Miniature Schnauzer puppies are a hairy, handsome, yet goofy-looking small breed dog that wins over even the coldest of hearts.
These puppies are gentle, friendly and also quite mischievous. But it’s nothing some training can’t fix!
If you’re thinking of getting a Miniature Schnauzer soon, it’s important that you know what’s in store for you.
Although this dog is a great house pet, you as a potential owner will have a number of responsibilities. And managing this bundle of energy is no easy feat.
So keep on reading to find out how you should take care of a Miniature Schnauzer puppy.
Contents & Quick Navigation
- Feeding a Miniature Schnauzer Puppy
- Miniature Schnauzer Puppy Grooming Advice
- Miniature Schnauzer Exercise Needs
- Training a Miniature Schnauzer Puppy
- Getting Ready for your Miniature Schnauzer Puppy
- Miniature Schnauzer Health Problems
- Bottom Line
Feeding a Miniature Schnauzer Puppy
A Miniature Schnauzer puppy needs around 400 calories every day. Puppies are still growing and developing so they will need to eat a lot more than adult dogs.
If your puppy is less than eight weeks old, it will most likely need to be fed a quarter cup of dry food three or four times a day.
Make sure that you never leave food out for your puppy for more than 10 – 15 minutes at a time, or your puppy might overeat.
Schnauzers can be fed both commercial and homemade food. You just have to be very careful about the ingredients.
When buying commercial puppy food for Schnauzer, you have to ensure that it is of a good quality. A tip to determine the quality is to check that the top three ingredients listed on the packaging are meat and vegetables.
Also, keep in mind that good quality puppy food will not have fillers like corn and wheat.
There are two types of commercial food – wet and dry food. Wet food will taste better for your puppy and keep it hydrated.
Dry kibble, however, is more convenient for daily use and is very good for your dog’s teeth and bowel movements.
As far as treats go, try to steer clear of artificial sweeteners and colorings. Always break the treats into bite-sized pieces so that you don’t overfeed your dog.
With regards to protein, meat meals that have their moisture removed are a good choice. Some examples of healthy protein sources for your puppy include chicken, lamb, beef or fish.
Fat is also a necessary part of your puppy’s diet. Flaxseed, canola oil and chicken fats are some of the best sources of fat.
They will provide your Miniature Schnauzer puppy with Omega-3 fatty acids, which does wonders for their skin and coat.
Remember to keep your Miniature Schnauzer away from things like soda, grapes, chocolate, fruit seeds and salt as these are toxic and will make your dog sick.
Miniature Schnauzer Puppy Grooming Advice
Miniature Schnauzers are a beautiful, unique-looking breed. However, they can end up looking quite scruffy if they are not properly maintained.
So here are some handy grooming tips that will help you to keep your Schnauzer looking prim and proper.
Miniature Schnauzers don’t need frequent baths. Too much washing will make them lose their natural oils and their coat will become dry.
So bath your puppy just once a month, unless they have gotten themselves very dirty.
Use a canine shampoo and conditioner and make sure you rinse these products off properly with a hose or hand shower. Leaving this product on your dog’s coat may irritate the skin.
You also need to dry your puppy off using a hairdryer at the lowest setting, as towels won’t effectively remove all of the moisture.
2. Ear Care
Ear care is a very important part of grooming your Miniature Schnauzer. Regularly check your puppy’s ears for dirt, wax, and mites.
Clean your puppy’s ears with a cotton ball dipped in baby oil at least once a week.
Keep in mind that you have to be very gentle with the ears. Never use a Q tip as it will only push the wax further down into the ears.
Miniature Schnauzers may require the hair in their ears to be pulled out by tweezers to prevent infections. But make sure you pull only a few at a time.
When bathing your pup, be careful not to get water inside the ears. To prevent this you should put waterproof cotton balls inside their ears.
3. Hair Care
Miniature Schnauzers have a top coat that is wiry and an undercoat that is soft. This top wiry coat has to be stripped two to three times a year, to keep it looking healthy.
Although they don’t shed much, you still need to brush and comb your Miniature Schnauzer regularly to keep it free of knots and tangles.
When you brush the coat, use a slicker brush and a comb with a half inch bristles.
Related Read: A Complete Guide To The Best Dog Grooming Clippers
4. Dental Care
Brush your Miniature Schnauzer’s teeth daily. The best way to get your dog used to this is to start at an early age and do this at a specific time every day.
Teeth brushing removes plaque buildup, prevents infections and keeps your puppy’s breath smelling good.
You should always be using a canine toothpaste and toothbrush that’s designed for small breeds. Ease your puppy into the process by letting it taste the toothpaste on your fingers first and running it across the teeth.
5. Nail Maintenance
You don’t want your Miniature Schnauzer to have long nails as it will be painful to walk on and may cause an infection.
If you hear a clicking noise when your dog is walking, it’s probably time to cuts their nails. But if own a puppy, don’t wait that long.
You should start early on with small scheduled clippings to get your puppy used to the process.
How to Clip Nails
To clip a Miniature Schnauzer’s nails, you’ll need sturdy clippers. Laying your pup down will make the clipping easier. You might want to get someone to hold your pup, in case it wriggles around.
Be very careful if you’re using an electrical clipper because the Schnauzer’s long hair can get tangled in it.
Don’t force your pup into the process. Start off playfully and get your dog used to the feel of the clipper.
If needed, clip the nails in short bits over the course of a week so that your puppy can ease into it. Give your pup a treat after the clipping session as a reward.
Never clip below the white part of the nail. This is known as the quick and contains veins. Cutting a vein will be very painful for your dog and might cause bleeding.
Miniature Schnauzer Exercise Needs
Adult Miniature Schnauzers need regular exercise. The best form of exercise is 30 minute walks twice a day. But you should only take your dog out for walks when it is vaccinated, and not before it is two months old.
Schnauzers aren’t picky about exercise. They’ll be equally as happy running around the garden as they would be going on a hike.
It’s just important that they are active and have an outlet to release any pent-up energy.
Special Advice on Puppies
Puppies can tire easily and sleep a lot, so they don’t need as much physical activity.
However, if you don’t keep your Miniature Schnauzer occupied and mentally stimulated, it’s very likely that he will misbehave.
During the puppy stage, you shouldn’t let your dog jump from very high places or climb up or down the stairs too much. However, you should be spending lots of time with your dog playing games.
Games such as hide and seek, fetching balls and frisbees and tug of war are a good way to bond with your puppy. It also keeps them mentally and physically stimulated.
Buying squeaky or chewable toys and ropes are also a good way to keep your dog entertained.
Training a Miniature Schnauzer Puppy
No matter how old your dog is, the earlier you start training, the better. Miniature Schnauzers can be quite strong-willed so you have to use a very firm voice when giving commands.
Positive reinforcement is the best way to train your puppy. Rewards like treats, praises, extra playtime and toys give your puppy the motivation to listen to you.
However, make sure that you don’t make your puppy dependent on these treats because they will make your dog put on weight.
Start by perfecting the basic commands such as ‘sit’, ‘come’ and ‘heel’ first. Introduce your puppy to these commands and keep repeating and practicing them until your puppy gets the hang of them.
Buy an appropriate-sized crate and fill it with soft bedding and your puppy’s favorite toys. Place a treat inside so to lure your puppy inside.
Let your puppy get used to the crate with the door open and after a few weeks, start closing the gate for two to three minutes at a time.
Your puppy might whine at the beginning, but you should pay no heed. Try to distract your Schnauzer puppy with toys or talk to it in a calm voice instead.
As you slowly increase the crate time, your puppy will get used to spending some time alone. Letting your puppy sleep in the crate overnight will also help it view the crate as a place of comfort.
2. Potty Training
First, decide on a special bathroom place. This could be an indoor litter box or even your backyard.
Puppies need to go to the bathroom frequently so observe their schedule. They’ll have some telltale signs like scraping the floor with their paws that will tell you it’s time to take your puppy to the potty area.
It’s best to set alarms and take your puppy for breaks at scheduled times, such as before meals, after playtime or crate time and before sleeping.
After a month of you taking your puppy to the bathroom, let it follow the schedule on its own. Puppies can catch on quite quickly so this shouldn’t be a problem.
There might be a few accidents at this stage but you have to be patient. Clean up properly and reward your puppy when they do it right.
3. Leash Training
Start leash training your Miniature Schnauzer early on. A harness may be an easier option to start off with.
Even though your puppy is small, it can still be a handful during walks. Make sure you have a leash that is adjustable and not too flexible. Short leashes give you more control.
Make your puppy walk beside you. You could start this by holding out treats to the side and walking slowly, calling your puppy to follow.
If your puppy pulls on the leash or starts being naughty, stop walking immediately. Ignore your puppy and give him a time out for a few minutes. Don’t interact or scold him.
4. Teaching Social Skills
By socializing your puppy early on, you’ll be teaching your dog how to interact with new people and other dogs.
However, make sure to introduce your puppy to new situations gently. Miniature Schnauzers are friendly breeds with people of all ages, but they can still get aggressive if they feel threatened.
Once your puppy is vaccinated, take it out on walks and playdates. Dog parks are also a good way to socialize your dog.
Exposing your dog to cars, horns, construction noises, different people and larger dogs will give it more confidence and teach it how to react to different situations. Always carry one of your dog’s favorite toys to distract it if need be.
Getting Ready for your Miniature Schnauzer Puppy
Puppies are curious little creatures that can get themselves into danger without realizing it. It is our job as humans to keep them safe, secure and comfortable at home. Before bringing your puppy home, you need to puppy proof the house.
Puppy Proofing Tips
Make sure your cabinets and cupboards are locked. You don’t want your puppy to get into the medicine cabinet or eat toxic foods like your half-eaten chocolate or chips.
Keep electrical wires hidden as puppies tend to chew on them. You should spray them with an anti-chew spray that has a bitter taste.
Clear any clutter from the floor of your house. Your puppy might swallow small objects like coins or strings and this can be life-threatening.
Use baby gates to keep your puppy from going upstairs or into certain rooms. You could also install cameras to keep an eye on your puppy’s crate when you’re at work.
Important Read: Best Wireless Dog Fence – The Ultimate Electric Dog Fence Guide
Miniature Schnauzer Health Problems
Miniature Schnauzers can live on average up to 12 to 15 years. However, they do face specific health problems due to being a small dog breed. Here are some common concerns you should look out for:
1. Urinary Stones
Miniature Schnauzers are more likely to develop bladder stones, like calcium oxalate stones than other breeds.
If your dog is having difficulty urinating or you see blood in its urine, it might not just be a urinary tract infection.
Even something as simple as more frequent bathroom accidents in the house should ring warning bells.
Get your dog checked by a vet immediately because bladder stones can block the urethra and even lead to death. But treatment is possible. The stones can be removed surgically or with the help of medication.
Miniature Schnauzers are also prone to a condition called Schnauzer bumps which are basically very itchy rashes. Keep an eye on the food you are feeding your dog and get it checked for allergies.
A grain-free diet is usually a safe option for avoiding allergies. To treat these rashes, apply an oatmeal soak or give your puppy medication to soothe the itchiness.
3. Heart Disease
Miniature Schnauzers are likely to develop heart disease because they can put on weight very easily. High cholesterol can wreak havoc on their body causing issues like pancreatitis, eye problems, and seizures.
The best way to prevent this is by giving your dog plenty of daily exercises and feeding it a balanced diet with only healthy sources of fat.
Miniature Schnauzers are a really good pet for families of all sizes, and people of all ages.
They’re loyal, attention-seeking little hairballs that will definitely change your life for the better.
Although they can be difficult to train, with patience and repetition, your puppy will soon get the hang of things.
So, now that you know all the requirements of looking after a Miniature Schnauzer, it’s time to ask yourself whether you have the resources and the time to handle them.
if you’re sure that you do, then go ahead and then bring that Miniature Schnauzer home!