Poll

At what age did your Schnauzer start to gray?

2 or before
15 (75%)
3
2 (10%)
4
1 (5%)
5
1 (5%)
6
0 (0%)
7
0 (0%)
8
0 (0%)
9
0 (0%)
10 or older
1 (5%)

Total Members Voted: 17

Author Topic: When do Schnauzers turn gray?  (Read 13253 times)

Online Peter

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When do Schnauzers turn gray?
« on: March 24, 2010, 09:11:07 PM »
When asked if Muka will ever turn gray, I've been in the habit of joking that we will likely turn gray together. But now at two years old, it looks like he's going to beat me.

Recently someone commented on his gray coat, and I just dismissed it because it often looks that way in bright, reflective light.

But just when I was just looking at the color of his coat at the groomer's today, I saw two jet black minis. Seeing the first, I realized that Muka really is turning gray. And then I was totally surprised to learn that the second jet black mini was 13 years old!

So out of curiosity, I created a poll asking when your Schnauzer started turning gray. I guess the fun of having a truly back Schnauzer was short-lived for me.

I took some pictures today to try to show the difference with two years age. But because of lighting, I think they are more useful for a lesson in photographing black dogs. Perhaps I can replace them with better pictures in the future.

March 2008 after his first grooming:



March 2010 after his grooming:



Well, I see one problem. I didn't use a flash in the 2008 picture but I did for the 2010 picture, so you can't really compare them. But it shows how the flash or any lighting for that matter affects how black a dog looks.


Here's another taken at my patio window. This looks quite gray:



And here's another taken only minutes later, which looks black with highlights from the flash:


Peter
Mukaluka Dirtypaws, male black Miniature Schnauzer, 11/09/07, 15-1/8", 17.5 lb (goal) [medical]
Pukalu, male S&P Miniature Schnauzer, 03/27/10, 15", 15.5 lb (goal) [medical]
Also: About Peter ~ Our Therapy Dog Work ~ Our Tricks Video ~ Muka's Scrapbook

Willow

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Re: When do Schnauzers turn gray?
« Reply #1 on: March 24, 2010, 09:41:16 PM »
ok, I voted.

Offline Debbie

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Re: When do Schnauzers turn gray?
« Reply #2 on: March 25, 2010, 04:45:05 AM »
Absolutely Willow..couldn't agree more!

Since Jetson is only 7 months old, I'll have to get back to you. But I do know it is really hard to get a good picture of him alot of the time, he is jet black, his black parts. But only in certain lighting does he photograph well. Where as Trav for instance, Willow always has wonderful jet black pictures of Trav. It must be the camera operator!
The Dog is the God of Frolic
Jetson ~ Black and Silver Mini DOB: 8-28-2009
19.3 pounds

Offline Gerri

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Re: When do Schnauzers turn gray?
« Reply #3 on: March 25, 2010, 01:30:26 PM »

I have heard that black schnauzers that are clipped rather than stripped can appear grey over time as they lose their coarse black top coat and the undercoat appears lighter because its finer.

Not helpful I know but may explain things.

Muka looks nice and black to me from the photo's. As a matter of interest are his furnishings blacker than his jacket?

I guess if Schnauzers do start going 'old' grey they'll start with their muzzles like other breeds of dogs


Gerri
Rufus - Giant born Feb 2010 (100lbs! - hopefully fully grown)
Blaze - Black Mini born Feb 2012
Albi - Black Mini born Sep 2010. Crossed over Rainbow Bridge April 2012 :(


Online Peter

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Re: When do Schnauzers turn gray?
« Reply #4 on: March 25, 2010, 04:47:32 PM »
His furnishings are chocolate.

Turns out "black" minis vary a lot in color. The two I saw yesterday had no chocolate at all. Just black.

Peter
Mukaluka Dirtypaws, male black Miniature Schnauzer, 11/09/07, 15-1/8", 17.5 lb (goal) [medical]
Pukalu, male S&P Miniature Schnauzer, 03/27/10, 15", 15.5 lb (goal) [medical]
Also: About Peter ~ Our Therapy Dog Work ~ Our Tricks Video ~ Muka's Scrapbook

Willow

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Re: When do Schnauzers turn gray?
« Reply #5 on: March 25, 2010, 07:31:23 PM »
Gerri, Ah-HA! I think you may have answered my concerns about Trav's coat!

He needs a grooming and my son saw him yesterday after about a month. My son was surprised and said, "Trav's turning grey already!"
Trav is always clipped very short and his back is now speckled a LOT with grey/white hairs! (Actually, I think they are white hairs that just look grey when mixed in with the black hairs.)

I am so disappointed about his coat-color change, but Trav is still my silly Travie, no matter what color he is. One good thing may come of it, if he turns REALLY grey, maybe he'll be easier for me to see.. He totally disappears in the yard at night time.
His beard and leg furnishings are still really black.. no clipping on them.. but, I've noticed a few white hairs on his cheeks.

I wonder... in giants that show, do the handlers shave/clip their cheeks or pluck out the hair? If they shave the cheeks I wonder what the handlers do when some white hairs appear?? Miss Clairol???

willow and trav

Offline Sue

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Re: When do Schnauzers turn gray?
« Reply #6 on: March 25, 2010, 08:04:07 PM »
My Lucy was a s/p and was always clippered when groomed.  She turned a lovely shade of dove gray with age and the pepper slowly slipped away.  My groomer told me the coarse outer "color" coat will be shaved away and what you are left with is the soft undercoat.  I love the look and feel of a stripped schnauzer, but don't want to invest the time to do it myself since we aren't showing. 

Nitro will be 3 next month and I'm starting to see lighter butt and chest hair.  He is scheduled for a grooming next week, so will see what color he'll be then!
Nitro, male black Miniature Schnauzer, born April 4, 2007
Scrapbook:  Introducing Nitro
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Online Peter

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Re: When do Schnauzers turn gray?
« Reply #7 on: March 26, 2010, 11:55:32 AM »
I took still another picture, this one without flash or any direct sunlight, and against a black light pole:



I've concluded that sometimes it just really is hard to tell if you're seeing gray or reflected light. Muka's beside me now, and if I hold my had up to block the light the gray parts of his body look black. And if I put my gray calculator into the mix, also shaded by my hand, it stays gray.

Makes a good argument that he's really black and it's just the light, but Muka for sure has turned grayer than he was before.

Also, and I don't really understand this, I think we are dealing with two different things... short hair like on his back where you see the undercoat, and the longer hair where you don't.

I think it's his undercoat that has dramatically changed from black to gray. And now that I think of it, the two jet black dogs I saw the other day had puppy cuts so you couldn't even see the undercoat.

Next time I see a mature black mini with longer hair I'll have to check its undercoat!

BTW, in the first two pictures at the top of the page -- taken two years apart -- I just noticed the difference in Muka's beard length! It's never been cut.

Peter
Mukaluka Dirtypaws, male black Miniature Schnauzer, 11/09/07, 15-1/8", 17.5 lb (goal) [medical]
Pukalu, male S&P Miniature Schnauzer, 03/27/10, 15", 15.5 lb (goal) [medical]
Also: About Peter ~ Our Therapy Dog Work ~ Our Tricks Video ~ Muka's Scrapbook

Offline Akvile

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Re: When do Schnauzers turn gray?
« Reply #8 on: March 26, 2010, 02:47:29 PM »
Mine was darker when we got him but was still gray-ish. Now that he's over two he's been much lighter! He gets a bit darker in teh fall/winter but not by much. This winter however, his ears turned three shades, lol. They are so big and stand tall and the bottoms are black, middle part is dark gray, and top is white-ish gray..i should see if i can get a pic!
~*~*Buddy's Mommy*~*~

BennyBear

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Re: When do Schnauzers turn gray?
« Reply #9 on: March 30, 2010, 05:46:39 PM »
Ben isn't that brilliant dark black that he was last year!  He looks more like a dark gray!

Offline Dotty

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Re: When do Schnauzers turn gray?
« Reply #10 on: March 30, 2010, 06:01:41 PM »
Oh YA Baby...Thinking along those same lines!!!.. Once Rocko is gray there'll be no more tripping over him in the hall...!!!

Online Peter

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Re: When do Schnauzers turn gray?
« Reply #11 on: March 30, 2010, 10:28:38 PM »
Silver lining to every :rain: !

Peter
Mukaluka Dirtypaws, male black Miniature Schnauzer, 11/09/07, 15-1/8", 17.5 lb (goal) [medical]
Pukalu, male S&P Miniature Schnauzer, 03/27/10, 15", 15.5 lb (goal) [medical]
Also: About Peter ~ Our Therapy Dog Work ~ Our Tricks Video ~ Muka's Scrapbook

Offline Clement

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Re: When do Schnauzers turn gray?
« Reply #12 on: April 02, 2010, 05:53:28 AM »
for my experince Schnauzers coat turn gray or light color, it due to using dog hair clipper. All my dogs coat getting soft and color going changed.
Woof! One Miniature Schnauzer is no enough, Two Miniature Schnauzer is getting excited, Three Miniature Schnauzer going savage!

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Offline Alaina

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Re: When do Schnauzers turn gray?
« Reply #13 on: April 10, 2010, 05:48:55 PM »
Olivia stayed fairly black, then started turning a little grey at about age 5.  Between age 7 and 8, her beard seemed to turn very light grey suddenly.  Looking at her now she is still black but has a light grey sheen to her hair.   Her hair is extremely fine and is very difficult to come out, especially after a bath.  I use a ton of detangler on her and still have to trim some of the rats out of her long hair, so I don't hurt her.  I don't know if it is the black hair or if it is just her that has such fine fine hair.
Alaina and the Girls:
Olivia - Black mini, 12 yrs., 11/30/2001, 15 lb
Gracie - S&P standard, 7 yrs., 09/03/2007, 32 lb
In memory:  Tilly - 1994 to 2007

Online Peter

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Re: When do Schnauzers turn gray?
« Reply #14 on: April 10, 2010, 06:14:27 PM »
I saw another jet black mini today and she was 11 years old. I guess Muka was just meant to... well, not be jet black.

Peter
Mukaluka Dirtypaws, male black Miniature Schnauzer, 11/09/07, 15-1/8", 17.5 lb (goal) [medical]
Pukalu, male S&P Miniature Schnauzer, 03/27/10, 15", 15.5 lb (goal) [medical]
Also: About Peter ~ Our Therapy Dog Work ~ Our Tricks Video ~ Muka's Scrapbook