The Miniature Schnauzer is a small, squarely proportioned terrier with a long head and bushy beard, mustache, and eyebrows. The front legs are very straight. The oval eyes are dark colored, and the nose is black. The V-shaped ears fold forward when left natural or are cropped to a point and stand erect. The topline is straight and slopes slightly down. The tail is docked, set high and carried erect. The salt and pepper, black, or black and silver outer coat is harsh with a soft undercoat. On pet dogs, the coat is usually clipped short on the upper body and left somewhat longer on the underparts, legs, and head. Show dogs require trimming and hand stripping instead of clipping.
The Miniature Schnauzer is reportedly a result of crosses between the Standard Schnauzer, the Affenpinscher, and perhaps the Poodle, and was developed in the 1800s. He is originally a German breed, named after the German word for muzzle, "Schnauze." The Miniature Schnauzer excels at killing rats, but today is mostly a popular and esteemed companion. It is the most popular Schnauzer.