Miniature Schnauzers are a breed of German dog whose compact size and fearless nature, combined with playfulness and devoted companionship, has made them popular pets. They are members of the terrier group and display the playful, feisty, fearless nature of their fellow terriers. The Miniature Schnauzer’s double coat requires maintenance for a neat appearance. Grooming Miniature Schnauzers for dog shows is best left to professional groomers because there are specific guidelines to follow. However, you can follow a few simple steps to learn how to groom your Miniature Schnauzer at home.
Maintaining the Ears
1. Cut the outside fur on the ears.
The fur on the outside your Schnauzer’s ears will grow long, just like his other body fur. Brush the fur on the ears. Using scissors, cut the excessive fur growth that hangs free from the ear. Do not cut the fur that grows on his ears because it keeps his ears warm and looking nice.
Be very careful. The ears are sensitive and you can easily hurt them
2. Pluck the inner fur in the ears
One of the main differences between Schnauzers and other dogs is that they grow long fur on the inside of their ears. Because of this, you need to periodically pluck the hair from inside his ears. Use a pair of tweezers and grasp the fur. Gently pull the fur, making sure not to hurt him. You can leave a little bit of each piece of fur behind, so there is something to protect his ears but not enough to prevent air from getting inside to dry them out. Just pluck off the top portion of the fur where it has gotten too long.
3. Clean out the ear
Since fur grows so readily in his ear, your Schnauzer’s ears are perfect for yeast and bacteria growth. To prevent this, you should also clean your dog’s ears frequently along with trimming the hair. Use a cotton ball and pour dog ear wash on it. Gently rub the cotton ball on the visible portions of your dog’s ear. Then, gently use a soft cloth to dry the ears so moisture doesn’t build up in the canal.
You can buy dog ear wash at your local pet store.
Never use a q-tip to clean your dog’s ears. It can damage his ear canal and lead to injury.
Cutting The Fur
1. Brush his hair
To start, you need to brush out your dog’s fur. This is so there isn’t any mats when you start to trim the hair, which can cause pain to his skin or disruption in the fur line. Brush the hair on the legs and the beard as well. You should use a pin brush followed by a comb.
You should use a small soft slicker brush and a comb with 1/2 an inch bristles on your dog.
Make sure you brush under the arms, on the belly, and between his toes to ensue all the mats or knots are combed out.
If your has already dog has been trimmed or groomed before, he will not likely have a lot of mats. If he hasn’t, this step is extremely necessary to ensure his cut looks as good as possible.
2. Bathe your dog
Once you make sure that the mats are out of your dog’s fur, you need to bathe him. This will help his coat be as clean as possible when you cut his hair. Use a gentle shampoo to bathe him and lukewarm water to rinse out all the soap.
This also gives you time to brush his teeth.
3. Dry the fur
Once you are done bathing your dog, you need to dry his fur. This takes a combination of towel drying and blow drying. Towel dry him off as much as possible. Next, using medium heat, take a blow dryer and dry the rest of your dog’s fur, combing it as you go.
Brush the leg hair up, starting at the top of the leg and working your way down. Also dry the back fur as well as that on the head. Don’t blow the dryer in his face to avoid discomfort.
You can use a grooming table for this and all remaining processes if you want to avoid back strain. If you don’t have a grooming table, you can use any tall, flat surface
4. Clip the back fur.
Schnauzer’s are groomed in a very specific way. To obtain the right look, you need a dog hair clipper. Grab a #8 or #10 blade and put it on the clippers. Starting at the base of your dog’s skull, gently press the clippers down on the fur, moving the clippers along the length of the back to the tail area. Starting back at the top, do the same on the areas directly around the spine. On his sides, continue to trim with the grain of the fur until you reach his underbelly. To get around his tail, follow the grain of the fur around his rump and down to about an inch or so above the joint in his hind legs in the back, just above his elbow on the side, and just above his shoulder bone in the front.
If it is wintertime and you want your dog to have a little more fur, you can use a #7F clipper blade to allow him to keep more of his fur.
You should periodically check the heat on the clipper blade with your wrist. You want to make sure it doesn’t get too hot and burn your dog’s skin. You should also clean out any fur that gets trapped in the blades as well.
For a better idea of what the pattern of fur clipping should be, you can download a guide from the American Miniature Schnauzer Club or other reputable groomer.
5. Use scissors on delicate areas
There are areas on your Schnauzer that need to be groomed with scissors instead of clippers because they are so sensitive. The fur on and around the tip of the tail should be trimmed with scissors. Cut the length the same as the rest of the fur on his back so it matches. You should also cut the hair on his underbelly about the same length, but he careful not to cut his genital region.
You can use clippers on the underbelly, but you have to be extra careful not to hurt his tender underbelly or genital region.
6. Cut the leg fur
The fur around the legs needs to be longer than his other hair. They need to be cut evenly and brushed so they stick out to the side. Make sure you brush them out so you can ensure that they are even all around.
The fur of the legs is all the fur from where you stopped using the clippers on his body to the bottom of his feet. It’s also typically a different color.
7. Groom around the face.
The face area is the most delicate. You have to be extremely careful so you don’t hurt or aggravate his eyes or ears. Use the clippers to cut the fur from the base of his skull, where you left off on his back, up until just above his eyebrows. The fur around the neck should also be clipped up until his chin line.
To cut the hair over his eyes, brush it straight down. Using scissors, point the scissors down towards his nose and cut the fur in a diagonal line over his eye. Do the same to the other eye.
To trim the beard, you need to brush it out and trim some off the bottom. His whole face should look long and rectangular.
Grooming the Paws and Nails
1#Trim the hair
Inspect your dog’s paws. Ruffle out any excessively long fur along your dog’s paws. Using scissors, you need to trim all of this hair along the nails. You also need to trim back the hair that comes out from between the pads of his paw.
Make sure you are careful not to cut too close to the skin. You don’t want to accidentally cut his paw.
Repeat on every paw.
2#Cut the nails
Once you have trimmed the hair, you need to make sure the nails are cut to a comfortable length. You should use either guillotine dog nail clippers or a dog nail grinder. Gently cut or grind back the nail a little at a time. Once you see a dark area in the middle of the nails, you need to stop. Going below this will cut into the nail quick.
The quick of your dog’s nail is the living portion of the nail that contain blood vessels and nerves. Cutting the nails too far will cause them to bleed and will hurt immensely. It may also cause infection if not taken care of properly.
Once you cut each of his nails, use a file to smooth out any jagged edges.
Make sure you use dog clippers. Human clippers are not nearly strong enough to cut dog nails.
3#Rub the paws
Once the nails are cut and filed, you should rub some vaseline or paw moisturizer to help hydrate his paws. This also gives his paws a break after the stressful process of having his nails clipped. Repeat this on every paw.
This is also a good way of leaving your dog with a good impression of the whole experience. This way, he will start to look forward to the activity and not stress too much about the clippers or grinder while you are working on his nails.