Miniature Schnauzers are a small breed of dog, and they make excellent show dogs. They are a dog that requires a lot of attention or affection or they get depressed, which affects their performance and behavior. They have a lot of energy and require an outlet to release some of this energy. They enjoy working with their owners or trainers and consider this a form of attention.
For the miniature Schnauzer to be in shows for the American Kennel Club, there are certain requirements that have to be met for this particular breed. Their size must be between 12 inches and 14 inches with their height in proportion with their length. Anything less than 12 inches or over 14 inches would be considered grounds for disqualification. The body has to be perfectly proportioned from the strong arched neck right to the tail, which must be high and carried erect. The ears on the Miniature Schnauzer are usually cropped and must look identical to each other and be set perfectly on their head. The ears play a large part in the overall appearance of the miniature Schnauzer.
They have a double of hair with the outer coat being hard and wiry and a softer undercoat. The entire head, neck, ears, chest, tail and body coat has to be plucked so that the coat is a length that allows the judges to see what the texture of the hair is. The coat cannot be really soft or silky, which is the reason they want to be able to easily determine the texture. The only acceptable colors for the miniature Schnauzer are solid black, salt and pepper and black and silver. Any other color will disqualify the dog in show as well as any gait other than the trot.
The Miniature Schnauzer is a very intelligent dog that has a higher than average learning ability and needs a consistent trainer that will provide a lot of activity. This dog gets bored very easily with little activity. When they are in the show ring for performance, there are several different areas they are judged on. Obedience is one of the first areas in which the dog is judged on, which covers heel, sit, stay and the basic obedience commands. First they are tested with the handler and then with the handler away from the dog.
Agility is another competition that the Miniature Schnauzer competes in with the owner. They are commanded to do a series of climbs, jumps and different maneuvers to see how quick and agile they are in doing the tricks with their master giving the directions. Most dogs love the agility part of the shows as they get the opportunity to actively participate in events they consider fun to do. Many shows have a flyball competition where the Schnauzers compete against other dogs in a race where they jump over obstacles along the way.