The Miniature Schnauzer is a breed of small dog of the Schnauzer type that originated in Germany in the mid-to-late 19th century. Miniature Schnauzers may have been developed from the smallest specimens of the Standard Schnauzer, or crosses between the Standard and one or more smaller breeds such as the Affenpinscher, Miniature Pinscher, and Poodles, as farmers bred a small dog that was an efficient ratting dog. They are described as "spunky" but aloof dogs, with good guarding tendencies without some guard dogs' predisposition to bite. Miniature Schnauzers are recognized in three colors internationally: solid black, black and silver, and pepper and salt. There is a controversial fourth color variant in Miniature Schnauzers, pure white, which is not recognized universally.
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