This information can not be stressed enough to a new puppy buyer. I encourage
all of my past, present and future puppy buyers to educate other people on how to find a reputable breeder. Here's a few
breeder will ALWAYS insist that if anything happens, for whatever reason, the breeder will take the dog back, no matter what.
This should be in writing, in the contract between the breeder and the puppy purchaser. The puppy buyer should always ask
if this is in the contract. If it's not, hang up and keep looking. WE, the breeders, are bringing these babies into the
world, they are OUR responsibility for the life of the dog, period, no matter what.
A reputable breeder will INSIST on a spay/neuter contract.
There are exceptions of course, if your planning on showing or competing with your dogs, but for the most part, most insist
on spay/neuter contracts.
A reputable breeder will educate you on the breed, ask you questions about you, your family, your hobbies, your dog
experience and with what breeds. They will let you know what diseases the particular breed you are looking at is prone to,
educate you on how to care for your dog, groom your dog etc.
A reputable breeder NEVER has a paypal button on their website, they will want to
screen you as a potential puppy parent, either over the phone or in person. If the breeder does not insist you call them before
you make all the arrangements to get the MONEY to them, find another breeder!
A reputable breeder will tell you what health problems they've had. Anyone
that's produced puppies that tells you "I've never had a health problem in my puppies or dogs", is either
lying or it's their first litter. Everyone that breeds has had at least one problem in at least one puppy.
A few questions
to ask your breeder:
how many breeds of dogs the
breeder has, and if they show each breed. If the breed you are looking for is something that isn’t shown in
that kennel, continue on in your search. There are two types of breeders
out there, one that does it for the love of the breed and the rush of the show/event, because THESE breeders know
there is NO money in it. Every cent that comes IN from the dogs/pups goes right back into the dogs/pups. It costs between
$2500-$4000 to purchase a show quality dog that may or may not be able to compete in the ring, entry fees are between
$25-$35 per day of show, if you have a handler the handlers cost between $50-$100 per day of show, and then you
have to add in the cost of gas, food, motel, monthly board, stripping charges, weekly or monthly maintenance and grooming
charges and bonus’s to the handler. It’s a costly adventure, and can go as high as $10,000 or more to make
an AKC Champion. The winner gets ribbons and maybe a trinket, but that’s it, there’s no money awarded.
The other type is the one that is breeding only for the money. These are the breeders you’ll find that don’t
show, don't do agility or earthdog, and don’t do anything with their dogs but produce puppies and collect money.
They will keep most of their own pups back for future breeding because they refuse to shell out their money to someone
else, even if it means bettering what they produce, and may occasionally add a new dog for breeding, if they can
find one cheap and someone will sell to them. You’ll find these dogs may be “champion lined”, meaning
neither of the parents are champions, the grandparents may or may not be champions, these pups are usually a little
less expensive than those from a show breeder, the reason being these breeders have very little cost into their dogs,
they produce more, and can make more money with a lower price because of these reasons. These breeders will usually sell
full registration (right to breed) for a couple of hundred dollars more, and they will lower the price of their
older pups just to get them out of there. A good breeder will hang onto their
pups, as long as they have to, to get them into a good home.
- Ask how many litters this year the breeder has had, of each breed. The reason for asking this is b/c if
the breeder has multiple breeds, and even a handful of litters a year in each breed, that’s A LOT of puppies, and
puppies take a lot of time with people to be properly socialized. For example, if they have 3 breeds, but only 1
or 2 litters a year with each breed, and the pups are raised in the house, that’s preferential to a breeder that
has 4 breeds and has 3 litters a year each breed, that may or may not be raised in the home..
- Ask where the puppies are raised (this ties into the above 2 answers), if a breeder says
“in my kitchen” and they have 10 litters or more a year, that’s A LOT of puppies! I know breeders,
in different breeds, that raise their pups in the kitchen, literally 5+ litters at a time, one litter is old enough
to be homed while the next litter is born. Not a great situation.
- Ask how many litters they have right now, how many more they have planned or expected
for the rest of the year. If they have 3 litters right now, and 5 more planned, WOW, that’s a lot of puppies! If
they work full time, or even part time, how will they socialize these pups? Who plays with them, feeds them, starts
them on house training??
- Ask who takes care of the pups
while they are gone (show breeders either show themselves or send the dogs to handlers, it’s important to know
WHO is caring for these pups.) Sometimes the pups will travel to shows, sometimes they stay home with the breeders help.
- If your pup/dog is going to be around kids, it’s
especially important you ask if the pups have been exposed to children. Kids are scary to pups if they haven’t
been around them at a young age. Kids are loud, smell funny, are grabby and like to pull hair and tails, and pinch noses,
poke eyes, things like that. If a puppy has been raised with kids, they are used to all the noise and the poking
so it’s not a big deal to into a home with kids, FROM a home with kids.Your breeder should help you with the proper
way to introduce kids and other pets to your puppy.
about other pets, if the breeder has cats, birds, larger dogs that the pups have been exposed to. Terriers are notorious
for thinking they are big dogs, but if they haven’t seen other animals or types of animals, it may be scary
for the first time, or they may look at them as a new playmate! This is also a good time to mention any other pets you may
have, and ask about how the puppy would do with these other pets. The breeder should also explain how to properly introduce
pets and people to your new addition.
- AKC or USDA
Inspections? AKC inspects different people at different times. That doesn’t mean there is a problem. A USDA inspection or license means that breeder sells to pet stores or dog brokers. ANY breeder
with any morals would NEVER, not for a million dollars, sell to a pet store or dog broker. Your basically giving your
puppy to a complete stranger, for them to hand off to a complete stranger, and eventually your puppy will end up with
another complete stranger, that more than likely seen a cute picture on the internet or in a cute face in the pet
store, and knows nothing about how to care for the breed!
- Ask if the breeder starts house/paper training, and if so, at what age, how do they do it? Ask if the breeder
is willing to crate train the pup before he/she leaves. A puppy that is ripped from it’s siblings, shoved into
a crate, and then on the airplane will be traumatized. A puppy that is crate trained, hasn’t slept with his/her
siblings for a few weeks before leaving the breeders home, will do much better. If they aren’t willing to crate
train, politely say good bye and move on.
- If they don’t
have any pups available right now, ask if they have a waiting list they can put you on, after you’ve been through
all of these steps with different breeders, you will find one your comfortable with, and the wait is well worth
- Ask about the health guarantee that breeder offers,
what time frame you have to get the puppy into your vet in order for the guarantee to be valid. Ask about what it specifically
does or does not cover. Ask about any health problems in the lines, usually if the parents and grandparents are clear of
problems, your puppy will be too, this is not a guarantee, but the more history you can get on the lineage behind your puppy,
the better. Its a good idea to get the puppy into your vet anyway shortly after arrival not only for your peace of mind,
but also for the health of the puppy. Each puppy has to be taken to the vet for a "health certificate", where the
vet will check the puppy and make sure he/she is healthy for travel, before they can get on a plane. Sometimes the stress
of traveling will cause Coccidia to over produce and may cause bloody stools, or a thoughtful cargo employee may have
watered your puppy out of a dirty container, causing giardia. These are easily taken care of with simple antibiotics, but
it's better to know up front if there's a problem.
- Was this breeder easy to get ahold of, did they return your call or email in a day or two, or did you have to phone
several times, email a lot before you got any response from them? If your breeder returned a phone call or email within
a few days, you know you will get good support from them IF you decide to buy a puppy from them. Everyone is busy in their
own life, they have kids, dogs, job, whatever to take care of, but if you have taken the time and effort out of YOUR life
to contact a breeder, they certainly should take the time and effort to get back with you. If it takes them weeks or even
months before they return a call or email, what kind of support will you get from them if you have questions on training,
or problems with the pups? Promptness is a virtue, and critical in establishing future relationships!
- Ask what vaccinations the puppy will have before they leave, and what needs
to be done when the puppy gets there. Also ask if they provide you with a vaccination record that contains the actual stickers
off the vaccination vials, and when their wormings take place.
A breeder should be happy to talk about their dogs, answer your questions and ask YOU questions. Anyone that says
“yes I’ll sell you a pup” after 5 minutes on the phone or even worse, one or two emails, is not someone
you should buy from. A breeder that gets one or two emails from you and then sends you a Pay Pal invoice for a deposit, is
a BAD breeder, these breeders usually give you the “I have other people looking at this dog/pup, you need to get your
deposit in now if your serious, because this pup won’t be here in an hour or in a day”. Anyone that has a pay
pal button on their site that you just send the money and they send the dog without speaking with you, is someone to be avoided.
If a breeder is pushy and insistent, there’s a reason, they know if they can
push you into sending money, they’ve got a sucker hooked and they’ll run with it. A good breeder will say
I have another family that has inquired about this particular pup, they have first choice, and if we decide he/she isn't
a good fit into their home, we can let you know. It shouldn't be a bidding war or race to the post office to get a deposit
in. A good breeder will tell you if the pup/dog is a good fit into your lifestyle and family, and if not they will be willing
to help you find another, or may suggest you wait, they will never pressure you into getting their dog. If someone tells
you "all the pups are the same", they are lying, no two pups are the same, just like no two people are the same.
That means they haven't spent enough time with them to know what type of home they'll fit into.
Breed parent clubs are a good place to start looking for a new addition
to the family. The breeders even in parent clubs must be screened, because they are after all, just people and nobody is perfect.
Some are honest, some are not, which is why it's important to screen your breeder.
Places on the internet like “premium breeders”, "breeders
direct" and “europuppy” should never get your business. These are puppymill puppies,
most are not purebred and are at best poor quality if they are purebred. You figure you can rescue a purebred or mixed breed
for between $100-$500, but on these places your paying $800-$2500 for the same thing, a dog from a questionable place with
a questionable past, questionable lineage, questionable health. Puppyfind is also a scary place to shop, but on there you
can at least look at see what other types of breeds the breeder has, how many litters, what age etc.. There is a "kennel"
in Colorado, that has 25+ breeds, Miniature Schnauzers included. APRI and CKC (Continental Kennel Club) registered dogs,
of any breed, should never be purchased.
The puppy warehouse. Did you know there are actually warehouses, in Florida
(and I'm sure other places as well), you walk into and ask for a certain breed of dog or cat, a salesman will walk into
the back, bring out a puppy or two of that breed, go back, bring some more out. They are literally warehoused. Please don’t buy from these places, regardless of your situation.
Rescue vs. Breeder: There are many reasons why dogs
end up in rescue, from the family losing their home, to behavior problems, health problems, simply getting lost or stolen,
job situations, moving etc. Sometimes the not so great breeders will surrender their dogs to rescue, if they can't sell
them. IF you can find a rescue, that you can get history on, you know this dog has come from a loving home where he/she has
been taken care of, that’s a God-send. Most of the time, rescues are dropped off at the shelter in the middle of the
night, or the rescue may rescue them from the pound. There are a lot of good reasons to rescue a dog vs. buying from a breeder,
but there are just as many good reasons to buy from a breeder.
Older pups and dogs: breeders
(especially that show) may have older pups or retired dogs available. A lot of time goes into watching pups to decide which
ones should be kept back for future competition or breeding. After the initial “cut” of the obvious pet quality
puppies, or the pups that don’t have the particular characteristics the breeder is looking for, a breeder may keep
½ the litter for another couple of months, then decide they like one better than the other. They may watch this particular
pup for months or even a year before they decide they will keep the dog, or find him a pet home. There is nothing wrong
with the pup that is destined for a pet home, and these older pups will rehome very well. They are usually out of the chewing
stage, probably leash trained, absolutely house and crate trained, and their personality is already set. How much easier
could it be to find a new family member! A breeder may buy a dog and decide after the dog is older they aren’t what
the want to add to their breeding program. Or a breeder may have an older, retired Champion or breeding dog available (most
bitches are bred until 4-5 years of age, studs may be retired by 8 or even older). THESE dogs should be DOUBLE the price
of the pups, their personality is already set, their house manners are instilled, they usually travel very well, they are
usually already leash trained, and you know what your getting, whereas with a puppy, you are buying potential, and will
need to put alot of work into them. These dogs may be the same price or maybe even a little less than a puppy, but if you
are not looking forward to the chewing, the midnight potty runs, leash training, consider getting an older pup or dog!! These
dogs usually re-home VERY easily, they DO bond with new families, it works
out really good! When I send my puppies AND my adults to new homes, I ALWAYS ask for something that smells like the new family,
I put this in the crate so the dog knows the scent, and it helps them transition easier into the new home. They associate
the new families scent, with the comfort of “home” and it’s not so scary. I’ve actually had families
that mom will send something from her, but not from dad, and the puppy/dog goes naturally to mom b/c that’s the scent
he knows. I helped a friend of mine re-home a 3 year old Champion to a pet home, his dad sent his shirt, and nothing from
his wife. Guess WHO this dog bonded with? The dad! A good breeder would be happy to do this for you, after all, they
are sending a member of their family into your family, and want the adjustment to be as easy as possible. All
the work is done on these dogs, you just have a few weeks for an adjustment period, for you to adjust to them, they to you,
how much easier could it be!!!
Verbage in breeder ads: Some breeders will use the words "rare",
"hard to find" in association with a color, and jack the price up. Watch out for these words, they are "gotcha"
words, once you call on the "rare" dog, they gotcha, and your wallet!! Some colors may be harder to find, but that
doesn't mean they should be any more expensive. Watch out for ads that say a certain type of dog is "usually available",
these two words in combination with a kennel or breeder are very scary. Usually available is an instant puppymill alert.
This means they have litters all year round. "Occasionally available", what does that mean? 10 times a year? 2
times a year? Be sure to ask. Even if it's not the particular BREED of dog your looking for from that breeder, ASK. If
they are producing litter after litter and they have pups "usually available" of any breed, they are scary. Most
people have been bitten by buyers regret purchasing from these people, b/c they didn't do their homework. And of course
these breeders won't take the dog back when there is a problem, contract or no contract.
Contracts: contracts are only as good as a persons word, their honor. A piece of paper is only
worth blowing your nose on. A lot of breeders will keep their word, contract or no contract, a lot do not, which is why screening
your breeder is important. I have friends who have been treated poorly and ripped off by people who have contracts, I have
experienced this for myself as well. On the flip side, I have been treated like gold from people with no contracts, only
having been given their word.
Scams: they are all over, for everything that's for sale on the internet. They seem to snag the unsuspecting puppy shoppers
though. If you get in contact with someone that has an expensive dog for a very LOW price or even free, it's a scam.
They will send you pics, tell you the dog is with a nun, or priest, someone trustworthy, and that they can't keep the
dog, it's sick, whatever. You wire the money and your done, they've scammed you, and you won't get your money
back! Or my favorite, they call with a TDD service (phone for hearing impaired), you think they are hearing impaired and
that's why you've never actually talked to them, and they scam you that way. Don't fall victim to these people,
it's important if your rescuing a dog or buying one from a breeder that you have a good communication base before you
send ANY money!!
I'm sure by now you've seen
it all, the micro schnauzers, toy schnauzers, "super and mega coated" schnauzers, MERLE schnauzers seem to be the
new fad. These ARE NOT purebred, and not knowing WHAT they are crossed with, you could get any number of health and temperment
issues. If your going to buy a mixed breed, please go to your local shelter. These dogs are all advertised as "rare",
"hard to find", blah blah blah and have a big price tag attached to them. It's getting to the point that purebred Schnauzers that actually fit into the AKC STANDARD for size, color
and temperment, from breeders that care more for the dogs than the money, are RARE.
Recently, in June of 2010, one VERY LARGE Miniature Schnauzer/Shitzu breeder sold all
of her dogs at a dog auction. These buyers were not screened, or educated on the breed, or placed with spay/neuter contracts.
The dogs went to whomever paid the highest price (most went for under $100, some as low as $10). These dogs went to places
just as bad as they came from and worse. Some of these dogs had pups on them already, some were coming into season again
after having had litters earlier in the year, and only 1 or 2 of them were spayed or neutered before the auction. Some of
these dogs are already being advertised on the internet as having been bred and due to whelp very shortly after the auction.
Some of them were getting on in years and should have been altered years ago, yet they went on to breeding "homes"
to continue breeding . You can find the name of this breeder by reading the following article http://www.omahanewsstand.com/articles/2010/07/28/the_ashland_gazette/news/doc4c47555281893303979360.txt
. Do NOT be fooled by what's in this particular article, I was told by someone who went to this facility to pick up his
puppy (pet) that the dogs were "kept like livestock". There were well over 100 dogs that went through the auction
ring from this particular breeder. Please be very wary of anything that the parents names have this particular breeders kennel
name on the front, and know that the puppies parents came from an AUCTION, the same as people buy and sell CATTLE, SWINE AND
HORSES, and from a breeder that did not care where her dogs ended up. Due to the stupidity of a particular breeder in Louisiana
that has no regard for the placement of her pups, some of these dogs were unfortunately AKC Champion sired. There are several
LARGE breeders in Texas and Florida with ALOT of these dogs, please do not support the puppymill cycle. NONE of these dogs
were AKC Champions, even though the offspring that are being sold in TX and FL are being advertised as "Champion sired".
Bottom line, no matter what type of dog you are buying,
you have to be very careful!!