Intelligent, active, and alert dogs. Good watch dogs. Quick learners with reward-based training and as such enjoy dog sports such as agility, tracking, earthdog trials, rally and competitive obedience. May engage in chasing and barking at wildlife and can be tenacious or difficult to disengage from an activity that has its attention. Tend to be suspicious of strangers; may require careful socialization to prevent or reduce defensive aggressive tendencies.
Miniature Schnauzers were bred to hunt rats and other vermin and to guard small flocks. They were created by breeding the Standard Schnauzer with smaller breeds, such as the Affenpinscher, the Miniature Pinscher and the Poodle. It was not until 1899 that the Miniature Schnauzer was presented as its own distinct breed. Miniature Schnauzers were brought to the United States in 1925, and the breed was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1926. Following World War II, the breed's popularity soared and, at one time, raised it to the position of third most popular breed in America.