walk it and train it but combing it out daily or even weekly is out of the question. They're not averse to grooming, I just know it's something they wouldn't remember to do. They're not used to having to groom a dog. I could remind them to send the dog to the groomer's every two months, though I'd have to factor that into the cost of having this dog. This might be a dumb question, but what kind of "cuts" do Schnauzers come in? Does anyone ever trim them down short all around?

    Regarding the barking, I might need a little more information on that. Honestly, I've had my share of "barky" dogs. Maybe I got lucky twice, but a "quiet" cue isn't all that hard to teach. And it's not really the barking that my dad minds as much as it is the yapping. The bay of our girls invariably brings a smile to his face. In other words, he's okay with his dogs making noise, as long as it isn't shrill or incessant. How similar is it to the typical toy dog bark?
    -Melissa
    Life is never dull with a Beagle

  10. #9
    Super Moderator RonE's Avatar
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    Re: Miniature Schnauzers

    Perhaps a mini schnauzer's bark varies by individual. I rather enjoyed the baying of my own beagle (except at 2 a.m.) but I've heard some that sound like they are being tortured.

    Zeke's bark is ear-piercing and seems to incite every dog withing a half-mile (including mine) to start barking along with him.

    My daughter has learned to give Zeke a functional haircut (though he won't be competing in any show circuits) at home to minimize the trips to the groomer. Without some kind of regular grooming attention, though, he would be a serious mess in very short order.

  11. #10
    Senior Member poodleholic's Avatar
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    Re: Miniature Schnauzers

    A Mini Schnauzer is like having a big dog in a compact, little body! Great dogs, but, if your folks don't want to groom, forget it. They need to go every 4-6 wks, or they look very scruffy, and they MUST be brushed to prevent mats!

    I've had two Mini Schnauzers and lucked out both times as neither were barkers. But, a family member's Schnauzer barks like a maniac at anything that moves, and everything else! His bark is shrill and annoying, and I can't wait to get out of there! To be fair, this dog may well have been entirely different in a different home. He's had virtually no socialization, other than the puppy class he went to, and they spoil him rotten.

  12. #11
    Senior Member rosemaryninja's Avatar
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    Re: Miniature Schnauzers

    Meh, I think the grooming thing kills it. They'll send the dog in to a professional, but I highly doubt they'll remember to brush it at home.

    Do you guys know of any other breed that might fit their requirements?
    -Melissa
    Life is never dull with a Beagle

  13. #12
    Senior Member MyCharlie's Avatar
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    Re: Miniature Schnauzers

    Yes, you can keep them cut short. Charlie is short all around except a wee bit longer on his legs so they don't look so freakishly skinny on his bigger body. I comb them but they don't get very tangly. I just do it cuz I'm already combing him anyway. And to be honest, I sometimes go 2-3 weeks without combing him and he is fine.

    And he has a beard, but it is relatively short too. That's what I mainly comb when I comb him. But you CAN get the beard cut shorter too. They just don't look as cute IMO with no beard - they look like little rats to me then. LOL

    And Charlie's bark is pretty shrill and ear piercing too, although he doesn't bark nearly as much as some people's dogs. And our house is big and open with hardwood floors so I think it echoes more than it would in an apartment.

  14. #13
    Super Moderator Curbside Prophet's Avatar
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    Re: Miniature Schnauzers

    Typical schnauzer play and barking: http://nycschnauzer.magnify.net/vide...asmanian-Devil

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