The Miniature Schnauzer was developed by crossing the Schnauzer with the Affenpinscher to create a handy scaled down version suitable for town living.
They are a small, sturdy, squarely-proportioned dog. Their head is approximately rectangular-shaped and clipped to give the appearance of a bushy beard, moustache and eyebrows with ears that sit close in the shape of small Vs. Their double coat is wiry with a soft undercoat and comes in black, white, salt / pepper and black / silver.
They are German in origin and were used as ratters, although the name Schnauzer comes from the German word "Schnauze", meaning "muzzle".
They are a happy little dog, intelligent, loving and playful. They are an alert watchdog but do not bark but have a kind of low howl. They generally enjoy human company and can be trained to get along with other dogs although may be inclined to chase small wildlife. They tend not to be too active indoors but are quite agile and enjoy daily brisk walks or jogs.
They need regular brushing and combing and occasional trimming or stripping. They are generally hardy but can be prone to liver disease, kidney stones, diabetes, skin disorders, von Willebrand's disease, cysts and hereditary eye problems.