Updated: Feb 5, 2020
Miniature schnauzers are famous for their beards and eyebrows but, like their human counterparts, their beards and brows require regular maintenance or your dog will quickly look homeless.
For years we took our miniature schnauzers to a wonderful groomer in Chaska, MN: Adorable Dog. While we humans were very pleased with the beautiful results after a day at the groomers, our dogs felt differently about the whole experience.
With the exception of Ozzy who is reliably cool as a cucumber, Fritsi and Jock would shake out of their skin from the minute they got in the car (somehow they knew where we were going) until the minute they returned home. My mom-guilt was severe, so severe that I decided to take things into my own hands (literally) and give grooming at home a try myself.
Full disclosure: I did get the brilliant idea to try grooming at home a few years ago. My first try was not exactly a success. I had an old Oster trimmer and shaved Jock to the skin. He was NOT happy and I felt really bad-- kind of like giving your 7th grader a bowl cut only more naked-looking.
Fast forward a few years, I decided to make a real effort to do things right and obtained a good set of clippers and shears. After a little trial and error and a lot of time watching "how to groom your miniature schnauzer" videos on YouTube I can say that I am proud of how things are going.
Because I have found grooming at home to be a nice option for our schnauzer babies I will share the products I have purchased and am happy with (and a few before and after pictures).
Clippers: There are many to choose from and the prices vary a lot. After much research I went with the Andis UltraEdge Super 2-Speed Detachable Blade Clipper, Professional Animal/Dog Grooming, AGC2 https://www.amazon.com/Andis-Detachable-Professional-Frustration-22685/dp/B00UT3EYPA. This clipper is a bit higher-priced than some, I'd say upper-middle price range, but it is very easy to use and does a great job. You do have to monitor the temperature of the blade as it gets pretty warm after a while during the grooming process and you don't want to touch sensitive areas with the warm blade.
Shears: I went with another upper-middle price range set of shears (after using the cheap shears I use to do a quick self-trim of my bangs and finally getting frustrated with poor results): Kenchi Scorpion 7" Super set of 3 Professional Grooming Shears- Curved, Straight, Thinner. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07F1C1N2P/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o06_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1. Admittedly, I haven't figured out yet what the curved shear is for....
Comb: The only comb you need is a metal comb such as the Andis Pet Steel Comb: https://www.amazon.com/Andis-2-Inch-Steel-Comb-65730/dp/B004UTDHP2/ref=sr_1_3?keywords=dog+metal+comb&qid=1559733632&s=gateway&sr=8-3.
How-to guides: After watching many videos, the best YouTube video out there is by Angela Caley: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9cNVGLkIvwI
The American Miniature Schnauzer Club has a nice guide to grooming that I just recently found and plan to start using as as well (the charts are really helpful): http://www.amsc.us/pet-grooming-tips/
Fur care: Finally, we've discovered some products by Biosilk that smell wonderful and make fur silky soft. We use the shampoo https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01330IKN2/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o07_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1, the puppy tearless shampoo (for faces) https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01330INMU/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o07_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1, and the detangler https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01330IKAA/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o07_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1.
Final grooming secret for a silky, pretty pup: blow dry the fur on a cool, low setting before you start the trimming and clipping. Comb the hair as you blow it dry. There are professional grooming blow dryers but we haven't gotten that fancy yet. I just use my own hairdryer which works just fine.
To be honest, I really enjoy grooming Ozzy and Fritsi. The best part is that they don't shake at all! (the lack of stress is probably adding years to their lives). Also, it sure doesn't hurt that grooming at home saves us over $100 every 6-8 weeks. That quickly pays for the shears and clippers many times over. Bonus: By grooming at home, my daughter has decided that she will one day become a professional dog groomer so one of my 4 kids has a plan!
Below are a few of my before and after photos. I am still working on eyebrows and beards but am confident that I will eventually get there.