Miniature Schnauzer Breed Standards

Miniature Schnauzers are hardy dogs, originally bred to be ratters on German farms. They are alert, feisty animals of a suitable size to be good companions and eager to share your couch. They do not shed, so they often can be enjoyed by persons who are allergic to other breeds of dogs. They are good watch dogs, alerting to intruders, but are not given to mindless barking if properly trained.

The Breed Standard calls for the animal to stand not more than 14 inches tall , nor less than 12 inches, when measured at the withers. While generally exhibited with cropped ears, the standard does not require cropping. There are three accepted coat colors, "Salt and Pepper" which is characterized by banded hair, and may be any shade of gray, "Solid Black", and "Black and Silver". The Black and Silver color pattern generally follows the same pattern as the Salt and Pepper, however the entire Salt and Pepper section must be black. Solid White is a disqualifying color in the Breed Standard; it cannot be shown and should not be bred.

The Schnauzer is not a "wash and wear" dog. Since he does not shed, he must be groomed on a regular basis. This includes frequent brushing, nail trimming, and ear cleaning as well as periodic clippering or stripping. In return, you get an animal that is generally odorless and does not leave hair all over your clothes and premises. For a household pet, periodic machine clippering is all that is necessary. If clippered, the characteristic hard, outer coat will eventually disappear and only the softer undercoat will remain which sometimes becomes lighter in color the more it is clippered. The banded hairs of the Salt and Pepper will disappear leading to the "gray" or "silver" color most commonly seen. To enter the show ring, the Miniature Schnauzer needs to be hand stripped or plucked.
Compiled by the Public Education and Public Awareness Committees, American Miniature Schnauzer Club.

Copyright American Miniature Schnauzer Club, Inc. 1998 All rights reserved

The Official Standard for the Miniature Schnauzer
Written by HEX KSA     Monday, 23 July 2007  

GENERAL APPEARANCE The Miniature Schnauzer is a robust, active dog of terrier type, resembling his larger cousin, the Standard Schnauzer, in general appearance, and of an alert, active disposition.   Faults: Type - toyishness, ranginess or coarseness.  

SIZE, PROPORTION, SUBSTANCE Size - From 12 to 14 inches. He is sturdily built, nearly square in proportion of body length to height with plenty of bone, and without any suggestion of toyishness.   Disqualifications: dogs or bitches under 12 inches or over 14 inches.

HEAD Eyes - Small, dark brown and deepset. They are oval in appearance and keen in expression.   Faults: Eyes light and/or large and prominent in appearance.   Ears - When cropped, the ears are identical in shape and length with pointed tips. They are in balance with the head and not exaggerated in length. They are set high on the skull and carried perpendicularly at the inner edges, with as little bell as possible along the outer edges. When uncropped, the ears are small and V-shaped, folding close to the skull.   Head - Strong and rectangular, its width diminishing slightly from ears to eyes, and again to the tip of the nose. The forehead is unwrinkled. The topskull is flat and fairly long. The foreface is parallel to the topskull, with a slight stop, and it is at least as long as the topskull. The muzzle is strong in proportion to the skull; it ends in a moderately blunt manner, with thick whiskers which accentuate the rectangular shape of the head.   Faults: Head coarse and cheeky.   The teeth meet in a scissors bite. That is, the upper front teeth overlap the lower front teeth in such a manner that the inner surface of the upper incisors barely touch the outer surface of the lower incisors when the mouth is closed. Faults: Bite - Undershot or overshot jaw. Level bite.  

NECK, TOPLINE, BODY Neck - Strong and well arched, blending into the shoulders, and with the skin fitting tightly at the throat.   Body - Short and deep, with the brisket extending at least to the elbows. Ribs are well sprung and deep, extending well back to a short loin. The underbody does not present a tucked up appearance at the flank. The backline is straight; it declines slightly from the withers to the base of the tail. The withers form the highest point of the body. The overall length from chest to buttock appears to equal the height at the withers.   Faults: Chest too broad or shallow in brisket. Hollow or roach back.   Tail - Set high and carried erect. It is docked only long enough to be clearly visible over the backline of the body when the dog is in proper length of coat.   Fault: Tail set too low.  

FOREQUARTERS Forelegs are straight and parallel when viewed from all sides. They have strong pasterns and good bone. They are separated by a fairly deep brisket which precludes a pinched front. The elbows are close, and the ribs spread gradually from the first rib so as to allow space for the elbows to move close to the body.   Fault: Loose elbows.   The sloping shoulders are muscled, yet flat and clean. They are well laid back, so that from the side the tips of the shoulder blades are in a nearly vertical line above the elbow. The tips of the blades are placed closely together. They slope forward and downward at an angulation which permits the maximum forward extension of the forelegs without binding or effort. Both the shoulder blades and upper arms are long, permitting depth of chest at the brisket.   Feet - Short and round (cat feet) with thick, black pads. The toes are arched and compact.  

HINDQUARTERS The hindquarters have strong-muscled, slanting thighs. They are well bent at the stifles. There is sufficient angulation so that, in stance, the hocks extend beyond the tail. The hindquarters never appear overbuilt or higher than the shoulders. The rear pasterns are short and, in stance, perpendicular to the ground and, when viewed from the rear, are parallel to each other.   Faults: Sickle hocks, cow hocks, open hocks or bowed hindquarters.  

COAT Double, with hard, wiry, outer coat and close undercoat. The head, neck, ears, chest, tail, and body coat must be plucked. When in show condition, the body coat should be of sufficient length to determine texture. Close covering on neck, ears, and skull. Furnishings are fairly thick but not silky.   Faults: Coat too soft or too smooth and slick in appearance.  

COLOR The recognized colors are salt and pepper, black and silver and solid black. All colors have uniform skin pigmentation, i.e. no white or pink skin patches shall appear anywhere on the dog.  

Salt and Pepper - The typical salt and pepper color of the topcoat results from the combination of black and white banded hairs and solid black and white unbanded hairs, with the banded hairs predominating. Acceptable are all shades of salt and pepper, from the light to dark mixtures with tan shadings permissible in the banded or unbanded hair of the topcoat. In salt and pepper dogs, the salt and pepper mixture fades out to light gray or silver white in the eyebrows, whiskers, cheeks, under throat, inside ears, across chest, under tail, leg furnishings, and inside hind legs. It may or may not also fade out on the underbody. However, if so, the lighter underbody hair is not to rise higher on the sides of the body than the front elbows.  

max standard miniature schnauzer

Black and Silver - The black and silver generally follows the same pattern as the salt and pepper. The entire salt and pepper section must be black. The black color in the topcoat of the black and silver is a true rich color with black undercoat. The stripped portion is free from any fading or brown tinge and the underbody should be dark.  

LeiLani Black and Silver

Black - Black is the only solid color allowed. Ideally, the black color in the topcoat is a true rich glossy color with the undercoat being less intense, a soft matting shade of black. This is natural and should not be penalized in any way. The stripped portion is free from any fading or brown tinge. The scissored and clippered areas have lighter shades of black. A small white spot on the chest is permitted, as is an occasional single white hair elsewhere on the body.  

Disqualifications: Color solid white or white striping, patching, or spotting on the colored areas of the dog, except for the small white spot permitted on the chest of the black. The body coat color in salt and pepper and black and silver dogs fades out to light gray or silver white under the throat and across the chest. Between them there exists a natural body coat color. Any irregular or connecting blaze or white mark in this section is considered a white patch on the body, which is also a disqualification.  

GAIT The trot is the gait at which movement is judged. When approaching, the forelegs, with elbows close to the body, move straight forward, neither too close nor too far apart. Going away, the hind legs are straight and travel in the same planes as the forelegs.   Note - It is generally accepted that when a full trot is achieved, the rear legs continue to move in the same planes as the forelegs, but a very slight inward inclination will occur. It begins at the point of the shoulder in front and at the hip joint in the rear. Viewed from the front or rear, the legs are straight from these points to the pads. The degree of inward inclination is almost imperceptible in a Miniature Schnauzer that has correct movement. It does not justify moving close, toeing in, crossing, or moving out at the elbows.   Viewed from the side, the forelegs have good reach, while the hind legs have strong drive, with good pickup of hocks. The feet turn neither inward nor outward.   Faults: Single tracking, sidegaiting, paddling in front, or hackney action. Weak rear action.

TEMPERAMENT 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.

DISQUALIFICATIONS Dogs or bitches under 12 inches or over 14 inches. Color solid white or white striping, patching, or spotting on the colored areas of the dog, except for the small white spot permitted on the chest of the black. The body coat color in salt and pepper and black and silver fades out to light gray or silver white under the throat and across the chest. Between them there exists a natural body coat color. Any irregular or connecting blaze or white mark in this section is considered a white patch on the body, which is also a disqualification.  

Approved January 25, 1991 - Effective February 27, 1991   Copyright 1969, 1979, 1991, 1995 American Miniature Schnauzer Club, Inc. All rights reserved.  

Source: Miniature Schnzauzer Breed Standard. Retrieved November 4, 2010 from\

Like us on Facebook Facebook link


MSCSC Lori Bush Logo
MSCSC Lori Bush Logo


Copyright 2007 - 2010 Miniatrue Schnauzer Club of Southern California. All rights reserved.

No portion of this website maybe reproduce in any manner.

'Like' us on Facebook click here Facebook link

Miniature Schnauzer Club of Southern California, Inc.
This website is dedicated to Lacey, click on the Lacey button to see her story.
All rights reserved. No Portion of this website may be reproduced in any manner.

lacey's story and dog safety
home amsc standard puppy referral rescue officers and contacts
mscsc officers and contacts