Make sure both parents have current eye certificates (from a registered Ophthalmologist) we are appalled at how few are eye testing their dogs that they breed from. Don’t ask if they DNA test but what they DNA test for some of the tests are not even relevant to miniature schnauzers. We have included an explanation of all the tests we do. Fully DNA tested does not mean they are tested for these conditions that affect miniature schnauzers, you need to ask what tests have been done and see the results

How many litters do you do with your girls and what is the recommended amount by the NZVA?

We do not do any more than 3 litters in a girl’s lifetime often it is less than that if we are able to breed a girl as nice as mum or preferably better than mum. We do no more than 1 caesarean in a girl’s lifetime. The NZVA’s recommendation is 3 litters maximum and no more than 1 or 2 caesarean sections. Ethical breeders adhere to recommendations from the Veterinarian council.

Is There a Bare Minimum of Tests I Should Ask a Breeder Have Done on their Breeding Dogs?

Of course we think that all the tests are important but the ones we personally know are in NZ are Type B1 PRA, Factor V11 Deficiency, Myotonia Congenita and Charcot Marie Syndrome (Megaesphogus) all of these can be DNA tested for and the parents need to have a current (Yearly) clear eye certificate from a registered Veterinarian Optometrist. do ask to see these results. A Breeder should never be offended about been asked for proof their dogs are clear. Do check to make sure that the tests are carried out by an independently audited company we have no independently audited companies on this side of the world so here at Schnauzinn we choose to send our DNA testing to the UK to an independently audited company

How Can I Get a Healthy Puppy?

Your best chance of a healthy puppy is healthy DNA tested parents. Ask to see the parents DNA testing and their annual eye and heart certificates. All our parents have been tested for  PRA-B1, MAC, Myotonia Congenita, Charcot Marie Tooth, Mullerian Duct Syndrome, Comma Defect and Factor V11 Deficiency. All parents have eye certificates from a registered Veterinarian Ophthalmologist (your local vet can’t do this just as a doctor can not see what is happening in your eyes) and a annual heart and patella certificate. Insist that your breeder DNA and eye tests their dogs. If they say they have healthy dogs ask for and insist on a written guarantee that your puppy won’t be affected for one of these conditions.

Do your puppies come with any guarantees?

Yes, we guarantee our puppies not to be affected for their lifetime by PRA-A, PRA-B, MAC, Myotonia Congenita, Mullerian Duct Syndrome, Comma Defect, Charcot Marie Tooth and Factor V11 Deficiency. We will replace any puppy or refund up to the purchase price of any puppy found to have an inherited condition that we could of prevented at the time on mating. We are always available for ongoing advice or support.

Why is an eye test from an ophthalmologist not enough?

If you have a dog who is a carrier for PRA they can easily pass an eye test they will never be affected for PRA but they can pass that gene to their puppies if the dad is a carrier the same thing can happen so two dogs who have passed eye tests can pass on the genes for blindness and you have puppies that go blind but the parents both have clear eye certificates.

Why do you DNA test your dogs I am just looking for a pet not a show dog?

It is just as important for your pet to be healthy as it is for a show dog, after all it will not just be a pet it will be a family member.

What do you DNA test for?

We DNA test for PRA-B1, MAC, Myotonia Congenita, Factor V11 Deficiency, Charcot Marie Tooth, Mullerian Duct Syndrome and Comma Defect.

Charcot Marie Tooth

Charcot-Marie-Tooth type 4B2 is an inherited demyelinating peripheral nerve disease affecting the miniature schnauzer breed. Affected dogs show regurgitations caused by mega-esophagus and inspiratory dyspnea caused by laryngeal paralysis at a young age (< 2 years). Affected dogs have been alive more than 3 years following diagnosis which indicates a long survival rate. Typical pathological findings are variable thickness of the myelin sheath (so-called “tomacula”) around the axons of peripheral nerves and areas of segmental demyelination.


Type B1 Progressive Retinal Atrophy in Miniature Schnauzer is another PRA mutation which causes an early onset form of the disease with symptoms occurring within the first five years of age. This form of PRA is caused by a genetic variant in the HIVEP3 gene.


Immunodeficiencies represent a large heterogenous group of dysfunctions of the host’s immune system which increase the risk for infections. While dogs are generally resistant to Mycobacterium avium infections, a variant has been found to be associated with a genetic predisposition to infection with systemic avian tuberculosis in Miniature Schnauzers (referred to mycobacterium avium complex or MAC). The described variant in the CARD9 gene most likely impairs a signaling pathway which is important for the dog’s immunodeficiency. Common symptoms of affected dogs are: lethargy, inappetence, weakness, nasal discharge, conjunctivitis, diarrhea, lymphadenopathy, hepatomegaly and splenomegaly. The age of onset varies between one and eight years. Because of the underlying immunodeficiency, the infections are poorly responsive to treatment and often recur. Since MAC is a zoonotic disease, humans with a suppressed immune system could be also at risk for an infection.

Myotonia Congenita

Myotonia congenita is a hereditary pathogenic condition affecting skeletal muscle ion channels and is characterized by a delay of relaxation ot the skeletal muscles following an electical or mechanical stimulus or after cessation of voluntary activity. Myotonia congenita results from genetic defects in the skeletal muscle chloride ion channel and the ensuing reduced chloride ion conductance across the sarcolemma. Myotonic Miniature Schnauzers have hypertrophic skeletal muscles, difficulty in rising after a period of rest, a stiff and stilted gait when walking, and a bunnyhop type movement when running. In addition, there are increased respiratory sounds, difficulty when swalling, ptyalism, dental abnormalities and superior prognathism.

Muellerian Duct Syndrome

Muellerian ducts (paramesonephric ducts) are small structures that exist in both male and female embryos during the early fetal development, at 35-36 days of gestation, the embryo begins to differentiate into male or female. In the female, Muellerian ducts will develop to form the uterine tubes, uterus, cervix, and the upper one-third of the vagina. In the male, Muellerian ducts are lost because the testes starts producing a hormone that causes regression of the Mullerian ducts.

In Miniature Schnauzer males which are affected by Persistent Müllerian duct syndrome (PMDS), the Müllerian ducts fail to regress during sexual differentiation, and therefore, all Müllerian duct derivatives, bilateral oviducts, a complete uterus with cervix and the cranial portion of the vagina, are also present.

Approximately 50% of affected dogs have normally descended testes and are fertile . However, the remaining 50% have unilateral or bilateral cryptorchidism, and as a result can be infertile and develop testicular tumors.

Treatment involves surgical procedures and significant expenses for dog owners. Prevention is limited to the elimination of affected dogs and carriers from the breeding population. In the miniature schnauzer, PMDS is inherited as an autosomal recessive trait with expression limited to homozygous males. Both males and females can be carriers. However, affected dogs cannot be identified by physical examination alone, particularly if they are not cryptorchid. Similarly, carriers cannot be detected, as they are reproductively normal males or females. A DNA test is now available to identify dogs as clear, carrier or affected.

Females with one or tow copies of the mutation will have normal internal and external female anatomy.

Males with one copy of the mutation will not develop the disease.

About 50% of Males with two copies of the mutation are likley to express the disease.

Avoid breeding carrier to carrier.

Comma Defect

affecting the Miniature Schnauzer breed. The condition is characterised by truncal shortening, extensive hemivertebrae (wedge-shaped vertebrae) and rib anomalies including malalignment, fusion and reduction in number. Affected dogs are stillborn or die shortly after birth. The genetic test is available from Laboklin and can be utilized by dog breeders to select away from the disease and avoid unnecessary neonatal losses.