The Miniature Schnauzer is often described as a characterful and alert little dog who will always give a warning if a stranger approaches the house. He is happy to live in the town or country if he is exercised regularly. He has a wiry coat which needs daily grooming and which may need to be clipped twice a year.
Inbreeding Coefficient - COI
(Should be as low as possible)
The UK Kennel Club breed average COI is 5.1% - see 'A Beginners Guide to COI'
Effective Population Size - EPSTBC
EPS is a measure of how many individuals are contributing genetically to a breed population. It is a measure of the size of the gene pool in a breed. Lower than 100 is considered critical by conservationists and below 50 brings a breed close to extinction. For more information see the Kennel Club article.
Health and Welfare Problems due to Conformation
(Body shape and physical characteristics)
- His coat will get tangled, dirty and matted if not regularly groomed.
- Hair around the eyes will prevent him seeing well if not kept short.
- Hair in the ear canal may predispose to ear disease
- Hip Dysplasia: (abnormality of the hip joint causing pain and disability) breed mean score 9.8 (parents should be lower)
- Eye Disease: Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) (annual testing) (gradual loss of vision); Hereditary cataract (HC) (annual testing); Multi-focal retinal dysplasia (MRD) (displacement of the retina) (litter screening)
Estimated Breeding Values (EBVs) are now available for Hip Dysplasia and Elbow Dysplasia:
DNA Tests Available
- Myotonia Congenita (difficulty or delay in muscle relaxation after muscular effort)
- Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) Type A
- Eyes: Photoreceptor dysplasia (PD)
- Mucopolysaccharidosis (MPS) V1
Unofficial (Breed Club) Schemes
Eye testing (litter screening).
Ask the breeder to show you the certificates for the above tests/screening for both parents. If any of the above tests have not been considered necessary by the breeder (and there may be good reasons), ask her to explain why.
Other Diseases Reported
(For which there are currently no genetic or screening tests for sire or dam)
- Atopy: (hypersensitivity to pollens and other protein particles – causes intense itching)
- Heart disease: Mitral valve disease (leads to heart failure); Pulmonic valve stenosis (closing of the valve)
- Diabetes mellitus
- Urolithiasis (stone formation in urine)
- Hyperadrenocorticism (Cushings disease): (over production of corticosteroids, causing lethargy, thirst, increased appetite)
- Pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas – can be acute and cause severe pain, or more gradual with lower grade chronic pain)
- Intervertebral disc disease (degeneration of the spinal discs causing pain and weakness)
- Schnauzer comedo syndrome (hair follicle disease)
- Comma defect (spondylocostal dysostosis)
- Malassezia dermatitis
- Symmetric lupoid onychodystrophy (autoimmune disease causing severe claw problems)
- Hypothyroidism (insufficient production thyroxine which contols the rate of metabolism)
- Keratoconjunctivitis sicca (Dry eye)
- Congenital idiopathic megaesophagus (decreased muscle movement of the esophagus (food tube) – food is regurgitated back up into throat causing dilation of esophagus – leads to malnutrition and/or pneumonia
- Cancer: trichoepithelioma; histiocytoma
Ask the breeder about the medical history of the parents, grandparents and great grandparents. Consider carefully whether to purchase a puppy if some of these or other diseases are in the family line.
Ask about the breeder’s policy in cases of serious genetic diseases occurring to your puppy in later life. Good breeders will request to be informed of such events in order to improve future breeding decisions. Some breeders will also agree to contribute towards medical costs or refund purchase price.
You are strongly advised to buy from a breeder who uses (or is prepared to use) the RSPCA / BVA AWF Puppy Contract and Puppy Information Pack (PIP): www.puppycontract.org.uk
You are also advised to buy from a breeder who follows the Dog Breeding Reform Group’s (DBRG) Standard for Dog Breeding: