Blaizenoak & Cranmil Miniature Schnauzers
'Joy' A Pepper & salt Daughter of Dallas
BACKGROUND OF THE BREED
The Schnauzer comes in three sizes: the Giant, Standard and Miniature Schnauzer. Although the three sizes share similarities they are totally individual breeds with their own characteristics.
The Miniature Schnauzer (MS) is the most popular of the three sizes and is steadily increasing in popularity here in Australia. In America they are well established as a sought after family pet, ranking in the top ten most popular dogs in America.
Do not be fooled by their size because the MS is not a toy breed. They are often described as being the big dog in a small dog body. They are robust, strong and square of build. They have prominent eyebrows and a generous beard. The hair on the top of their body is kept short and they have luxurious thick hair on their legs and chest, which are known as furnishings.
MS have traditionally been a docked breed but as Tail Docking is now illegal in most states of Australia, MSs have their tails left on. The tail has an upright carriage and should point in the direction of the dogs head. Because breeders of MSs have docked tails for many years there is no standard "ideal" tail, and tail carriages can vary from dog to dog.
The standard for the MS suggests an ideal height of between 31 and 35.6 cm. Too small, toyish appearing dogs are not typical & undesirable. Although the standard for MSs suggests the ideal height be between 31 and 35.6cm, dogs can be seen in the show rings that are a little bit taller than this. These dogs are successful in the show ring and gain their championship title despite being a little bit taller than the standard suggests.
The MS in general is a very healthy breed with a long life span. The MS live up to 15 plus years old. Unlike some breeds, the MS can be fighting fit at 17 years old and in exceptional circumstances have even been known to live to 20 years old. I must clarify this by warning you that it is your responsibility to ensure that you feed and exercise you Schnauzer accordingly to assist with longevity. Sadly, diseases associated with obesity such as pancreatitis are becoming more prevalent and this will shorten any dogs lifespan.
The MS comes in 3 recognised colours, pepper & Salt, Black and Black & Silver, the most common being pepper & salt.
A solid black MS is, as its name suggests totally black; it should be pure black with a black undercoat and topcoat. It is permissible for them to have a small patch of white hair on the chest and the odd flecks of white hair throughout the outer coat.
Arguably the most striking of all three colours is the Black & Silver. A black and silver MS has a black body with white / silver leg furnishings, beard, eyebrows and silver under the tail region. The silver on a black and silver can vary from almost pure white to a grey / silver.
A pepper and salt MS has bands of grey, brown / ginger, white and black on each individual hair of its wire coat. This is what gives them the pepper and salt appearance. The undercoat is plain grey. When a pepper and salt is clipped it gradually looses the wire coat, retaining only its soft grey undercoat. This is why most pepper and salt MS look grey. The grey in the P & S can very from a light silver grey, to a very dark charcoal grey.
I must explain that 'hand stripping' (plucking the hair from the roots) rather than clipping is the only way to ensure the colour of your Mini Schnauzer remains true. The soft undercoat is not waterproof, nor is it weather resistant like the tough wire coat and as such may fade very gradually over time.
Blaizenoak Kennel's breeds all three colours and throughout this website you can see photo's of all three colours.
MSs are a truly wonderful breed. They are small enough to be great housedogs but have a huge heart and are really great bold, fun companions. The MS is alive, alert and always interested and involved in its environment. They are inquisitive and intelligent, often being referred to as the dog with the human brain (VCA brochure on the Schnauzer).
You will find that the typical well-bred Miniature Schnauzer is relatively small in size but in no way toyish or delicate. When you pick him up you will discover he is sturdy, heavy, and muscular... a ruggedness combined with the elegance and beauty of a purebred.
He makes an excellent companion because he is extremely obedient and quick to learn, is devoted, playful and affectionate. His alertness makes him an excellent guard dog. He is spunky and fearless but not aggressive so that he can run with other dogs (American Miniature Schnauzer Club).
He is as much at home in the city with a small amount of exercise as he is in the country where he appears tireless. And, he easily adapts to any change of condition or climate. His deepest need, however, is to live as a part of the family, going where they go, doing what they do. Sleeping on the bed, or in his own, beside his owner is his great joy (American Miniature Schnauzer Club).
The standard says it all: "The typical Miniature Schnauzer is alert and spirited, yet obedient to command. He is friendly, intelligent and willing to please. He should never be overaggressive or timid." The Miniature Schnauzer is generally sweet, loving and loyal. They often have a favorite person, even though they will love the whole family. They will bark when someone comes to the door. Properly trained, though, they will stop when the owner indicates that the person at the door is welcome and not a threat.
Schnauzers are intelligent and learn quickly. Many have excelled in formal obedience trials. They are seen more and more in agility competitions also (American Miniature Schnauzer Club).
The typical features of its temperament are:
LOYAL & DEVOTED: The MS is a one-person dog but they love their entire family. They are tolerant of children and enjoy joining in their games.
SLOW TO ANGER: The MS is not by nature an aggressive dog.
QUICK TO DEFEND: When mature, the MS develops a territorial instinct. This makes an ideal guard dog. They defend their property VOCALLY and NOT with their teeth. They are NOT a 'yappy' dog. A well-trained MS will bark to alert you and then will be quiet again
WARY OF STRANGERS: Some breeds of dogs would go with anyone who gave them a pat and a kind word but MSs are intensely devoted to their owners and think that their owner is the best person in the world. Because of this they can be rather aloof to strangers preferring the attention of their own family rather than attention of other people (VCA brochure on the Schnauzer
'Queen' Summer on her throne with baby Jordan & Adele Grace's Daughter(Left: Kayla, Right: Eden)
COMPATILIBITY WITH CHILDREN
MSs are very good with children however it is your responsibility to ensure that your pup has the opportunity to see children and get used to them. Any breed of dog needs to be socialised and MSs are no exception.
If you want a dog to be good with kids then you need to show them children and allow them to be around children from a young age. Also it is very important with small breeds to ensure that children are not rough with them, as it is very easy for a small breed to be intimidated. Children can (however unintentionally) be rough with dogs, especially young children. Children can also be very frightening to a small dogs as they move very rapidly and usually do not know the correct way to approach a dog.
It is recommended that you DO NOT leave ANY DOG unattended around young children
All in all they are a very well natured and tolerant dog with children.
Care must be taken to ensure that your MS remains slim and does not become overweight. MSs LOVE their food and will happily eat anything that you give to them even if you feed them too much! They have also been known to eat the non edible but none the less tantilising objects that may be left around the house such as panty hose, plastic bottle caps, clothes pegs etc. Because of this it is advisable to ensure that you "puppy proof" your home prior to your pups arrival.
I reccommend that you feed your MS a good quality dog food & / or fresh meat and give them correct amounts in accordance to their size. Over feeding your dog is not love! Overweight dogs are more prone to heat disease, pancreatitis and other weight related problems which can lead to the death of you pet as early as fours years of age.
The Miniature Schnauzer is a fairly active little dog and like any dog require at least a 30 mins walk each day. They are not as active as some other breeds, they do however require regular exercise to ensure that they remain slim and healthy as they can be prone to weight gain. All dogs need to be walked both for the mental and physical stimulation that it provides. If your MS lives with another dog at home then you will find that they will keep themselves well occupied and physically fit by playing together at home but whilst having a dog for company decreases the urgency of the need for a walk, your dog will still need the opportunity to get out and about and see and smell new things every day.
If you live in a unit or flat with no backyard then your MS will require a morning and evening walk. Schnauzers are very adaptable and this is why the make ideal dogs for city dwellers and those who live in apartments. They become quite used to lounging around the house all day however it is important that they be given toys and chew bones to keep them occupied as it can be quite boring for them to stay in the house all day.
A daily walk is beneficial for all dogs because it uses up some energy. A bored and frustrated dog will get up to a lot of mischief by digging, barking and destroying household items.
A TIRED DOG IS USUALLY A HAPPY, WELL BEHAVED DOG!
COMPATILIBITY WITH OTHER PETS
MSs are very social and friendly dogs and get along very well with other family pets such as Cats and other dogs. MS's love to have a friend to play with and enjoy the companionship of another dog. MS are happiest when they have another MS to play with when their owner is not at home but if they are given enough attention, then it is not necessary to have two dogs. Upon saying this, most MS owners do end up deciding to buy a second MS because they provide a lot of joy and keep each other amused. Taking your MS to obedience class would be the next best thing because they can meet some friends, have a play and most importantly learn some basic obedience and good manners. When introducing a young puppy to another pet whether it be an older dog or a cat, please ensure that you always supervise them. Also give them their own areas that they can be apart.
In the past people have purchased a puppy from me and told me that they have managed to integrate the puppy well with other household pets such as Rabbits however in no way do i garantee that this will be possible in every situation. Whilst Schnauzers are calm and non aggressive dogs i would never leave them unsupervised with a Rabbit or Guinea pig - because afterall they are dogs.
MS's are one of the most trainable dogs that it has been my pleasure to work with. They are very rarely a stubborn dog and if they dont do something when asked it is 99% likely that it is because you have communicated poorly and NOT because they just dont want to do it. We compete and train MSs in obedience and they are fantastic. If you are looking to trial competitively in obedience or just teach your dog basic manners then the MS is an ideal dog for you. The only real problem that you may have with a MS is if you bore them by not moving on to the next level quickly enough as they are very intelligent and willing workers and will soon be bored by repetition.
MSs are sensitive and do not like rough treatment. I always ask my MS to do something and do not demand. I get very good results this way. We train using food, praise and positive reinforcement methods such as Cliker Training and it works wonderfully - we have the results to prove it! If you smack your MS this will not work. They do not respond to punishment.
MSs are mainly a family pet but they also make very successful pet therapy dogs, competitive obedience, agility, flyball, show and tracking dogs.
Back: "Riley" A 9 week old Black & Silver Dog Puppy Baby Georgia
Front: "Grace" A 7 week old Black & Silver Bitch Puppy
MSs can have cataracts, PRA and other eye diseases as can many other breeds of dogs. These eye problems can be genetic and pass down through certain bloodlines but they are no more common in the MS than many other breeds. We eye test all of our breeding stock every year and we have these certificates available for you to view. These certificates mean that we have tested our dogs eyes and as far as the eye specialist can tell they do not have any current eye problems.
The MS does not shed any hair. This is huge bonus because you do not have to clean hair off the floor, couch and car. I know that i hate cleaning up all the hair from my German Shepherd! HOWEVER, their is a price to pay for a non shedding coat! Because the coat does not shed it continues to grow longer and longer can become very unkempt,scruffy and tangled. This can lead to eye irritation, skin irritation, and in extreme cases can cause serious health problems.
The Miniature Shnauzer is classified as a VERY HIGH MAINTENANCE BREED!
You need to be aware of this before you purchase a puppy as a Mini Schnauzer should be clipped every 8 weeks and this can be quite costly (unless you learn to do it yourself)
Upon saying this, I personally prefer the work of clipping or stripping my dogs than the work of vacuuming all the hair from the carpet and my car that i have from owning from a shedding breed !
The MS's "furnishings" (hair on legs) and beard need to be combed out at least twice a week to remain tangle free. If you go out walking in parks or bush land that has grass seeds and burrs then you would need to comb your dog after every walk.
If you choose to clip your MS then it will loose its harsh wire coat and will just retain its soft undercoat. Your MS will need to be clipped every 8 weeks. You would pay anything between $80 to $90 for this (depending on your location). The coat on the body can be left a little longer in the winter months and thus you may chose to only have the head, chest, tummy and bottom clipped when it is very cold. When you buy a puppy you will receive one free clip from me to be used anytime within 6 weeks of purchase. Your pup will also be sent home groomed when you pick it up.
The hair on your dogs bottom should be clipped or trimmed with the scissors regularly. Long hair around the bottom can lead to excrement getting caught on the hair and then drying on. This can effectively 'block' the anus, preventing the dog from defecating. This can lead to serious health consequences and if left unnoticed and untreated, even death!
Similarly, the hair from around penis and vulva area should be kept clipped for hygenic reasons.
STRIPPING (THE ALTERNATIVE TO CLIPPING)
If you dont wish to pay to have your dog clipped or you wish to retain the harsh wiry coat of your MS then you can "strip" your dog. This is involves plucking the coat from your dog by the roots using either a stripping knife (a grooming tool costing around $20.00) or your fingers. This may sound very cruel but this is is necessary should you wish to show and is the only way to ensure that you dogs coat does not fade. The plucking of the coat will not hurt your dog as much if you begin to strip when the coat has blown or died. It will take you approximately one week to strip your dog if you work on it for 30 minutes a night whilst you sit and watch TV. This is a lot more time-consuming than clipping but will only need to be done approx 3 times a year. i strongly suggest that if you do not wish to show that you have your dogs clipped as it is much more comfortable for the dog. I can give you further instructions regarding stripping should this interest you.
Because MSs require clipping on a regular basis (every 8 weeks) and also regular grooming of their furnishings (at least 2x weekly) they are considered to be a high maintenance breed. Other dogs with short coats do not require this amount of grooming and that is an important aspect to take into consideration when deciding on which breed you would like to own.
Clipping is a significant ongoing cost associated with MSs and should be taken into account before purchasing a pup. Schnuazers pictured in many websites and books look immaculate but it is important to remember that they only look this way through dedicated grooming from their owner and / or regular 8 weekly trips to a groomer for a clip.
Apart from clipping there is no other ongoing costs associated with a MS that is any different to any other breed i.e. worming, vaccinations etc.
The MS is an ideal dog for anybody who will give him or her the love and time that they deserve. They make a good pet for the families and single people alike. The main consideration when purchasing a MS puppy is that it will be with you for anything up to 17 years. Owning a MS is a lifetime commitment for both you and your dog. If you are not prepared to share your life, your home and your family with your MS then this is not the breed for you.
Like a child, the MS needs and thrives on love, devotion and a stable environment. In return you will receive a lifetime of love, loyalty and companionship that only a schnauzer can offer. The Miniature Schnauzer needs to be both and inside and outside pet. They thrive on love and attention and need to be allowed in the house for cuddle times in the evenings. If you are wanting a dog to keep only in the backyard and not allow in the house then i sugest you look into a different breed.
We like to have a chat to people on the phone before we agree to sell you a pup because we are very particular about our puppies going to only the best of homes.
"Teddy" (A Black & Silver Dog)