White mini schnauzers are a topic that always stir up a lot of discussion among lovers of the breed. As an owner of white mini schnauzers, let me walk you through the issue, and how it plays out in the Philippines.
The origins of the white mini schnauzer is hotly debated. You can research this online. In Europe, they say that whites really occurred naturally from the earliest days. In the United States, there are claims that other breeds, such as westies, have been introduced to create the white color.
Suffice it to say, however, that the FCI, under whose rules the Philippines operates, recognizes four mini schnauzer colors: salt and pepper, black and silver, black, and white. The whites can join conformation dog shows under FCI rules, which is why our two white miniature schnauzers, who we flew in from Poland, have both gone on to become the only white miniature schnauzer Philippine Grand Champions to date.
In the US, though, it’s a different story. The American Miniature Schnauzer Club only recognizes three mini schnauzer colors — salt and pepper, black and silver, and black — which means all whites may not join conformation shows at all. (Of course there are white mini schnauzers in the US, but they are cannot qualify for any conformation dog shows. However, they can be registered with the American Kennel Club).
Breeding practices also vary per country. In some European countries such as Germany, where the mother club of the breed is based, the inter-breeding of colors is not allowed. This means blacks cannot be bred with salt and peppers, etc. However, some countries allow intermixing of colors with very valid reasons, which is to ensure that the gene pool of the breed is not too narrow. The United States and most of Asia, for instance, allow the different schnauzer colors to be mixed.
So how do we, as breeders based in the Philippines, navigate this minefield?
For me, it’s fairly simple — I do not mix the whites with other colors. I consider them as a distinct breed, which is how the FCI recognizes them anyway. Note that the US mini schnauzer dog exhibitor community frowns upon the white mini schnauzer, because they question its ancestry. While the Philippines is under FCI jurisdiction, we personally recognize what the AMSC says and also respect American breeders’ sentiments. So as not to put the pedigrees of any of our puppies into question, especially among our American and Canadian co-breeders, I do not allow our white mini schnauzer to stand as stud for any mini schnauzer that is non-white. To those who I have said no to, please understand that this is about safeguarding the integrity of our breed, as well as our kennel.
By the way, note that you cannot create a white by mixing a white with a non-white, unless that one carries a white gene. So if someone sells you a white mini schnauzer, please do check out its pedigree.
Beyond these discussions, though, I can tell you that white mini schnauzers possess the same qualities that we love in all mini schnauzers. They are equally smart, alert, loyal, brave, and if you ask me, a bit on the yappy side. The white hair is easy to care for if you observe a regular bathing regimen, although staining of the beard can occasionally happen. That, of course, is just a small wrinkle in this wonderful dog who makes such a wonderful member of the family.