Pet Grooming

by Sharon Thompson

Reprinted from What You Should Know About The Giant Schnauzer, 5th Edition ©1988


My Giant Schnauzer is a pet, not a show dog. Do I have to hand‑strip him? No, you don't. In fact most Giant Schnauzer breeders and exhibitors do clipper their retired show dogs and pets. Everyone does not have the time or patience required to hand‑strip a Giant Schnauzer on a regular basis. A well clippered Giant is certainly preferable to a shaggy Giant whose owner has not gotten around to stripping him yet. Giants do enjoy being groomed and they know when they look their best. Watch how your Giant prances when he gets down off the grooming table.

We do warn you that clippering your Giant may soften the texture of his coat and if your Giant is a pepper/salt then clippering may also change the color to uniform silver or black because the color of undercoat will predominate.



Stiff bristle or slicker brush
Metal combs
Ear powder (medicated)
Nail clipper (heavy duty) & nail file
Oster Electric Clipper (A5) or (A2) with blades:
#10, and a #7 or #8½
Stripping knives
Scissors with at least a 6" blade
Thinning Shears
Tweezers – optional
Coat or skin conditioner –optional



  1. Brush the coat thoroughly to remove any loose dirt, mats or dead hair. I prefer to wait until all grooming is finished before bathing.
  2. Clipper all shaded areas with #10 blade. This includes the cheeks; entire ear; from about ¼." behind eye socket over top of head and down to base of skull; throat from under the chin where you want beard to begin down the neck to breastbone; stomach from the groin to the navel, including the penis on males; the horseshoe area just under the tail.
  3. Using the #7 (or # 8½ ) blade, start at the base of the skull and clip down the back to the base of the tail and clip the entire tail. Also with the same blade, clip down the sides of the shoulder and then to the elbow in the front; then clip down the sides of the body to the flank using the elbow as the guideline. Follow the contour of the body with a line gradually inclining from the elbow to the flank; clip down the back half of the rear leg to a point just above the hock.
  4. Comb the eyebrows forward and scissor away (using thinning shears if you have them) the excess hair between the eyebrows at the stop, making a V Shape. Scissor the eyebrows (regular scissors) diagonally from the outside corner to the center, leaving them long and vizor shaped. Scissor the center of the eyebrows at the stop forming an inverted V.
  5. Comb the beard forward and, preferably with thinning shears, thin out a line from the corner of the mouth to the corner of the eye, so the line you leave appears straight and angular.
  6. Trim the leg furnishings slightly with the thinning  shears or regular scissors.
  7. Even out the hair on the under chest with scissors,  following the line of the body.
  8. Scissor around the outside edges of the feet to give them a neat appearance. Here I also choose to scissor carefully between the pads on the underneath side of the foot. I feel this helps to keep the feet tight and neat.
  9. Using the ear powder in each ear to help you get a grip on the hair, pull out the dead hair with your fingers, or tweezers.
  10. Using the heavy‑duty nail clipper, cut the nails, being careful not to cut the quick. Should you accidentally cut too deep, Kwik‑Stop is an excellent preparation to apply to stop the bleeding immediately. If none is available, press the bleeding nail into a soft beret soap to stop the flow of blood.
  11. Thoroughly bathe and dry the dog, combing the furnishings as you dry them with a hair dryer. This will make them dry straight and full.
  12. When dog's grooming is completed, you may apply a coat conditioner to help preserve natural oil to skin and hair.
Copyright © The Giant Schnauzer Club of America, Inc. All Rights Reserved. MNT Publishing