The Miniature Schnauzer, from the terrier family, was originally bred in 19th century Germany. It is quite a popular breed, and for good reason.
“Schnauzer” means “small beard” in German – which describes this pup wonderfully. Miniature Schnauzers are known for their stately appearance, and distinguished beard and whiskers. Their hair grows longer around their muzzle, eyebrows, and legs giving them very prominent facial features. They have two coats, atop their study square-shaped frame and rectangular head. Their outer coat is wiry, while their close undercoat is nice and soft. Their coats colors are usually a combination of solid black, black and silver, or black and white.
They’ll probably want to sleep in your bed. Despite the prominent look of the Miniature Schnauzer, this breed is highly extroverted, energetic, and playful. They are great with kids. Although they are less aggressive than their terrier brethren, Miniature Schnauzers are alert, and very good vermin hunters.
This breed is as smart as they look. So they may display stubborn or sly behaviors if not trained properly. Simply use their intelligence to your advantage. If you train your little buddy to follow your lead, and socialize him well early on, it should be smooth sailing!
The average lifespan of a healthy Miniature Schnauzer is about 12-14 years. Some can live longer than 15 years if they are well cared for. This breed is prone to some eye problems. Three of the most common eye disorders they may suffer from are progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), cataracts, and retinal dysplasia. They are also prone to some blood, skeletal muscular and skin conditions. 
The good news is that Miniature Schnauzers are generally a pretty healthy breed. So chances are you won’t even have to worry about a major illness.
But if you like to stay on the safe side, have your veterinarian run eye and DNA exams to identify some of these potential issues early on.
Care & Grooming
Living Conditions: While this breed can stay outdoors when the weather is warm, they are much too social to want to be anywhere but inside with their family, perhaps within a designated doggy area.
Grooming: Miniature Schnauzers are some high maintenance babies. Their wiry outer coat should be combed about once per week, along with some scissoring and shaping.
Feeding: This is one breed you do not want to overfeed. Overweight Miniature Schnauzers are at a much higher risk of illness. They require ½ to 1 full cup of high quality dog food that are divided into two meals per day. No more, no less.
Exercise: They are energetic and require activity. They can maintain their proper exercise through moderate pace walks on a leash, and one on one playtime. They really love playtime.
The Right Fit for You
Miniature Schnauzers are hypoallergenic, and do not shed. So they are great for people who suffer with allergies, but still love dogs. They are great with children, so they make wonderful additions to young families. They also tend to be wonderful with older people because of their loyalty and want to always be where their owners are. Bottom line: Miniature Schnauzers are one of the best dog breeds for companionship you can find.