Should Mini Schnauzers be classed as Terriers?

The Miniature Schnauzer is a smallest dog in the Schnauzer breed and originated in the mid-to-late 19th Century from Germany. The Miniature Schnauzer is a cross between the Standard Schnauzer and other smaller breeds such as the Poodle. A miniature Schnauzer is a spunky, but aloof dog who does things their own way. They tend to be good guard dogs without the tendency to bite.
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Should Mini Schnauzers be classed as Terriers?

Post by Price56 »

I don't know why this country puts mini Schnauzers in the utility group, I think the Americains have it right putting them in the Terrier group. Our Asti has every trait of a terrier, she can sniff out anything, has amazing hearing and sight.

My friend and dog walker has two beautiful Border Terriers and Asti is no different to them when it comes to her behaviour whatsoever.

Does anyone else think mini's should be in the terrier group over in this country?

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Re: Should Mini Schnauzers be classed as Terriers?

Post by zeta1454 »

The word terrier in terms of dogs is defined as “ a small dog of a breed originally used for turning out foxes and other burrowing animals from their earths” which would not apply to miniature schnauzers which were cross/bred primarily to be companion dogs and to have certain schnauzer characteristics from the original standard schnauzer breed but of a smaller size more fitted to urban living. Miniature schnauzers were cross bred with other breeds in the 19th century and so do not have a long history of specific breed characteristics in the way older breeds such as most terriers will do having been bred for specific tasks over several centuries.

All dogs have amazing scent ability although not all are trained to use this and hearing too is far superior to humans, sight is less easy to define as some dogs are much more inclined than others to react to movement or look out for distant objects and most will prioritise scent over sight to find things.

In terms of the show ring, dogs are categorised in some cases differently in different countries but the Utility group in the U.K. has traditionally been used to describe dogs who may originally have been bred for a task no longer needed or generally abandoned - e.g. Dalmatians who were carriage dogs, bred to run alongside carriages..or the group has dogs for which there is no defining role other than perhaps companionship even if they do have natural instincts for other activities.

If you look at the this definition of the terrier, you will see that it is doesn’t entirely fit modern day mini schnauzers. In my experience the pugnacious character in particular which is common in all terriers, is not a character trait of miniature schnauzers:

I would add though that the groups for showing are not a definitive or hardline categorisation as, for example, Yorkshire Terriers are in the Toy group in the U.K. despite their name :)
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