The Miniature, Giant and Standard Schnauzer are classed as separate breeds, but their coat care and grooming requirements are the same. Grooming entails using many grooming skills, from hand-stripping and scissoring, clipping and blending, to rolling. The coat of a Schnauzer requires regular brushing with a slicker and combing with a medium toothed comb, particularly on the legs and whiskers. The coat is stripped completely when it blows twice a year.
The topcoat is harsh and wiry, just short enough for smartness on the body. It is slightly shorter on the neck and shoulders, but blends smoothly into the body coat. It is clean at the throat, skull, ears and under the tail. The hair on the legs is harsh. The breeds have a good undercoat. The color is pepper and salt, black, and black and silver.
Equipment needed: Trimming scissors, two slicker brushes (one small, soft one for the face, and a harder one for the rest of the coat) and a terrier pad for the main jacket.
Pay attention to stripping and rolling the coat on a more regular basis to keep it looking smart all year round. Show dogs are frequently rolled every week to keep them in a full coat. Rolling consists of continually removing longer dead hairs by finger and thumb so that new coat growth is continuous. The undercoat can be kept in check by removing with a blunt stripping knife.
- Starting with the head, strip the top of the skull, the neck and the body down over the shoulder to where the front legs join the body.
- Work along the back and down the back legs, to blend the coat in at a line running from the groin to the hock.
- Follow the underline through to the rump and down to just above the indentation of the hock and the tail.
- Trim the tail by hand- or knife-stripping (working with the direction of the hair growth). Some pet dogs are clipped. The underside of the tail is trimmed short.
- Clip the ears downwards with a No. 10 Oster, or use thinning scissors to shorten the hair. Tidy the edges with scissors.
- Then clip the cheeks and under the throat and down the front of the chest.
- The belly can be clipped to incorporate the insides of the groin. However, leave part of the rib cage to be tapered up with scissors to make a short fringe. This will enhance the contours of the body.
- Brush the coat out using a fine spray of conditioner if dry, or where tangles are to be removed.
- Comb through the coat once more.
- Bathe in a natural-ingredient shampoo.
- Towel-dry and finish in a cage or with a blower.
- Trim with scissors under the body upwards, working with the contours of the body.
- Tidy the trimmed parts to remove stray hairs.
- Comb the eyebrows and beard forward, and scissor diagonally from the bridge of the nose to the outer corner of the eye, then scissor a small inverted V-shape between the eyes to make a distinct eyebrow and to show the stop.
- Using scissors, trim between the eyebrows into a diamond shape.
- Scissor the edges of the ears to a rectangular shape. The head should give the impression of a “house brick.”
- The hair on the chest, between the legs, should now be scissored to look flat and smooth.
- Scissor the front legs to achieve a neat appearance, with the elbows close to the body, taking more hair from the outer elbow to give the appearance that the forelegs are close together, and are not sticking out.
- Scissor the feet to give them a round, catlike appearance.
- Trim the back legs, blending the longer hair into the shorter body coat.
- Pet dogs are very often clipped instead of being stripped, as this is far quicker and, therefore, cheaper. They can look extremely smart and chic when this is undertaken with consideration.
Get more details about grooming a miniature schnauzer at home.