The Schnauzer dog hails from Germany, and is one of the dog breed types that comes in a range of size options, from miniature through standard to giant. As with many other dog breeds with versatile coats, there are a wide range of different grooming and styling options for your Schnauzer of any size, depending on what type of look you hope to achieve and how much time you want to spend on your dog’s coat care and maintenance!
In its natural form, the Schnauzer has a coarse,wiry coat (known as wire-haired), with large, bushy eyebrows, a beard, and rather thick, double-layered coats. This means that they can be groomed, hand stripped, clipped, trimmed or left natural, and you can of course vary the hairstyle you have for your dog on a regular basis too!
Read on to learn more about the most common and popular grooming and coat styles for the Schnauzer dog.
Option number one, of course, is to let your Schnauzer’s coat do its own thing, by keeping it in its natural state. This provides the dog with a thick, protective coat, that will look rather shaggy and rugged, which is of course, the look that many people prefer!
The natural Schnauzer coat will need brushing and combing each day, but this should be a fairly quick process providing that you keep on top of it and to not let the coat get knotted up.
If you are planning to enter your Schnauzer in formal dog shows or simply wish to keep them in the most widely recognised and preferred showing coat, you should go for the showing cut or showing strip for your dog.
The showing cut requires hand stripping (thinning out the coat and styling it by hand with a comb and a blade), rather than clipping it or cutting it with scissors. This leaves the hair on the neck, chest and body about an inch long, with the leg hair slightly longer. The facial hair, beard and eyebrows will be trimmed to a fairly boxy shape, with the volume and bushiness of the eyebrows accentuated.
Achieving the showing cut can be quite a lengthy process due to the hand stripping required, and so this cut can be rather costly to achieve and maintain.
The average Schnauzer in the street that is not intended to be used for showing will usually sport a standard or regular Schnauzer cut, which is designed to keep maintenance of the coat low while still keeping the natural shape and patterning of the coat.
It is not dissimilar to the showing cut, but is much faster to finish as it is acceptable to perform this cut with clippers and trimmers, leading to a more rounded finish that is a good match for the breed.
It is slightly less precise than the hand stripping required to achieve the showing cut, and the shape and styling of the head, beard and eyebrows will be less dramatic.
The puppy cut is, as the name implies, the most suitable cut and introduction to grooming and styling for the Schnauzer puppy, but is equally appropriate for adult dogs not used for showing if the owner wishes. The puppy cut removes more hair than either the standard or showing cut, reducing the coat to a minimum while still keeping its natural shape and appearance. It is a low maintenance cut that does not necessitate much upkeep in terms of daily grooming, and one that can be easily re-styled and trimmed up once it has grown out.
This cut is popular with Schnauzers who are prone to getting themselves in a mess, or whose owners do not wish to devote long periods of time grooming and trimming their dog.
The final option and one that is not technically recognised among the list of official Schnauzer hair styles, but one option for pretty much any breed of dog is to shave or clip off pretty much all of the hair that it is possible to do so without leaving the dog completely bald!
This usually involves clipping the hair on the trunk, chest, body and abdomen very short, and either clipping or trimming the tail and feathering on the legs entirely, or trimming it down to leave a little hair but not much. The head can then be left natural, trimmed, shaped, or again, trimmed off as much as possible without removing the whiskers.
This is a type of utility cut that minimises the amount of daily care and grooming that the dog requires, but can leave them rather cold in the winter! Generally, a very close-cropped and severe all-off cut will only be performed if necessary due to a skin condition, or because the dog has had some of their fur shaved off anyway for veterinary treatment.