This page is a work in progress!
Scissor SHARPENING: My husband is a professional sharpener. He sharpens scissors and does clipper repair. If local to the Dallas area he can come directly to you and service your tools at your location or you can mail your items to him. Call Carlos at 972-922-9710
OK, I want to start this page off with what NOT to do to your schnauzer if you want to achieve the correct look for this breed. I typically do not like to entertain the negative side but wowza I am continually blown away at the ODD cut most “professional” groomers today give this breed and then call it correct when there is not one thing correct about it. It just saddens me to see such a beautiful breed hacked up to look nothing like they were intended to look. So first of all, while youtube is an awesome resource, I have only found a few youtube videos that show correctness in grooming and those are the show people. Otherwise, for a tutorial on this subject, don’t look to youtube. Here is a perfect example of what NOT to do. To me it’s pitiful so please don’t let your groomer do this to your dog; https://youtu.be/l2KZS-hVBvg
As you can see in the video linked above, the groomer has made the head (via the beard) VERY rounded. A BIG no no! This breed is to have a BLOCK shaped head, not round. Secondly the beard is way way too short. I could go on and on but the look of the dog speaks for itself sadly. If you want your dog to look great, follow the outlines done on show dogs. You do not have to have a show quality dog or strip your dog to achieve this beautiful look for your dog! The same look can be done with clippers and some areas if preferred can be done a tad shorter for a day to day practical lifestyle such as making the eyebrows slightly shorter etc. It just takes practice or finding a groomer who takes pride in their work and their customer service!!!
Ok, so here is a video that is super close to what I am talking about. A “few” little things I would do slightly different but a great example of how you can achieve that correct look with clippers. Many groomers tend to call this a “SHOW” cut, however, that is not a accurate description. This is a correct miniature schnauzer cut. It is just as easy if not easier to create and to maintain than the odd cut given today with much better results in the overall look of the dog. https://youtu.be/xrkYavQ4C7w
Here are a few helpful hints in grooming and shaping your miniature schnauzer not the “show” way as groomers would tell you but the “PROPER” schnauzer way.
Trimming Head, Beard and Eyebrows
The Miniature Schnauzer’s head should give the appearance of being brick-shaped as illustrated in Diagram I. All trimming is done to achieve this took, aiming at length and flatness of skull, cleanness of cheeks, as well as a keen and alert expression.
There is a tendency to leave an overabundance of whiskers as in Diagram K, bothin length and thickness. This detracts from the overall rectangular took which is desired. Diagram L shows a dished-out look, where too much hair has been removed from under the eyes.
When clippering the body; Front Legs: stop just above the elbow. Scissor the front leg furnishings in a tapered manner from the body downwards in an outward angle. If the furnishings are kept long and not tapered, this will give the dog a bowed out appearance from the front. The lines should be nice and transitional or straight.
Click on the chart above to see a closer view and to read tips for each area.
Below are two beautiful examples of a well groomed miniature schnauzer. Although these two dogs are both in stripped show coat, the same over all look can still be achieved with clippering.
And below a couple of graphics of a schnauzer giving a slightly different angle. And from this angle you can also see what it means when breed standard says that the length of the tail should be just visible over the back.
People have a tendency to leave the skirt far up on the sides of the body fearing to go lower when in fact, that is a “cocker spaniel” cut. See from the photo above how nice the miniature schnauzer looks with the correct location of the skirt being under the body, gradually tapered down the sides of the body leading to a slopping skirt to give the miniature schnauzer that compact body look. Below is an example of a high skirt on the miniature schnauzer. Although this is a pretty coat, it shows nothing of that mini schnauzer build of ” big dog in a small package” compact body type.
This is what my Kohlie girl looked like when I got her.
Very high skirt with no trimming of the furnishings. Below is the same dog (Kohlie) after a correct schnauzer cut which is actually cooler in the summer months. Now you can see the white in her furnishings & chest.
Many people ask me “how is my dog suppose to be groomed” “what is the correct way to cut my mini schnauzer”, “I got my dog groomed & I can’t put my figure on why they look different or funny”. Today there are many varied modified schnauzer cuts. I am not referring to the short or shaved off cut that’s for obvious practical purposes. My intentions of this page are simply to show you the differences and the correct miniature schnauzer cut since I get alot of requests for grooming tips regarding the way my dogs are shaped. To me, there is nothing that looks more elegant and classic as a miniature schnauzer looking like a true miniature schnauzer. Those that appreciate their breed, this page is for you!
A few other common and in my opinion horrible errors are 1.) shaving down the nose 2.) Shaving under the eyes. The miniature schnauzer should have a “BLOCK” shaped head not a heart shaped head. 3.) leaving the hair long on the ears 4.) Leaving the eyebrows very long, over lapping and covering the eyes obstructing their vision. 5.) Not trimming the furnishings leaving them unshaped and long 6.) leaving the skirt very high on the dog such as the cocker spaniel cut 7.) Shaping the head in a “rounded” shape verses a block rectangle shape.
Those that are struggling to find a quality groomer, there are many professional groomers out there that are simply trained the wrong way and because they are required to have such a broad general knowledge of grooming so MANY different breeds. Some may be very willing to learn a new technique for you but in general, unless you find one that specializes in miniature schnauzers, you may have to take a photo with you to give them some specific pointers of the type cut you desire with your dog and not what they consider the “norm”. And in some cases when that doesn’t work, find another groomer. Eventually you will find one that has great customer service & is willing to please their client!
For some reason the term “show cut” has been deemed as not normal, separate from the every day miniature schnauzer look and or not practical, intended only for “show dogs” but actually, the skirt being lower and the furnishings being scissored shorter is more practical than the common high skirts cut which is HOT and the furnishings going to the ground which again is HOT not to mention its much more coat for you to brush through and maintain and much more coat to get leaves and grass caught in which leads to tangles. So amazingly the show cut is a very practical cut. In the summer months you can request your groomer to scissor the furnishings just a bit shorter and even requested the under belly (not the skirt on the sides) to be shaved off up to where the ribs come together. The only difference in “show” verses “pet” is a show dog is not clippered, they are hand stripped but the same over all look can be achieved with the much simpler process of clippering. There are some that do the extreme eyebrows but I think most people prefer to see their dogs eyes and for the dog to be able to see. Just have your groomer angle the cut the same as a show dog but in a shorter cut and they will still look great.
If you are in the Dallas area drop me a line at ClassicSchnauzer@att.net . I do not have a grooming business, my grooming area is for my own private use, but I do on occasion groom for local friends, family and a few of my past puppies that live nearby. If you are struggling to find a good groomer or just need some help shaping your dog, I would be happy to assist.
With much appreciation Britmor Schnauzers has put together a beautiful page packed with info on grooming. Here is her link; http://britmorschnauzers.com/groom.html
Also, here is a link for some great products available for purchase that cover everything schnauzer: