Welcome to Our Puppy Blog!

Welcome to our blog! I am a small hobby breeder of Schnoodle puppies. My Schnoodles are a cross of the White Schnauzer with a Red Poodle. These dogs do not shed, are great for allergy sufferers, are friendly and easily trained.

We have 4 breeding females and sell our puppies face to face as required by APHIS rules for hobby breeders.

Our breeding dogs are from purebred Akc lines and the Schnoodle puppies are registered with ICA (the registry for Designer breed dogs.)

They will be vet checked, have their first set of shots, and be Ugodog Puppy Toilet Trained. But this is just the beginning! Read through our posts to see the special care and attention we give our litter. You will enjoy watching our Growing Puppies!

We sell our puppies through our Waiting list. We do not post them on the blog for purchase. If you wish to be contacted with updates on the next litter email me at GrowingPuppies@gmail.com

Update: We are so excited for our winter puppies. I also hope for a litter in Summer 2018.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Miniature Schnauzers and the Genetic Disease PRA

.OPTIGEN is a service company established to provide DNA based diagnoses and information about inherited diseases of dogs. For many breeds their researchers have identified the mutations that cause the most common diseases and by working in cooperation with breeders  they track these mutations to help reduce the frequency of common diseases in breeding stock.  

I have checked with the Optigen website to see if there are any genetic DNA tests available at this time for the  Miniature Schnauzer and unfortunately there are not.   (I keep hoping researchers will discover it!)  So I asked my veterinary what kind of screening is currently available for Miniature Schnauzer breeders and she recommended screening for PRA.

Progressive retinal degeneration (PRD), also known as progressive retinal atrophy (PRA)  is a gene that causes blindness in dogs.  Because it is recessive, both parents have to carry it, if it is to show up in the offspring.  Unfortunately, at present, the mutation that is the most common cause of PRA in the Miniature Schnauzer has not yet been identified.  Therefore, there is no genetic DNA test for the Miniature Schnauzer to identify dogs that may carry the gene for blindness.

As my veterinary suggested, It is still possible to screen individual dogs for PRA before breeding them, and that will help reduce the likelihood of the problem.  This screening is not done by the average veterinarian but you need to find a Board Certified Opthamologist.  My veterinarian recommended Dr  Bosiak, DVM from Animal Eye Care of Richmond.

So I drove an hour south to Richmond,VA yesterday with Coco and Misty to get the screening done.  While sitting in the waiting room I met an elderly couple with their little blind Shih Poo  It was heart breaking to hear how their little puppy became blind in one eye very soon after they brought him home.   Now there dog was completely blind in both eyes and has continual bleeding inside of his eyes!  I wanted to ask where they got their dog....but was afraid my question would come across as judgmental.  I have to admit, I couldn't help but envision Puppy Mills and Pet shops!   How could a breeder not know they were breeding bad stock when a puppy was becoming blind at so young an age?    Of course it may also have been someone bred two dogs they knew nothing about, and the defect showed for the first time.  Either way it was most unfortunate.   For me, seeing a dog with this severity of genetic eye damage was heart breaking! 

This is one example of why it is so important to buy from a reputable breeder known for their quality....and who keeps up communications with their customers and who know the health of their breeding lines.  I suspect that although mixing breeds may reduce health issues by broadening the gene pool, it can also create problems if buyers are less demanding of the quality of the breeding lines.  I have made the effort to get dogs bred from AKC breeding lines because I have found those breeders to be more committed to producing quality.   AKC is clearly the most serious registry in this country, and the dogs registered must have greater proof of their lineage, plus the breeders themselves are held to standards that other registries do not have.  But AKC registration alone does not ensure quality.  The bottom line is always this, wherever you buy your dog it is up to the buyer to look beyond the registry to access how serious the breeder is about the health of the dogs they produce.

We were soon called back for our appointment, and I was pleased that after a non stressful exam, the doctor reported that both Coco and Misty were both found to be free from any abnormalities.  While I had the opportunity,  I asked the doctor if PRA is a big problem for the Miniature Schnauzer.  She told me it actually is not as common as many other breeds.  She said the Labrador is the 'poster child' for PRA.  Of course no breed is perfect, but I have always felt comfort knowing that the Miniature Schnauzer is a breed with comparatively few health problems.  That was an important consideration for me in choosing a family pet....but now even more so when I am breeding puppies for other people.

For the information of those who may end up buying a puppy from another breeder, it is helpful to note that when the PRA screening is done the veterinary provides a signed certificate of the testing results complete with registration numbers and microchip or tatoos which is then registered in the OFA database.  So hopefully that helps some of my blog readers to check for this screening before getting their puppy.

You probably can tell from reading my blog that to say I love dogs, is an understatement.  But what you may not know is that I care about people even MORE.  Providing genetically sound puppies is a consideration for my customers who will treasure these dogs for their lifetime.   I wish there was a DNA test to find all the genetic defects in a Mini Schnauzer.  But since there is not, I will do my best to access the health of the dogs every time I breed them.  I know I would not want the heart break and financial burden of a serious health problem in any of my pets.  And I certainly do not want that experience for any of my customers either!  

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