Meet the tiny dog with dwarfism that will be a puppy for life

Melissa Buttigieg
News Reporter

A Melbourne couple were heartbroken to learn their mini schnauzer will remain a puppy for the rest of her life due to a form of dwarfism that stopped the pooch from growing.

It was love at first sight for Tania Kinman, 30, and Alex Schloss, 31, who were “smitten” when they brought Pipi home on March 3 this year.

But four months later, a routine visit to the vet uncovered some devastating news.

Pipi went to get spayed but the vet was very worried as Pipi is very small for a six-month-old puppy,” Ms Kinman told Yahoo7.

Mini schnauzer Pipi will remain a puppy for the rest of her life. Source: Tania Kinman

Now, at almost nine-months old, Pipi only weighs 3.7kgs and has stopped growing.

The adorable white fluff ball was diagnosed with a rare endocrine disorder called congenital hypothyroidism, as a result of an underdeveloped thyroid gland that failed to produce enough hormones to help the pup grow.

Last Sunday the Carlton North couple were delivered a second blow, with the vet giving Pipi a three-year life expectancy.

Ms Kinman described Pipi as looking more like a west Highland terrier than a schnauzer. She said the condition also caused a mental impairment, describing her adorable pooch as “a bit slow sometimes”.

Alex Schloss, 31, and Tania Kinman, 30, were smitten when they brought Pipi home in March. Source: Tania Kinman

Before the diagnosis the pet owner had plans for Pipi to become a therapy dog and to volunteer at the Royal Children’s Hospital, but said it was unlikely the pup would pass the rigorous therapy dog testing due to her mental impairment.

Learning Pipi was not expected to live much more than two more years was “very heartbreaking” for Ms Kinman, but she and her partner were determined to remain positive. 

They have set up an Instagram account @pipsqueak_pipi to share Pipi’s journey with the world in the time they have left with her.

“We will turn this into a positive learning lesson from the universe to really appreciate each day and to put our phones down and live in the moment,” Ms Kinman wrote on Instagram on behalf of Pipi.

“Plus my parents are super lucky because they get to have a cute forever puppy!”


Despite the bad news, Pipi has responded well to her thyroid medication, with noticeable signs of feeling better everyday.

“For now I’ll continue to spread my positive energy through Instagram and to every single [person] I meet on the street (who I force to pat me),” Pipi’s Instagram account said.

“Thank you all for your love and positivity, you guys have all been so amazing throughout this medical mystery rollercoaster.”