Miniature Schnauzers

Why Not White

Today’s American Miniature Schnauzer Club breed standard begins just as it did in 1934: "The Miniature Schnauzer is a robust, active dog of terrier type, resembling his larger cousin the Standard (Medium) Schnauzer in general appearance, and of an alert, active disposition."

Breed Standards are what we use to define our different breeds of dogs. In breeds such as the Chinese Crested, their major distinction is hair - no hair, long hair, hair pattern, but the Crested standard literally allows any color or combination of colors.

In other breeds such as the Miniature Schnauzer, both hair coat texture and hair color are defining characteristics of our breed. History describes early litters that were sorted and classified by appearance including color and coat into "Schnauzer" or "other", and this selection process was then codified into a Schnauzer Breed Standard.

Established in 1933, the American Miniature Schnauzer Club approved their breed standard in 1934, continuing to specifically describe coat texture and color as important characteristics that define the correct Miniature Schnauzer.

Our primary responsibility as members of the American Miniature Schnauzer Club is to "encourage and promote the correct type in the breeding of Miniature Schnauzers in conformity with the standard of the breed as set forth by the Club and approved by the American Kennel Club." (from the Constitution and By-Laws, page 1) Breed type. Take some time to read our Miniature Schnauzer standard again, carefully. And notice that since the beginning, our American Miniature Schnauzer Club has reaffirmed that two characteristics are important enough to rate disqualification from Championship competition - one of them is color.
     Wyoma Clouss
     (first published in AMSCOPE, Sept 99)

     My husband and I began in Miniature Schnauzers in 1974.   We have enjoyed showing Miniature Schnauzers during summer vacations and occasional weekends during the year, and have finished 38 AKC Champions.  I've served on the Board of the American Miniature Schnauzer Club, and as Judges Education Coordinator, and most recently, four years as AMSC President.
     In thirty five years, I have never had, nor ever seen, nor even heard of a white puppy born in respected show lines.  Miniature Schnauzers were meant resemble their cousins, the Standard Schnauzer, and light or whitish colors were considered a fault, and selected away from, from the very beginning.  I simply do not believe that any white puppy or any other 'rare' or 'unusual' color puppy comes from anything other than Miniature Schnauzers who have been crossed with some other breed during the last ten or thirty or fifty years.
     In the past, AKC registration relied on the honor system, and all it would have taken is a misrepresentation or two about particular breedings, the actual parents listed, to introduce unknown color genes from some other breed of dog.  Now with DNA testing, AKC can know whether the parents listed are the actual parents.  But there is no way yet to trace back in history beyond dogs that are living and available for testing now.  Off-color from some so-called "throwback" could have been introduced to the Miniature Schnauzer gene pool any time in the past, and then registered as a Miniature Schnauzer.  And now, some people deliberately continue that kind of falsehood, talking about 'colors almost lost', 'rare', 'unusual', even charging more money for those puppies.  What a rip-off!
     Only a few years ago, before AKC's DNA program, I talked with a woman who bred white, parti-color, red, gold & liver, but registered them all as salt & pepper Miniature Schnauzers.  You can bet people who bred from her dogs have had a few "mysterious surprises" of their own.
     Additionally, when you hear about white 'in the rest of the world', remember that those countries which follow the "Father Country" rule of the FCI - had to make those changes when the German registries decided to change to continue with FCI - it isn't as those each of those FCI countries voted for white or even had a choice.
     North American breeders are covered by the American Kennel Club and the Canadian Kennel Club, entirely different and separate from the FCI.

Click here to read The Official Standard for the Miniature Schnauzer
and white Why Not White and other FAQs about MS and The North American Miniature Schnauzer

AKC's DNA Program

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