Do Schnauzers Shed? How to Manage Shedding

Are you thinking about bringing a new schnauzer puppy or adult dog home? If so, you might be wondering, do schnauzers shed? And what can I do to minimize and manage it?

There are several reasons why a dog owner might want a low-shedding breed like the schnauzer. They could be allergic to dog hair and dander. Or they could desire a cleaner home, furniture, and clothes.

The American Kennel Club or AKC recognizes three schnauzer breeds: miniature, standard, and giant. All three schnauzer breeds have origins in Germany, and their coats can be black and white, 100% black, or salt and pepper. However, the main difference between the three is size. 

As you may have guessed, miniature schnauzers are the smallest, standards fall in the middle, and giants are the brutes of the bunch. While all three are known for their energy levels, affection, and stubbornness, miniature schnauzers shed the least. However, just because schnauzers don’t shed a lot, it doesn’t mean their coats are maintenance-free. 

Do Schnauzers Shed a Lot?

Yes, schnauzers do shed but not as much as other dog breeds. That said, you may not notice it. Since schnauzers are low-shedding breeds, the amount of hair on your furniture and clothes may be minuscule. In fact, you may notice your schnauzer needs a little help shedding its coat. 

According to the AKC, a miniature schnauzer requires frequent grooming. Taking your schnauzer to the groomer every six weeks helps them maintain a healthy coat. A schnauzer’s fur tends to be softer and longer in some places. And it’s wiry and shorter in others. 

If you take a quick glance at a schnauzer, you’ll notice they have more hair around their face or muzzle. They also have more hair on their legs and overcoat. The fur is typically wavy or curly in places. It’s these areas that are most prone to matting and collecting dirt and debris.

On the other hand, the belly and undercoat tend to be thinner and straighter. You may not have to brush or clean these areas as much. That is unless your schnauzer takes a roll in the grass or mud! Given their energetic and playful temperaments, don’t be surprised if they do!

Grooming and Bathing Your Schnauzer

To keep your schnauzer’s coat from matting, you can brush them daily. But if you forget a day or two, three to five times a week should suffice. You’ll want to focus on their beards and face area, as well as their overcoat. Be sure to check their front chest area and underneath their legs.

These areas are more likely to mat since the fur is curlier and longer. If you use a wire brush with strong bristles, it should help you get out any tangles and mats. While schnauzers don’t shed as much as other dogs, their coats do require more attention and maintenance.

This also means you’ll be bathing your schnauzer and taking them to the groomer more. Many schnauzer owners follow the one-month rule, meaning they get a bath at least once a month. However, you might need to bathe your schnauzer more often if they get dirty. 

You’ll also want to pay attention to their face and muzzle area daily. A slightly longer beard is one of the hallmarks of the breed. And this means that hair tends to get dirty with food, water, grass, and whatever else it can pick up! Wiping it down with a rag and waterless shampoo and a daily brush should do the trick. 

Professional Grooming

You can attempt to groom your schnauzer on your own with a DIY kit and tools. That said, most owners leave this important item to the experts. Pay attention to any signs of dandruff and small bumps or comedones on your schnauzer’s skin. 

Schnauzers are known for having oily skin. And like humans with oily skin, this can lead to bumps or pimples. It can also lead to signs of dandruff or white flakes. Let your groomer and vet know if you see these signs. They may recommend medication or special shampoos and topical treatments to help mitigate the symptoms.

In terms of frequency, watch the length of your schnauzer’s coat. Purebreds may need a trim every six weeks, while schnauzer mixes might do well with a haircut every three months. 

But in-between grooming sessions, you’ll probably need to trim your schnauzer’s ears and eyebrows. The ears and eyebrows may be additional places where hair grows faster. Be especially vigilant about checking and cleaning the ears. You can clean them with ear cleaning solutions found at your local pet store. 

What If My Schnauzer Is Shedding More Than Normal?

If you notice your schnauzer is shedding more than normal, a trip to the vet is recommended. Schnauzers that are shedding more hair could be doing so because of stress and anxiety. However, it could also be due to an immune disorder or a more serious illness like kidney disease.

You could also have a schnauzer that is shedding more due to their DNA. Just like humans, genetic variations can lead to differences. You or your vet can order genetic testing to rule this out. And your vet can do a more thorough examination, including bloodwork, to determine if your schnauzer has a disease. 

But if anxiety or stress is the likely culprit, removing the source of stress will return your schnauzer’s shedding levels to normal. New routines, environments, and even training can lead to increased anxiety. Your schnauzer may need more time to acclimate to your home, new people, or a daycare center. 

Final Thoughts On If Schnauzers Shed

Do schnauzers shed? Yes, but it’s usually so light that it goes unnoticed. Unlike high-shedding breeds, you probably won’t see much (if any) dog hair on your furniture and clothes. That said, schnauzers may shed more if they’re under stress or suffering from a genetic condition or disease. 

But even though schnauzers don’t shed that much, their coats require above-average attention and maintenance. Daily brushing, monthly bathing, and regular professional grooming will keep their coats in tip-top shape. 

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Dr. Jacob Hawthorne, DVM

Dr. Jacob Hawthorne, DVM is a certified veterinarian who graduated from the University of California - Davis Veterinary School in 2012. He specializes in nutrition and veterinary medicine for companion animals such as dogs, cats, rabbits, and more. He has been featured in websites such as PetMD, Yahoo News, Hills Pet, Daily Paws, and more. Learn more about Dr. Jacob Hawthorne, DVM.

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