Miniature Schnauzers, unlike allot of breeds of dogs, have mostly hair instead of fur. Their hair is much like peoples hair
making this breed basically the few breeds of dogs that is considered hypoallergenic. People that have problems with
different types of allergies, usually will have little or no problems with a Miniature Schnauzer.
Preparation for bathing is something very important, and usually something that’s often overlooked. You’ll need towels,
shampoo (flea/tick shampoo if you feel its needed), conditioner, brush, scissors, hair dryer, and of course, more towels
Since their hair is unique, it must be cared for uniquely. When giving a Miniature Schnauzer a bath please take care that
the water temperature is comfortable to human touch. I usually start by adjusting the water temperature so that it
almost has no temperature difference to my hand then increase the temperature a little more so that the temperature is
a little above my hand temperature. Our hand's skin temperature is usually a bit higher than the surrounding ambient room
temperature but less than the body temperature of a Miniature Schnauzer. The average temperature of a Miniature
Schnauzer is around 102 degrees, plus or minus depending upon their activity and other variables.
After the water temperature is adjusted, I start filling the bathtub or sink with wather to a few inches high taking into
account the dogs height so that the water is as high as where their dewclaws would be. I usually add a little flea and
tick shampoo(if needed) to the water as the tub is filling so that it mixes evenly and disperses throughout the water.
Follow the flea and tick shampoo instructions carefully. Remember that these shampoos are basically shampoo with
insecticide added. Under diluting will reduce its effects, over diluting can be very dangerous to both the dog and humans.
After the tub or sink is full enough, I usually turn off the water and let the water calm down so that moving water doesn’t
spook the dog.
At this point, everything is ready to go. I start by taking off any collars on the dog. Petting the puppy or dog and making
a fuss over him/her usually will distract the dog and help calm him/her down. I pick up the dog by its chest/belly and place
him/her in the water. I take a cup or container and start wetting the dog down. After he/she is wet, I start putting
shampoo on the dog, massaging the dogs back, front shoulders, and hind area. Getting the shampoo to suds up. Then,
moving it down to its chest and belly, then his/her hind area. And, yes, It is very important that you get to this anal area.
At this point you might want to grab the scissors and do some preventive maintance in the rear area to prevent any hair
from holding fesses. Fesses can build up in this area and could cause allot of heath problems for both the dog and humans.
Not to mention, if you let the dog sleep in your bed.
After the shampooing is done, and you’re pretty well sure you got everywhere, now’s the time to drain the tub or sink.
Move the dog away from the water faucet. As the water goes down theirs bound to be soapsuds around. Again, adjust
the water, with the dog out of the stream, and start rinsing the soapsuds down the drain. Then, start rinsing the dog.
Conditioning is important to prevent tangles. Soft silky haired Miniature Schnauzers usually need more care than course
haired Miniature Schnauzers. Black Schnauzers usually have soft, silky hair and conditioning will especially enhance their
hair. Salt and Pepper Miniature Schnauzers often have more course hair. This is sometimes not always true. Please use
your own judgement.
After conditioning, start your rinse, just as before making sure your water temperature is correct.
It's now time for the drying. Towel dry by patting. Taking the towel and 'pat' drying the puppy or dog. Starting at his
head, ears, and working down his back gently squeezing their paws in your hand a bit will push the water out. Keep towel
drying working your way down his sides and on his/her chest and belly. Then, down each leg. Be careful not to move the
towel in a back and forth motion as this can tangle the dog's hair.
Miniature Schnauzers seem to loose body temperature quickly. I usually get the hair dryer out at this time and finish most
of the drying by using a hair drying on medium setting. Combing the hair as it dries helps prevent tangles. You might not
notice at this point that your Schnauzer may be shivering. Keeping the temperature of the room warm will help.
Temperature control is very important because schnauzers loose body heat very quickly because of their coat.
Please remember that Miniature Schnauzers loose body heat very rapidly. Try to avoice abrubt temperature changes.
If the waters too hot their body will start cooling itself down, creating a lower than normal body temperature after the
bath. Cold water also creates a worse problem causing immediate body shakes, almost uncontrollable for the dog. A cold
room will make the water on the dogs hair loose temperature quickly and quicker than normal body heat
decrease usually causing severe shivering for the dog and a slow and/or difficult ability to recover from the heat loss.
As mentioned many times, it's very important to remember that Miniature Schnauzers have hair much like people we do.
They don’t have the fur like most dogs so they don’t have the insulation barrier to help maintain their body heat. The last
thing you want is for your Schnauzer to develop pneumonia. Treat the dog just as if YOU were taking a bath or shower.
And, PLEASE REMEMBER, the hair they have is their only cover from the environment.
Written By: David L. Fisher. Date: October 10th, 2005.