Mittelschnauzer: Everything You Need to Know

The Mittelschnauzer is a dog from the schnauzer group, which has proven itself to be an excellent watchdog and search engine. Distinctive features of the breed are the square shape of the body, spectacular “eyebrows” and “beard” from the long decorating hair.

Mittelschnauzer is an intelligent, loyal friend, though not devoid of a healthy dose of pride and leadership qualities. Energetic and sociable, the mittel will never let its owner get bored or at least just relax, therefore, bringing such a dog into the house, you automatically sign up for maximum interaction with it and regular walks in any weather. At the same time, if you come up with some “important mission” for a four-legged companion, such as protecting the territory, the mittel schnauzer will easily curb his own emotionality, because of work and service to a person for this breed is almost the meaning of all life.

Although images of dogs that outwardly resemble today’s Mittelschnauzers can be found on the canvases of Albrecht Durer and Lucas Cranach the Elder, the true roots of the breed should be sought in 3-4 millennia BC. During this period, the territory of modern Germany was inhabited by the so-called peat dogs, which endowed the ancestors of Mittels with an oblong, massive skull. If we are talking about modern representatives of the family of Mittelschnauzers, then they are a “product” of interbreeding. So, according to one of the versions, the gray wolf spitz, wire-haired pinscher, and German poodle took part in creating the “bearded guards” look. At the same time, some experts attribute the relationship to standard schnauzers with terriers, griffons, and even pugs.

Mittelschnauzers developed into an independent breed rather late. At first, due to the coarse, wiry hair, the animals were classified as wire-haired pinschers. At the same time, among the people, the Mittels continued to be called stable pinschers, assigning them the role of rat-catchers and keeping them in the stables. The starting point in the formation of the breed was in 1879 when one of the representatives of the mittelschnauzer family managed to grab the main prize at an exhibition in Hanover. Although the champion was presented to the jury as a wire-haired pinscher, this did not affect the breeders’ interest in him. By 1880, the Mittelschnauzers had their first standard of appearance, and in 1921 the animals acquired their own club, which they had to share with the same pinschers.

In the United States, Mittelschnauzers emigrated at the beginning of the 20th century and made a good show career there, although initially, American specialists enrolled them in the terrier group. But already in the mid-40s, justice prevailed and, at the numerous requests of overseas breeders, the breed was transferred to a working group. In Russia, the breeding of mittelschnauzers was started only at the end of the 70s of the XX century. The first seven pepper-colored puppies were born in 1979 from a Dutch female and an Australian male, and a few months later, offspring from two German sires were added to them. In the 80s, the black Mittelschnauzers finally got to the USSR, with which the specialists of the Podolsk club were the first to work.

Figuratively speaking, the Mittel schnauzer is an intermediate link between the Giant Schnauzers and the Miniature Schnauzers, and the main distinguishing feature of all three breeds is size. An adult Mittel is 20 cm below the average risen and almost 15 cm. Among other things, the Standard Schnauzer has a more stocky build, which gives it pleasant compactness and solidity.

The Mittelschnauzer has a large, elongated skull with a slightly pronounced occipital protuberance and a flat forehead. The muzzle of this breed is wedge-shaped, with a blunt end and a noticeable stop.

All Mittelschnauzers have large teeth and impressive teeth, closing in a scissor bite of the jaw.

In purebred individuals, the nose is massive, with well-opened nostrils, so the Schnauzers have an excellent scent. The only acceptable color for the lobe is black.

The eyes of the Mittel schnauzer are dark, oval, set straight. The look of the animal is open and inquisitive.

By nature, the Mittelschnauzer has triangular ears, hanging on the cartilage, however, most domestic breeders stop this part of the body with their wards and artificially from its posture. As a result, cropped ears take a standing position and have a pointed triangular shape.

The neck of the Mittel schnauzer is moderately muscular, of normal thickness, with a spectacular nape. The skin on the neck and under the throat is tightly taut, without noticeable folds or wrinkles.

Mittelschnauzers are characterized by a rectangular torso with a slightly sloping topline. The back of this breed is short and strong, with a deep, strong loin. Chest of sufficient depth and breadth, clearly protruding forward. The groin line is tucked up.

The legs of the Mittel schnauzer are straight, not very narrow, but not too wide-set. The hind legs are noticeably pulled back, the shoulder blades are close to the chest, the elbows are well pressed to the body. The thighs in an adult animal are elongated, with a good volume of muscle mass. Legs elongated, sinewy, hocks with normal articulation, without obvious eversion inward or outward. The paws of the Mittel schnauzer are short, arched.

The tail is in the shape of a crescent or sickle, natural length. According to the updated European standard, the tail of Mittelschnauzers is not cut off, therefore, animals whose owners have arbitrarily shortened this part of the body are disqualified at foreign exhibitions. In Russia, this innovation has not yet gained popularity, so most domestic breeders still practice docking.

The coat of the Mittel schnauzer is hard and coarse with a thick undercoat and awn of normal length, well-fitting to the body of the animal. In the area of ​​the forehead and ears, the hair is very short, while the muzzle and browbones of the dog are decorated with long strands of decorating hair – the so-called “eyebrows”, “beard” and “mustache”.

The Mittelschnauzer has only two standard colors – black and pepper and salt. The latter is a multitone, consisting of harmoniously combined gray, silver and steel shades. By the way, black and pepper individuals are bred separately from each other and displayed in different rings. Exceptions are exhibitions in Great Britain and the USA, where black and pepper Schnauzers are exhibited on the same site.

The following defects in appearance can prevent the Mittelschnauzer from getting the champion title:

  • too short or, conversely, excessively elongated limbs;
  • lightweight physique;
  • broad bone;
  • eversion of the elbows;
  • cow-set feet;
  • non-standard height (deviation up to 3 cm in any direction).

As for disqualification in competitions, animals with behavioral deviations, congenital defects in color and constitution, as well as various deformities can fall under it. An atypical bite, insufficient or too tall growth, as well as inconsistency with the breed type, will also help exclude the Mittel from the list of competitors.

All mittelschnauzers are broad-based specialists who can equally successfully get used to the role of an energetic companion, a stern bloodhound, or even a rescuer. Such an innate character trait as suspicion of strangers makes dogs excellent guards: a Mittel schnauzer with an almost photographic memory will instantly determine who exactly is on the threshold of his house – a guest invited by the owners or an intruder. Among other things, the breed is characterized by ingenuity, turning into a fox cunning, which Mittelschnauzers use with pleasure not only about their own kind but also in communication with the owner. Yes, yes, get ready for the fact that you will have to measure wit and intelligence with your pet quite often, and especially during training.

The outstanding mental abilities of the breed, about which mitt lovers talk so much, do not manifest themselves – they need to be constantly developed. Intellectually, the standard schnauzer grows its entire adult life, so it is very important to communicate with it as much and often as possible. As for the emotional component, the Mittelschnauzers can without exaggeration be called addicted natures. Whatever these bearded clever people do, they always give themselves up to the cause completely and without a trace. If you managed to win the love of your pet, get ready for the fact that he will express it violently and often at a time when you do not expect it at all. At the same time, Mittelschnauzers are absolutely unobtrusive and quickly understand the intentions of the owner, who wants to get rid of the dog’s tenderness as quickly as possible.

The desire for leadership in the breed is very pronounced, therefore, throughout its life, the Mittelschnauzer will test your authority for strength in the most incredible ways. By the way, having received one single indulgence, the animals are inspired even more and try from the heart, so it is more dear to the Mittelschnauzer even in small things. Well, a little about love for children, or rather, about the attitude towards them. In fact, Mittelschnauzers do not harbor too tender feelings for the younger generation. It’s just that they naturally have a habit of loyally and patronizingly treat weaker creatures, so that the harmless leprosy of the dog will, of course, be forgiven for the little ones, but they will not tolerate outright disrespect for their own person. Accordingly, if your heir loves to drag the Mittel schnauzer by the “beard” or take away a bowl of food from him, it is better to explain to him that such fun is fraught with aggression from the pet.

Mittelschnauzers are very clever, snapping any educational tasks like seeds. Another thing is that representatives of this breed do not always want to solve them, therefore, pet training should be based on his enthusiasm for the process. If the Mittelschnauzer is bored with monotonous repetitions of commands, believe me, he will find a way to evade this uninteresting activity.

It is necessary to educate and socialize a standard schnauzer puppy from the first days of life. It is banal, hackneyed, but: if you indulge the baby even in insignificant things, it will be impossible to retrain him later. So do not get fooled by the affectionate glances of your ward and immediately “include” a serious master in yourself. In addition, sharply extinguish all outbursts of aggression in your direction: today, the bite of a tiny Mittel schnauzer does not seem painful, and tomorrow, when the dog matures, it will be a laughing matter. It is also important to understand that as adolescent puppies become used to the role of alpha males, they often lose their minds and pose a threat to the owner. The first sign that the Schnauzer has “forgotten” and fell into a rage is his glazed gaze. It will be difficult to stop such a dog, so just try to shift its attention to some object.

Mittel, who is too dispersed in his games and trashing the apartment, can be punished, but without fanaticism. The usual slap with a slipper and a formidable shout will soberly affect a raging teenager. Seriously pounding a Mittel schnauzer, who has gone into a rage, is useless. Firstly, because in the heat of anger it is easy for an animal to harm, and secondly because an angry schnauzer is insensitive to pain and can perceive physical violence as a signal to attack. Punishing a dog retroactively is one of the most pointless measures. No matter how clever the Mittel schnauzer is, he still will not guess to tie together the negative coming from the owner and the wallpaper stripped an hour ago.

If due to circumstances the puppy has to be left alone in the apartment, throw more toys on it. It can be not only shop balls but also all kinds of fruits and vegetables that the baby will roll on the floor and gnaw. A typical mistake of owners who are not familiar with the breed is buying a puppy for a child so that he learns the basics of training. The innate leadership qualities of the Mittel schnauzer will not allow him to obey the one whom he considers deliberately more stupid than himself, and the child in the eyes of the dog looks like a being of a lower order.

Don’t put off getting to know the street and other dogs on the back burner. By the age of 8 months, the standard schnauzer should calmly perceive his four-legged fellows and not shy away from the sounds of public transport and crowds of people. If you are raising a future watchman, do not try to “make friends” with a large number of people. In particular, do not let your guests and acquaintances placate the Mittel schnauzer with treats and affection. However, raising a ferocious misanthropist from a pet is also not worth it. A Mittel Schnauzer watchman should treat strangers calmly, with slight suspicion, but not ferocity.

Owners raising exhibition animals will have to train their pets not only to adequately respond to large crowds of people but also to endure the touch of strangers. Well, for the Mittel schnauzer to get used to tactile contact, he will have to be massaged and combed more often. It’s a good idea to involve outsiders in this case. For example, ask someone you know to check your pet’s teeth after fixing the dog’s head with a so-called stranglehold. By the way, it is better not to use treats at all when teaching the Mittel schnauzer to show stand and correct behavior in the ring.

In size, Mittels are significantly inferior to their relatives, Giant Schnauzers, which makes their keeping in an apartment more comfortable. But if you are interested in the opinion of the Mittelschnauzer himself, then there is no doubt that with all four paws he will vote for a house with a garden or a large plot where you can freely rush around for days on end.

With proper care, the shedding coat of the Mittel schnauzer does not fall like many other breeds and has almost no unpleasant canine smell. And yet, if you are not indifferent to the pet’s appearance, you will have to mess around with its “fur coat” often and a lot. It is better to start from the dirtiest areas – tufts of wool between the fingers, to which sand, small debris, and liquid mud adhere during walks. Breeders recommend that apartment schnauzers wash their paws after each walk, at the same time picking out specks entangled in the wool. Do not forget about the decorating hair on the face, which the animal constantly stains while eating, so after each feeding, we wipe the dog’s “mustache” and “beard” with a clean, dry cloth.

You can bathe Mittelschnauzers once a month with shampoos and conditioners for coarse hair. By the way, to achieve maximum effect, it is better to dilute detergents with water in a 1: 1 ratio. After the bath, the clean wool is blotted with a cotton towel and dried with a hairdryer. To brush your dog, stock up on a set of different-sized combs. For example, for “mustaches” and “beards”, metal combs with sparse teeth are suitable. It is better to handle the hair on the body of a Mittel schnauzer with a massage wire brush that penetrates deep into the undercoat. This process is quite laborious since you will have to thoroughly work out the tangled areas of the lower layer of the “fur coat”.

At least twice a year, Mittel schnauzers are trimmed, removing dead undercoats, thereby creating optimal conditions for a faster renewal of the coat. Hair plucking can be done manually (silicone fingertips are a help) or using a trimming knife. First of all, the neck and croup are treated, gradually descending to the body and hips of the animal. The Mittelschnauzer’s head is not trimmed but cut short with a machine, maintaining a uniform length of the coat of 2-3 mm. Frequent haircuts throughout the body, which some owners practice, are not at all good for the Mittel schnauzer. Hair that is constantly being cut will eventually change its structure, becoming softer. In addition, the undercoat of such Mittelschnauzers often falls off.

Take a few minutes to care for your Mittelschnauzer’s ears once a week. Carefully examine your pet’s ear canals for debris or excess sulfur discharge. If there are any, remove them with a cotton swab and veterinary lotion. It is better to examine the eyes of the Mittel schnauzer every day, removing the lumps that have accumulated in their corners with a napkin. If there are signs of mucosal acidification, you can wipe your eyes with a clean cloth soaked in chamomile infusion. For Mittelschnauzers, who eat industrial food or regularly consume special hard treats from pet stores, brushing their teeth is not necessary. Dry croquettes and pressed bones will do an excellent job of removing plaque. In all other cases, the dog’s teeth will have to be brushed by hand or using a special brush.

The Mittel Schnauzer is an active dog, which for a happy and long life needs to be physically “unloaded” regularly, so it will not be easy for an unsportsmanlike owner with the breed. You should walk your pet twice a day, but it should not be a spontaneous “cutting circles around the area.” It is highly desirable that the promenade takes place in a lively rhythm and is interspersed with physical exercises, tasks for ingenuity and endurance, as well as games. If the Mittel schnauzer lives in a house where there is a large yard, or even better – a fenced plot of land, you can take him out for a walk less often. Just make a few sports equipment for your ward, on which he could improve his physical form.

It is possible to take a Mittel schnauzer puppy outside two weeks after the first vaccination, although some owners are reinsured by not letting the animals go for a walk until they are 4 months old. The owners of Mittels explain such actions by their desire to protect the puppy’s body from street infections. In fact, bacteria and microorganisms that inhabit the environment are not so dangerous for the Mittel schnauzer. The worst thing is that a puppy who has sat in four walls very badly gets used to the street and socializes even worse, so if you want to get a ferocious, suspicious beech, lock the Mittel schnauzer in your apartment and do not let him out until 6 months of age.

The owner of the Schnauzer will have to choose between commercial food and natural food on his own since veterinarians have not yet decided on the ideal food for this breed. The Mittelschnauzer himself will consume both “drying” and meat products with equal pleasure. At the same time, it is important to remember that food from the store – if these are options not lower than the premium class – is balanced in composition and contains the entire range of trace elements necessary for a dog. As for the “natural”, then the owner of the Mittel will have to tinker to include in the pet’s diet all those products that will provide his body with vital amino acids. In addition, you will have to spend extra money on vitamin and mineral supplements.

Foods included in the diet of the Mittel schnauzer:

  • lean meat or it’s waste;
  • offal;
  • cereals (oatmeal, rice, buckwheat);
  • sea fish;
  • vegetables and herbs;
  • boiled egg (no more than once a week);
  • dairy products.

Meat for Mittelschnauzers is given raw, chopped into medium-sized pieces (puppies can be chopped smaller). In no case do not scrape or roll the meat into minced meat – only spoil the product, and deprive the pet of most of the calories. The bones of the bird will not bring any benefit either, but the young Mittel will be sincerely happy with the marrow bone of the calf.

The list of hereditary diseases in the breed is impressive, which, however, does not make Schnauzers regular clients of veterinary clinics. It is also important to understand that not all dogs have genetic ailments. Moreover, if a puppy was born from healthy parents, his chances of a long and happy life are quite high.

Typical diseases of Mittelschnauzers:

  • pancreatitis;
  • hypothyroidism;
  • diabetes;
  • bladder infections;
  • dysplasia of the hip joints;
  • allergy;
  • melanoma;
  • epilepsy;
  • lipoma;

How to choose a puppy?

  • Evaluate how the puppy’s appearance meets the requirements of the standard, but don’t get too hung up on it. It is extremely difficult even for a specialist to guess the future champion in a two-month-old baby.
  • Measure the puppy’s height and weight. At two months old, a male Schnauzer must be at least 28 cm at the withers, and its weight must not be less than 4 kg. “Girls” are usually shorter and lighter.
  • When you first meet the little Mittel schnauzer, carefully monitor his reaction. The preference is for bold, inquisitive hustlers who are willing to make contact.
  • It’s great if the breeder shows you the father of the puppies, but this rarely happens. Do not miss the opportunity to look at least at the female as well as evaluate her temperament and habits, which are likely to be inherited by the offspring.
  • If you are offered puppies from the first litter of a young female who did not manage to acquire prestigious diplomas, do not hesitate to inquire about the show achievements of her ancestors.
  • It helps a lot in choosing a puppy The Litter Inspection Act, which is available in every self-respecting kennel. Request this document from the breeder and carefully read the results of the conclusions. If almost half of the newborn mittelschnauzers were rejected by a club specialist, it is better to bypass such a nursery.
  • A correct little Schnauzer should not have any traces of a hernia on the abdomen. Dirty coat, bad breath from the puppy’s mouth, swollen “belly” signal that the breeder does not strain himself too much to take care of the pets.
Alice White

Written by Alice White

Alice White, a devoted pet lover and writer, has turned her boundless affection for animals into a fulfilling career. Originally dreaming of wildlife, her limited scientific background led her to specialize in animal literature. Now she happily spends her days researching and writing about various creatures, living her dream.

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