Miniature Schnauzers have a very square-shaped build, They have a double coat, with wiry exterior fur and a soft undercoat. In show trim, the coat is kept short on the body, but the fur on the ears, legs, belly, and face is retained. Miniature Schnauzers are often described as non-moulting dogs, and while this is not entirely true, their shedding is minimal and generally unnoticeable. They are characterized by a rectangular head with bushy beard, mustache and eyebrows; teeth that meet in a “scissor bite”; oval and dark colored eyes; and v-shaped, natural forward-folding ears (when cropped, the ears point straight upward and come to a sharp point). Their tails are naturally thin and short, and may be docked (where permitted). They will also have very straight, rigid front legs, and feet that are short and round (so-called “cat feet”) with thick, black pads
Recognized coat colors are black, salt and pepper, black and silver, and pure white. The white Schnauzer is one of four color varieties of the Miniature Schnauzer currently recognized by the World Canine Organization.
The American Kennel Club breed standard describes temperament as “alert and spirited, yet obedient to command… friendly, intelligent and willing to please… never overaggressive or timid.” Usually easy to train, they tend to be excellent watchdogs with a good territorial instinct, but more inclined toward barking than biting. They are often aloof with strangers until the owners of the home welcome the guest, upon which they are typically very friendly to them.
They are highly playful dogs, and, if not given the outlet required for their energy, they can become bored and invent their own “fun”. Miniature Schnauzers can compete in dog agility trials, obedience, showmanship, flyball, and tracking. Schnauzers have a high prey drive, which means they may attack other small pets such as birds, snakes, and rodents. Many will also attack cats, but this may be curbed with training, or if the dog is raised with cats
While generally a healthy breed, Miniature Schnauzers may suffer health problems associated with high fat levels. Such problems include hyperlipidemia, which may increase the possibility of pancreatitis, Other issues are diabetes, bladder stonesand eye problems. Feeding the dog low- or non-fatty and unsweetened foods may help avoid these problems