A well-groomed Miniature Schnauzer is a delight to the eye, and should be a point of pride to the owner. The breed loses much of its character and charm if the coat is not properly maintained. The Miniature Schnauzers need to be groomed every 6 to 8 weeks. They need their coats brushed weekly to remain mat-free and looking good. A Miniature Schnauzer should have nothing sticking out anywhere when finished grooming. If it was agreed that your puppy is a “pet” and the puppy will not be shown, chances are he or she will already be neatly clipped in a proper pet style. Ongoing maintenance will always involve electric clippers as your principal tool. This page is intended to help educate new owners in all phases of grooming and general coat management. The instructions may seem lengthy, due to their detail, but once you completely understand and have some experience, you will want to know even more.
The Stripping Process:
The process of stripping, or pulling the hair out from the roots, may seem horrible to the uninformed person. It is, however, quite natural to strip out the coat of a Miniature Schnauzer. If left to its normal cycle, the hair would eventually reach a length of two to four inches and die. Rather than shedding, the dead hair tends to linger halfheartedly. It does not break off, but eventually falls from the roots. The stripping process is only assisting the natural cycle, and is relatively painless.
The first step: Stripping
This is the basic diagram to “hand-strip” a Miniature Schnauzer of the correct conformation and type. The stripping pattern should be adjusted to get the correct look to each dog as required.
The finger method of stripping is best for way for beginners to learn the process. In this method, it is best to begin with an untrimmed puppy or adult in blown coat. If the coat is blown (dead, and ready to be plucked), it will come out easily. The stripping process should be complete in about 4 weeks.
This should be done by grasping the hair and pulling it, using the arm and shoulder action rather than twisting of the wrist. Grasping a few strands of hair at a time between thumb and index finger or stripping knife and thumb. The hair must be pulled from the roots – not cut. Always pull in the direction of the lay of the coat. Work the area worked on is completely bare. In a few weeks you will notice some soft fuzzy undercoat will begin to reappear, just before the new wire coat. You may notice that some scraggly leftovers hairs. Go ahead and remove these hairs by stripping them.
When the coat begins to take shape, start raking it with and extra fine stripping fine this will help keep the undercoat at bay. When removing undercoat, keep a close eye out not to remove all the undercoat. It’s important to leave some undercoat to help create smooth lines, enhance the arch of neck, fill low spots, etc.
The photos above are how a Miniature Schnauzer should look if they have been hand-stripped and this is the proper grooming if you intend to show dogs.