From understanding your Miniature Schnauzer’s hair and coat, to how to trim their eyebrows and beard, we’ve top tips from grooming professionals.
Described by The Kennel Club as well balanced, smart, stylish and adaptable, the Miniature Schnauzer has very distinctive looks.
With their bearded muzzle, endearing bushy eyebrows and fluffy, feathered legs, their dapper appearance suits their intelligent nature and characterful personality. As moulting is minimal, Miniature Schnauzers are a popular breed for people who dislike having piles of dog fur around their home and can be a good option for people with allergies.
However, when it comes to grooming a Miniature Schnauzer, their neat and natty style takes some looking after. Whether you’re wanting the perfect Miniature Schnauzer puppy cut or you’re grooming an adult Schnauzer, expect to commit to a regular routine.
Your Dog magazine advises: “In order to keep their coat in tip-top condition, you need to groom them at least twice a week; their coats are quite fine, so you should be able to groom their beard and feathers easily with a comb.”
As well as regularly grooming your Miniature Schnauzer, feeding your furry friend the right food is important too, to ensure they stay healthy inside and out.
Miniature Schnauzer grooming cuts – best left to the professionals?
Along with getting to grips with a regular home grooming routine, occasional trips to a professional groomer will also likely be required to maintain the perfect Miniature Schnauzer cut.
Your Dog magazine adds: “When committing to a puppy, you need to be aware that they either need to be taken to the groomer’s every eight to 10 weeks, or you can learn to clip and groom them yourself. A groomer will either hand-strip or clip their back, while the legs, stomach, beard, and eyebrows, are kept longer.”
MINIATURE SCHNAUZER SNAPSHOT
The word ‘schnauze’ means ‘muzzle’ in German. Farmers would sometimes keep a Miniature Schnauzer with a German Shepherd as a protective team to ward off predators and keep livestock safe. The Schnauzer could alert the German Shepherd when there was trouble. Schnauzers have excellent reputations as watchdogs — they can be quite vocal!
Source: Your Dog magazine
Understanding your Miniature Schnauzer’s coat
Before grooming your Miniature Schnauzer, it’s important to understand the features of their coat.
Groomers – a UK company whose story began in the 1990s with a dog groomer, a vet school and an idea to reduce dry, itchy skin and hair loss in dogs – which today supplies products, equipment and best practice advice to professional dog groomers, says: “A Schnauzer is a double-coated breed, so its fur consists of both an undercoat and a top coat. Hypoallergenic and moulting less frequently than other breeds, they need special care and attention in order to keep their coat in a perfect condition, requiring regular grooming to prevent it from matting. The tough and wiry textured top layer of a Schnauzer’s coat acts like a protective barrier to shield it from the elements, whereas its inner coat is softer and more cotton-like.”
The main features of a Miniature Schnauzer cut
There are different Schnauzer cuts but, usually, the main characteristics are:
- The top coat should be wiry and harsh and kept just short enough to appear smooth on the body.
- At the neck and shoulders, the coat should be slightly shorter, to create a perfectly seamless blend into the body coat.
- There should be longer hair on the legs, yet the throat, ears, head and tail should be kept clean looking.
- Under the belly, there should be a good, clear undercoat, usually coloured salt and pepper, black or black and silver, depending on the breed variation.
What’s involved in grooming a Miniature Schnauzer and can you do it yourself?
Hand stripping your Miniature Schnauzer can be a challenge. Groomers advises: “The traditional way to groom a Schnauzer is to strip, roll and trim the coat. If you prefer your dog’s hair to be stripped (with a stripping knife) or rolled (where long, dead hairs are removed by a finger and thumb), it’s advisable to seek professional help and advice before attempting this yourself. For pet dogs, the classic Schnauzer cut can be created using clippers for a more purse-friendly, less time-consuming process that still achieves the iconic, chic and elegant Schnauzer look.”
MINIATURE SCHNAUZER SNAPSHOT
A Miniature Schnauzer’s coat can be one of four colours: pepper and salt (most commonly seen), where the hairs are banded in shades ranging from light silver, through to black; pure black; black and silver, where the jacket is solid black with silver markings on areas of the body including the legs, eyebrows, muzzle, and chest; and white.
Source: Your Dog magazine
Grooming your Miniature Schnauzer at home
Between professional grooms, these brilliant Mini Schnauzer grooming tips from the experts at Groomers will help you keep your dog looking smart and sassy:
How often should I brush my Miniature Schnauzer?
Brushing should be done frequently as part of a Schnauzer dog grooming routine. Groomers recommends: “Because of their double coat, a Schnauzer’s fur is prone to knotting, so it should be brushed regularly with a soft-bristled or a slicker brush and a medium-toothed comb on the legs and face. Between the ages of a year and 15 months, a Schnauzer will begin to develop its adult coat, so it’s advisable to brush them every day during this period to prevent their puppy hair from tangling up and matting with their newly grown adult hair. After 15 months, it is still advisable to brush and comb their coat every other day.”
How often should I bathe my Miniature Schnauzer?
Mini Schnauzer grooming should also include bathing. Groomers suggests: “As a general rule, this breed should be bathed once a month if necessary, using a dog friendly or breed-specific shampoo. As with all breeds, try to avoid over-bathing your dog, as this can strip the coat of its oils and cause the skin to dry out. Where possible, dry both layers of the coat with a hairdryer rather than air drying to remove moisture.”
How do I clip and trim my Miniature Schnauzer?
The process of achieving a Miniature Schnauzer puppy cut is the same as for an adult dog:
- Start at the head and clip the hair down on the skull, neck and over the shoulder heading towards where the front legs join the body.
- Next, work along the back and down the body, blending the coat into a line from the groin to the hock.
- Follow your underline through and down the dog’s rump, stopping level with the indentation at the hock and the tail.
- The tail can be trimmed or clipped, with the underside being trimmed short.
- Clip under the throat and down through the chest. The belly and insides of the groin will also be clipped, leaving the hair longer under the ribcage, which will be tapered with scissors to create a short fringe.
- Trim the back legs and blend the longer hair into the shorter body coat.
- Trim the hair on the chest and between the legs to create a flat and smooth finished look.
- Scissor the front legs and feet for a neat and tidy Miniature Schnauzer haircut.
How do I groom my Miniature Schnauzer’s face?
You’ll need to take extra care when grooming your Miniature Schnauzer’s face. Groomers says: “To create that beautiful Schnauzer expression, a Schnauzer’s face needs to be clipped and trimmed perfectly with enough hair left on the eyebrows and beard. Whether using scissors or clippers, follow these steps to perfect those stunning features.”
- Start by combing the eyebrows and beard forward, then scissor diagonally from the bridge of the nose towards the outside corner of the eye, being mindful to keep the point of the scissors out of harm’s way.
- Once both eyebrows are formed, cut an inverted V shape between the eyes, removing the unnecessary hair just adobe the nose to make the eyebrows more distinctive and prominent.
- Next, tidy up the ears, scissoring them close to the edge of the ear to create a rectangular shape.
- For the beard, lift up a thumbs-width of hair and clip away the hair underneath leaving enough rough hair for your Schnauzer to retain its characteristic bearded look.
- For the nose hair, it is best to leave this area to grow downwards adding to the fullness of the beard. If you were to clip this hair, it would grow back spikey and rough.
- Trim the chin with scissors to tidy up the look and achieve the ideal Miniature Schnauzer grooming cut.
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CARE MORE Find out more about caring for your dog from Burgess, the pet experts. Training, nutrition, grooming and general care. It’s all here
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