Miniature Schnauzer Grooming [Complete Guide]

You are a responsible Miniature Schnauzer parent, and you want the best for your dog. That’s why you’re here, right?

There may be many different reasons why grooming your Miniature Schnauzer at home is a good idea.

Maybe you are just tired of trying to adapt to dog salon appointments; and given the current situation in the world, nobody wants to spend unnecessary money on GAS (that’s if you can even get your hands on some).

Let’s not talk about the bonding experience you could have with your bearded friend. 

If you have kids, this could be an interesting family activity for everyone included. 

Nevertheless, my suggestion is to make a cup of coffee or tea, sit back and relax. Here, you will find everything you need to know about Miniature Schnauzer grooming.

(This is going to be a long one)

We’re going to go over 6 main steps in grooming your Miniature Schnauzer:

  1. Brushing the fur
  2. Bathing
  3. Cutting the fur
  4. Maintaining the ears
  5. Grooming the Paws and Cutting the Nails
  6. Brushing teeth

Now that we know all the steps in Miniature Schnauzer grooming, let’s see what do you need to groom your bearded friend.

What Do You Need To Groom Your Miniature Schnauzer?

Before we start explaining the grooming process, we need to go over a list of things you need to have for grooming your wise-looking friend.

  • Shampoo of choice
  • Ear cleanser and tweezers
  • Hairdryer
  • Towels
  • Combs – The metal Greyhoundis the most commonly used comb. It comes with 1/2 finely spaced teeth and 1/2 medium spaced teeth.
  • Brushes – Slicker brushes have shorter metal pins and are bent at the ends. Use smaller, lighter ones with soft pins for separating the hairs while brushing out the beard, leg, and chest hair.
  • Nail Clippers – There are two types of nail clippers: a “guillotine” style or a scissors-type. There’s also a grinder you can grind down the nails with, and some dogs may tolerate that a bit better.
  • Scissors – A sharp pair of scissors is essential! The cheap ones will not keep a sharp edge, but ultra-expensive scissors are not necessary either.
  • Clippers – The most commonly used brands are Andis, Wahl, and Oster. For the body, you’ll need a #10 blade, a #30 or #40 blade for ears, and maybe a #7F (full tooth) for keeping more coat on in colder weather. The higher the number, the closer the cut.
  • Grooming table (optional) – Since grooming tables can be quite expensive, a non-skid tub mat on the top of your washer or dryer can come in handy. Here, a company of a family member makes a big difference, because this requires a person holding the puppy’s head until he learns to stand still while being groomed. You can take this opportunity to practice with your Miniature Schnauzer the command “stay”.

Now that we have all that we need, we can start the grooming process. We begin with brushing the fluff.

Brushing The Fur

Miniature Schnauzers’ distinctive beard hair, wise-looking eyebrows, and leg furnishings are one of the most unique features of the breed. These features are always highlighted on the Miniature Schnauzer and enhance the breed’s distinguishable look. 

Even though Miniature Schnauzers are considered hypoallergenic because of the minimal shedding, there is still some hair loss. Quick daily brushing will virtually eliminate the problem of shedding, though.

The furnishings on the Miniature Schnauzer’s legs are often prone to matting. To avoid that, it’s important to brush these as often as possible and to also brush through the longer hair on the belly and beard to prevent or remove knots. 

Start brushing by pushing the hair upwards at the top of the leg. Then, using a slicker brush, brush it back down. This way you’re making sure that you are not only brushing the surface of the long hair but that you are also removing any deep tangles or mats. Don’t forget the armpit area. 

Using a comb, carefully groom the beard and eyebrows. Always brush forward and away from the eyes and mouth.

Now that your miniature friend is brushed and untangled, it’s time to take a bath.

Bathe Your Miniature Schnauzer

They should only be bathed when necessary, not more than once a month. However, the beard may need to be washed more frequently.

Important notice: make sure you use a dog shampoo, and avoid using human products – the pH in human shampoos can be harmful to a dog’s coat and skin.

No matter how clean and neat your pooch is, they are going to need a bath at some point. 
In order to bathe your Schnauzer, follow these few simple steps: 

  • Clean all foreign matter out of the dog’s coat as much as possible. 
  • Fill a sink, bathtub, or another container with lukewarm water and place the dog in the water. The water should not be deeper than the bottom of its belly. 
  • Place one hand on the back of the dog’s neck, or under the stomach. Keep praising and talking to the pup.
  • Now we wet the dog’s fur down. Make sure that the water is warm to the touch before wetting the dog. 
  • Apply a good quality pet shampoo and lather. Again, keep one hand as a support for the dog and lather with the other.
  • After the dog is completely shampooed, rinse thoroughly with warm water. Work from the top to the bottom to make sure all shampoo is removed. 
  • You can finish the bath with a good skin/hair conditioner for dogs. Don’t forget to rinse thoroughly.

After the bath, your mini fluff will want to shake. To prevent that, immediately dry it with fluffy towels. Towel dry your Mini Schnauzer as much as possible. 

You can use this moment to wipe the face and eyes with a soft washcloth damped with warm water. 

It’s important to blow dry your pup to prevent skin irritations.
Using medium heat dry the rest of your dog’s fur, combing it as you go.
As you blow-dry its fur, brush the eyebrows and the beard forward and downward; brush the leg hair up, starting at the top of the leg and working your way down. Don’t forget to comb through to make sure there are no mats. 

If you are in a hurry or don’t have time, there are “dry bath” powders that work well. 
You should avoid contact with your pup’s eyes, mouth, and ears when using dry bath powder. 
This bathing method is not recommended if you want to cut your dog’s hair afterward.

Cutting Miniature Schnauzer’s Fur

Clip the back fur

To obtain the distinctive Miniature Schnauzer haircut look, you need to use clippers. 

Get a #8 or #10 blade and start at the base of your pup’s skull. Gently press the clippers down on the fur going along the length of the back to the tail.
On his sides, trim with the grain of the fur until you reach the underbelly. 
To get around the tail, follow the growth of the fur around his rump and down to about an inch above the joint in his hind legs in the back; just above his shoulder bone in the front; and just above his elbow on the side.

You can use a #7F clipper blade to keep more fur in the winter months.

Check the heat of the clipper blade on your forearm. You don’t want it to get too hot and burn your dog’s skin.

Remember to always clip with the growth of hair. Clipping or cutting against the direction of growth can pull the hair or even burn the skin.

Expert Tip: Run your fingers over your dog’s entire body (including ears, face, legs, and feet) before your start cutting the hair. Sometimes there can be moles or ticks on the dog that can get cut off. If the dog’s fur is matted, be especially thorough; those mats can hide skin problems like infections or wounds.

Use scissors on delicate areas

The fur on and around the tip of the tail should be cut with scissors. Make sure to cut the same length as the rest of the back fur so it matches. 

Underbelly hair should be cut the same length, but be extra careful around the genital region. It should be trimmed so that it gently tapers upwards toward the back legs.

Cut the leg fur

The fur length around the legs needs to be longer than the rest of the body. To achieve the desired column effect, circularly trim with scissors. Comb or brush the hair on the front leg so it stands straight out as you keep trimming until you get the desired length. 

Trim the hair on the front of the rear legs to follow the contour of the leg. 
Inside the rear legs, comb the hair out and trim down to make an “A” shape.

Trim around the face

This is the most delicate area and you have to be extremely careful not to hurt his eyes or ears.

Use your clippers to shorten the fur from the bottom of your pup’s skull, where you left off on his back, up till just above his eyebrows. 
Clip the fur around the neck up until his chin line.
Hold your fluffy friend’s head straight and comb the eyebrows forward and down. Point the scissors down toward his nose and cut the hair in a diagonal line over both eyes. 
To trim the beard, brush it out and trim some off the bottom of it.

Try your best to trim the head to appear rectangular. 

Maintaining The Ears

Cut the fur on the ears

Now that you have finished trimming around the face, it’s time to complete the head by cutting the fur on the ears. 

You can do that by running the clipper downward and outward.
Do the same thing on both the outer side and underneath side of the ear.
Finish your pup’s ears by shaping them using scissors; hold onto the earflap and trim the excess hair around the edges.

Important notice: Be very careful! The ears are very sensitive and you can easily damage them.

If you somehow hurt your pup’s ear while cutting the fur, this is what you should do:

Use cotton pads or a clean cloth to apply pressure on both sides of the ear flap that’s bleeding. Hold the pressure for a few minutes to stop the bleeding. If the cut is larger, bandage the pads and the dog’s ears flat against his head and take him to the vet right away.

Pluck the hair in the ears

An interesting thing about Schnauzers is that they grow long fur on the inside of their ears. Having that in mind, you need to often pluck the hair from inside the ears.

Use a pair of tweezers and gently pull the fur, making sure not to hurt your dog. You should leave just a little bit of fur, so there is something to protect the ears. Make sure not to pluck all the fur from the inside of the ears – fur is needed to prevent air from getting inside the ear and drying it. Pluck just the top part, where it’s gotten too long. 

Clean out the ear

Miniature Schnauzers often have difficulty with a wax build-up in the ear, especially if they’re not cropped. Since the ear naturally folds, it keeps the inside of the ear damp and warm all the time – a perfect place for bacteria and yeast growth. 
To prevent infections and irritations, you should clean your dog’s ears frequently, not only after a full body trim. 

Gently rub the cotton ball, with a dog ear cleanser, on the visible parts of the ear. To prevent moisture build-up in the ear canal, dry it using a clean soft cloth.
Important notice: Under no circumstances should you use a Qtip or any other object to clean the ear!

Grooming the Paws and Cutting the Nails

You should start this grooming part by trimming down any excessively long hair along with the nails. Use scissors for this part. You also need to trim back the hair that’s coming out from between the paw pads – use clippers for this part.

Clipping Nails

Keeping your Miniature Schnauzer’s nails neat is important to prevent sore feet and damaged furniture. Using a guillotine-type dog nail clipper or a dog nail grinder, simply remove the tip of the nail. Use a nail file or electric file to smooth the surface of the claw. 

Take care not to cut the quick, or it will bleed profusely.
The quick is the living part of the nail that contains nerves and blood vessels. Cutting the quick is a painful experience for your Miniature Schnauzer (think of cutting your own quick – painful, right?)

Many Schnauzers will not need their nails trimmed if they walk regularly on rough surfaces – these surfaces act like natural nail files to keep the claws short.

Important notice: 

  • Do not use a human nail clipper as it can cause the nails to splinter.
  • Do not use regular cutting scissors as the risk of slippage is high. 

How do you stop bleeding when you cut a dog’s nails too short?

Styptic powder or a styptic pencil is the easiest and most effective in stopping dog nail bleeding. You can purchase at most major pet stores and pharmacies.
Be aware that styptic powder will deliver a sting, so be prepared to hold onto the dog firmly while applying.

How do you stop a dog’s nail from bleeding without styptic powder?

If you don’t have styptic powder, dab the tip of the damaged nail in a little flour or cornstarch – that should stop the bleeding within a few minutes. 
Call your vet if the bleeding continues for more than several minutes.

Hydrate The Paw

Once you are done with cutting and filing the nails, you should rub some vaseline or paw moisturizer to rehydrate the paws. Your Mini Schnauzer will be thankful for the paw massage after the stressful process of nail clipping. By doing this, your dog will start looking forward to the activity in the future and not stress too much about the whole grooming process. 

Treat your dog with his favorite chewy after you’re done.

Brushing Your Miniature Schnauzer’s Teeth

It is crucial to care for your Schnauzer’s teeth throughout its life. Your pup will be grateful when he comes to senior age. 

Don’t be one of those people who assume that a dog will be able to care for its teeth by himself. 
This may have been true – if dogs only ate all-natural food. 

Miniature Schnauzers, unlike many other smaller breeds, are not apt to tooth and gum disease. You can help enhance this natural tendency by brushing your dog’s teeth as often as possible. 

How To Brush Your Miniature Schnauzer’s Teeth?

This is a simple process that is done using a finger sleeve and some dog toothpaste to gently massage gums and teeth to remove tartar. 

While it is not required to brush your Schnauzer’s teeth daily, it is a good idea to do this at least twice a week. Starting with brushing teeth when the dog is very young will help them get used to the process. 

Important notice: Do not use human toothpaste – it’s not correctly formulated for dogs. 

What to look for when brushing your dog’s teeth.

When you’re brushing your pup’s teeth, watch for any indications of redness, inflammation, or even bleeding along the gum line. 
Gum bleeding is usual if the puppy is teething. It’s not normal if your pup is older than 6 months. 

Look for any serious residues of tarter along the line of the gums. 
Tartar has a yellowish to brown color, and may not come off with simple brushing. 
If the tarter build-up is severe, the dog will need to have it removed by a vet. This process is known as scaling – it requires the dog to be anesthetized, so is a rather expensive procedure. 

Brush your dog’s teeth a few times a week to keep them slick 😀

Benefits of grooming your Miniature Schnauzer at home

There are more than a dozen reasons why grooming your Miniature Schnauzer at home is a good idea – but here are just a few: 

  1. It will strengthen the bond between you and your pooch. Grooming can be stressful for both you and your dog, but if done correctly it can be an amazing bonding experience.
  2. You will save money. If you make a habit of putting aside the money you would’ve spent on groomers, you’ll save up a nice sum to spend on something else.
  3. It’s a time saver. You will no longer need to work around salon appointments or have to drive to and from.
  4. Your Miniature Schnauzer is more comfortable and safer at his own home. No more worries about your dog being left in a crate waiting for his turn.
  5. You get to choose the grooming products
    to use on your Miniature Schnauzer. 
  6. Early detection of any abnormalities. Skin irregularities, like dog lumps and bumps, could require medical attention. And early detection is the key in battling illness and disease.

You coming to the end of this blog post means that you are serious about grooming your Miniature Schnauzer at home.
What do you think will be the most challenging part of grooming your Mini Schnauzer?

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