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Brushing Schnauzers

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Peter Christensen:
I'd love to hear from other forum members on this topic.

Muka can't stand it, and I don't blame him. When I run his wire brush (the softest wire brush I can find) across the back of my hand it hurts! And of course it can't feel good when I'm brushing out a tangle.

But in some text I edited for a website, it said daily brushing was a "bonding time" between owner and dog. Not for us!

I know my neighbor's Westie loves it. He runs to her when she picks up the brush. Muka runs too... the other way!

I also have a specific question about brushing legs. I was taught to brush up, working from the top down. Then to brush the whole leg again... this time down. Is this really necessary?

Even without tangles it would seem difficult to brush in the opposite direction. But I suppose it does a more thorough job of it.



February 27, 2011 Update:

Things have really changed for me since I started this topic, as I now have Pukalu, a S&P with very cottony fur.

I know it's not practical for everyone... I'm retired. But I brush my dogs daily and haven't see a mat in Muka for years, and tangles easily brush out.

Pukalu is shedding his puppy fur, so it fills the brush daily. With getting him to hold still and all it's quite a struggle, but I can't imagine the mess he'd be without daily brushing.

With daily brushing my dogs remain mat free, and I don't need to use any products to keep them that way or get the mats out.

I run a comb through their hair after brushing to be sure I got all the tangles.

My Jetta hates to be brushed but will let me use a metal comb.... my westie could care less if I brush her or not... but she does love to roll in the mud right after a bath lol....

Bisi hates being brushed, too!  We tried everything to make him like it when he was a puppy...tons of treats, praise, etc, but no luck.  He tolerates it, but the only time my little guy ever puts his tail down is when he is being brushed.  

I, too, was told to brush up from the top down, but I threw that out the window long ago.  I consider any de-matting and brushing session a success!  Bisi doesn't care how I do it as long as I get it done quickly, so I generally take the path of least resistance and brush downward starting with his paws and working my way up from there.  I cradle him like a baby when I brush him for easier access to his chest and 'skirt.'  Luckily Bisi's coat does not mat too badly, and our groomer is always happy that he is relatively mat-free.  Our 15 year old schnauzer Taylor has an ultra-fine coat, and it mats within a day of being brushed.  

The antithesis to the schnauzer grooming/matting issue is Baxa, my Spanish Water Dog.  'Spanies' are a corded breed, and they go through a 'felting' period (basically they turn into one HUGE mat) before the coat can be separated into cords.  It took every bit of patience I had NOT to brush her out!  I'm so used to brushing my schnauzers weekly that having a dog with a coat that is not supposed to be brushed EVER was a challenge.  That being said, now that she is in full cords it is pretty darn awesome (easiest coat to take care of in the world!).  Oh, and of course, Baxa LOVED being brushed before I corded her, and will roll onto her back when I get the brush out for Bisi...go figure, huh?  

A quick training trick for the dog who hate being brushed...try brushing him in the kitchen and smear some peanut butter on the front of the fridge at nose level.  Brush him while he is busy licking off the yummy treat.  This helps build a positive association with being brushed and can make an otherwise unpleasant chore MUCH easier for both the human and the pooch.  You can also brush in the bathroom with the peanut butter smeared on the edge of the bathtub. 

Peter Christensen:
Sarah, are you kidding? If I did that I'd have to give Muka a bath to get the peanut butter out of his beard! LOL

About your brushing a Schnauzer once a week... I find it MUCH easier if I do it daily. Well, much more work. I just mean that you don't find so many tangles.


Taylor, our 15 year old, *should* get brushed daily, otherwise he is a matted mess.  We do our best, but usually it is a good week if we make it to 3 days out of the 7.  Luckily, Bisi has a coat that does not mat very easily and once a week is plenty for him (though I realize that is definitely not the norm...almost all other schnauzers we know do require daily brushing).  As far as messy peanut butter goes, I find that if I put only a very light amount on the fridge and put it up high enough that he works from the bottom of the peanut butter upwards then he does not get it all over his beard.  We also sometimes do this when we are bathing him at home...and we wash the beard last LOL.  He makes a bigger mess of a peanut butter Kong. Now THAT requires a trip through the beard wash! 

Speaking of beards...I'm curious to know what other people have tried to whiten up their schnauzer's beard.  We did Angel Eyes, and it worked amazingly well, but I don't like the idea of the over-the-counter antibiotic that is in it.  Our vet gave us the ok on it, but it still makes me nervous.  We stopped using it, and so far his beard has stayed pretty light, but I'm guessing that in time it will turn rust colored again.  Any suggestions?


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