If a miniature schnauzer fits specified "optimal" standards for his breed, he might be eligible to participate in dog shows, where the focus is on conformation. The goal of these shows is to exhibit purebred pooches who possess qualities deemed to be desirable for breeding. Although miniature schnauzers are a different breed than their standard and giant counterparts, conformation among the three is much alike.
The American Kennel Club, or another sanctioning organization, establishes the traits that are quintessential for miniature schnauzers as a breed. Conformation is centered around many different aspects of the dogs, from the shape of their necks and the color of their eyes to coat coloration and texture. Certain physical traits can pronounce miniature schnauzers ineligible for dog shows. The breed standard institutes rules regarding physical appearance as well as basic disposition.
According to the American Kennel Club breed standard, adult miniature schnauzers must conform to a height of 12 to 14 inches at the shoulder. They must have solid physiques. Key body qualities for miniature schnauzers include sinewy rear legs, powerful necks, short builds, short feet and upright tails. They're disqualified from participating in shows for being either longer than 14 inches or shorter than 12 inches. Miniature schnauzers have double coats. Permitted coat colors are salt and pepper, pure black and a combination of silver and black. As far as pure colors go, black is the sole option for breed conformation.
Facial qualities are vital for miniature schnauzer conformation. Miniature schnauzers need to have little, oval-shaped, deep brown eyes. Their heads should have rectangular forms. Scissors bites are essential. When dogs have scissors bites, the outer portions of their bottom incisor make contact with the inside portions of their top incisors. Jaws that are either overshot or undershot are not permitted. Miniature schnauzers are also characterized by whiskers that are markedly thick.
In terms of temperament, these small German pooches need to be bright, vigilant and vibrant in their behavior. At the same time, they also have to respect and follow commands from their owners. They should enjoy making people happy, with jovial and amiable behavioral patterns. Shy or fierce behavior isn't accepted for miniature schnauzer conformation. If you own a miniature schnauzer and think that he fits the bill both in temperament and appearance, he might be suitable for conformation. Note that all dogs in shows must be intact, as the aim is to analyze potential breeding. Signing your pet up for conformation courses might be a smart idea.