The average Miniature Schnauzer lifespan is 12 years.
This compares well to purebred dogs on the whole – smaller dogs often live longer than their larger canine counterparts.
Years can be added to Miniature Schnauzer lifespan by only breeding from the healthiest parents, and providing a lifetime of good care.
So let’s explore how to do this.
How long do Miniature Schnauzers live?
According to studies, purebred dogs live an average of 11 years. The Miniature Schnauzer lifespan is around 12 years, on average.
You might be wondering why this is. Why do some dog breeds live longer than others?
The main factor is size. Small breeds tend to live longer, while giant breeds usually have shorter lifespans.
Other factors are the dog’s features. These include the shape of their face and the length of their back, among others.
Dog’s features can cause problems known as conformational defects, which can sometimes seriously impact a dog’s health and lifespan.
Health Problems that Impact Miniature Schnauzer Lifespan
A variety of health problems can impact the Miniature Schnauzer lifespan. We’ll talk first about conformational defects, then about other common health problems.
Miniature Schnauzers face conformational defects due to their small size. This includes problems with their teeth, because of their tiny mouths.
Miniature Schnauzers also face a number of health problems which only they develop, or that they develop more than other breeds.
As we discussed, Miniature Schnauzers can have problems with their teeth because of their tiny mouths. They are prone to infections, which can cause a variety of other problems!
It’s important to brush your dog’s teeth regularly if possible, and take them for regular teeth cleanings.
Schnauzers can have allergies.
They may also develop “Schnauzer bumps.” This condition is actually called Comedo Syndrome, and it causes blackheads, hair loss, and scabbing along a dog’s back.
Lastly, Schnauzers are prone to skin tumors.
Common eye conditions Schnauzers can develop are cataracts, Progressive Renal Atrophy, lens luxation, and glaucoma.
Cataracts are when the dog’s lens becomes cloudy over time. When not treated, this can lead to blindness in the affected eye.
Progressive Renal Atrophy causes a dog’s retina to deteriorate. This eventually leads to blindness.
Lens Luxation is when the lens of a dog’s eye slips out of place.
Glaucoma is the presence of too much fluid in the eye. It can cause blindness.
Miniature Schnauzers are prone to ear infections. However, these are easily treated by a veterinarian. They can often be prevented by cleaning out a dog’s ears regularly.
Urinary stones occur more in Miniature Schnauzers than they do in any other breed of dog. This may be because Miniature Schnauzers have weak urinary tracts.
Urinary stones occur when certain minerals build up within a dog’s bladder. This can be prevented with the right diet.
Pancreatitis happens when the pancreas becomes inflamed. This serious condition should be treated by a veterinarian immediately.
Hypothyroidism happens when a dog isn’t producing enough thyroid hormone. This, in turn, affects the dog’s metabolism.
This is a muscular disease which causes a dog’s muscles to contract too easily. They then become stiff. This can cause several problems for the dog, including problems moving around and swallowing.
Cushing’s disease happens when a dog has an excess of cortisol. This is caused by tumors, usually in the pituitary gland in the brain. More rarely, the tumor is located in the adrenal glands. It can also be a symptom of medication.
Cushing’s disease impacts a dog’s stress levels, weight, and blood sugar. It can also make it more difficult for a dog to fight infections.
Miniature Schnauzers are prone to several forms of heart disease. Heart diseases can, of course, have a negative impact on the Miniature Schnauzer lifespan.
These include mitral valve disease, sick sinus syndrome, and pulmonic stenosis.
Mitral valve disease is the most common form of heart failure dogs face. This occurs when the mitral valve of a dog’s heart gets weaker. It then fails to open and close properly, causing a lack of blood flow. Left untreated, a dog’s heart will fail.
Sick sinus syndrome effects a dog’s sinus node. This causes the heart to beat irregularly. Eventually, organ dysfunction occurs, as the dog’s organs aren’t receiving the proper amount of blood.
Pulmonic stenosis is when the blood flow from the heart to the lungs is obstructed. Sometimes, dogs have such a mild case that it goes completely unnoticed. More severe cases can cause heart failure.
Von Willebrand’s disease
Von Willebrand’s disease is a blot clot disorder. This causes excessive bleeding, as the dog’s blood doesn’t clot as it should.
There are two forms of this disease. Type II is most common and will cause a dog to bleed from their nose and gums, or have blood in their urine or stool.
Type I is less common but can be more serious. Dogs either show no symptoms, or the disease is deadly for them. Dogs with no symptoms are still a carrier for the disease and can pass it down if they have puppies.
Legg-Calve-Perthes disease happens when a dog’s femur bone deteriorates. This leads to them being unable to use the hind leg that the disease occurs in.
How to Increase Miniature Schnauzer Life Expectancy
There are several ways to increase Miniature Schnauzer lifespan. The best way to tackle any problems is head-on, from the very beginning.
This means going to a reputable breeder. Avoid puppy mills at all costs, and don’t buy from pet stores.
Of course, rescue is a fantastic option as well! We are by no means discouraging that. Just know that when rescuing a dog, you don’t usually know their full medical history.
In a moment, we’ll talk about more things you can do to prolong your dog’s life—those will all apply to rescue pups, or your furry friend already sitting in your home.
Buying From a Breeder
If you are planning on buying a pup from a breeder, you want to make sure you see where it’s been raised. This includes seeing the parents and the rest of the litter.
This way, you can check for red flags and make sure the breeder cares properly for the dogs they’re raising.
Your breeder should also be happy to show you the dogs’ medical history. Parents and pups should all be healthy, with no hereditary diseases that they could pass down. They should be up to date on their vaccines as well.
Choosing a healthy puppy is a great way to increase your Miniature Schnauzer lifespan.
Taking Good Care of Your Pup
The next thing you can do to increase Miniature Schnauzer life expectancy is to keep an eye on them and care for them daily.
A healthy diet, hydration, and proper exercise are just as important for your dog as they are for humans! You also want to keep your dog clean and well-groomed.
Also remember that, often, the first warning signs of a health condition show themselves through changes in behavior. If your dog is acting weird and you can take them to the veterinarian, you might be able to diagnose problems early.
This brings us to our next way to increase your dog’s lifespan. Taking them to the vet regularly. Regular check-ups are the best way of ensuring your dog stays healthy and happy.
While at the vet, you can also keep your pup up to date on their vaccines. And any flea and heartworm preventative they need.
Lastly, show your fur baby lots of love while they’re here!
The Longest Living Miniature Schnauzer
We don’t know for sure who the oldest Miniature Schnauzer in the world is.
One 2010 study documented a Miniature Schnauzer who lived to 18.
However, some Miniature Schnauzers are over 20 years old! So the Miniature Schnauzer lifespan can be huge!
How old is your Miniature Schnauzer?
Want to Learn More about Miniature Schnauzers?
We’ve got plenty more articles for you to take a look at if you’ve enjoyed learning about the Miniature Schnauzer.
Take a look at some of them here:
And, perhaps you’d like to learn what happens when you cross a Miniature Schnauzer with another breed:
References and Resources
- Adams et al. Methods and mortality results of a health survey of purebred dogs in the UK. Journal of Small Animal Practice. 2010.
- Angel-Caraza, J. Composition of lower urinary tract stones in canines in Mexico City. Urological Research. 2010.
- Bhalerao et al. Detection of a genetic mutation for myotonia congenita among Miniature Schnauzers and identification of a common carrier ancestor. American Journal of Veterinary Research. 2002.
- Grahn et al. Inherited retinal dysplasia and persistent hyperplastic primary vitreous in Miniature Schnauzer dogs. Veterinary Ophthalmology. 2004.
- Gross et al. Skin Diseases of the Dog and Cat: Clinical and Histopathologic Diagnosis. Blackwell Science Ltd. 2005.
- Hannigan, M. A refractory case of schnauzer comedo syndrome. The Canadian Veterinary Journal. 1997.
- Milne et al. Epidemiologic features of canine hypothyroidism. The Cornell Veterinarian. 1981.
- Parshall et al. Photoreceptor Dysplasia: An Inherited Progressive Retinal Atrophy of Miniature Schnauzer Dogs. Progress in Veterinary & Comparative Ophthalmology. 1991.
- Xenoulis et al. Chronic Pancreatitis in Dogs and Cats. Compendium. 2008.
howard hayes says
my Zoe turned 13 in january 2023. she suffers from several of the things mentioned above. but dam it she is one of the greatest doggies ever. im tearing up as i write this because she is going to the rainbow bridge soon. just wanted to let you all know you arent alone when the sad part comes. love them till their last breath because they love you.
My miniature schnauzer is 16 and in prime health other than her cataracts ❤️ she enjoys her strollers rides to new and exciting parks. I have her on a diet of raw chicken and salmon
We lost our beloved buddy
He was the best our family could ask for he was 13 1/2
Letty Moreno says
Molly is my 12 yr old schnauzer. She has under gone hernia repair and spleen removal, plus many, many stitches due to wanting to hang with the big dogs and tell them what to do! But she is a spunky girl and even after all that, she is just as hyper and active as a pup. I hope she gives us many, many more years.
Paul Dunagan says
Lost my miniature schnauzer Sam on December 27, 2021 age 20 years 7 months and three days had him since he was a pup. Loving and loyal .
Jamel b says
Wow!! Sorry to hear this. He lived a long life. Been a mini schnauzer owner of 4 in the last 20 years. And losing our baby girl Izzy Bella last night. From lymphoma at the young age of 11yrs old. I would like to know what did you feed your fur baby to live such a long life.
My boy, Teddy passed at 19 years and 10 months. It crushed my heart to make the decision to let him go. It will 4 years this coming July. On a happier note I now have a 4 month, his name is Journey.
I had mini schnauzers growing up and they all lived about 15 years. They were great dogs and good watch dogs. We currently have two a 9 yr old and a 3yr old and they are best buddies. Schnauzers are great additions to the family !!
What a fabulous age! My girl is 16 I count every day is a blessing and hope and pray she makes it to 20. I feed her raw diet chicken and salmon. She loves it. And dried sardines for treats.
David R. says
Monkey, my mini schnauzer/yorkie looks just like this little guy! I took a new picture and my iPhone 13 is so smart that it showed several pictures of look alike dogs, and the first one was your little guy!
Kimberley Smith-Maxwell says
We have a 13 y.o. male named Scotty – he is black and just little bits of gray around his mouth and chin. Just a cutie for sure. We just found out he has a liver mass – not yet confirmed cancer. I’m hoping and praying not — he is not eating like normal and I thought it might be a tooth or gum infection — and on the dr. visit the liver mass was found. He is such a sweet dog – I love Schnauzers (my first one), I actually rescued him – as I found him outside of a shopping strip mall – so cute – but very thin and full of fleas. He didn’t have a chip in him and the vet said he was 3 or 4 — so while I shared he is 13 – he could actually be 14. His energy is very low – but still his ears go up when I say walk or he hears the leash sound. He walks much slower now – but today was a really good day as he was able to walk quite a lot. I’m hoping that he doesn’t have cancer — but the vet seems pretty sure – I’ll find out tomorrow. I’m so blessed – though – to have this wonderful little dog – my Scottie in my life. I actually thought I was a cat person – but since rescuing this Scotty — I’m both a cat and dog person. I also have another dog – Ralph – a beagle/corgi mix who is 9 — and he is a rescue too. It was really nice to read through all the stories of people sharing about their furbabies. God bless all of you — and God bless you furbabies too.
We had a mini schnauzer Charles Stewart Dunsmuir he was 15 1/2 when he passed 2 years ago and as I write about him today I’m crying 😭 He was such a trooper last few days of his life he never gave us a problem and he passed peacefully with no issues. We got him at 6mos old and he was a trip every day wheather he was in the yard patrolling the fence line and barking at every little sound or teaching our 3 other dogs actually his brothers and sister how to go potty outside. He is surely missed and was loved very very much! 🐾❤️🐾❤️🐾
Roy J LeBlanc says
I have 6 mini schnauzers. I’m not a breeder. My dogs was slowing down 4 years ago.My oldest was 10. They Could not jump on furniture, and skin issues. I took them off Blue Buffalo, and put on 4 health. Same issues. I started cooking boiled chicken breast, livers, or sliced Guzzards with Brocolli, carrots, Cauliflower, scrambled eggs, sometimes a lil boiled rice, and within 2 months, they were jumping, and running around, and came back to life. My older is now 14.5 years. I lost my male 2 days ago to congestive heart and kidney failure. in 1 month he would have been 13. I sometimes feed them a few raw sliced carrot snacks, and we grow carrots for them. Not too many at one time, and slice them, to help them digest. They love veggies over any store bought snack, which I took away store bought dog snacks 4 years ago.
I have a miniature Schnauzer she about to be 12 years old… Is there any medication I can give to her? I don’t want her to leave us… 😭
My Jasmine is 12 and has slowed down and needs her eyes checked. Looks like cataracts. She has some arthritis and doesn’t let us pick her up anymore. All her teeth went bad and vet extracted all but left one tooth. She is still the sweetest girl and tries to play with the other two dogs. She loves to be scratched and massaged. She’s very sweet to my 7 and 9 yr old boys and loves my husband.
Rachael Castro says
Our little old man Cody will be 16 in October 2021. I didn’t know the life expectancy was 12! He has been a loyal friend to my son since we got him in 2005. He’s eyes were the first to get a little foggy and he has trouble seeing if the room is too dark. He had urinary stones twice about 5 years ago. And up until now except for slower walks and sensitive skin he’s been ok. He licks his paws a lot and I thought it was an allergy. But no it wasn’t. He broke open a pad on his paw. And after 3-4 weeks it still wasn’t healing. Come to find out he has what the VET called carcinoma of the toenail which is a malignant tumor/mass. His advice is to put him to sleep. Even if we amputated the toe the cancer could be in his leg, lungs, body ect. His teeth have also been an issue for a few years now even thought I tried my best to get the cleanings done. He didn’t pass the blood work the last two time so no cleaning could be approved. He lost a few teeth in the pas two years 🙁 but still eats and drinks a lot and still does his ‘business’ as always. The walks are slower now, and he has a small sock/on 24-7 which I change daily. We have an oncology appointment this Monday Aug 23, 2021. I am looking for a second opinion. I need to set my mind at ease that ending his life is the better choice for him if he is in pain. Which I am most certain the open toe is painful. He’s on meds currently. I need to hear from the specialist that it’s okay to say goodbye to our dear Little furbaby.
My Rudi is 19 and a half. He is definitely showing signs of aging. But he walks (usually in circles) every day, has a good appetite, and navigates the house pretty well, despite his impaired vision. When he was a puppy, the vet informed me he had a heart murmur and might not live long. His current vet told me he was the oldest dog she has ever treated and “really remarkable”. He’s still with me, my little “man of men”.
My Bailey Bones will be 15 in July. He was the runt of the litter but surprise to me, he is an amazing companion… curious, thoughtful, serious, loyal, intuitive, and cuddly with a loud and deep bark. He’s a dapper fellow. He tells me when it’s bedtime and won’t go to bed without me. He’s slowed down so much in the past few years. He trips a lot and falls down if he’s been walking too much. We must cart him around because he can’t walk far/long. He loves it though… he darts his head around and it bobs as we move him in the stroller… he’s so cute. I’ve raised him since he was a puppy and he has been by my side through so many milestones, so many new homes, and relationships. I sense his day is coming… he appears to have dementia. Pees randomly anywhere, even by his food while eating… he walks into a room and then stops, stares for a long time, then continues. Sometimes he can’t hear commands or is coming up behind him and he can’t see too well. He such a trooper though. He just recently moved with me two states away from our home… his home of many years. He’s adjusting but I know he’d prefer to be back in our old home. It makes me sad to think he’d rather have been there to live out his last years. Miniature schnauzers are truly a wonderful breed. So human… he won’t even entertain other dogs. When I take him to the dog park he spends more time checking out the people and after a short while he leaves towards the exit, once he’s had his fill. I love him so much even if he pees in the house once a day.
Joanne lester says
My boy is 13. He has fought pancreatitis all his life through no fault of care it takes nothing to tip the scales. He is fighting for his life tonight but I feel him with me as I write this
We lost our Lil Bit December 30,2022 due to pancreatitis, hepatitis and irregular breathing. Upon ultrasound they found a stone in his bladder. He got real sick just in days. He spent the night and day over Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. We brought him home, he never got better. He was 12 years old and 2 months. We got him when he was 2 months old. We had an appointment for follow up with his veterinarian on 12/30/22 at 0830, he passed away on our bed as my husband was petting him like he always does in the mornings. He was such a good boy, trained well, he had several accidents in the house in the past 6 months. Such a shock he’s gone. We are going to give it a year or two before we get another dog. We love him and he loved us back.
I have a cutie…she is a 12 year old female named Sophia…she is slowing down a bit…but her bark is still big…she is a cuddler and I love her to death.
Don’t use dog food that contain lentils or garbanzo beans regardless of the words grain free. U and your dog are what u eat. Lentils hurt animals systems
Sherri Owens says
I have a wonderful n loving Female Schnauzer name Lexus she will be 15 yrs young this November, I definitely see sign of her getting older, as with a lot of people that have this Breed they are Loyal n the best Companion I could Ever ask for, I’m going to be Soooo Heart Broke 💔 when her time come , I Love My Baby Lexus
Are one was 18 years old Eddie passed away on Halloween night 2020 of cancer