Why should you spay/neuter your dog?
If you got your Miniature Schnauzer puppy from a reputable breeder, you can be confident it is a healthy, loving and attractive animal who will make you a fine companion. He comes from the best breeding stock available. You can be proud of him and assured that he represents the breed in a manner that conforms well to the Standard.
At this point, however, for reasons having to do with the welfare and improvement of the Miniature Schnauzer breed and the shocking excess of unwanted and stray purebred dogs today, you should consider the spay/neuter contract offered by most reputable breeders. The American Kennel Club approves of the use of such an agreement in lieu of the transfer of papers to the new owner until such time as the animal is spayed or neutered. Perhaps some additional explanation of the practical advantages of owning a non-breeding pet will help to assure you that you will be doing the right thing by simply loving and enjoying the beauty and personality of this pup without adding more Miniature Schnauzers (or accidentally, mixed breed dogs) to the world's canine population.
If your puppy is a male, he will be more content and attentive to you if he does not have the never-ending awareness and urge to seek bitches in season (who seem to be everywhere, often running loose). One way to keep this contented state is not to allow him to breed and to have him altered (neutered) at such time as your veterinarian advises. There is no evidence that not breeding, or alteration, results in any psychological harm.
If your puppy is a bitch, she, too, will be more content and attentive when she does not have to go through the tension and frustration often associated with seasons, and you will find it easier to enjoy her without the mess and the nuisance of noisy, persistent male dogs congregating at your doorstep, for two weeks at a time, twice a year or so. Always, when we have decided that a bitch we own is not to be used for breeding, we have her spayed - even though we have the facilities to keep her secure and are accustomed to having bitches in season year-round.
In short, both spaying and neutering should be thought of as a way to improve your dog's life and yours. The procedures can help your pets live longer by reducing the occurrence of certain tumors as well as by making them less likely to roam or fight. The expense of alteration is small and it will very likely "pay for itself" in unstained carpet, intact fences, or the like.
And, remember - by not breeding your pet, you will be making a very real contribution to animal welfare as a whole. Most of the unwanted and stray purebred dogs come from "puppy mills" who breed heavily and without regard for quality or genetic testing or screening. A second major source is pet owners who breed their animals without realizing the responsibilities of placing the puppies and are faced with giving them away to people who may repeat the entire sequence. The way things are going, many of these will end up in pounds, poor homes, on the sides of highways, and otherwise forced out of survival.
Breeding dogs has become a complex, expensive and demanding practice, which should be backed up by genetic information and screening and a thorough knowledge of the desired traits of the breed. The casual breeding performed by friends or neighbors who happen to own Miniature Schnauzers (or other dogs) of opposite sexes seldom produces anything but more Miniature Schnauzers. There are already too many, too mediocre in quality. Remember - you are doing a very real service to animal welfare by not breeding your pet, and in doing so you are showing perhaps the finest kind of love for the animals which mean so much to us all.
© 1996 Legacy Miniature Schnauzers