If you’re not sure yet that this is the breed for you, contact some breeders and visit the adult dogs in their homes. Or go see them at the Schnauzer Walk or a dog show and talk to the owner or breeders there.
Once you’ve made the decision that you want a Miniature Schnauzer in your home, you still have a choice of whether to get a puppy or an adult dog. Puppies are wonderful, but they are babies and need lots of attention and training. If you’re not sure you have the time to commit, an older dog might be for you. Many times breeders have older dogs available that they’ve decided to place in new homes. Or if you’d like to see if there’s a rescue dog available, contact the Miniature Schnauzer rescue organizations.
Buy from a Responsible Breeder
Reputable breeders are concerned about the welfare of the puppies they place and carefully screen prospective owners to assure that the puppy or dog is suited to the new home.
Reputable breeders have their dogs checked for hereditary diseases to assure that they don’t inadvertently breed a dog with one of these problems. Schnauzers are one of the healthiest breeds and routinely live to 13-15 years, but do have occasional eye problems, bladder problems, and pancreatitis. They also have a tendency to tartar problems with their teeth and should have their teeth cleaned regularly.
Reputable breeders will raise the puppies with lots of dog and human socialization, and will never place a puppy before it is at least 8 weeks of age.
Reputable breeders have years of experience with their breed and can counsel new owners on all aspects of raising a new puppy, from house training to obedience classes to grooming. They may be able to give you the names of good groomers and trainers in your area.
Reputable breeders feel that they are responsible for puppies they bring into this world, so if the new owner at any time cannot keep the dog, they will take it back and make sure it is placed in another loving home. Most reputable breeders expect pet puppies they sell to be spayed or neutered and sell them with an AKC limited registration.
AKC Breeder of Merit Program
AKC has a program to recognize breeders who go the extra mile. The Breeder of Merit Program honors breeder/exhibitors’ dedication and hard work as they continue to produce dogs that are healthy, capable, and beautiful.
- Has a history of at least 5 years involvement with AKC events
- Earned at least 4 Conformation, Performance or Companion event titles on dogs they bred/co-bred
- Member of an AKC club
- Certifies that applicable health screens are performed on the sire and dam as recommended by the Parent Club. Health testing can be confirmed at the CHIC database.
- Demonstrates a commitment to ensuring 100% of the puppies produced are AKC registered.
More information on the Breeder of Merit program can be found at www.akc.org/breederofmerit.
Canine Health Information Center (CHIC)
The Canine Health Information Center has been set up to assist breeders in assuring that they are breeding healthy dogs.
The CHIC database is a tool that collects health information on individual animals from multiple sources. This centralized pool of data is maintained to assist breeders in making more informed breeding choices, and for scientists in conducting research. In order for data to be included in CHIC, test results must be based on scientifically valid diagnostic criteria.
A CHIC number is issued when test results are entered into the database satisfying each breed specific requirement, and when the owner of the dog has opted to release the results into the public domain. The CHIC number itself does not imply normal test results, only that all the required breed specific tests were performed and the results made publicly available.
A CHIC report is issued at the same time as the CHIC number. The CHIC report is a consolidated listing of the tests performed, the age of the dog when the tests were performed, and the corresponding test results.
This database has only been in existence a few years, and more dogs are always being added to the list.