Miniature Schnauzer

Description:
Although this dog has a lot of style and is very attractive, the miniature schnauzer is above all a strong, robust, muscular and active dog. The coat of this dog is hair and wiry, and should be long enough to give it that very attractive look, the color of its coat can either be salt and pepper, black and silver, or solid black. Its height is around thirty to thirty-five centimeters and its body has a square shape. The head is strong looking, rectangular and has a good length, with small, oval, deep eyes. The ears should have a v shape and should be highly inserted, bent forward toward the front of its head, or if they have been nipped they should stick upwards. The head should not look rough or heavy. Make sure its mouth closes correctly; its teeth should close like scissors. Superior or inferior prognathism are undesired. The neck should be well arched and should flow towards its shoulders; the body should be short and long; the chest moderately wide; the front legs straight and a little muscular; the elbows should close well. Its hind legs should be well angled, inclined and strong. The tail is highly inserted and is usually docked and carried up high. The coat has a tick under coat, but it should not have this on its neck, shoulders, ears or skull; the hair on its legs and the hair on its face should feel rough and thick, never silky.

Ideal owner:
The miniature schnauzer is an excellent companion dog and is very civilized. It is not very often that you can run into a winner of Best in Show digging to find a pest. However, this does not mean that this dog doesn't like to dig; to the contrary, most of these dogs can be excellent gardeners. This dog is a charm to have inside the house, loves the companionship of people, but it might be somewhat distrustful with strangers. This dog likes to eat and takes its meal times very seriously. Make sure to not over feed it. Miniature schnauzers are compatible with children, as long as they are introduced to each other adequately; make sure the children know that they are not to provoke it.

Growth:
Miniature Schnauzers usually have small size liter, with an average of three to five puppies. The weight of the puppies at birth oscillates from 113 to 255 grams. The dewclaws are cut and the tail is docked during the first week of the dog's life. Its ears are nipped between nine and eleven weeks of age; obviously these types of procedures must only be done by a professional. Find out as well if there are laws in your country concerning these procedures, as they are not allowed in some places. The growth of this dog should be noticeable and consistent. At around eight weeks a puppy should be around twenty centimeters in height from the wichers down; at four months of age it should be around twenty-eight centimeters. Anyone interested in getting a miniature schnauzer must make sure to find one that has a good body structure, and must above all pay special attention to the height and length of the tail. The color of the coat can vary a lot. You should be able to notice a change of color on its coat when its adult coat grows out and the spots on its body might change.

General health:
A healthy miniature schnauzer is a perfect and robust little dog. However, there are several serious problems that can occur with this breed. Urinary problems and kidney stones have been documented a lot. The owner will need to avoid giving it too much vitamin C. There is a type of follicular dermatitis that an often time occurs as well. Achalasia is a defect of the esophagus that makes it difficult for the dog to ingest food and it is seen in puppies; juvenile cataracts have also been seen in some dogs. Other ocular problems include degeneration of the retina, dry conjunctivitis, and progressive retina atrophy. Some reproductive system problems are also pseudohermaphroditism and Cryptorchidism. Legg Perthes has also been seen in this breed and a metabolic hepatic defect Von Willebrand. Because of all these things when picking out a miniature schnauzer it is very important to take time at it and obtain the healthiest and most resistant one. This dog enjoys of and needs a lot of physical activity and movement to keep its energetic body and mind healthy and satisfied. The care its coat requires is considerable, especially if you are intending on using it as a show dog. The future owner will need to learn how trim its coat every two or three months, otherwise he or she will have to take it to get professionally groomed, which is always the best idea.

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