Breeder Research - Miniature Schnauzer

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AliceGrimm
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Location: Pennsylvania

Breeder Research - Miniature Schnauzer

Post by AliceGrimm » Sun Nov 20, 2016 12:30 pm

Firstly, I am not planning on getting a puppy (or puppies in my case, I am wanting to get two) right away. While I do want two puppies, I have NO intention of breeding myself. I am thinking sometime Summer 2017 or later. I want to make sure I do all my research on vets, training, the breed, nutrition,etc. I have been researching Breeders as well. And I found I am running into issues. I know puppies are lots of responsibility and I am determined and know I can handle that. But I am still very new at the world of buying/adopting puppies. I understand the importance of buying from a reputable breeder. But I am also so very confused. Now I am still looking for more breeders and I am still reaching out to contact them. There are a few I haven't reached out to yet, but I will.

So I am looking for two companions for a lifetime. I do not plan on breeding or having a show dog. But I choose the Miniature Schnauzer because of its temperament, its size, it lack of shedding, while small it is still big enough to talk long walks with me, and that they are incredibly loving and people dogs, among many other things. However, when trying to find a reputable breeder I have found I have some concerns:

Concern 1:
So my first problem is.. AKC only recognizes three standard colors of the Miniature Schnauzer. Black, Salt and Pepper, and Black and Silver. In the UK white is also recognized. There is an argument that if a dog is another color besides those three, they are not purebreds and have been bred with another dog to get those colors, and thus are sort of designer like dogs. So selective breeding to make this breed look a certain way color-wise. Likewise, there is an argument that those colors are recessive genes. For example, in my family some members of my family has blue eyes. While I do not have blue eyes, it could be passed down gene wise.

I absolutely love the standard colors, and I don't particularly care about what color my future puppies will be. I do however care about personality, temperament and health. So, I feel I am reasonably worried that if this is a case that people are breeding just to get the dog to look a certain way, would compromise the health of the dog.

Question 1:
Is this a recessive gene or is this basically designer breeding?

I am still looking into other breeders and I am still asking questions. I still have others that I need to contact and those I need to ask more questions from. However, this question or concern came up because one breeder I have been talking with (and who is extremely nice and patient with all my questions) has dogs that are not standard breed colors. Overall, I like her, but there are just a few things that worry me.

1. The colors of her dogs and if that means that the dogs may end up with health issues or personality issues.
2. I am also concerned because she has only been breeding since 2013, and since she breeds once a year and has been doing two dogs, that is 5-6 litters total.
3. And I am needing her to clarify exactly what sort of health checks she does and what that contains.

These are a few of her answers to my questions on Health, Registration and Socialization:

Health:
The health care that our puppies receive is as follows: at 2-5 days old, they visit our vet to have their tails docked and dew claws removed. We deworm them at 4, 6, and 8 weeks (and longer if they don’t go home at 8 weeks). We vaccinate them around 7 weeks. They visit the vet again around 6-7 weeks for a health check. At that time, my vet gives a health certificate for each puppy. We also typically do a litter fecal sample at this point to rule out any worms or parasites.

As far as the parent’s health records, I have them all and could show you whatever you would like to see. We typically take our dogs for a yearly health check and ultrasounds for our females. We do our own deworming and vaccinating for all our dogs and puppies. We also use Frontline for fleas. We have not done any health screenings or tests on the adults. We purchased our dogs from breeders we trusted. All of them were long-time mini schnauzer breeders. We have no reason to believe that any of our dogs have any genetic issues.

As far as the health guarantee, we have never had anyone use any part of the 30 day or the one year. We have been blessed with very healthy puppies! The one issue that happened to one of our puppies was that he developed coccidia (internal parasite) within two weeks of going home. We offered to pay for the treatment (even though our guarantee does not cover parasites), but the family said it was a low-cost, one time medicine and they understood coccidia is a common condition often brought on by stress in puppies. None of the other puppies in the litter had coccidia, and none of our adult dogs had it. The puppy recovered with one simple treatment and is very healthy.

In regards to the dental treatment, small dogs are prone to dental issues with very small mouths. We chose not to cover those expenses because sometimes they are simply cosmetic preferences. The only dental issue we’ve ever had with our dogs is retained puppy teeth. This happened with both Jolly and Cocoa, but not Cooper. Jolly and Cocoa had a baby tooth stay in while the adult tooth started to grow. We gave them bones to chew on – especially real ham bones – and that was enough to work the baby tooth out. We never had to seek any veterinary care for the retained tooth, and it hasn’t caused any dental further dental issues. Both Jolly and Cooper have nice, correct bites. Cocoa has a level bite (not an underbite), which is not ideal, but it has not caused any problems for her. Our vet felt that because she is healthy otherwise and both her parents had correct bites, it is okay to breed her with a male with a correct bite. None of the puppies from her first litter have reported a level bite.

Registration:
Yes, your puppy(s) will be AKC registered. You will receive an application for registration at time of pick up.

Temperament/Socialization:
Yes, we will help you pick a puppy with a good temperament for you. There personalities really begin shining through around 4-5 weeks, which is when we allow people to pick puppies. However, sometimes, depending on your place on the list, you won’t have much of a picking choice. Truly, all our puppies are well-socialized and with correct training (puppy kindergarten, obedience school, LOTS of socialization), they will grow up to be dogs with great personalities. But, I won’t gloss over the fact that is takes training and socialization. This goes for any breed, but, in my opinion, especially small breeds of dogs. I think small dogs can tend to be more shy and wary of strangers. I want my dogs to be welcoming to strangers. It is okay for them to bark to alert me of strangers, but I want them then to warm up to the stranger. This takes work and socialization. My dogs usually are very friendly (sometimes overly friendly) to strangers, but occasionally they are shy – especially my mamas with babies. They are never aggressive, but sometimes just need a few minutes to get comfortable. I say all that to say, yes, we will do our best to a pair you with a puppy that has a personality you like, but then the ball is in your court to raise it up to be a great companion. I hope that makes sense.

For socialization, our puppies experience normal household life from day 1. Actually, before day 1 in utero when they can likely hear all the household sounds Our children handle them when they are about 2 weeks old. My husband and I handle them from day 1. They obviously are used to all the typical household smells, too. We take them outside, weather permitting. If we have young goat kids, they usually meet them. And sometimes our chickens, too. Basically, they just experience life with us. We don’t do anything special like umbrellas, but if you have a special request, we could certainly do that. Those types of things, I would say, are important once you bring them home. They are still very adaptable at 8 weeks old.

Potty Training:
We do not begin crate training before 8 weeks. It is around that age that I feel they are ready. Once a family needed us to keep a puppy until 10 weeks. So, we began crate training as soon as his litter mates were off to their new homes. He transitioned perfectly to crate training with us having used the Misty Method.

And here is her website:
http://www.russellhomestead.com/

Question 2:
How long should a health guarantee and genetic guarantee be?

I know I will have more questions and I need any and all advice you guys can give me on this subject. I know some of the major health Miniature Schnauzers have, but I am still looking up what tests are a must! I am also open to suggested breeders. I live in PA, so I am hoping to get puppies by someone semi near by if possible.

Thank you all so very much!

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JudyN
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Re: Breeder Research - Miniature Schnauzer

Post by JudyN » Sun Nov 20, 2016 12:50 pm

Well done on putting so much research into finding your pups! Others will be better able to advise you on selecting a breeder based on the above, but most importantly - the experts on this board always advise very strongly against getting two pups. It can be a recipe for disaster, and just raising one pup can be challenging for a first-time owner.

I've just noticed Erica has said this in your Welcome thread (great minds and all that :wink: ) so I'll leave it at that. Feel free to ask for more details about the pros and cons of having two pups though.
Jasper, lurcher, born December 2009

AliceGrimm
Posts: 105
Joined: Sun Nov 20, 2016 10:38 am
Location: Pennsylvania

Re: Breeder Research - Miniature Schnauzer

Post by AliceGrimm » Sun Nov 20, 2016 1:06 pm

JudyN wrote:Well done on putting so much research into finding your pups! Others will be better able to advise you on selecting a breeder based on the above, but most importantly - the experts on this board always advise very strongly against getting two pups. It can be a recipe for disaster, and just raising one pup can be challenging for a first-time owner.

I've just noticed Erica has said this in your Welcome thread (great minds and all that :wink: ) so I'll leave it at that. Feel free to ask for more details about the pros and cons of having two pups though.
Thank you! I am definitely taking it in consideration. And overall... health and personality and temperament matters most to me. I want a well adjust and healthy puppy. So, if that means I can only get one at a time, I will wait and do so. But I am so worried about not finding a reputable breeder. It is very confusing. And there are people who care a lot. But I just have no experience in this area.

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Erica
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Re: Breeder Research - Miniature Schnauzer

Post by Erica » Sun Nov 20, 2016 1:13 pm

"We have not done any health screenings or tests on the adults." is a HUGE red flag to me. Maybe their dogs are healthy...but if both carry a recessive condition, the puppies could have it. I personally would not buy from a breeder who isn't health testing. Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) and vonWillebrand's are both fairly serious recessive conditions in mini schnaus that have genetic tests available.

I also prefer when a breeder has started crate training, as the separation from mom/littermates can be stressful already and adding in unfamiliarity with the confines of a crate or box in the car ride home...not the best start!

Off-standard colors aren't necessarily a hard no from me (I'm considering a parti poodle breeder for a distant-future puppy!); recessive genes pop up, and someone breeding for health, working ability, etc isn't going to pass over the perfect dog because they have a non-standard color. If the breeder is advertising them as "rare" or "unique," or is charging more for off-standard colors than standard, I would begin to worry. In some breeds, the colors are discouraged for a reason (eg in Dobermans, blue coated dogs often develop hair loss; in boxers, dogs with a lot of white markings are often deaf) but I don't think there's anything like that in schnauzers.

30 days seems reasonable for the health-at-time-of-purchase guarantee. I'll look into the genetic guarantee time. :)

If this were me, I would pass on this breeder.

I do have very high standards, though, and drove 500 miles each way to get my boy from the perfect breeder (health, personality, temperament, looks - he has it all!). He was worth it! It takes some research and patience, but you can find the right breeder for you!
Delta, standard poodle, born 6/30/14

AliceGrimm
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Location: Pennsylvania

Re: Breeder Research - Miniature Schnauzer

Post by AliceGrimm » Sun Nov 20, 2016 1:35 pm

Erica wrote:"We have not done any health screenings or tests on the adults." is a HUGE red flag to me.
I am actually a little relieved that my worry wasn't completely silly. I feel bad for seeming so picky, but no matter how nice and awesome a person is... it is really important that the puppy I take home is healthy. I know it is possible that ANY puppy can have an issue. And if that happens, I will stay by my puppy and get the help that is needed. I just don't want my first puppy to end up with lots of diseases and disorders and have a low quality of health. Thank you so very much!!!




Another breeder I reached out to ignored some of my questions, but I am putting it down that they prefer talking on the phone. I still have yet to call them and will do so. But I have also been looking for more breeders. I don't mind going farther if I have to for my perfect match. I just want to go over my options close by. I guess my biggest worry about puppies that are far away or another state is that it makes it difficult for me to do a home visit and see how their dogs interact with people and how the puppies look before I even put down a deposit. I want to be able to meet them, I want to be able to meet the parents, and I want to see how they live and interact.

Different Breeder's reply to my questions:

I started my breeding business in Gettysburg where I lived all my life until just recently. I have moved to York, PA which is only about 29 miles from Gettysburg to the East. I do allow people to come and visit with the puppies and to pick their puppy out after 4 or 5 weeks. They can not adopt until at least 8 weeks. I do take deposits and have one deposit for my next litter in early 2017. The puppies tails are docked and declaw removed. I do not crop ears. They are wormed and receive two puppy shots at least. My dogs receive eye checks annually, blood work for brucellosis every time prior to breeding and dna testing annually.. Their are AKC registered with limited registration. My adoption fee is $2000.

My oldes female is 4 years old. I only breed twice in a row and then break or I breed every other heat. I only have two females and I am just a small family breeder. My three dogs are my kids and live in the house. They do not go out to a kennel outside. I have been breeding for about 10 years. I am planning on showing my young black and silver in the near future. You are welcome to visit us anytime. If you wish to talk or have more questions, please feel free to call, ###-###-####.

The website:
http://gettysburgminiatureschnauzers.com/wp1/

I feel I need to talk more to this breeder. I am curious about the health checks and what not. I am happy about the annual eye checks and the blood work as this breed has eye problems and such.

Question:
Should I be worried about people who claim to be small breeders?

Another Breeder:
I have yet to contact this person. I try to read as much as I can with information they provide before bothering them with questions. I also try to get clarification on certain things. I know these breeders have lives and I hate wasting their time with questions they already answered on their sites.

However, this breeder I like so far (just like the one above I need to ask questions and talk more with them). Here is their website. WARNING, it is very difficult to read or hard on the eyes (or was for me). They have stated in the blog that they want to redo the website when they have time.
Their Website:
http://www.shazzamofozkennels.com/

This is their blog, and I have enjoyed their videos and I like their blog posts. But that doesn't mean much of anything.
Their Blog:
http://schnauzersminiature.blogspot.com/


I think I want to check out these two breeders more before I search out another. But like I said before.. recommendations for the PA or surrounding states area on amazing breeders, or tips and advice.. I would absolutely appreciate it!

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Erica
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Re: Breeder Research - Miniature Schnauzer

Post by Erica » Sun Nov 20, 2016 5:49 pm

Should I be worried about people who claim to be small breeders?
Nope! That's perfectly fine :) A smaller-scale breeder has probably chosen the number of dogs they have based on the time they have to care for the dogs, and doesn't want to put too much on their plate. While you can certainly find terrible small-scale breeders, I'd say it's easier for a small-scale breeder to take proper care of their dogs and puppies than a large-scale breeder.

I don't see any red flags on the Gettysburg site, but there isn't much information there. Same with the Shazzam site. The puppy's play area shown on the blog looks promising, though!

If you haven't seen it yet, the free "Before You Get Your Puppy" .pdf has a pretty good set of guidelines for finding good breeders. They set a very high bar for socialization, and with a fairly temperamentally stable dog you could do fine with a lot less than they recommend. Otherwise it's my first recommendation for prospective puppy owners. I'm not in on the mini schnauzer scene so don't have any specific recommendations - just keep looking :)
Delta, standard poodle, born 6/30/14

AliceGrimm
Posts: 105
Joined: Sun Nov 20, 2016 10:38 am
Location: Pennsylvania

Re: Breeder Research - Miniature Schnauzer

Post by AliceGrimm » Sun Nov 20, 2016 6:36 pm

Erica wrote:
If you haven't seen it yet, the free "Before You Get Your Puppy" .pdf has a pretty good set of guidelines for finding good breeders.
Thank you so much!! I am reading it now. I have loved dogs all my life and been around them. And I have dog bather experience. But there is always more to learn.

So far I do like Shazzam of Oz Breeder. But I have a couple more questions. And I definitely want to visit, meet them, meet their puppies and I want to see how the puppies interact.

Question: Is there something else I should ask that I may haven't thought of?

Shazzam of Oz:
Do you allow people to come visit the puppies and parents?

Absolutely.

When are the puppies available to go to their new homes?

Around 9 weeks old , after we done with initial vaccination and started them on puppy basic training


What type of health care do they receive? (E.g. Worming, vaccinations, vet checks, etc.)

Worming , vaccination accordingly to age and complete vet check before they go home.

Do you do any health screenings/tests on the adults?

Yes , all recommended for the breed tests are done for PRA , heart , miotonia ,genetic tests and annual check up for all breeding dogs

Are the puppies registered? Which registry?
AKC

Do you offer a health guarantee or return policy? I have read that you offer 5 years limited congenitally defect guarantees. Could you clarify what that covers and do you offer any other health guarantee?

Just as stated in our health guarantee with contract - genetic guarantees as for PRA, and general health guarantee - we guarantee you are getting healthy puppy , and if your veterinarian is considered this puppy not healthy , we absolutely take puppy back ( with paperwork from your vet provided) . Honestly , we never had situation with puppy return for any health reason , in all our 30 years of breeding.

How old is the sire and dame?
For upcoming litter parents are 5 and 6 y.o.

How often do you breed?
Dams are having one litter in 1-1,5 year.

What is the price of the puppy? Is it the same as on the website? Also, is the state tax for new dog owners still the same? And do you still offer free micro-chipping?

Price is $1700 , state tax is 6% , AKC fee is $20 as for today. Microchipping is free of charge

How long have you been breeding dogs?
30 years

What got you started in dog breeding?

Born in the family of dog addicts.:-)

Do you show your dogs or participate in any dog sports?

Conformation shows , Rally Obedience , Agility ,etc. Schnauzers love to do things with their humans.

How many dog breeds do you own?

We have Miniature Schnauzers and Xoloitzcuintli.There is 2 old dogs of other breeds in our house , but they are just pets.

Do you do any temperament testing on the puppies?

Yes , two different kind.

Would you be able to help us choose a puppy that is best for my family?

Yes, we are trying to do our best to match puppies and families. Fortunately , most of our puppies are perfectly suitabl;e for most families, and we just need to find the best one for your family and life style.

What socialization do the puppies get?

Careful and step-by-step introduction to the world. Different age,rase , age people , smells, situations etc. you can see our blog for some pictures of it.

Question: Would you get your puppy micro-chipped from a breeder? I want to ask if they do it or their vet. Would it be bad if they did it?

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