First, let me say this – THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A TOY SCHNAUZER. If you have been looking around for a toy schnauzer, you have likely been told that they don’t exist. That is because they are not “officially” recognized as their own breed. Toys are still registered as Miniature Schnauzers but when you meet them in person, you’ll see that they are clearly NOT the same size as a mini. Size and color is where the difference stops. Personality and structure in a well-bred toy should be the same as a regular Mini schnauzer…they are all schnauzer, just in a smaller package. 

The toy sized Schnauzer is naturally occurring in the breed due to the fact that Miniature Schnauzers were origianlly created by breeding the Standard Schnauzer to the Affenpinscher, Miniature Pinscher, Poodle and some terriers to bring down the size of the dog. These influences in the breed’s history created a gene pool for the “rare” or recessive colors and the smaller sizes. There are many breeders in the United States who have been breeding toy sized Minis for over 60 years. Toys are still relatively new to Canada and are starting to pop up in nearly every province. 

All the standard colors are registerable as well as white, parti, and Liver (also referred to as chocolate), they just cannot be shown in conformation as they do not meet the breed standard for a Miniature Schnauzer. Until they garner their own official category, that is how it will have to stay. As with all things new, some schnauzer breeders are for a “toy” category and some are not.

A toy is considered under 12″ and/or 11 lbs by most breeders. The toys come in all the same colors and patterns as the regular size do. Toys should be bred to meet the breed standard with the exception of size and color. Teacup schnauzers are considered to be under 7 lbs and should retain the same compact, stocky shape of their larger relatives.

Toy schnauzers are a good choice for retired couples who want a canine companion that is easy to travel with, apartment dwellers, or those looking for a laptop version of a schnauzer.  They have the same intelligent, enthusiastic approach to life and are very devoted to their people.  They get along well with other pets and love to be included in family activities.

BE WARNED:  Smaller does not mean less energetic.  Our toys run 5 km with us and easily complete 4-5 hour hikes and after a short nap are ready to do it all over again.  They are the ideal little dog for the person who would normally want a “big” dog due to being active and wanting a jogging/hiking partner!  They can be a couch potato too but their small size does not eliminate them from participating in hiking/jogging activities.  On your hike, they will go under or around the log that a bigger dog would jump over.  If you come to a section that is very muddy, their smaller size makes it possible to pick them up and carry them over.

Along with the regular schnauzer colors, Toys also come in a Parti Pattern and variations of Liver (chocolate) – see schnauzer colors page for examples.  An excellent article explaining the origin and history of the rare colors often found in these smaller schnauzers can be found here. It is worth the read!

Before Purchasing a Toy Schnauzer:

If you are searching for a toy schnauzer, there are some things you should consider:

  • They have the same long life expectancy of a regular schnauzer (10-15 years).
  • The “rare” colors of the toy schnauzers make them a popular topic of conversation on walks and with friends and neighbours so be prepared to answer the questions about how they came about. You may never be able to finish your walk!!!
  • Toy schnauzers are not fragile like a toy poodle or chihuahua as they have a much sturdier stocky build however, young children need to be supervised around the dog as a puppy to prevent it from being hurt.
  • They are just as smart and enjoy doing tricks and obedience. There’s nothing different but size. Keep them busy and thinking – they thrive on it!
  • Like most toy breeds, you may need to have some puppy teeth pulled when you have your toy schnauzer spayed/neutered. At our vet, this generally cost around $125. Plan for the added expense.
  • Your puppy will need to eat three meals a day until it is about 3-4 months old. Their little bodies are subject to hypoglycemia so please supervise meals and make sure they are eating. By the time they are about 4 months old, they usually lose interest in the mid-day meal and the tendency towards hypoglycemia disappears.
  • With the variety of colors and their smaller size, you may find you will want a whole “pack” of these lovely little “mini” Mini Schnauzers!!!

What we like best about toys…

  • eat less food – make less mess
  • when they sit on your lap there is room left over
  • they have the same vivacious, intelligent personality as a mini
  • there is less to comb and brush
  • one bag of treats goes a long way
  • fit in a carry on bag for the airplane
  • grandma and grandpa can lift them
  • kids can dress them up and carry them around