Understanding the Colors of the Miniature Schnauzer

There are only three recognized show colors of the Miniature Schnauzer. Below are the colors and a description of each to help with understanding the colors.

Salt & Pepper

Salt and Pepper Color example

The typical Salt & Pepper color of the topcoat results from is banded hairs in combination of black with white banded hairs with solid black and white unbanded hairs, normally with the banded hairs being predominant. All shades of Salt & Pepper, from the light to dark mixtures with tan shadings permissible in the banded or unbanded hair of the topcoat. In most Salt & Pepper dogs, the Salt & Pepper mixture normally grows out to a light gray or silver-white coloring in the eyebrows, whiskers, under throat, inside ears, across chest, under tail, leg furnishings, and inside hind legs. It may or may not also fade out on the underbody. However, if so, the lighter underbody hair is not to rise higher on the sides of the body than the front elbows.


Courtesy of Findell Kennels

Black & Silver

Typically the Black & Silver generally follows the same pattern as the Salt & Pepper. Normally, the entire Salt & Pepper section must be black. The black color of the topcoat of a black and silver is a true rich color, with a black undercoat. The stripped portion is completely free from any color fading or brown tinge and the underbody should be dark. There is no such thing as a phantom color in the Black & Silver. That is a term some breeders use to make more money from there buyers and is very unethical.


This color is very self-explanatory. Black is the only solid color allowed. Ideally, what you want is the black color in the top coat to be a true rich glossy color with the undercoat, being less intense in color, with a soft shade of black. Occasionally, a small white spot on the chest is permitted.

A breed standard is a set of guidelines which is used to ensure that the animals produced by a breeder or breeding facility conform to the specifics of the breed. Breed standards are devised by breed associations or breed clubs, not by individuals, and are written to reflect the use or purpose of the species and breed of the animal. Breed standards help define the ideal animal of a breed and provide goals for breeders to improve stock. In essence, a breed standard is a blueprint for an animal, fit for the function it was bred – i.e. herding, tracking etc. Breed standards are not scientific documents, and may vary from association to association, and from country to country… even for the same species and breed. There is no format for breed standards across all species, and breed standards do change and are updated over time.

The first developers of the breed informed breeders who came up with the other color’s to not breed them. Again, serious breeders breed to preserve the breed, as it was intended by its originators.

miniature-schnauzers Breed strandard photo

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