The schnauzer is available in three breed varieties: the giant, the standard and the miniature. Regardless of the size of your schnauzer, his grooming needs are the same. The schnauzer sports a distinctive mustache and has a double coat, meaning the underside is a soft layer of hair, while the top layer is more wire-like. Show dogs require a more intensive grooming routine to keep their coat looking breed-appropriate, but pet schnauzers can undergo a simpler, easier DIY grooming session.
Brush your schnauzer daily. Use a detangler spray to loosen and work out any tangles or mats before they become too tight. Brush him with a bristle or pin brush daily to keep his hair smooth and shiny, and use a slicker brush to remove mats. Combs help remove the dead, loose hair in his undercoat and aid in styling and trimming.
Keep his fur trim. Use an electric clipper to trim your schnauzer's hair close to his body. Trim the hair on his body and head short, but keep the hair along his underside and on his legs longer. Point the clippers downward to evenly blend the hair as you cut. Keep his eyebrows and beard longer, and use scissors occasionally to trim the ends straight and keep them looking neat.
Bathe him when necessary. Use a gentle dog shampoo to wash your schnauzer when he feels particularly dirty. Wet him down thoroughly with water set to a warm, comfortable temperature, being careful to avoid his eyes or ears. Wash him by gently massaging the shampoo into his coat and rinse thoroughly. Gently massage the shampoo into his beard to thoroughly clean the hair. Squeeze the excess water from his coat and use a towel to dry him as much as possible. Use a hair dryer set to low heat to dry him completely.
Check his ears daily. Schnauzers grow hair in their ears that need to be plucked regularly to prevent infections. Use ear cleaner to remove any built-up wax or dirt in the ear, and wipe it out thoroughly with a cotton ball. Inspect the ear for signs of redness or swelling, which may indicate irritation or infection. Use a pair of tweezers or your fingers to carefully remove any visible hair inside the ear. Do not delve too deeply into the ear, as one quick jerk from the dog may cause a painful ear injury.
Check his eyes daily. Use a soft, warm washcloth or damp cotton ball to wipe around your schnauzer's eyes and remove any debris that may have built up. Check for signs of redness or any indication that his eyes are irritated. See your veterinarian if you notice any cloudiness, foreign objects or other injuries. Keep his eyebrows trimmed to prevent them from obscuring his vision.
Brush his teeth daily. Use a dog-formulated toothpaste to brush your schnauzer's teeth and promote healthy gums. Use your finger as a toothbrush if he's not keen on being brushed, and gently massage the toothpaste onto his gums and teeth. Move to a toothbrush when he accepts your finger-brushing without complaint.
Check his feet every week. Inspect your schnauzer's pads for signs of cracking or injury, and use scissors to carefully trim the hair around his paws and between the pads to prevent matting. Trim his nails at least once a month, but be sure to get training from your veterinarian or a professional groomer first, as clipping his nails too short will result in bleeding and pain.
Trimming your schnauzer's nails or plucking his ear hair incorrectly can result in infections, injury and pain, so consult with your veterinarian or a professional groomer before you attempt it on your own.
Place a cotton ball in each of his ears before bath time to prevent water from getting inside.
If your schnauzer is a pet and not meant for the show ring, clip his hair shorter to make grooming easier and quicker.
Brush your schnauzer before bathing him to remove any loose hair and mats beforehand. A wet mat or tangle only becomes tighter when it gets wet, making it harder to remove.
Items You Will Need
- Coarse and fine metal combs
- Bristle and pin brushes
- Slicker brush
- Detangler spray
- Dog toothbrush and toothpaste
- miniature schnauzer image by Alison Bowden from Fotolia.com