Updated: Apr 16, 2019
Buying a miniature schnauzer puppy is a big deal and an approximately 15-year commitment. Once you decide that a miniature schnauzer is the right breed for you, before you buy your puppy, you have some work to do to make sure that you are choosing a good breeder.
How does one know if a breeder is a "good breeder?" There are several simple things to look for :
1. The breeder is knowledgeable about the breed and about the puppy's parents. He/she knows the breed personality as well as their potential health problems. He/she should be able to confidently advise you about how to best care for your pup to prevent health problems from occurring (diabetes and pancreatitis are 2 examples of common miniature schnauzer health problems).The breeder should be able to answer all of your questions-- and you SHOULD ask many questions.
2. The breeder has references from other breeders. Particularly with a purebred pup most breeders have a breeder network that knows about the quality of their puppies and can provide a reliable reference.
3. The breeder performs all necessary health testing for the breed. The Orthopedic Foundation for Animals has a website where responsible breeders and buyers can easily find a list of tests that should be done on the dam and sire prior to breeding to rule out common inheritable health problems.https://www.ofa.org/recommended-tests?breed=MSC&var=. Particular to miniature schnauzers, OFA certification requires DNA testing for myotonia congenita, they need an eye exam by a veterinary ophthamologist and, more recently, they need a formal cardiac exam by a veterinary cardiologist.
4. The pups are AKC-registered. AKC registration alone does not guarantee a healthy dog but it does indicate that both of the parents and several generations back have been registered as purebred by the AKC.
If you buy a pup that is not AKC-registered, you risk buying a mixed breed or even a pup that was deemed unfit for breeding by the breeder when it was sold. Case in point: Some registries only require a picture of the dog for the dog to be registered.
5. The breeder is more than happy to introduce you to the dam and sire so that you can see their temperaments. If you meet the dam and sire and have any concerns, it is probably a good time to step back and consider going with a different breeder. With miniature schnauzers, observe the parents for any signs of aggression as this will likely show up in the pup as it ages.
6. Do not ever be offended if a breeder has questions for you-- and maybe a lot of them. A good breeder is interested in the welfare of the puppies after they have gone to their forever homes. He or she should care to spend time getting to know you and make sure that you are a good fit for the pup as well as the other way around.
7. The pups should never leave mom before 8 weeks. If a breeder is selling before 8 weeks, buyer beware! This is harmful for the puppy and illegal in most states.
8. When you buy your pup, it should be up to date on shots and deworming. It should have a clean bill of health from a reputable veterinarian.
This list is certainly not exhaustive but it is a good start. If you have any questions for me or about other breeders please feel free to contact me at email@example.com.