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The Miniature Schnauzer is a terrier originally bred to be a ratter and a guard dog. These dogs originated in 19th century Germany and are popular for their alert and playful nature. Aside from hunting rats, Miniature Schnauzers are also prized for being excellent companion dogs. They can be quite spunky but once inside the house, they are well-mannered and love to be involved in engaging activities. 
The breed has an average life span of 12 to 14 years and is not known to be prone to any major health problems. These dogs can grow up to 14 inches at the withers and can weigh between 11 to 20 pounds. They have a wiry outer coat which is longer around the eyebrows, legs and muzzle making them look like they have beards. Their coat usually comes in the following colors: solid black, salt and pepper and white. These dogs hardly shed and many people get them for this reason. They are the perfect pets for people who suffer from asthma.  
The breed was developed by crossing the Standard Schnauzer with other smaller dog breeds such as the Miniature Pinscher, Affenpinscher, Poodle and Pomeranian. In Germany, they are called Zwergschnauzers (zwerg means “dwarf” and schnauzer means “small beard”). The first Mini Schnauzer that was registered was born on October 1888 and was a black female named Findel. Soon after that, the first breed club was established in Cologne, Germany. The Miniature Schnauzer was officially recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1926 and was known back then as Wirehaired Pinscher. The breed’s popularity went down during the world wars but after World War II, interest on Mini Schnauzers boomed and their fame never wanted since then. The Mini Schnauzer was the 11th most popular breed in the United States in 2008 but fell to the 16th place in 2015 according to the AKC’s yearly registration statistics.