Miniature Schnauzers make wonderful family pets. They have been around for many years and have always had a great reputation as a pet, and also as a show dog. Many families use them for both purposes. They are one of the most popular dogs for families and are ranked tenth in the United States for popularity.
Miniature Schnauzers are a dog that is full of energy and they must get the right amount of exercise or activity to use up this energy. If they have too much pent up energy, they tend to start behaving restlessly like a bored child. Another reason for the much-needed exercise is to keep them from gaining weight, which will happen if they do not get the correct exercise and proper diet.
They are full of life and very lively. They have a reputation for being almost a "one-man dog" much like the German shepherd is, but they do also bond with the entire family. They just tend to favor one person in the family.
The one characteristic of the Miniature Schnauzer that bothers many families is their vocal cords. They are a dog that likes to be heard, and love to bark so everyone can hear them and know where they are. With proper training and patience, this problem can be lessened. Many small dogs have this same tendency of over barking. Dogs usually know what they can get away with and how much, and they will push it. They are excellent watchdogs and are very leery around strangers that enter their home until they see their master friendly with them.
In addition to being great family dogs, the Miniature Schnauzer is very good with children and plays well with them. If the child is more active and loud, however, they will sometimes bark and nip at them. It is important that the dog is introduced to the children in the family in a natural yet gradual way, so they can get along with each other. One of the biggest problems is that because they are so small, many children try to treat them like puppies, picking them up roughly, etc. and the dog rebels. Generally though, they have very good relationships with the children in their family.
The Miniature Schnauzer is a very intelligent dog that is easy as well as fun to train. They love learning new things and doing things with their owners. Training for agility shows and walking are activities that the Schnauzers love doing. They need constant attention from their owner or they tend to act depressed. Depression with the Miniature Schnauzer can make them mentally and physically sick if it continues too long.
In spite of their small size, the Miniature Schnauzer is a very brave and courageous dog that will do everything in their power to protect their family if they think they are being threatened.
Miniature Schnauzers don't have many diet restrictions, but they should not get too many sweets or greasy foods as these can be harmful to them. Chocolate is also bad news for this dog, just as it is for many breeds.