Grooming Guide

Giant Schnauzers are a 'trimmed breed' with minimal shedding requiring regular attention either by hand-stripping, to remove dead coat, or clipping. To keep a Giant Schnauzer with their typical Schnauzery look and expression they will need a visit to a groomer approximately every 8-12 weeks. Alternatively you may wish to learn how to groom yourself. Without grooming a Giant will begin to resemble a shaggy bear.

A Giant Schnauzer overdue grooming
Before Grooming Before Grooming
After stripping and trimming
After Grooming After Grooming

Grooming a dog yourself can help establish a bond and also reinforces that 'you' are the leader of the pack, you may also find it rewarding and relaxing once the dog is used to being groomed. It may seem a little daunting at first but with a little practice you can soon master the basic techniques and keep your giant looking like a dog of distinction. Here are some basic instructions for you to follow, one thing for you to remember... if you make a mistake it will grow back!.. so have a go.. you have nothing to lose and everything to gain.


Scrapping the coat

Giant Schnauzers have a double coat, a waterproof course top coat and a downy undercoat. Depending on coat type, when left the coat will become 'blown' once or twice a year. The longer dead top coat becomes loose and puffed out with new coat and undercoat coming in underneath. Stripping of the coat can be a little more time consuming but is required for the show ring to maintain texture. Dead hair is removed by plucking it out by hand or with the aid of a stripping knife. Once stripped the faster growing undercoat can be maintained by scrapping through (carding) with the stripping knife. The frequency of carding will depend on the abundance and growth rate of the undercoat, for a harsh coat minimal carding is required, however a soft coat may require carding as much as once a week..

If you are not able to strip the body coat and if your dog is not being shown many groomers clip off the coat, as it is quicker. However clipping the 'body coat' may cause the coat to lose texture and become softer and also duller with time. This is because individual hairs grow thinner from the root and thicker towards the tip, cutting the hairs prevents the tapering and thickening of the hair that would provide a courser texture. Also clipping does not remove undercoat and the overall coat may appear the same colour as the undercoat, sometimes a greyer colour or a reddish tinge.


Strip/clip body in direction shown

1. Brush the coat regularly and thoroughly before 'trimming' or 'hand-stripping'.

2. Using a coarse stripping knife, such as a blue Mikki knife, start at the shoulders and strip the coat within the dotted area and in the direction as shown. If you prefer to clip your dog use blade No 7f.

3. Finish off by stripping/trimming the back of the neck.

(N.B: Starting at the shoulders will encourage confidence in the dog before commencing the more intricate parts of the body.


Strip/clip in direction shown

1. Using the coarse stripping knife (or clipper blade No 7f) strip the outer thighs to the rear as shown.

Clip the rear and inner thigh

2. Using blade No 10 clip the rear and inner thigh as shown to accentuate the natural hairline running down the back of the leg

Clip the dogs bottom

3. Clip the dogs bottom across the thigh to the centre. N.B: Before doing this check the density of the hair in this area as a longer blade may be preferred.

Clip the dogs abdomen 4. Continue clipping the abdomen up to the naval as shown


scissor upwards to neaten chest1. Strip or clip from the breast bone, down the upper arms the same as the body coat, within the dotted lines shown.

2. Brush hair away from the chest and scissor upwards from beneath the dog to achieve a neater line.

Clip the chest and neck


Clip the side of the head

1. Using the large nodular wiskers (identified by red circles) as a guide, brush the beard away from the face. Clip with blade No10 in the direction show up to the ridge of the skull shown by the dotted line.

Trim between the eyes

2. The hair between the eyes should form a natural inverted' V'. Accentuate this line by scissoring from the corners of the eyes. Clean a small area out between the eyebrows with the clippers or scissors - keep the scissors 'flat' to the skull and this will prevent 'cuts and 'obvious scissor' marks.

Trim the eye brows

3. Trim the eyebrows in a line with the nose as show.

4. Strip the top of the head in the direction of the arrows with the red stripping knife, alternatively clip with blade 8.


Clip in direction shown

1. Clip the ears with blade No10.

2. Trim the edges of the ear with scissors to give a neat edge.


Clip the hair between the pads

1. Trim fur inbetween pads, this will prevent clogs of dirt and mats from causing sore feet.

2. Tidy the hair around each paw to create a round 'Cats Paw' effect.