With his bushy eyebrows and full beard, your miniature schnauzer gives the impression of a well-weathered gentleman. Aside from a professional trim and shaping every few months, your pooch doesn't need much in the way of excessive grooming.
Keep mats at bay by brushing your mini schnauzer on a regular basis. Even though he's trimmed short, your pooch's double coat guarantees that mats will occasionally form. Brush him with a pin brush or slicker brush a few times a week and before bathtime to remove any tangles or mats before they set. Use a comb to straighten his beard and eyebrows, combing them forward as you smooth them out. Use a detangler spray to prevent breakage and static buildup as you brush. Rub down his body with a rubber grooming mitt to stimulate hair growth, circulation and tidy him up.
Bathe your miniature schnauzer whenever he needs it. Some breeds benefit from frequent bathing, but the short and sturdy coat of the mini schnauzer does not require such frequency. Once every few months usually suffices. Wet his coat thoroughly, running your hand along his body to ensure the water gets all the way through his double coat. Massage a gentle shampoo in and rinse completely to remove all residue. Any dried shampoo left on his skin can cause irritation, so rinse, rinse, and rinse some more to make sure you get all the shampoo out.
Wipe away eye and ear ickiness with cotton balls. Your pup most likely has little rubbery boogies that gather in the corner of his eyes on a regular basis. Use a damp cotton ball to wipe them away and prevent staining. Place cotton balls in his ears during his bath to prevent water or shampoo from dripping inside, and use the now-wet balls to wipe any excess ear wax or other dirt out.
Dry your miniature schnauzer completely to encourage the proper look to his coat. Since about half of his body is clipped short, you may want to let your pup dry naturally after his bath. Air drying may save electricity and effort, but his distinctive fluffy legs will look flat and crinkly. Squeeze the excess water out with a towel on his longer hair after the bath. Use a hair dryer on low heat on his legs as you fluff the hair up with a pin brush, and switch to a slicker brush when they're nearly dry. Brush through his beard and other longer hair sections as you dry to give him a smooth, neat look.
- If your pup is purely pet and not show material, forgo regular trims and shaping and simply have him shorn completely. It's easier on you both and less time-consuming because less grooming is required.
- Don't forget about your mini's nails. They'll need to be trimmed at least once a month. This can be a bit tricky thanks to a sensitive vein inside called the quick, which is easy to nick and will cause your pup pain. Have your vet or a professional groomer do this for you or show you how.
- Brush your pooch's teeth every day to prevent tooth decay and gum disease.
- Never assume you can trim your dog yourself between professional groomings. Clippers and scissors plus inexperienced hands plus anxious, uncooperative dog could all add up to one big horrible accident. Don't overestimate your abilities or your pooch's patience and seek help from a professional groomer.
Jane Williams began her writing career in 2000 as the writer and editor of a nationwide marketing company. Her articles have appeared on various websites. Williams briefly attended college for a degree in administration before embarking on her writing career.