Schnauzers are a wire-haired dog breed, which means their coats must be stripped instead of clipped or shaved. Stripping removes the dead outer coat, allowing a wiry new coat to grow in. You can strip your schnauzer by hand, or you can use a stripping knife. Here's an overview of some of the tools available for stripping a schnauzer or miniature schnauzer.
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Stripping By Hand
Many groomers and breeders insist on stripping schnauzers by hand. Stripping by hand isn't necessary to get the proper look, but it may be easier on your dog's coat. You can strip your dog using nothing but your fingers, but to strip more quickly and effectively, you should purchase some rubber gloves or rubber fingers. These will give you greater traction on the hair. Rub chalk or ear powder (available at most pet stores) into the hair to give an even better grip.
Also called a stripping comb, a stripping knife is an alternative to hand stripping. If a stripping knife is used properly, it works just as well as pulling the coat with hands only. Despite the name "knife," it does not cut the hair. You can get a good stripping knife at a pet store or online for £13 to £32.
Once you've stripped your schnauzer, its undercoat will appear much sooner than the coarse outer coat, which will push through the skin in about four weeks or so. A grooming stone eliminates some of this undercoat while allowing the wire coat to grow in. Start out with a fine grooming stone and rub your schnauzer with it during baths, then switch to a coarser stone as the wire coat grows in.
You'll need scissors for detail work on your dog's head, ears and feet. Buy hair scissors and use them only for grooming your dog -- this will keep them sharp. You can also use the scissors to trim the hair from the unstripped areas that hangs into the areas you've already stripped.
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