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What Are the Best Tips for Grooming a Schnauzer?

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  • Written By: Marjorie McAtee
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 20 November 2016
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Grooming a schnauzer typically requires a variety of grooming tools, including brushes, combs, safety scissors, thinning shears, an electric hair clipper with blades of varying lengths, and a canine nail clipper. Both fine- and medium-tooth combs are generally recommended for grooming a schnauzer, since these animals normally have a soft, fluffy under-coat beneath a coarse, long top-coat. A pin brush is usually advised for removing tangles from the long, coarse top-coat, while a slicker brush can be used to remove loose hairs from the under-coat. Thinning shears can be used to reduce fluffiness in the coat, and safety scissors are typically advisable for trimming the hair on the dog's face. The fur of a miniature schnauzer should generally be brushed and groomed prior to bathing.

The typical miniature schnauzer haircut involves cutting the hair of the back and tail very short, usually with a number ten clipping blade. Care should be taken when trimming the tail, so that the tip of the tail doesn't become lacerated. It's generally considered best to cut with the natural lie of the hair. Cutting against the natural lie of the hair can cause skin irritation and lead to skin infections.

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The dog's abdomen is also usually groomed short, often with a number 30 clipper blade. When grooming a schnauzer, the hair of the beard, legs, and eyebrows is usually left long, while the forehead and ears are trimmed short. A smaller-sized electric hair clipper can make grooming a schnauzer's forehead easier. Some owners prefer to shave a stripe down the center of the schnauzer's muzzle to its nose, for the sake of tidiness.

Extra care is generally necessary when grooming a schnauzer's ears, since these, too, can easily be lacerated. The ear should typically be held flat on the fingertips, while the top of the ear is carefully shaved. Safety scissors can be used to carefully trim hair from the sides of the ears.

Most schnauzers are groomed with long eyebrows that hang down over the center of the muzzle. These are generally trimmed with safety scissors, on the bias, so that the long part is near the inner eye. The fur of the legs and beard are also usually left long and can be kept neat with safety scissors.

Canine nail clippers should generally be used to shorten the dog's nails, though care should usually be taken not to cut into the quick. Once the fur has been brushed and cut, the schnauzer can be bathed. After bathing, hair is usually blown dry on low heat. Fur is usually brushed downward with a pin brush during blow drying.

Before clipping or bathing a schnauzer, it's generally important to brush and comb any knots from its fur. This is typically accomplished by brushing against the natural lie of the fur with a pin brush. Afterwards, a slicker brush can be drawn through the fur with its natural lie to remove loose hairs. Scissors can be used to trim fur from between the schnauzer's foot pads.

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