Schnauzers are a very distinctive Double-Coated breed, the longer fur on their face helping them stand out and look especially unique among dogs. There are literally countless grooming styles for these guys, but a very important rule every Schnauzer owner should remember (Especially in a Tropical Climate).
Important Schnauzer Grooming Rule
As I was browsing through all these unique Schnauzer styles on Pinterest, I noticed several of the dogs have been shaved. Yes, they looked great and unique, but shaving a double-coated breed may not be the best style for all schnauzers.
Such a coat was biologically designed to not only keep the dog warm during the winter, but repel dirt & water, and help keep him cool during the summer by actually trapping cool air and offering protection from the sun. Shaving the dog doesn’t help him remain cooler, but rather takes away these protections and increases the chances of overheating.
When a dog sheds, he sheds his undercoat; the topcoat never sheds and is meant to stay the same. These two coats don’t grow at the same rate, and when a topcoat is cut, the dog’s fur might be permanently altered.
Bathing your Schnauzer often (more than once to twice a month) can wash away oils protecting his skin, and cause it to dry out and become itchy. When you do bathe, make sure you use a dog-approved shampoo! Miniature Schnauzers tend to require bathing more frequently than the giant version. In fact, the American Miniature Schnauzer Club recommends bathing as much as once a week
Prone to developing knots, your Schnauzer’s fur should be brushed regularly. This is a breed that doesn’t shed very much, so your job isn’t going to be difficult!
Trimming or Hand Stripping a Schnauzer’s Fur
Because shaving or most forms of cutting would damage that topcoat (which, remember- you don’t want to do) in an attempt to get to the undercoat, ‘hand stripping’ involves the groomer removing dead fur by hand. The hair is removed by the root so new fur is able to grow.
This is a much more popular method with show dogs, and not always done with everyday pets. Hand stripping, though it doesn’t damage the dog’s coat, can be uncomfortable for the animal.
The topcoat is maintained by hand stripping or rolling the coat and is required for the show ring.
As a wire-haired dog, shaving causes a Schnauzer to lose his characteristic coat texture, giving him something closer to a fine, cotton appearance. Click below for a more complete description of some of the best recommended Schnauzer grooming tools you can use!
American Miniature Schnauzer Club. (2018). Pet Grooming Tips for the Miniature Schnauzer.
Retrieved from https://www.amsc.us/pet-grooming-tips/