What makes a good breeder? Here are some questions for the prospective puppy buyer to ask breeders during their interview. A reputable breeder will ask you questions, and some of them may offend you. Remember that you as the buyer also have the right to ask the breeder questions as well. If the breeder you are interviewing becomes offended with your questioning, this is probably a breeder you should steer clear of. More information is available at the Breed Information About the Standard Schnauzer site.
- How long have you been involved with the breed?
The answer to this is of course going to vary depending on the breeder. What you are looking for here is something that you can verify. If the breeder says 3 years, you can investigate this to see if they are being truthful.
- What is the extent of your involvement with the breed?
Again, this is going to vary depending on the breeder.
- What events do you compete in with your dogs?
You are looking for a breeder who is involved in the sport of dogs. The breeder may say conformation, agility, performance, obedience, rally, or many other events. Again, this is an answer that you can verify.
- What titles have you personally obtained on your dogs?
This will vary with the number of dogs a breeder has bred, but you are looking to see that their dogs are obtaining titles. Titling a dog is one way to prove the dog’s worth as breeding stock.
- How many litters have you bred?
This will vary depending on the breeder’s length of involvement with the breed.
- How many litters do you breed per year?
Most reputable breeders will breed only 1 or 2 litters per year. Some will even have only 1 litter every couple of years.
- What health clearances do you perform on your dogs prior to breeding?
At minimum, both parents should have an OFA or PennHip clearance verifying that they do not have hip dysplasia and a CERF exam that shows their eyes are good. There are other tests that some breeders will do such as OFA elbow clearance, thyroid tests, and cardiac tests.
- Will you provide evidence of these health clearances?
A reputable breeder will proudly say yes and then follow through with the proof.
- What are the registered names of the sire and dam of the puppies?
If there is nothing to hide, they will supply the registered names of the sire and dam.
- Can you send me a pedigree for the puppies?
This answer should be yes.
- Can you send me pictures of the parents?
Again, the reputable breeder will be able to supply fairly recent pictures of the parents.
- Can I visit you and your dogs?
A reputable breeder wants to meet you and have you meet their dogs.
- What type of environment are your puppies raised in?
You are looking for a puppy raised in a home environment and one that will be socialized over the course of its life with the breeder.
- Are you a member of a local Standard Schnauzer club, Standard Schnauzer Club of America, or an all-breed club?
Breeders should be active in the sport of dogs, and club membership is a component of this activity. Often, clubs have code of ethics that breeders agree to abide by and this is just one more assurance that you are dealing with a reputable person.