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#11: Miniature Schnauzer

The Miniature Schnauzer is a beautiful, spirited companion for the family. The history of the breed is uncertain. However, some believe that the black poodle, wolf-spitz, and some rough-coated German terriers were in the ?mix.? Miniature Schnauzers were first used as ratters and they did the job well. The breed was developed in Germany at the end of the Nineteenth Century. First recognized by the AKC in 1926, it has become a favorite of people all over the world. The Miniature Schnauzer is a medium sized dog. It is between twelve and fourteen inches tall and weighs thirteen to fifteen pounds. Its frame is muscular, square, and compact. The coat color is pure black or ?salt and pepper? and the hair texture is wiry. In Europe, a white coat is seen on rare occasions but this is not allowed in American standards. The Miniature Schnauzer has a distinctive ?beard? and hair around the eyes that need to be kept trimmed. The ?beard? should be wiped with a clean rag or paper towel after a meal to prevent matting. In fact, the Miniature Schnauzer needs grooming of its entire coat or it will become matted and need to be professionally groomed. Sometimes the ears are cropped to stand upright and the tails are usually docked, although this practice is not as common as it once was. When selecting a Miniature Schnauzer, make sure that you go to a reputable breeder. The breed is known to be vulnerable to a couple of serious diseases. Puppy mills are notorious for allowing these and the end result can be devastating. The breed can develop juvenile cataracts that, without expensive surgery, will lead to blindness. Reputable breeders have very carefully retired many dogs from breeding due to this disorder and now it is rare outside puppy mills. Also, the breed is prone to a number of diseases related to urination including urinary tract infections. This small breed is active, but it adapts well to apartment life as long as it has a nice daily walk. It is also suitable for the country or anyplace with a large yard where it can roam. Miniature Schnauzers do well with family members, including children, however they can be suspicious and standoffish with strangers. The breed makes a good watchdog, because it will readily bark when alarmed. Dog fanciers love this breed?s courage and energy; in return, these dogs love their owners and are loyal companions.

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