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Miniature Schnauzer Tail Docking, Dewclaws and Ears



The practice of docking tails and cropping ears are both controversial procedures in the world of Miniature Schnauzers. My goal is to inform you on the reason that each is done and what we practice here at Diosa Kennels.




Tail docking in Miniature Schnauzers was first thought to ward of the possibilities of rabies. Yes, as odd as that sounds it is true. It was also thought to strengthen their back and improve agility and speed. It was also done to prevent bites and injury to the tail from the very vermin they were originally bred to hunt.

As time passed and the Miniature Schnauzer became more of a house dog than a working dog, it became and remained a breed standard. According to the standard the tail should be erect and just long enough to be seen over the back of the dog when the coat was at its appropriate length. Breed standards were created to maintain a uniformity in the look and temperament of a dog based on the job they were bred to do. This is a way to help guide the breed to remain true to itself.

Tail docking does not improve nor change a Miniature Schnauzer these days, in my honest opinion. It is just a look. Much like if you want to have short or long hair! I do choose to dock the tails on my dogs to remain in the breed standard of my AKC Miniature Schnauzers.

Tail docking is done at 3-5 days of age. It is usually done by a licensed veterinarian although there are some breeders who do this procedure at home from my understanding. We choose to have this done with our vet simply because they went to school for veterinary purposes and we did not! Having it done in a sterile environment with expert hands is of the utmost importance to us because the health of our Mini Schnauzer puppies is number one in our eyes. This visit also gives us the chance to have our vet check over the puppies and mom just after they go over the big ordeal of being born!

If you decide you do not want a docked tail on your Mini Schnauzer, I am more than happy to comply. This is definitely a personal choice. I would, however, require that a deposit be placed on a puppy before they are 2 days old in order for the tail to be left natural. If there is no deposit, the puppies will all have their tail docked at their first vet visit.





The dewclaw is an extra nail higher up the leg on a dog. Some dogs have rear dew claws, some front and some have both.

By and far, the largest reason that dew claws are removed is because they can get them caught and rip them out. YOUCH! Other reasons follow:

  • Possible to become overgrown when owners forget to clip this out of the way nail

  • Possibility of ingrown nail. They are close to the skin and can curl right up into the skin

  • Infections. Since they are nails they can become infected and being covered in fur they can be overlooked by an owner until the infection is quite bad.


We have the dewclaws removed on our Miniature Schnauzers here at Diosa Kennels. I have had personal experience with a dog who ripped his dew claw out time and time again. All it takes is a snag followed by a sudden movement of the dog and it can rip out. While not necessarily requiring a vet visit, it is painful! It bleeds and being an open wound could very easily get infected and then require a vet visit due to the infection. Imagine ripping your toenail off over and over again! Again, YOUCH!!

Our puppies get their dewclaws removed at 3-5 days of age at the same time their tails are docked. Our veterinarian is amazing and does a quick and simple removal that doesn’t even require stitches.

I do apologize, but dewclaws are not something I will negotiate about. Your puppy will definitely have them removed at their first vet visit.






Ear cropping is perhaps the most controversial of all procedures. The debates on the issue can get quite heated. One side claiming animal cruelty and stating that it is an unnecessary procedure only done for cosmetic purposes and should be considered abuse. The other side sites a need for cleanliness with a higher instance of ear infections and possibility of damage to a long, floppy ear as well as a want to maintain the standard set hundreds of years ago in the defining years and the creation of the breed.

Originally the Miniature Schnauzer had its ears cropped to prevent damage while it scurried about in the brush hunting vermin. An overly long and floppy ear can prevent air flow and possibly lead to higher instance of odor and possible ear infections.

The AKC standard for the Miniature Schnauzer no longer requires the docking of ears! They accept both cropped AND uncropped. This is great news as both sides can make a personal choice for their own dog and feel good about it all while maintaining breed standard.

At this time, you will see that our breeders have cropped ears. This was not done by us. The ears were done by the breeders where we purchased them as that is the practice that they have adopted. We do not choose to crop our puppies ears. They will go home with you with an adorable pair of floppy ears.

Cropping is typically done between the ages of 7-16 weeks of age. If you choose to get your puppies ears cropped it is very important that you research for a vet that specializes in cropping because there is an art to it and you may be very disappointed with the results if you do not choose your vet wisely for the procedure. Also, research the needed aftercare and make sure that you are up for the task and can do so by the book to aid in the healing.

If you choose to leave them natural then ENJOY them! They are adorable and soften and lend a playful look to a Mini Schnauzer. We personally love them either way because ears, or lack thereof does not change the personality of any Miniature Schnauzer!

Whatever your opinion or your choice in regards to your Miniature Schnauzer ears, they most important this is hygeine! Regular grooming and cleaning of the ears should be practiced to prevent off odors and/or infections.