Miniature Schnauzers, as beautiful and stylish as they are, aren’t just another pretty face. The breed started out as good old fashioned farm dogs that had a job to do, and that was to hunt and kill vermin threatening the food supply. Rats are tenacious fighters with very sharp teeth and claws, so the Schnauzer’s facial hair was sometimes matted down into thick armor that would protect the dog’s face from injury. Not surprisingly, this feature led to a German moniker: Schnauze, from the German word for muzzle, referring to the dog’s square snout and distinct “stache.”
As an aside, Miniature Schnauzers also have a thick, wiry double coat that helps the dogs shake off debris from when they dig into the ground. Once again, appearances in our breeds often have more to do with function than with an arbitrary whim of fashion.