Our Work Mission
Our work mission is a simple one--we are "Raising Standards To Make A Difference." What we mean by that is, we are raising our standard schnauzers to work as AAT dogs (Animal Assisted Therapy)--otherwise known as pet therapy--and we are seeking to raise awareness of the standard schnauzer breed in this field. It is not just a mission of ours but a passion to have dogs that work as therapy animals in various capacities. In our opinion and experience, the SS is a perfect mid-sized dog whose attributes make it a perfect candidate for the pet therapy world. They are small enough as to not intimidate young ones who may otherwise be afraid of a dog due to size, yet large enough where those in wheelchairs or hospital beds can still easily interact with them without extenuating effort. Their personalities speak for themselves in this field as SS are known to be obedient, loyal, and in our case affectionate dogs who are eager to please and always willing to say hi to a stranger.
Currently, ALL four of our SSs are "employed" as therapy animals in various local nursing homes, medical centers, libraries and pre-schools. We hope to branch out in the areas we serve in the future as our dogs continue to gain experience and other locations begin opening their doors for therapy dog services. Right now, Selah and Rigby both have over 300 therapy visits each under their vests, while Nova and Harley are hot on their tails with over 200 visits each for them. All four of them are also registered as R.E.A.D.s (Reading Education Assistance Dog), where they'll be a regulars at our libraries' Barks & Books times. Our hope is that within a year, we'll be welcomed into a few local elementary schools and perhaps the Wounded Warrior treatment center aboard of local military base.
If you'd like more into of therapy dogs programs or the work we do with our dogs, feel free to check out our Facebook page McElyea's McSchnauzers--Standard Schnauzers.
Our Breeding Mission
The #1 goal for any breeder of any breed should be to produce puppies that are a testament to the breed's historic qualities and that contribute to improving the overall health of the breed. According to the Standard Schnauzer Club of America (SSCA), "Breeders of Standard Schnauzers have an elevated level of responsibility and are expected to hold themselves and their dogs to a high standard that strives to protect the breed standard, prevent health related issues and preserve the future of the Standard Schnauzer as a healthy, active, long-lived, working family dog." This is what MMSS will strive to accomplish in our breeding endeavors. As with other ethical breeders, we want to breed "for the whole dog," producing animals that are not only great examples of the SS breed but of good health and with a good temperament as well.
To this extent, our dogs meet the current breed standard as set forth by the national breed club and have undergone all health testing required by the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) for the SS breed to ensure healthier, hardier dogs for future owners. Each of our dogs is of sound temperament, non-aggressive, attentive and active. Additionally, the idea of the standard schnauzer as a "working family dog" is what MMSS has worked hard to showcase, training our dogs in areas in which the standard schnauzer excels beyond the show ring and emphasizing their roles foremost as beloved members of a family and beneficial members of the community. With our family, this includes the training areas of basic and community obedience, trick dog training, canine parkour, farm dog and therapy dog work.
Through our breedings, we hope to produce a generation of SS that are healthy, happy, and mirror the qualities of our own dogs which endeared us forever to the SS breed. Ideally, we hope to produce a new generation of standard schnauzers and pair them with owners that share in our passion to highlight the SS breed in the therapy dog field. If we had it our way, the standard schnauzer would be the #1 recommended pet when it came to mid-size therapy dogs and there would be McElyea McSchnauzers bringing smiles, giving joy, and touching lives across the country for decades to come. But in the meantime, we'll just settle for making pet-owners super-duper happy :)
Ok...that's the rote answer most people were looking for. While, yes, it's 100% genuine, there is SO much more to our breeding mission at MMSS that we're pretty sure only the truly interested will have read past the first bit to get to the nitty-gritty here. It's not easy to wrap into one statement all the reasons we're em-barking (pun intended) on this endeavor. For us, our purpose in breeding our dogs is personal. There are several reasons we've chosen this path for our family and our dogs, but the foremost reason is we feel called to this new journey. If you've read the small snip-it about our family in the ABOUT US tab, you'll see we rely heavily on our faith, on prayer, and on God's direction in our lives. Right now, this is an area of ministry where we feel God is planning to use us to His purpose. And if we were to sum up our purpose in breeding (and His purpose for us through this), it would be that we're setting out to make a difference with our dogs and with any dog we produce. So you can see how our work mission and breeding mission pretty much go hand-in-hand.
a dog can change a life! Through love, comfort, and companionship, emotional support, physical support, service, activities and many other means, a dog has the ability to impact an individual in a way few other living creatures can. This is an experience we've had with our own dogs and one we now want to extend to others. That's why for us it's not just about breeding dogs of good temperament but breeding dogs of great personality as well--dogs that are loving, playful, and active, as well as being obedient, quick to learn, and eager to please. It's our firm belief that a dog doesn't need a ribbon or an embossed piece of paper to make a person happy and change a person's life.
Second, and perhaps the key focus for us, we want to make a difference in communities. The most significant way we hope to do this is by seeking out owners who are looking to use our dogs to reach out and help others in need within their own towns and surrounding areas. In our experience, the most effective way to do this is by being active in pet therapy. We are so serious about this mission that MMSS will reimburse the cost of titling fees to those owners who complete therapy dog training and earn any AKC therapy dog title with one of our puppies. We believe pet therapy is the perfect way to emphasize the impact a single dog can have not just on one life or one family, but in the lives many people in a single given day. It's not just about what your dog can do or even do for you, but what your dog can do for so many others that we hope will set MMSS dogs apart. Doing therapy work with our dogs has been one of the most rewarding and fulfilling experiences, not to mention the difference it's made in the dozens of lives of the people we visit on a weekly basis. We'd like to one day see MMSS dogs bringing joy to children, the elderly, the sick, wounded warriors, and others in need in nursing homes, preschools, medical and mental treatment centers, and hospitals across the country. Above all else, this is what we are hoping will become the legacy of our breeding program. If there existed a category for "top therapy dog breeder," we'd aim to be at the top of that list.
Finally, the third place we hope to make a difference is in the world. Or at least the world as we know it :). Since God has blessed us with the opportunity to follow this breeding path, we want to bless others in return through our breeding endeavors. So with each litter we produce, MMSS will donate a portion of total litter sales to a single charity, to be determined at the time of whelping. It may not be much, but it's the best way we can think of to give back and use our dogs to make a difference in the world, even if a small difference.