Miniature Schnauzer Color Chart

An overview of Miniature Schnauzer colors and their genetics.

D/- B/-
non-diluted black
tan points
recessive black
wild type

wild type
Miniature Schnauzer Color Chart kyky aw pepper and salt
“salt & pepper”
Miniature Schnauzer Color Chart E kyky at black and silver
tan points
“black & silver”
Miniature Schnauzer Color Chart black solid
recessive black
wild type

dominant black
Miniature Schnauzer Color Chart black solid
dominant black
Miniature Schnauzer Color Chart black solid
dominant black
Miniature Schnauzer Color Chart black solid
dominant black
recessive red
Miniature Schnauzer Color Chart recessive red ee white
recessive red
Miniature Schnauzer Color Chart recessive red ee white
recessive red
Miniature Schnauzer Color Chart recessive red ee white
recessive red

Miniature Schnauzer Color Overview

A short discussion of breed standard patterns in the Miniature Schnauzer:

Black Miniature Schnauzer

Black Miniature Schnauzers are most often dominant black (KB). But recessive black (ky/ky a/a) was also found in this breed.

Both produce a solid black coat.

Dominant Black:


Recessive Black:


White Miniature Schnauzer

White Miniature Schnauzers (only accepted by the FCI) are recessive red with a very pale red intensity.

This gives a solid white coat.


Salt & Pepper Miniature Schnauzer

Miniature Schnauzer Color Chart salt pepper overview

The breed term “salt & pepper” refers to a black-based agouti pattern with a very pale red intensity, creating the illusion of a gray coat.

Agouti gives banded hairs on the dogs body, legs and face. The pattern includes some clear markings on the cheeks, chest, or lower legs.


Black & White Miniature Schnauzer

The breed term “black & silver” refers to a black-based tan point pattern with a very pale phaeomelanin intensity in their tan markings.

This pattern is similar to agouti.

But instead of banded hairs, these dogs produce a solid black body coat. This creates a sharp contrast to their clear silver markings or “points“.


Miniature Schnauzer Color Genetics Summary

These are color traits that occur in Miniature Schnauzer:

E-LOCUSEm = melanistic mask
E = normal pattern
e = recessive red
K-LOCUSKB = dominant black
kbr = brindle
ky = normal pattern
A-LOCUSAy = sable
aw = agouti
at = tan points 
a = recessive black
B-LOCUSB = black eumelanin
b = brown eumelanin
D-LOCUSD = normal pigment
wheaten, tan, red
GrayingG = progressive graying
g = no graying
S-LOCUSS = solid
sP = white spotting
M-LOCUSm = non-merle
M* = merle

Miniature Schnauzer Colors

What colors do Miniature Schnauzers come in?


All standard-colored Miniature Schnauzers are fixed for black eumelanin (B/B).

However, chocolate brown (b/b) is popular in color breeding.


The phaeomelanin in Schnauzers was selected to be as light as possible. This is why all their patterns with phaeomelanin (agouti, tan point, recessive red) come with white or silver pigment.

Other breeds show the same patterns with a lot more intense colors like cream, yellow, or red.

Progressive Graying

Some salt and pepper Miniature Schnauzers show obvious signs of graying.

This causes their black hair banding ito fade into a uniform light gray coat. Very strong graying can go so far as to produce what color breeders call a “platinum silver Miniature Schnauzer“.

White Spotting

Officially, there is no white spotting in Miniature Schnauzers.

Some breeders produce “parti” Miniature Schnauzers with white markings.


There is no merle in purebred Schnauzers.

But of course it was introduced into this breed to produce fancy colors.

Eye Color

Miniature Schnauzers with a black-based pattern will mostly have dark brown eyes.

If the dog has liver brown pigment, his eyes might be a lighter honey or yellow.

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

“Eyes […] dark with lively expression”
FCI Breed Standard

Nose Color

Dogs that produce black eumelanin will also have a black nose.

And chocolate Miniature Schnauzers will have a brown nose.

“[…] the nose must be solid black.”
AKC Breed Standard

“Well developed nose leather, always black.”
FCI Breed Standard

Miniature Schnauzer Patterns

What patterns can a Miniature Schnauzer have?

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

A Locus

Most Miniature Schnauzers come in either agouti “salt and pepper” (aw/-) or tan point “black and silver” (at/-). And some solid black Schnauzers are recessive black (a/a).

Very few Minis have a sable variant (Ay) which produces a faulty pattern with a mostly silver coat and maybe some dark hair tipping on their back.

K Locus

Dogs that express their A locus pattern are ky/ky.

Most black Miniature Schnauzers are dominant black (KB/-). This overrides any A locus pattern they have and makes all their hair pigment cells produce only eumelanin.

Apparently, brindle (kbr/-) has also been introduced via color breeding.

E Locus

Most Miniature Schnauzres are E/E at their E locus. This has no effect on their coat color other than just allowing their pattern to express. Some Schnauzers have a black mask (Em/-) on top of their pattern.

Recessive red (e/e) causes a solid phaeomelanic coat since dogs can not produce any black in their hairs. And with phaeomelanin being bred for a very very light intensity, these dogs are solid white.

A recessive red pattern will always override whatever a dog has on its A and K locus.

Mismarks and Fancy Colors

Miniature Schnauzers come in a variety of coat colors that are not officially recognized. Some of these off-colors have always been in the breed, others were brought in from other breeds.

  • Parti Miniature Schnauzer (white spotting sP)
  • Liver Miniature Schnauzer (brown eumelanin b/b)
  • Merle Miniature Schnauzer (merle pattern M*)
  • Sable Miniature Schnauzer (sable pattern Ay)
  • Brindle Miniature Schnauzer (brindle kbr)
  • Wheaten Miniature Schnauzer (cream, yellow or red phaeomelanin intensity)
  • Platinum Silver Miniature Schnauzer (agouti + progressive graying)

Learn More


[1] American Kennel Club (AKC)Official Standard for the Miniature Schnauzer (pdf)

[2] Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI)Minature Schnauzer Breed Standard (pdf)

[3] Dreger et al. (2019). True Colors: Commercially-acquired morphological genotypes reveal hidden allele variation among dog breeds, informing both trait ancestry and breed potential. PLoS ONE 14(10): e0223995.