“Can you recommend a reputable mini schnauzer breeder?” This is the most common question I get on my inbox. Finding the right breeder is not the easiest thing to do, especially since Facebook or other selling sites don’t seem to give you much information.
There are lots of FB groups focusing on mini schnauzers, but as with anything on social media, you can’t take anything and everything you see in these groups at face value. You may find probable leads here, but exercise care and do background checks before proceeding any further. You need to dig deeper and ask recommendations from people you know and trust, so that you can find the right breeder.
To make things easier, I’ve listed the points you, as a possible buyer should take note of, and the questions you should ask breeders that you encounter when you’re searching for your mini schnauzer puppy. Note that these are specifically written for the Philippines.
The age of the puppy. How old is the puppy? Some breeders are in a rush to liquidate their puppies because they want quick bucks. Unfortunately, mini schnauzer puppies need to be around their mom and siblings. In my opinion, the earliest you should get a puppy is at 10 weeks, but older is better.
Deworming and vaccinations. Are the shots and dewormings complete? At 10 weeks, the dog should have had 2-3 rounds of deworming and 2 5-in-1 shots. Ideally, you get an older puppy who has at least three 5-in-1 shots. Make sure the shots were administered by a vet. You can check the vaccination card for the vet’s signature and numbers.
The puppy’s health. Once you see the puppy, check if there are any eye discharges (a sign of illness). Check how the puppy looks and smells.
Temperament. You would want to have a general idea of the puppy’s temperament. Some breeders will provide you videos that will give you an idea of their personality. Many puppies will be withdrawn when taken to a new place for the first time, so don’t expect sparks to fly between you and the puppy right away.
Fleas and ticks. Are there fleas? If there are, run away.
The breeders’ knowledge. A good breeder knows basic stuff about dogs in general and mini schnauzers in particular. Ask your breeder some basic questions on your concerns – food, dog health, toilet training, etc. Is the breeder knowledgeable at all? Is he helpful?
Support. A good breeder will continue to care for puppies long after they have left his home. He will provide a puppy care pack to help you and the puppy adjust to each other. This would usually include food, a few toiletries, and instructions.
The breeders’ attitude. Is the breeder too impatient with your questions? Does he or she talk ill of other breeders and puts down their dogs? That’s a red flag. Reputable breeders don’t have to talk bad about other breeders or their dogs in order to prove that they are worth their salt.
A small word on FB dog groups: These groups are never homogenous – you can have reputable breeders along with puppy farmers in these groups. Some are very noisy and call attention to themselves, while others are more low-key. If you ask me, this noise does not yield much information — people are not exactly forthcoming on social media, so you still need to see the dog for yourself and talk to the breeder in person. Don’t get blindsided by comments or likes generated by posts. In the end, you still need to do due diligence and go with what your gut feel tells you.