Miniature Schnauzer Colors. The Parti and Chocolate Schnauzer.

Outlaw Miniature Schnauzer Colors:
The Chocolate Schnauzer and Parti Schnauzer.

These Miniature Schnauzer colors existed in original German breeding lines, the Chocolate Schnauzer and Parti Schnauzer are outlaws in many Schnauzer circles.

Why Outlaws?

Well, for a start, these colors do not exist in the Standard Schnauzer, from which the Miniature was developed in the 1800s.

Interbreeding with Poodle, Miniature Pinscher, Affenpinscher and others was used to scale down Schnauzer size. This inadvertently brought new color genes into our Mini version that didn’t exist in Schnauzers previously.

Here we are talking primarily about the genes behind the Liver or Chocolate Schnauzer and the Parti colored Schnauzer.

So purists have historically rejected these “outlaw” Miniature Schnauzer colors so that they are disbarred from competing in the Show Dog arena.

Such color prejudice led to culling of these colors from breeding stock which makes them relatively rare today.

However, dogs displaying these colors can still be registered as purebred Mini Schnauzer stock and their popularity with pet owners is nurturing a revival in their numbers.

The Chocolate Schnauzer

The Chocolate Schnauzer – more correctly called the Liver Schnauzer – differs from most because it carries the gene for brown.

chocolate schnauzer pup


Solid Liver or Chocolate Schnauzer pup. Photo kindly donated by Praygein Schnauzers, Iowa, Schnauzer Lovers ForumMiniature Schnauzers can be either black based (with black skin, nose, pads and hair pigment) or brown based (with brown skin, nose, pads and hair pigment).
Only the black based colors are recognized in the Show Ring – Salt and Pepper, Black, and Black and Silver.

To compound their rarity, the gene that codes for brown based coloring is recessive to the black based coloring.

That means both parents must carry and pass this gene to their puppies to get this coloring.

Very pale chocolate schnauzer

Because of additional genes that code for coat color fading, and coat color masking, there is a range of Liver or Chocolate Schnauzer coloring intensity.


A pale liver or “Wheaten” pup
They can be any hue from very dark Liver to pale wheaten cream, or, if their color is masked, pure white (the so-called White Chocolate). All, however, will have brown skin, nose etc.

The Parti Schnauzer

Black parti puppy
Yet another gene (there are several!) that influences Miniature Schnauzer colors is the Parti gene.


Salt and Pepper Parti Pup. Photo kindly donated by Praygein Schnauzers, Iowa, Schnauzer Lovers Forum
This is, again, a recessive gene that codes for “broken color”. As such it can modify any of the other colors.

So all Breed Standard accepted black based colors can come in Parti versions, as well as all the basic brown based colors.

Parti denotes any color on a pure white background.

The pattern can be in the form of large saddles of color, as a splattering of colored freckles, or both, anywhere on the body.

You can also have a pure white dog that is genetically actually a Parti whose color expression is being covered up by a masking gene.

As is the case when this occurs in the Liver or Chocolate Schnauzer, the only sign is skin pigmentation.

Breeders of Partis in Europe are the “Piebald Mustache Club”.



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