Responsible Breeders and Healthy Puppies
The best place to find a quality dog is from a responsible breeder.
This breeder seeks to breed sound, healthy, well-adjusted dogs free
from genetic problems. These breeders devote much time learning
about the breed & study pedigree, temperament, health, genes,
color and size before deciding which animals are likely to produce
the best offspring. Responsible breeders try to conform as closely
as possible to the official Breed Standard adopted by the American
Miniature Schnauzer Club and the American
A breeder may decide to keep some of the litter for show. The rest
of the litter will be available as nice pets. All of the pups in
the litter receive the same love, care, feeding and medical attention
- unlike commercially raised pups (which have been kept in deplorable
conditions & shipped from hundreds of miles away).
Responsible breeders are concerned about the welfare of the dogs
they breed and will be available if you need advice or help in the
years to come. Don't be surprised if the breeder questions YOU closely
about who will care for the dog, whether it will be left alone all
day, whether your yard is fenced, etc. and even tells you what food
to buy. Responsible breeders want to be sure you will care for the
dog as well as they do.
If you'd like an older dog, ask around. Breeders are limited in
number of animals they can keep and occasionally need to find a
home for an adult dog they have shown or bred. Expect breeders to
be just as choosy about finding good homes for such dogs as they
are for puppies.
Buying a Puppy
We strongly urge all buyers of puppies or adult dogs of any breed
to become knowledgeable before buying. Visit some dog shows, talk
to a number of breeders, and visit the premises of a few before
buying, so that you will know what your choices are and the prices
and terms available. Be sure to ask if the breeder has experienced
any serious health problems in any of their puppies in the past
Be aware that young puppies (like human babies) are very susceptible
to diseases before their immunity is fully developed. For that reason,
it is important not to expose them to other animals until they have
received their full series of vaccinations. Your veterinarian can
give you further advice in that regard.
Points to Consider Before Buying a Miniature Schnauzer
A dog is a commitment for its entire life. It requires a well-balanced
diet, regular vaccinations, brushing & toenail clipping,
ear cleaning, regular dental care, adequate exercise, shelter
from the elements, and lots of love and attention. Miniature
Schnauzers must be combed and brushed frequently and also need
periodic clipping or hand-stripping.
Young children must be supervised around this breed. If a child
hurts or frightens the dog, it may retaliate in the only way
it can - by biting - with potentially serious injury to the
This breed tends to be quite healthy, but medical treatment
can be expensive, just as for humans. Diseases like parvovirus
can require hospitalization and intensive care. Hereditary disorders,
broken bones, and swallowed objects can require major surgery.
If you will balk at spending several hundred dollars in the
event of a medical emergency, reconsider getting a dog.
Dogs must be supervised. Leaving a dog outside all day unattended,
will likely result in barking, and complaints by neighbors,
possibly fines and civil penalties. Also, someone may deliberately
injure or poison the dog. Miniature Schuzners are an indoor
breed and need companionship.
Should I get a puppy, an adolescent, or an adult - and which sex?
Each age range has its advantages and disadvantages.
Puppies are the cutest & the most appealing, but are the
most expensive and the most work. They also tend to be the most
destructive: they dig and chew. Just like babies, they must
be watched to be sure they don't ingest things that will harm
them & that they don't destroy valuables. They also need
inoculations every two or three weeks until they are about four
months old. Don't buy a pup that has been separated from its
mother before eight weeks of age. Early separation can deprive
a pup of the very critical period of emotional development.
Adolescents (5 to 12 months old) tend to look awkward but they
have completed their shots & worming and they are mature
enough to begin training. It's also easier to evaluate what
the adult personality may be like at this time.
With adults, what you see is what you get. Adult Mini Schnauzers
generally bond well with new owners who give them love &
care. Even those who are aloof or timid at first usually bond
well within two-three weeks. Adults from shelters or rescue
programs often respond well to just a little love and care,
but be cautious about adopting an animal that shows aggressive
tendencies unless you have had dogs before and are confident
in your ability to handle a difficult dog.
Whether to buy a male or female is a matter of personal preference.
Personality differs much more from animal to animal than it
does by sex.
Puppy Referral and Rescue
We will be happy to provide you with names and phone numbers of
responsible breeders in your area who may have pups for sale. Another
option is to adopt a Mini-Schnauzer, which has been rescued from
an animal shelter or from a person who is no longer able to keep
the dog. The rescue service should make sure that the animals are
in reasonably good health, have them neutered, and groom them before
placing them. The rescue service should help you choose a dog that
fits your family and should advise you on training and adjustment.
Refer to the Rescue page to learn more.
Prices and Terms
There are no fixed prices. Each breeder sets his/her own prices
and terms. Shop around to make sure you get the dog you want at
a fair price.
It is not uncommon for a breeder to withhold the AKC papers until
you present evidence of having had the animal neutered. You may
request a photocopy of the registration to assure the litter has
been properly registered. Then you may obtain the original when
the neutering is completed. They may give you a "limited registration"
which certifies that the animal is registered with the American
Kennel Club but which will not allow you to register offspring of
the animal you buy. Both procedures are designed to avoid having
pet quality animals bred, thus adding to the animal overpopulation
problem. Occasionally, a breeder may ask you to sign a contract
by which you agree to breed the animal and return some or all of
the puppies to the seller. Think carefully and get advice
before signing any such contract.
Many people refer to the newspaper to find a puppy. Occasionally
you might find a reputable person, however, more then likely you
will not. You will find Back Yard Breeders and sometimes Brokers.
The people that advertise in the newspapers generally charge less
for their puppies but have no experience concerning the health of
their dogs. They breed to anyone’s dog that is willing, and do not
know the health history of their dog or the dogs they breed to.
They normally sell the puppies too young and do not have the experience
to properly socialize them. They generally cannot give you any guarantees
because they do not have the information to do so and do not care.
They will advertise “AKC Registered Puppies”; AKC is only a registering
Organization and no way implies to the quality of the puppy you
are purchasing. It is better to pay a little more for the puppy
that will share your life for many years and know exactly what its
health history is. Regardless of how wonderful the people are you
are taking a chance by purchasing from a Back Yard Breeder or a
Absolutely NO responsible and reputable breeder
will ever sell or place their puppies in a pet shop.
The puppies in pet shops are from Puppy Mills. The Mills are located
all over the country and keep their dogs in deplorable conditions.
The puppies are sold to the pet shops for a fraction of the cost
they charge you. One of the reasons is because they loose many
of them to illness. By purchasing from a pet shop you are sentencing
the mother of these puppies to life in a cage, being bred cycle
after cycle to make money for the owners. Most of the people that
work in these types of shops are inexperienced and have no idea
how to care for a pet. They will never be of any help to you should
you have questions. DO NOT ever consider this an option as a place
to obtain a healthy puppy.
Please read Prisoners
for Profit by Rachel A. Lamb, Director for Companion Animal
Care at The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) in Washington,
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