The Miniature Schnauzer originated in Germany in the late 1800s.

They were originally bred for guarding herds and farms, and for keeping rats and vermin out of the barns. In the Mini Schnauzer's earliest stages, several small breeds were crossed to bring down the size of the well-established Standard Schnauzer. The goal was to create a duplicate but in a much smaller size. Crossing with breeds such as the Affenpinscher, Poodle and Miniature Pinscher, had the side effect of introducing colors that were not considered acceptable to the ultimate goal.

As breeders worked towards the stabilization of the gene pool, they stopped breeding parti colors, liver, and white puppies (the colors that were introduced by the Affenpinsher, poodle and Miniature Pinscher).

Although the Miniature Schnauzer comes in many, many different colors, the AKC only recognizes solid black, Salt & Pepper, and Black & Silver for conformation show events. The AKC will register all the other ‘rare’ colors but they are not allowed to be shown.