The coat of a Miniature Schnauzer is a double coat with a brittle and wiry outer coating and a close, dense undercoat. The coat comes in three different color combinations; solid black, black and silver, and salt and pepper.
Any other coloring is not recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC). The outer coating gets wiry when it is hand stripped, and the AKC requires this if the dog is to compete in the show ring.
Hand stripping involved the physical removal of the dead hair from the coat. A wiry-coated dog like the Miniature Schnauzer has hair that completes a cycle of growing out, and then when it reaches a certain length, it begins to shed and fall out. Hand stripping helps to balance out the shedding and helps the new coat to fill in.
Hand stripping may be done by hand using your fingers or with a stripping knife. You can purchase at a local pet store. The entire body needs to be stripped or plucked because the coat needs to be long enough so that the original texture is still viewable. If the coat is too soft or smooth, the dog will face being disqualified from shows.
If the Miniature Schnauzer is not a show dog, it can get a haircut with clippers. If they are to be in a show ring, the AKC mandates them to be stripped to allow the hair to have the texture that is part of the breed standard. Hand stripping will also keep the natural color of the dog’s hair, whereas clipping oftentimes makes it lose its original color.
When it comes time grooming a Miniature Schnauzer, there is much more to it than simply brushing and hand stripping. Many owners of Miniature Schnauzers enjoy learning how to do this, and doing it with their own dog is a great opportunity for bonding time. There is different equipment you need to purchase if you wish to groom the dog yourself.
Before your Miniature Schnauzer gets a bath, his hair will need to be brushed out with a pin brush to get rid of any snarls or knotting. Follow up the brushing with a liner brush and then comb out to make certain the hair is smoothed out and free of snarls. It would help if you also used a good quality dog shampoo on the dog, but it does need to be diluted with water.
Always make certain that no shampoo gets into the eyes or mouth of the dog. Any shampoo that is not completely rinsed out can dry the skin and result in flaking. Make sure the hair is completely dried by squeezing out the extra water and brush the beard, legs, and entire body. Once the coat is dry, it will be ready to be hand stripped or clipped depending on what you decide to do with your Miniature Schnauzer.
Clipping of the nails is another important part of the grooming process. Make sure you do not clip the nails too short, or they may bleed. This is very painful for the dog and will leave them with a negative impression towards future grooming sessions and cause substantial problems. You may also want to clean out the outer portion of each ear as well. Often owners take their dog to the vet or a professional groomer for a complete ear cleaning and expression of the glands.
This article was written by John Jackson and has been contributed by http://www.greatdogsite.com.