Thinking about adopting? Consider an older dog. Click
here and read about Misty, a touching story of an older rescue
who made a difference in the lives of those that loved her.
The Miniature Schnauzer Connection does not recommend a single
rescue contact for Miniature Schnauzers or one rescue over any other.
Not all rescues have their dogs Vet Checked before placing them;
therefore they cannot guarantee excellent health or even reasonably
good health without having seen a Vet. It is up to you to determine
if the Rescue organization you are dealing with is in fact responsible.
Having the dogs Vet checked and disclosing any condition they might
have plus where the dog came from is one way the organization promotes
their responsibility. When searching for a Miniature Schnauzer rescue
first go to AMSC
and find the Rescue contact in your area. There are many other Rescue
organizations that have wonderful dogs, sometimes Miniature Schnauzers.
Check your local Shelter, the Amanda Foundation, or any responsible
It is advisable for anyone searching to ask questions and consider
the answers before adopting from a particular rescue. The answers
to these questions may or may not affect your decision, however
they should be considered.
Is the Rescue affiliated with any highly regarded organization?
In the case of the Miniature Schnauzer, the AMSC
or a Local Club. All breed rescues might be affiliated with
Pet Smart, or have many well-known organizations involved, such
as your local shelter or the Amanda foundation, etc.
What is the charge for a rescue and what are the funds used
for? ASK this question! Sometimes the cost of a rescue is determined
by the amount of care the dog has received. Sometimes the cost
is the same for every dog and the fee goes to a fund to help
all the dogs, some needing more care than others. Sometimes
it is the age that determines the cost or if the dog is pure
bred. Average is $125.00 To $150.00 and on occasion a bit more.
Generally this is collected as a tax-deductible donation.
Does the rescue provide a monetary refund during a reasonable
time of adjustment for the dog? Is that time reasonable to you?
(72 hours may not be long enough, 3 weeks might be). ASK ABOUT
THEIR POLICIES, READ THEIR CONTRACTS.
Do they spay/neuter? Do they collect a "refundable"
deposit for later spay/neuter in the case of a puppy? It is
the law in California that a rescue MUST be spay/neutered
before placement, unless too young, at which time a refundable
deposit is required.
Is the Kennel clean and are the dogs housed properly? Do they
allow visitors? Do they have regular business hours? All these
questions are important if the rescue is reputable.
Does the rescue attempt to determine the temperament of the
dog? Re; does it get along with other dogs, children, etc?
Are the dog's reasonably groomed, clean teeth and up to date
Are the dogs Veterinarian checked with a certificate stating
the date and the results? If NOT, what are the rescue's policies
Are the special needs dogs disclosed? Heart problems, diabetic,
etc. It is important for you and the dog to have this disclosure.
Are the people at the rescue knowledgeable, friendly, helpful
and courteous? They should be knowledgeable about breeds they
rescue, friendly, helpful and always courteous.
Does the rescue insist that if at any time you cannot keep
the dog it be returned to them? They should require this. Actually,
ANY responsible breeder should also require this.
Does the Rescue encourage volunteering at their facility? Some
Rescues encourage people to help out. Sometimes socializing
with the dogs, cleaning up, helping with simple training or
even becoming a foster parent to a dog until it finds its forever
home. While these are not necessary things for a Rescue to do
it is definitely acceptable.
Here are some answers to frequently asked questions (FAQ).
How soon after I get my rescue should I take him/her to the
Even though your dog may have recently checked by the Rescue's
Vet it is advisable to take it for an exam shortly after you get
it. It may be a requirement from some Rescues.
What should I expect the first week?
You should be prepared for most anything, timid behavior, not wanting
to eat, shaking, cowering, wanting to hide, boldness, urinating
on everything. For the most part, most dogs settle in quite nicely
in a short time. Remember that they are in a new place, new smells,
and new people. It takes time to adjust. Your new dog is in a new
place with strangers around him, so you might expect a bit of nervousness.
Keep the leash on the dog until he settles in and comes to you readily
- he can drag it around, but this gives you a quick and less frightening
way to get hold of the dog. The use of a dog crate is highly suggested.
The dogs use it for their very own den/security blanket. Keep the
dog in the crate or a secure room when you can't be with him. If
you are going to be gone for a number of hours, then secure the
dog in a crate or in a run (with shelter) or in a room, always leave
How are rescues with children?
Adult dogs, which have not been raised around children often, don't
understand them and are very defensive. Toddlers are unrelenting
in their desire to hug and kiss the dog, and won't back off when
the dog tries to get away for a time out. Preteens often play loud
roughhouse games, which confuse the dog, try to avoid that situation.
People who have toddlers should look for an older puppy that is
strong enough to weather the advances and behavior of the youngster,
yet understanding and not aggressive. Some of the dogs with a history
of liking preteen children are fine; however, there should be an
indoctrination period to any of these circumstances so no one gets
accidentally hurt during their rowdy games.
What age do I look for, and why?
That is a difficult question. Keep in mind that age and behavior
often do not go hand in hand. The dogs are all individuals and are
all different. Dogs have learned behaviors. This is the biggest
reason you should go to visit with the dog and see if it fits your
personality and situation. Miniature Schnauzers have a long life
expectancy (12-15 yrs.) Some dogs are old when they are born and
some never get old.
How do I introduce a new rescue to the other dogs in the house?
Bring your other dog(s) with you, on a leash, to meet the rescue
dogs on neutral ground if the rescue allows this. You can tell almost
immediately if they are going to get along. The leash is a good
control so no one gets hurt should they just not like each other.
If you can not bring your other dogs to the rescue try to introduce
them on neutral ground somewhere else. A neighbors yard if you have
approval, then take them home together. Always keep all the dogs
on a leash when they are getting to know each other. If you have
other dogs, please take a dog crate so that there will not be problems
in the car on the way home. When you get home, remember that jealousy
can cause hard feelings. Therefore, continue giving your other dog
lots of petting and attention so he won't feel he is being replaced.
The new dog won't be used to having all this from you, so he won't
feel left out. Little by little your other dog will allow you more
time with the new dog without resentment. Also remember that there
must be pecking order for there to be peace. The dogs will work
this out with your help and patience. Keep a keen eye on them to
see that no one gets hurt. Patience is your best approach.
Will an older dog bond with me like a puppy would?
Most times they certainly do. However it may take a bit longer
depending on the dogs past. There is fear associated with displacement.
Give your pet lots of love and remember to be patient.
How soon can I take my new dog for walks and outings?
As soon as you have determined the dog knows YOU as his new owner
and does not try to pull away from you. IF the dog does not recognize
you as his own, he would more then likely run if he was frightened
and somehow escaped from you. Sometimes a harness is better to start
with, Schnauzers have been known to pull out of their collars. You
can start walking them on a lead in a secure area like a fenced
in baseball diamond when you feel they are ready. Once you are confident
take them where ever you go! Always keep them securely leashed,
and as with all dogs, NEVER leave them unattended in a car or tied
up in a public place.
How long should I expect housebreaking to a new home to take
It will vary with each dog. Remember that you don't know exactly
what their potty habits were before they came to you. There could
be accidents, be prepared. All dogs mark their territory by urinating.
YOU want this territory to be your yard, NOT inside your house.
If you have had other dogs that have made mistakes inside your house,
the new dog will more then likely find these areas and want to mark
there. Clean all the old spots as good as possible, you can purchase
products that help to eliminate odor. Teach your new dog the RIGHT
place to go, outside! How do you teach that to your new dog? When
you go home with the new dog, keep it on a leash. Go first to the
yard or the area where the dog will potty. Follow them around for
a while and allow them to mark their new place. Praise them highly
each time they perform, and get acquainted with their posture as
they start to mark. Then go in the house (still on the leash). Start
walking throughout the house, letting the dog check out doorjambs,
drapes, stereos, bedspreads, etc. You can expect almost every dog
to try to mark the first available object they come to. Be ready
to give the dog an immediate firm command and gentle tug on the
leash if he starts posturing, and say NO or OFF, in a firm voice.
Continue through the house, correcting when necessary. Go back outside
again, and praise for performance. Leave the leash on the dog (for
a day or two) so you can get hold of him if necessary without making
him defensive. Take him out hourly at first to the place you want
him to go, and keep a close eye on him, and crate him when you can't
watch him, or keep him in a secure room. It is easiest to train
if you crate at night, and take him outside first thing in the morning.
Dogs generally won't wet or dirty their crate (den) unless of course,
they have been in there too long! If you are consistent with this
the first few days, You will eventually be able to trust him for
longer periods of time, and ultimately never have a "mistake".
I used a crate for my other dogs. Is it harder for a rescue
to adapt if they've never been crated?
Yes, it can be, nonetheless, crates are a wonderful training aid,
but should never be used for a jail or punishment. Instead it is
their safe place. Schnauzers are dogs that are frequently groomed
and spend time at the grooming shop in a cage. So most are already
used to the concept. It is people who have a hard time with the
concept of crating. The dogs usually love their crates and will
often go into them on their own to nap. If your dog is not use to
a crate it may cry at first, especially at night. Keep the crate
close to you at night and reassure the dog that you are there. Have
Patience; they will eventually love their crate bed.
My rescue has diarrhea. Is this normal?
Not always, it can depend on the dog and what it has been through.
Changes in water, food, and stress levels all can contribute. Use
bottled water for a while. Make every effort to use the food the
dog was eating, or put on a bland food (lamb & rice). It is
always wise to change foods gradually (over 3-5 days). Try to keep
extra stress out of things if possible by staying positive and patient
with the dog. Try to make things fun instead of using force. If
it continues consult your Vet.
My rescue only sleeps during the day and is up all night. Is
Dogs can readily adapt to our schedules with a little management.
If the dog is not walked or exercised during the day he will choose
to sleep. Spend more time playing during the day. He will eventually
adapt. Crate your dog at night and he will rest.
The above suggestions and opinions are an accumulation from many
sources. As dogs and their personalities vary so do the ways in
which someone may approach a particular situation. The suggestions
and opinions stated here are offered to be an added help to people
and their new rescues. Be aware that there are many excellent sites
devoted to rescue dogs.
It is always best to first seek advice from your veterinarian or
a professional dog trainer.
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