Miniature Schnauzer - breed information and advice

The Miniature Schnauzer’s distinctive ‘whiskers and beard’ give it a wise appearance – and it is indeed a clever and alert breed. They are robust and fairly vocal (you’ll be warned if a stranger approaches), as well as adaptable and family-friendly. They like a titbit and should be exercised regularly to avoid both boredom and obesity.

Breed information


Size: Small

Coat: Medium and wiry with a thick undercoat. The Miniature Schnauzer needs regular grooming – at least twice a week. The dog’s ‘beard’ should also be combed every day to avoid matting.

Exercise: Around 1 hour a day for adult dogs

Life span: 12+ years

Breed group: The Utility group is diverse, including a range of breeds that don’t automatically fall into the other six more defined groups. Generally speaking, Utility breeds are medium-sized and even-tempered.


Miniature Schnauzers can suffer from conditions that affect the brain, spine and some nerves. Epilepsy is a brain disorder that results in seizures or fitting, which may begin in dogs as young as six months old. Epileptic seizures look painful, but generally aren’t. However, depending on the severity, they may need to be controlled with medication for the dog’s entire life to ensure a happy, normal existence.


We paid £1,404 to treat Dave the Miniature Schnauzer for epilepsy in 2016

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Ear conditions

Dogs are susceptible to various common ear diseases. These can affect the external ear flap (such as haematoma), the middle/inner ear (vestibular disease, for example) or the ear canal (otitis). A haematoma is a blood-filled swelling that occurs in the ear flap, while the ear canal can become irritated by grass seeds, parasites, allergies or infections. Irritation can lead to a condition called otitis, which simply means ‘inflammation of the ear canal’. It causes an intense itch, leading the dog to shake its head, flap its ears and scratch them using its back paws. If the otitis is due to an allergy, treatment is required for the lifetime of the dog.


Otitis is the most common ear condition we see in Miniature Schnauzers

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Liver disease

Miniature Schnauzers can be more susceptible than some other breeds to liver disease (hepatitis). This can be caused by several different factors, including infections such as leptospirosis, as well as drug and chemical poisoning. Treatment can take the form of special diets and supplements to prevent any long-term damage to the liver.


In our experience, Miniature Schnauzers are three times more likely to need treatment for liver disease than all dogs we insure

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A dog’s pancreas produces insulin, which is required to regulate body sugar and fat metabolism. Diabetes occurs when the pancreas fails to produce enough insulin. Certain conditions make dogs more likely to develop diabetes, such as being overweight, inflammation of the pancreas, and drugs that interfere with insulin (such as prescribed steroids and hormones). Also, some breeds are more prone to the illness than others, including Miniature Schnauzers. Diabetes can be managed successfully in the long term with an injection of insulin once or twice a day, along with regulated feeding routines.


We paid £2,982 to treat Jessie the dog for diabetes in 2016

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Gastrointestinal disorders

The Miniature Schnauzer, like all dogs, can suffer from problems affecting the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. Conditions such as gastroenteritis or an obstruction within the bowel (due the dog to eating stones, cloth or string, for example) commonly cause vomiting and/or diarrhoea. The pancreas is a fragile organ that lies between the liver and the small intestine. Miniature Schnauzers can be prone to a condition called pancreatitis, which means ‘inflammation of the pancreas’. It occurs when the digestive enzymes within the pancreas start attacking it and there are mild and severe forms. Treatment for the mild form revolves around supportive care and avoiding highly fatty foods in the longer term. The severe form can require more intensive treatment, such as IV drips and various medicines, to restore good health.


In our experience, pancreatitis is the fourth most common illness in Miniature Schnauzers

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