Black Miniature Schnauzer

Learn more about the black Miniature Schnauzer.

Is Black A Standard Color In Miniature Schnauzers?

Solid black is accepted by the AKC and the FCI for all Schnauzers.

What Does A Black Miniature Schnauzer Look Like?

Black Miniature Schnauzers are solid black.

Most of them have a dominant black pattern, but recessive black is also in this breed. Both patterns instruct pigment cells to produce only eumelanin which gives a solid black coat color.

It is normal for ” broken down pigment” or older puppy coat to show reddish shades in some areas. A small number of black Miniature Schnauzers might have a seal pattern or show graying.

The AKC allows for a small white spot on the chest while the FCI does not tolerate residual white.

“Ideally, the black color in the topcoat is a true rich glossy color with the undercoat being less intense, a soft matting shade of black. […] A small white spot on the chest is permitted [..].”

AKC Breed Standard

Pure black with black undercoat.”

FCI Breed Standard

Black Miniature Schnauzer Nose Color

A dog’s nose gets its color only from its eumelanin pigment.

Dogs with a black-based pattern will always have a black nose. Also, any visible skin pigment like eye rims and lips and even the nails and paw pads will be black.

“[…] the nose must be solid black.”

AKC Breed Standard

“Well developed nose leather, always black

FCI Breed Standard

Black Miniature Schnauzer Eye Color

Eye color is determined by eumelanin color and pigment density.

A black Miniature Schnauzer with its black eumelanin typically has dark brown eyes.

“Eyes – Small, dark brown and deep-set.”

AKC Breed Standard

Eyes […] dark with lively expression.”

FCI Breed Standard

Black Miniature Schnauzer Coat Type

Miniature Schnauzers are double-coated with a wire-haired coat type.

Their topcoat is harsh and wiry with their leg furnishings a little longer and softer.




All Schnauzers are fixed for furnishings (F/F), they always have a beard and bushy eyebrows.

Some Miniature Schnauzers seem to be long-haired (l/l). And a few even have a curly variant (Cu/-).

“Coat: Double, with hard, wiry, outer coat and close undercoat. […]”

AKC Breed Standard

“The coat should be wiry, harsh, and dense. […] The hair on the limbs tends to be less harsh. […] Typical characteristics are the not too soft beard on the muzzle and the bushy eyebrows ...”

FCI Breed Standard

Black Miniature Schnauzer Genetics

Black Miniature Schnauzers typically have a black-based dominant black pattern.

But recessive black also occurs in this breed.

Basic Pattern

The A, K and E locus combined are responsible for a dog’s basic pattern. They tell pigment cells when and where to produce either eumelanin or phaeomelanin.

Most black Miniature Schnauzers have a dominant black pattern (E/- KB/-) .

But some of them are recessive black (E/- ky/ky a/a).

    • E/-
      • ky/ky
        • aw/-
          • agouti
            "pepper & salt"
        • at/-
          • tan points
            "black & silver"
        • a/a
          • recessive black
      • KB/-
        • dominant black
    • e/e
      • recessive red
        " white"

1) Dominant Black

doesn’t matter

dominant black

wild type

A Locus (Dominant Black)

Most traditional Mini Schnauzers have a aw/- or at/at genotype at their A locus.

However, dogs with dominant black do not express their A locus pattern so it doesn’t matter.

K Locus (Dominant Black)

A dominant black dog has at least one copy of KB.

K locus overrides a dog’s A locus pattern since it makes all pigment cells produce only eumelanin.

E Locus (Dominant Black)

At the E locus, there is either a wild-type E or sometimes a mask Em allele.

Both do not further affect a black dog’s color. What matters is that black Mini Schnuazers are never e/e.

2) Recessive Black

recessive black

wild type

wild type

A Locus (Recessive Black)

Miniature Schnauzers with a recessive black pattern are a/a at their A locus.

K Locus (Recessive Black)

recessive black dog can express his pattern (ky/ky).

E Locus (Recessive Black)

Both an E and Em do not affect a recessive black pattern.

What matters is that dogs are not e/e since this would override their solid black pattern.

Pigment Colors

Black Miniature Schnauzers have black eumelanin.

Some genes determine the actual colors in a dog’s pattern.



doesn’t matter


A solid black dog does not produce phaeomelanin.


Dogs with a B/- D/D genotype will produce black eumelanin.

Other Traits

Traditionally, Miniature Schnauzers do not have white markings or merle.

Some traits can modify a pattern by removing pigment or further modifying colors:




White Markings

Solid Miniature Schnauzers have a solid coat (S/S).

If they had piebald spotting (sP), they would be Parti Black & White.

Still, some black Schnauzers can have residual white markings.

“A small white spot on the chest is permitted, as is an occasional single white hair elsewhere on the body.”

AKC Breed Standard


Purebred black Miniature Schnauzers do not come in merle.


The FCI standards mentions “brown undercoat” as an off-color. Maybe this not only means rusting or sunbleaching but maybe refers to a seal pattern in black dogs?


Some Schnauzers in the US have progressive graying. This can produce an off-color in black dogs.

“The stripped portion is free from any fading or brown tinge.”

AKC Breed Standard

More Miniature Schnauzer Colors

Purebred Miniature Schnauzers come in other colors than black:

Black Miniature Schnauzer

Black Miniature Schnauzers are dominant black.

Pattern #1: E/- KB/- (dominant black)
Pattern #2: E/- ky/ky a/a (recessive black)
Eumelanin: B/- D/D (non-diluted black)

Salt & Pepper Miniature Schnauzer

A breed term for a black-based agouti pattern.

Pattern: E/- ky/ky aw/- (agouti)
Eumelanin: B/- D/D (non-diluted black)
Intensity: white

Black & Silver Miniature Schnauzer

A breed term for a black-based tan point pattern.

Pattern: E/- ky/ky at/at (tan point)
Eumelanin: B/- D/D (non-diluted black)
Intensity: white

White Miniature Schnauzer

A solid white recessive red pattern.

Pattern: e/e (recessive red)
Eumelanin: B/- D/D (non-diluted black)
Intensity: white

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