The best place to buy a puppy or adult dog is from a reputable breeder. Responsible breeders breed to improve the health, temperament, and physical traits of their breed. In order to accomplish that goal, they must continuously study pedigrees, do the necessary health checks pertinent to their breed, properly raise and socialize their puppies, and sell their pet puppies on a spay/neuter contract. A responsible breeder will stand behind every puppy they sell, guaranteeing each for health and temperament. Many will have a return policy for the life of the dog.

Responsible breeders will participate in activities ( conformation, shows, obedience trials, seminars, etc...) and be members of organizations (National Breed clubs, Local Breed clubs and All Breed Clubs) that enables them to further their knowledge of their breed and dogs in general.

If you are looking for a dog to add to your family, go to a responsible breeder, one that has made their breed a lifelong passion and commitment.

                                                                                                                      How can I tell if I have found a good breeder?

A good breeder will have: Been working with the breed for five or more years --Offer information on the breed's problems --Ask you a lot of questions --Tell you about a pup's parents, grandparents and great-grand parents --Belong to dog or training clubs and at minimum have a membership to a local or national breed club --Does not accept credit cards --Makes their living some other way --Has a written contract Requires that you neuter your pet

But a questionable breeder might have the following characteristics: Does not use contracts --Refuses to put verbal promises in writing --Does not have AKC paperwork --Does not test for health problems and/or cannot produce test results --Has puppies who urinate, retreat or wail when you approach them --Locks all of their adult dogs away --Refuses to show you a pup's parent(s) --Has puppies with runny eyes, skin problems, or diarrhea

Contracts? For buying a dog?

Yes! Absolutely! A good breeder will insist upon it. Here are some things you want to see on a contract:

--A spay and neuter clause: ethical breeders want to make sure their dogs are not used for casual breeding --Health statements: what is the breeder's responsibility if problems arise? Rebate or replacement is common. Be suspicious of people who guarantee perfect health. Unless they have a crystal ball, this cannot be guaranteed --Return Policy: good breeders want their dogs back at any age and at any time if for some reason you can no longer own the dog

Avoiding Genetic Problems (as much as you can)

--Contact the National Breed Club. Most offer educational material --Obtain as much health information as you can about the breed you are interested in. your local library can be a good source of information --Ask your Veterinarian --Talk to a breeder who does health testing. Ask for copies of test results --Only consider puppies from breeders who have both parents cleared --Don't be blinded by trophies and ribbons : No tests, No results, No exceptions!

10 Commandments for Puppy Buyers

What Is a Responsible Breeder?

Is This Breeder Reputable?

Looking for a Miniature Schnauzer?

Why Not White?

Recommended Books to Read:

Good Owners, Great Dogs by Brian Kilcommons

How To Raise a Puppy You Can Live With by Clarice Rutherford & David Neil

How To Raise The Perfect Dog: Through Puppyhood And Beyond by Cesar Millan

The Miniature Schnauzer Club of Michigan, Inc.
Puppy Buyer Etiquette.
Miniature Schnauzer Breed Standard
American Miniature Schnauzer Club.