WANTED – correct breed type on the Miniature Schnauzer!

Jag har kopierat texten från Heli Lillbacka längre ner. Heli har översatt en artikel till engelska skriven av domarna Soile Bister och Marianne Holm.

OBS! Vit dvärgschnauzer är inte nämnd i artikeln pga att artikeln är skriven när det var tre färger godkända. Standarden för vit dvärgschnauzer är densamma som för de andra förutom färgen.

Heli Lillbacka: After having participated in many discussions on the correct type of the Miniature Schnauzer, I felt I had to contribute for my part – so I translated this article with the permission of the original authors. Thank you both! The original piece was published years back, but has not lost any of its significance.

Please feel free to share far and wide – and comment. Let’s educate our fancy! The article is available in pdf and Word-format, should you need it just PM me.

WANTED – correct breed type on the Miniature Schnauzer!

By Soile Bister & Marianne Holm

Translation: Heli Lillbacka

Originally published in “Ulkomuototuomarit”-magazine, a publication of the Finnish Dog Show Judges’ Society

The Miniature Schnauzer may very well be the breed with most variance in type and how it is judged in the showring. It is not at all unusual for the same individual to receive a CACIB on one day, and be disqualified the next. There is a clear reason for this, the standard and particularly its interpretation vary greatly on different continents. The German breed and its origins have been molded into something completely different in English-speaking countries in particular. The standard by the country of origin, and approved by the FCI, describes a smaller replica of a Standard Schnauzer. In the US, the Miniature Schnauzer competes in the terrier group which has had an impact on the dogs.

When judging the Miniature Schnauzer, one should keep in mind the following, important basics about the breed:

Type: The Miniature Schnauzer is an exact replica of the Standard Schnauzer

In relation to its size, the Miniature Schnauzer is strong but also elegant. Many individuals are too strong and wide, and if they were Standard Schnauzers they would absolutely be critiqued for their lack of elegance.

The gender of the dog should be apparent by looking at it. One should always imagine any Miniature Schnauzer as a Standard Schnauzer, and consider if it’s really a true Schnauzer and whether it has the correct combination of strength and elegance.

Tail and topline: The tail must not be high-set like on a terrier and never tightly on the dog’s back or side

The topline of a Schnauzer is slightly sloping, also on the move. The withers are high and the loin arches ever-so-slightly. Many dogs have a beautiful topline and an acceptable tail carriage when standing, but when moving the rear is elevated and the tail falls on the dog’s back/side. This should ring the alarm! The undesired tail set and carriage are highly dominant traits, and all judges should appreciate correct tail sets and carriages accordingly. The ideal tail is described in the standard as sabre or sickle carriage, not “squirrel tail” on the dog’s back or side. The tail should be judged when the dog is on the move.

Size: The Miniature Schnauzer is a small dog, 30-35 cm

The size of 30-35 cm goes for both males and females and the standard does not call for a different size between the genders. A dog that is 36 cm tall is still reluctantly acceptable, but any dog bigger than that is too big – full stop. Any individual taller than 37 cm must be disqualified. The dogs should be measured in the showring, too, and the size must be reflected in the results.

Coat: The Miniature Schnauzer is a harsh-coated breed

Many judges seem to think that plenty of coat volume on legs and beard make a Miniature Schnauzer showy and sweet as sugar. Regretfully, as a result, the truly harsh-coated dogs are seldom winners in the showring. A harsh coat is truly harsh, tightly on the body with no undercoat showing. The proper double-coat calls for a wiry, dense topcoat and a very short, dense undercoat. Proper coats are pleasant and easy to groom, both for the dog and the groomer. A truly harsh-coated dog will never develop a high-volume, long beard or furnishings. Furthermore, a harsh coat is seldom shiny in colour, but rather somewhat matted in appearance. All judges should recognize and appreciate proper coat, as it is a significant characteristic to the breed!

Colour: Correct colours are important

Fading is quite frequent on blacks and black&silvers at a very young age. This is a genetic problem. The black colour should be solid and black also in the undercoat. Fading usually starts with the head, then moving onto neck, front, rear and limbs. This is sometimes difficult to differentiate from the normal, but slightly lighter shade of clippered areas. Markings on a black&silver should be white and distinct, also on the chest. Pepper and salt should be as clear as possible, although it is not unusual for the dogs have a slight brownish tinge on the head and neck. However, the body should be evenly “peppered”, and the mask on the dog’s face should be darker than its body. Individual hairs should be “double-colored” with a dark tip, lighter center and dark roots. A solid black stripe on the dog’s back is a fault, as well as a light mask or solid white furnishings. Having said that, it is highly unfortunate that dogs are dyed in many countries and one should rather accept minor faults in the colours than encourage this behavior by obsessing over the colours.

Movement: The Miniature Schnauzer movement should be parallel and cover ground well

All judges should pay more attention to the movement of dogs, and take note of the faults. Many Miniature Schnauzers have horrific movement; short steps, sickle hocks not “opening” properly in movement, wide and scooping fronts… The list goes on. Anything unparallel is a fault and more attention should be paid on this.

All in all: The Miniature Schnauzer is an exact replica of the Standard Schnauzer

Please do your part! The Miniature Schnauzer should not end up to be a soft-coated, odd-coloured “doll” with a terrier topline and squirrel tail!


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