Miniature Schnauzer puppies are usually three or four months old when you get them from a breeder. You should begin brushing and combing them right away. When it comes to a Schnauzer puppy's first haircut, the two main methods are clipping and stripping. Stripping is the more time-consuming method, but if you have the time, this is healthier for your miniature Schnauzer. If you strip your puppy, you should wait until it's four to six months old -- but it's never too early to start acclimating a miniature Schnauzer puppy to the grooming process.
Things You'll Need
- Dog clippers, if clipping
- Stripping knife, if stripping
- Fine-toothed comb
Make your puppy comfortable with human touch. An important part of raising a miniature Schnauzer is socializing them to be groomed. When you and your puppy are playing, touch it all over, including its tail, feet, face and belly. Later, when you groom it, it won't be afraid of you.
Introduce your puppy to your grooming tools. Let it sniff and nibble the brush, comb, clippers, nail clippers, and whatever other tools you've bought for it. If you use clippers, turn them on near the puppy so the noise doesn't startle it.
Clip your puppy. If you are raising your puppy as a companion and not a show dog, it is acceptable to clip a miniature Schnauzer. Be aware, though, that this will destroy the wiriness of its coat, which is what the breed is known for. If you decide to clip your puppy, have it stand on a table. Using a medium blade, run the clippers over it in sections. You can always switch to a shorter blade if you want the hair shorter, but you can't put hair back.
Strip your puppy. If you have the time or wish to show your dog, you should strip your puppy by hand or with a stripping knife. Stripping is a healthier process that removes the dead outer coat, allowing a wiry new coat to grow in. Wait until your Schnauzer puppy is four to six months old to allow the hair to grow out completely. Then, use your fingers or the stripping knife to pull out the dead hair. It should come out easily. You can strip your Schnauzer puppy all at once, or you can strip it in sections over a period of several weeks.
Bathe your puppy. When done clipping or stripping, give the puppy a bath. Use dog shampoo, and rinse the dog with a solution of apple cider vinegar diluted in water. This is a healthy treatment for both the hair and the skin, giving the puppy a good foundation for further growth.
Repeat in regular intervals. If you use clippers, clip your puppy every four to six weeks. If you strip him, you should have a few months before the wire coat grows back in and dies away.