Some of the top questions people ask us are about grooming their new Miniature Schnauzer. Grooming your Miniature Schnauzer correctly is vital to their health, not to mention maintaining that quintessential Schnauzer look we all love. Today, in Schnauzer U, we’re taking a dive into Miniature Schnauzer grooming – from baths to beards.
If you use a professional groomer, you will need to schedule cuts every 6-8 weeks depending on how fast your individual puppy’s coat grows. A good groomer will pluck the hair out of the ears and trim the hair from between the pads of the dog’s feet. It is tough to find a groomer who does a genuine Schnauzer cut. If possible, check out pics of other Schnauzers the prospective groomer has cut. Or bring pics of your desired cut to show the groomer.
Ready to dive into Schnauzer grooming? Be sure to get a good set of tools for the job. We love our Oster A5 clipper. It’s a little extra cost initially, but it’s an awesome workhorse that will last you for years and years to come. I use a number 9 blade for most of the body and a shorter 5/8 blade for details like ears and feet. You’ll also want to invest in a good pair of scissors. Other tools include a slicker brush, de-matting rake, ear powder, ear wash, and Clippercide spray. For a full list of recommendations, check the Recommended Products page on our website.
Between haircuts, you will need to brush your dog’s coat 2-4 times weekly and bathe every 2-4 weeks. We recommend Ultra-black shampoo by Bio-groom for black and black & silver dogs. Bio-groom also makes an excellent line of shampoos suitable for salt & peppers. Their conditioner is an awesome product for all three Schnauzer coat colors.
Clipping your puppy’s nails can be a daunting task for a new puppy owner. In time you will learn to accurately gauge how far down to cut. For a little extra money you can purchase a nail clipper with an indicator light that shows how close you are to the “quick.” Or some dogs like an electric nail file that slowly grinds the nail down.
The drawback to clipping your black & silver or black Miniature Schnauzer is that her coat may eventually fade. Schnauzers are double-coated; they have a coarse, wiry outer coat and a soft, often curly undercoat. The outer coat contains the true color of the Schnauzer: the beautiful dark black in the black & silver and black, or the sprinkled effect of the salt and pepper. The undercoat is the portion of the coat that sometimes fades. Unfortunately, a clipper cuts off the topcoat, leaving the undercoat. The only way to keep the true color and texture of the Miniature Schnauzer is to pluck, or strip, the coat. When a Miniature Schnauzer is being prepped for show, all the hair on their body is stripped (plucked) and as the undercoat grows in over the following weeks, it is removed leaving the harsh outer coat. Stripping the coat is very time-consuming and uncomfortable for both the dog and the groomer. So while clipping may cause fading, it is easy and painless, making it the preferred grooming method for the vast majority of Miniature Schnauzer owners.
Grooming your Miniature Schnauzer can seem overwhelming at first. But with some research and patience, you’ve totally got this.
Learn how to train your puppy to enjoy grooming in our blog post on body handling.