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The Way of the Terrier, or Life With a Miniature Schnauzer

Updated on January 2, 2012


How is it possible that my miniature schnauzer is a cross between Elsie the Cow and a Dilophosaurus, the dinosaur that ate the computer programmer in Jurassic Park?


Meadow looks gentle and has pretty eyelashes.

So does Elsie the Cow.

Adoption photo from MSRNT
Adoption photo from MSRNT


The female Dilophosaurus in Jurassic Park seemed innocent enough in the movie, but used manipulation and cunning to trap Dennis Nedry, the programmer. Then she went in for the kill.

Miniature schnauzers have incredible jaw pressure for their size. And they love to manipulate you to get their way. Especially the females!

Some of Meadow's Other Qualities

Loves to hunt. Here she’s staked out at the dog door, watching for squirrels. Just try to stop her from stalking small, fast-moving creatures like birds and squirrels.


Mini schnauzers are funny dogs.  I tend to take life too seriously, and Meadow’s behavior helps me to lighten up.  I laugh at her antics frequently.  When I first adopted her, I guess she thought I was being too slow getting her evening meal.  So she went into the laundry room, put her jaws around the small throw rug that held her bowl, and dragged the rug into the hall.  She then proceeded to paw at the bowl, hoping I’d notice that she was starving.

Little Pigs

Mini schnauzers are little dogs with huge appetites. Many of them become overweight. Here’s Meadow, sitting for her favorite treat.

I am tempted to put a rubber pig nose and a curly tail on her, and take her to a Halloween party.


Don’t let this sweet picture fool you. Looks like two best friends cuddling, doesn’t it? But Meadow is the boss of Tessy, my poodle. Miniature schnauzers like to act tough. It’s all an act, though. They are the least terrier-like of all the terriers. Meadow cruises around the house, walking like a sleek panther on the prowl. She bursts through the dog door like a heat-seeking missile when she is after something. She used to fool me, but no more.


Miniature schnauzers are very smart dogs. According to the book The Intelligence of Dogs, the mini schnauzer ranks #12 on the list for intelligence, as measured for all dog breeds. They are naturals to learn tricks and agility. They need to keep their minds occupied. I believe their high intelligence can be traced back to the mix of poodle in them that happened centuries ago.


Meadow has medium-high energy. This means I take her on a 1.5 mile walk nearly every day. If I don’t, I pay for it. She finds other, more interesting ways to expend her energy, most of them bad. Like tearing up paper towels, and grabbing teddy bears and throw rugs and flinging them around. Grab and fling. One of the schnauzer’s favorite activities.

Here she is, with an unfamiliar stuffed animal, ragging it around. If I didn't stop her, she'd take it outside. And she's too interested in the bird cage in the second picture.

The author with her dogs
The author with her dogs

People dogs

Meadow is like my poodle, in that she wants to be around her human companions all of the time. Miniature schnauzers are just not outdoor dogs. They crave your attention and time.


Meadow is a good crate dog (and a good car rider).  Her prior owners taught her well.

Other dogs

Meadow gets along well with other dogs.  Here she is at the dog park.  The day this was taken, she chased a Chihuahua around the park.  She does well with dogs that are off-leash.  But let another dog approach on a leash, and she gets excited and barks.  It’s almost like she knows something.

A really cute schnauzer vocalizing!

A couple more unique things

Mini schnauzers have charming, mischievous expressions on their faces most of the time.  It’s part of their con, especially if you have food and they want it.  A schnauzer also “talks” to you.  Meadow isn’t much of a talker, for a schnauzer.  She does clack her teeth when she’s hungry and excited.  But many of them will issue grunts and groans, make sounds like they’re attempting vowels, and sometimes howl.  Their bark is shrill and staccato.  I have decided that Meadow barks out of insecurity more than anything else.  I don’t find her bark annoying; I find it endearing.

I love Meadow.  That’s it.  She keeps me alert, healthy, on my toes, and amused.  What more could I ask from a dog?


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    • gracenotes profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from North Texas

      Angelbly, thanks for commenting. My late dog was a schnauzer cross (schnauzer/Lhasa apso), but he really didn't have many of the schnauzer behavior traits. He really did have the best of both worlds, as far as I am concerned. I loved him so much that after he died, I adopted my female schnauzer.

      I am glad to hear that you also love miniature schnauzers.

    • angelbly profile image


      7 years ago from Leeds, UK

      I have a mini Schnauzer and another Schnauzer-cross with many of these traits. Lovely article!

    • gracenotes profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from North Texas

      gryphin, thanks for coming by.

      Quilt, I appreciate your words very much. I am so sorry to hear about your Sam. I hope your heart is beginning to heal from this loss. I love this breed!

    • quilt827 profile image


      8 years ago from Tampa Bay, Florida

      I have had 3 schnauzers over the years. I just lost my Sam a few weeks ago. Meadow sounds like the typical schnauzer. I miss their playfulness and their cuddles!

      Thanks for bringing good memories back!

    • gryphin423 profile image


      8 years ago from Florida

      We have always had mini schnauzers, I miss them all! One of ours had the eyelashes too, such a pretty girl! Thanks for sharing this, it brought back a lot of good memories. :-)

    • gracenotes profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from North Texas

      Thanks for dropping by and commenting.

    • profile image

      Miniature Schnauzer 

      9 years ago

      Meadow is beautiful miniature schnauzer!

    • gracenotes profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from North Texas

      Yes, rls8994, the miniature schnauzer is so special. Meadow is around 4 years old, and hard to keep up with. But I am determined to try to drain her energy -- I have found out that this is very hard. Not even a 2-mile walk will do it. Also, I will attempt more obedience training this year. Thanks for stopping by and commenting on my hub about my miniature schnauzer.

    • rls8994 profile image


      9 years ago from Mississippi

      Loved your hub. The love you have for your dogs shows in your words and I can understand exactly how you feel. I have two miniature schnauzers that rule our house. Skip is 10 years old and I include some things about him in my hub about schnauzers. Chloe is 6 months old and I now believe female schnauzers are a lot more hyper than the males. Well at least Chloe is. She keeps us running but we love them both very much. I love hearing stories about other schnauzers and I enjoyed reading yours.

    • gracenotes profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from North Texas

      Hi Eric,

      Thanks for the nice comments. Many dogs would over-eat if you'd let them, but the schnauzer is definitely in a special category. Meadow did become a little overweight, and it's not always the easiest thing to get them back to the ideal weight, but she's lost 1 pound.

    • profile image


      9 years ago


      You are awesome. I thought my schnauzer was just being a little pig. Little did I know that it's the breed. My little Narcissa, named after a character in Harry Potter, can eat for days if I'm not careful. I love her to death. She was given to me for my birthday this year and is just adorable; although, she can be a bit ornery especially since she's only six month old. :)

    • gracenotes profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from North Texas

      Tylercoop, thanks for your observation. I wish you well and hope you enjoy your time here on HP. So, you should write about your maltese.

    • tylercoop profile image


      9 years ago

      I am also a dog lover. I have a little malese. She is such a love. Every one who meets her wants to take her home with them. There is nothing like a sweet dog to make you happy.

    • gracenotes profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago from North Texas


      Isn't that the truth about dogs? Thanks for leaving the comment about your dear little buddy.

    • KatMalone profile image


      10 years ago

      I am also a dog lover, but I have a little maltese. She is my best friend and the best thing I ever did for myself. She is a little love, always there to greet me, I love to brush and groom her. I don't know how anyone could not love a dog.

    • gracenotes profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago from North Texas


      You're a dog lover!

      Having Meadow at my house is like having an adorable toddler running around all the time. She's sure not perfect, but she lights up the place.

    • BRIAN SLATER profile image

      Brian Slater 

      10 years ago from England

      gracenotes- I didn't know about this breed, i am a cocker spaniel person, but he sure does have a lot of character and your love of meadow ( great name) came bounding through your hub.

    • gracenotes profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago from North Texas


      I am delighted to hear that Huey is working out well in your home. I also adopted Meadow after my prior dog, Beau, passed away. What special dogs schnauzers are.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      i love the info on schnauzers.. i have recently adopted Huey from MSRNT.. he is great.. i lost my 13 yr old schnauzer a couple of months ago.. and i thought helping another one would be great for me and the family,, but then after falling in love with him,,i realized-- he was the one doing the helping--- thanks

    • gracenotes profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago from North Texas

      Dexter's Mom,

      If you have 2 schnoodles, you have the best of both worlds too! Thanks for dropping by.

    • Dexter's Mom profile image

      Dexter's Mom 

      10 years ago from Sacramento

      I have a mini-schnauzer as well and i really read so much that i say about my little guy. Also have 2 schnoodles so my life is awesome and so full of love. Miles is a natural mini so his ears really can express a lot of adorable looks. My photo is of my schnoodle, Dexter tho. He looks a lot like a white mini.

    • gracenotes profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago from North Texas

      Ann, I am happy to have MSRNT highlighted in this article.

      The organization brought me a wonderful dog, that's for sure. I am glad that you have a love for mini schnauzers.

      Is there a cuter dog in this world?

    • profile image

      Ann Freasier 

      10 years ago

      Loved your article! We live with three schnauzers and I saw traits of each in each of your observations. Our MSRNT alumni, Ava, also has the beautiful eyes and long eyelashes. She loves to "hunt" our two cats.

    • gracenotes profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago from North Texas

      Thanks, Kendall! It took me 6 to 9 months to put this hub together, and I'm glad that I waited so long. In the year that I have owned Meadow, I've been able to see the full range of her personality.

    • Kendall H. profile image

      Kendall H. 

      10 years ago from Northern CA

      She looks like a wonderful companion! Loved reading about Meadow!


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