Miniature Schnauzer care is like poetry: it may seem simple and easy because there is so little present, but once you learn all about it, you'll find it far more than mere words. Still, these are brilliant, beautiful Terriers whose care should be understood as love and not labor. Once you research and understand Miniature Schnauzer puppy care and adopt your own, you'll discover that how to raise Minis is a lot of fun! On this page, you can learn a lot of facts, tips, hints, and information on Miniature Schnauzer dietary needs, types of foods, and exercise.
As is typical with most small dog breeds, the Miniature Schnauzer grows quickly. Some may reach their full size in as short as 6-8 months but others might not do so until about 11-12 months. Although this dog is one of three related breeds, the Miniature Schnauzer growth rate is significantly different. If you are unsure if your Schnauzer puppy is a Mini (rather than a Standard or Giant), there are some breeders who say there is a prediction based on size. If at two weeks of age your Mini weighs 13-19 ounces (about a pound), it is believed she will be a Miniature Schnauzer.
Below is an approximate timeline of Mini Schnauzer growth stages, from puppy through adolescence into early adult:
|Dog Age||Development Milestone|
|3-4 days||Tail docking typically done|
|1-2 weeks||Puppy weight doubles|
|2-3 weeks||Eyes open, hearing sharpens, activity increases, and puppy teeth start in|
|3-4 weeks||Awareness of environment becomes acute and weaning begins|
|4-5 weeks||Puppy games are played, reactions to stimuli increases noticeably, and learning starts in earnest|
|5-6 weeks||Fear response stage will be in working and socialization should be undertaken|
|6-7 weeks||Puppies start to explore more, toilet training should be done, and vision is enough for eye tests to be done|
|7-8 weeks||Weight of puppies doubles again; socialization should be carefully extended to include people and other pets|
|4 months||Puppy's weight should be about half of adult weight-to-be|
|5-7 months||Females gain sexual maturity and go into heat cycles|
|10-12 months||Males reach sexual maturity|
|1 year||Males and females should be fully grown or very nearly so; puppy diet should be in transition to adult dog food|
Don't let the little size of the Mini Schnauzer fool you. No matter which size breed, the Schnauzer is a Terrier. These dogs, like their Standard and Giant cousins, need a lot of exercise, activity, and room for moving around. If you have a small apartment in the city, a couple or more fairly long daily walks and a few weekly dog park visits are needed. If you live on a ranch, then letting him outside to burn off that energy during the day is a darn good idea. As these dogs tend to mature quickly, limited exercise can start as early as 8-10 months of age. Once they are about 14 months old, they can be exercised fully.
Because they are small, and because they are Terriers, however, supervision is recommended — especially if you live in a city or suburb. These dogs come from backgrounds whereby they tend to fend for themselves when on the range and in the wood. Still, it's best to keep an eye on them if they roam around your rural house. In most all places, they should be kept on a leash as they will give chase to small critters and other dogs. They love to dig, explore small places, and get into trouble in a split second.
There are many exercise these very active dogs can enjoy.
- Walking: This is a staple of exercise that should be done at least twice a day for no less than 30 minutes each time. If no other activity is undertaken, you might want to make it three times.
- Swimming: Not all Terriers are keen to get wet, but those that do tend to go in whole hog! A local lake, community pond, or forest stream can provide a lot of great fun and exercise for your Mini Schnauzer.
- Dog Park/Runs: These are great for socialization, training, bonding, and exercise for both of you.
- Treadmill: If you use it for a coat rack or actual exercise, this device can be used with moderation to provide a "walk" when you can't make it outside or the weather is just too lousy.
- Agility playtime: There are many kinds of tricks, turns, and puzzles that can keep your Schnauzer from being bored or getting fat. Look online to find a wide variety of things that you can set up for your Mini.
- Hide & seek: Show his favorite toy to him, make it squeak or something, and then hide it! He'll love tracking it down, bringing it back, and having you hide it again.
A fat Mini Schnauzer is almost always because the owner has not fulfilled his responsibility for sufficient exercise and activity. Such a Schnauzer will also probably bark a lot, chew on things, race around, and be destructive. Adjust your walking times if it seems too cold or hot, such as mornings and evenings when it's cooler or mid-afternoon if it needs to be warmer. Make sure he is hydrated when exercising or when it's very hot, provide a consistent and high-quality diet, and keep him groomed so he doesn't get anxious. All these will help keep your Miniature Schnauzer fit and trim. When walking, use a collar leash for control, as harnesses tend to merely restrain and fail to help maintain obedience training.
A healthy Mini Schnauzer should shed very little and drool not at all, but the grooming needed to maintain this level of care and maintenance is not easy. Then again, that's part of the wonder of these beautiful and versatile little Terriers! If there is an excessive amount of slobber, dog hair, or both, then your Mini may be in trouble. In this section are tips on what to look for, how to start resolving any issues, and ways to help prevent such problems.
Your Miniature Schnauzer should not drool. There may be a bit of messiness when she drinks water after a long walk or some heavy exercise, but that's typical. You can put a mat under her water bowl to keep the mess to a minimum. If she is slobbering a lot, however, there is almost always a concern. It may be she's been for a car ride, or eaten something noxious, or has a serious health problem. As gross as it is, you need to look closely at the drool. What color is it? Is the texture thick or thin? Is there a lot or just more than normal? These things can help to possibly resolve the problem whether you try to fix it or take her to the vet.
Shedding is to be expected. It shouldn't be much hair, especially if your Schnauzer has a proper diet and good grooming, but there is almost always going to be some hair. Have a slicker brush in the car, a lint roller or two near heavy-traffic areas in the home, and a hand-vacuum for the seasonal blowouts that can occur overnight. If shedding is heavy, it can indicate a problem such as a digestive issue, a skin condition, or anxiety.
Due to so many factors regarding diet, one thing you must do is get a Miniature Schnauzer feeding guide. What kind of food and the amount to feed your Mini depends on their basic size range as well as their age. These dogs can end up weighing anywhere from merely nine pounds all the way up to just under 20 pounds. They are very active puppies who grow quickly into adult dogs. There are different opinions on how much of which aspect (protein, fat, etc.) is the best as well as which is the best diet for these puppies. It's often part personal preference as well as required nutrition.
Typically, Mini Schnauzer puppies should be fed smaller amounts than fully grown Minis — but more frequently throughout the day. They are best fed with either a specialized puppy formula meant for this particular breed. These little dogs are finicky eaters whose bodies digest their nutrients differently. Still, they shouldn't be overfed in volume or certain aspects (fats, etc.) of their diets as it can harm them now or later, if not both. A recommended food is Royal Canin Miniature Schnauzer puppy food, as it is specialized to this breed's needs. The last thing you want is a fat Miniature Schnauzer!
|Dog Age||Dog Weight||Food Type||Amount||Frequency|
|6 weeks||under 1 lb||moistened dry||1/4 cup||3-4 times/day|
|8 weeks||1-2 lbs||moistened dry||1/4 cup||3x/day|
|10-12 weeks||3-5 lbs||moistened dry||1/4 cup||3x/day|
|12-14 weeks||6-8 lbs||transition to wet/dry||1/3 cup||3x/day|
|5-6 months||9-11 lbs||wet/dry||1/3 cup||3-4x/day|
|1 year||10-12 lbs||wet/dry||1/3-1/2 cup||2x/day|
|2 years||14 lbs||wet/dry||1/2 cup||2x/day|
The last thing you want is a fat Miniature Schnauzer! A recommended food is Royal Canin Miniature Schnauzer puppy food, as it is specialized to this breed's needs. Learning how much to feed a Miniature Schnauzer puppy is no small matter. Even as puppies with all their activity, these dogs have a habit of overeating if allowed, and they are well-known for quickly becoming obese. As adults, they are prone to bladder stones that can be caused or made worse by a poor diet and too little water. There are also many things that dogs should't eat, such as chocolate, cookie dough, and processed human foods. You should learn what not to feed your Mini just as much as what to feed them.
The best dog food for Miniature Schnauzers depends on many things. If you are wanting the best puppy food for Miniature Schnauzers, there are some high-quality commercial foods that are meant only for them. If you have an adult Mini and are wondering what the best food is for him, many breeders recommend Orijen Adult Dog Dry Dog Food for Miniature Schnauzers. Then there are those who recommend a carefully managed raw food diet, sometimes called BARF (Bones And Raw Food). This is a diet that can be expensive or at least time-consuming, but if you want your Mini to be at his best, this may be the best food.
For the most part, the Miniature Schnauzer is an inside breed. While these little dogs need some outdoor activity each day, they'll be much happier living indoors with the human family members they love so much. And for the Miniature Schnauzer, apartment living is a great match--just make sure the dog goes out for some exercise on a daily basis!
Another consideration for owners of a Miniature Schnauzer: temperature. These dogs can adapt pretty well to most kinds of weather, and will be comfortable in all but extremely hot or cold temps. Overall, though, Mini Schnauzers are best suited to life in moderate climates.