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The Way of the Terrier, or Life With a Miniature Schnauzer
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
- Miniature Schnauzer Rescue of North Texas
MSRNT is a group of people who volunteer to rescue miniature schnauzers and secure caring, permanent homes for them in North Texas and surrounding areas.