The Moving Miniature Schnauzer

Ask a fancier of the breed, and they will tell you that when evaluating a Miniature Schnauzer, it should resemble his larger cousin, the Standard Schnauzer. This means that one should look for the movement of a working dog. There should be no exaggeration of the fore nor aft (and certainly, the breed doesn’t have a shortened upper arm), and thus, balance at both ends enables a solid, smooth extension and drive.

As speed increases and a full trot is reached, the forelimbs and hindlimbs will converge to the center line of gravity, and while the rear legs move in the same planes at the forelegs, a very slight inward inclination will happen. It starts at the point of the shoulder up front, and at the hip joint in the rear. When a dog is moving correctly, the degree of inward inclination can be challenging to spot because it’s almost imperceptible. Take notice, then, that a dog that is moving close, crossing, toeing in or moving out at the elbows is not moving with soundness.

When looking at a Miniature Schnauzer coming at you or moving away, the legs are straight from these points all the way down to the dog’s pads which shouldn’t be turned in or outwards, and the forelegs and rear pasterns should remain parallel to one another. From the side, the set of the dog’s pelvis allows the left rear leg to reach under the midpoint of the body while the opposing leg thrusts back, extending into a nearly straight line, pushing the body over maximum ground with each stride.

This sounds like a lot of work, but for a balanced dog with correct angulation, it looks effortless, and more importantly, it is! Dogs comfortable in their own skin can work far longer than an unsound dog.

A Miniature Schnauzer on the move is smooth, powerful, collected, and while the topline remains level with only a bit of flexing to indicate suppleness, it should look like a surface that can bring you a cocktail without sloshing the contents out of the glass. Cheers! 

Image: Miniature Schnauzer from the Canine With One Line series by Dane Khy, owner of WithOneLine. This piece is available here.

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