AKC Requirements For a Miniature Schnauzer
The American Kennel Club, or AKC, has certain requirements for every breed of dog, which states what they have to look like and how they must perform in a show environment. A Schnauzer first became a recognized breed in the United States in 1924, and two years later, was accepted as a registered breed by the AKC. The AKC put them into the same grouping as terriers because of their similarities to breeds of this family from Ireland and Britain.
A Miniature Schnauzer stands between 12-14 inches in length and an almost square build that should be in equal proportion between length and height. They do not resemble a toy breed in any way because they cannot be under 12 inches or over 14 inches in height.
The eyes of a Miniature Schnauzer should be oval-shaped and deeply set in the head and dark brown in coloration. They may not be lighter in color or larger-sized. If they are cropped, the ears need to be identical in length and shape, and they must have a pointed tip on each one.
The ears also need to be set high up on the skull and perpendicular. If the ears are uncropped, they should be in a V-shape, small and close to the head, strong and rectangle-shaped. From the ears to the eyes, the width should lessen and again from the eyes and back to the nose.
The head may not be coarse. This may result in the Miniature Schnauzer being disqualified. The teeth must be in a perfect scissor bite, and any under or overbite would also be grounds for disqualification.
The front legs of a Miniature Schnauzer must be straight and parallel in appearance, no matter which angle they are viewed from. The legs should showcase excellent bone structure, with the elbows being close to the body. The ribcage is spread in a way that lets the elbows continue moving close to the body.
The shoulders should be muscular and slope downward but be in vertical alignment with the elbows. The dog’s hindquarters must consist of strong, muscular thighs that angle so that the hocks are located behind the tail, set high, and always carried in an erect manner.
The tail can be docked but should be visible over the back of the body. Sickle hocks, cow hocks, or open hocks are also grounds for being disqualified from show events. The feet should be short and rounded with sturdy black colored pads and have arched toes.
The coat color may only be in a solid black, black, silver, or salt and pepper, consisting of a hard, wiry overcoat and a close undercoating. The body should be plucked over the head, neck, tail, ears, body, and chest so that it is the proper length and so the judges may see the texture.
The texture of the coat is essential in the Miniature Schnauzer. The coat should not be too smooth or too soft. Black is the only solid coloring that the American Kennel Club accepts. Many breeders have tried to breed the Miniature Schnauzer with other breeds to get new coloring, but the resulting colors are not accepted or recognized by the AKC or other Schnauzer clubs.
The Miniature Schnauzer is a dog breed that uses trotting as its main gait, and there is also a gait used at AKC judging events. The dog must perform the gait used for show purposes flawlessly.
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This article was written by John Jackson and has been contributed by http://www.greatdogsite.com.
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