Miniature Schnauzers were originally bred to be farm ratters and guard dogs. They were developed in the mid-to-late 19th century in Germany and it is believed they were the result of crossbreeding the Standard Schnauzer with smaller breeds, such as the Miniature Pinscher, Affenpinscher, and perhaps the Poodle or Pomeranian. In Europe the miniature schnauzer is known as the Zwergschnauzer (zwerg means “dwarf”).
There aren’t any definitive records on how the Miniature Schnauzer was developed, but it seems the intent was to create a smaller version of the well-established Standard Schnauzer. The earliest record of a Miniature Schnauzer was a black female named Findel, born in October 1888. In 1895, the first breed club was formed in Cologne, Germany, although it accepted several types of dogs.
World Wars I and II devastated dog breeding in Europe where some breeds were nearly lost. But interest in Miniature Schnauzers boomed after WWI, and the dog’s popularity has never waned since.
One aspect that has changed since the early days is the colour varieties. In the UK and Europe today we see 4 recognised colour varieties –
Pepper & Salt
Black & Silver
The Miniature Schnauzer today is a great favourite as a family companion, mainly due to its unique smart appearance and splendid character. A “great big dog in a little dogs body”, these little dogs are equally happy playing all day with the children, or snoozing on a lap in front of the TV. Never the shrinking violet, these smart little canines will provide an excellent early warning alarm and vocal guardian of house and home and are quite fearless in the face of those they view as intruders. They are also affectionately devoted to their owners and will quite literally try to creep inside your skin. Life is never ever dull with a Miniature Schnauzer.