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schnauzer/poodle grooming question

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  • schnauzer/poodle grooming question

    The latest pound puppy is a schnauzer/poodle cross. Yes, I could say "schnoodle" but I won't! His coat veers more towards poodle, not a hint of wirey-ness to it. It is medium curl, super soft and VERY fluffy. Really, it's the stuff of angels.

    And that's great, right? No, not really. It mats in .35 seconds flat or at the hint of any moisture. And it's the perfect texture for holding burrs, leaves, sticks or, oh lord, shavings.

    And Mr. Fluff is sensitive! Oh, it pains him to be brushed. And, really, I don't blame him. I'm using a pretty standard slicker brush (cheapy number, bought at big box pet store) and it seems to really drag through his fine angel fluff.

    Should I try a different brush type? Any other tips and tricks? This is mostly leg fluff, btw. He's got a modified schnauzer trim, so his back is cut close enough it's not a problem.

  • #2
    maybe more of a comb type brush would help, you could more easily pin point an area, would a poodle kennel cut be closer all around? that might help to


    • #3
      Can you do a puppy type cut on him? Leave the ears poofy, but shave down the rest (and modify it so its fairly short?). Ive known a few poodle crosses with this type of cut, and although they arent show cuts they are pretty practical especially for dogs who venture to the barn!


      • #4
        My Mini Schnauzers have always had a short (really short, but not shaved) body, legs and neck, with a schnauzer head. I still had to watch for mustache/beard mats, so I started trimming that straight across under his chin so it wouldn't mat. It seemed to mat faster as he aged, so I just trimmed the bottom of the beard myself, and he was much happier.
        You can't fix stupid-Ron White


        • #5
          I would have him cut down very short & keep him that way.

          I see a lot of poodle x's at work (bless you, my child for not calling him a schnoodle! ). Many owners insist of leaving their coats longer because it is "cute", but they do not see what these poor dogs have to go through to be dematted. It is a painful process. Even owners who attempt to keep their animals brushed out at home generally do not get down to the skin and miss areas that are especially prone to matting- the low belly, inner back legs, "arm pits", between toes & around the butt. If I had my druthers, every dog that isn't going in a show ring (which would be EVERY "schnoodle", goldendoodle, cockapoo, etc....) would get cut close and come in every 5-6 weeks for a redo. "Cute" should not outweigh the animals comfort.

          For grooming at home, burbank is correct- you need a comb as well. You can get softer slicker brushes; use the slicker all over to pull the coat apart & break up looser matts, then comb everything, all the way down to the skin. For stubborn matts, get a small matt breaker like this. Use it with a scooping motion to pull out the baddy. There are also longer bladed dematters like this that are designed for longer coats, but can be helpful for really nasty mats in very sensitive areas- gently pull the coat apart with your fingers at the skin until you find the "beginning" of the matt, tuck one blade of that into a few strands of coat there, and gently "shave" away at those hairs until they break. Repeat, always working away from the skin & holding the base of the matt to minimize pulling on sensitive skin.

          If you keep him short, a quick once over with a softer slicker and combing a couple of times a week will be enough.
          bar.ka think u al.l. susp.ect
          free bar.ka and tidy rabbit


          • #6
            Hey now! I own the greatest dog on the planet--and he's a Schnoodle!

            Our boy looks very Schnauzer-y, and is clipped like one. His coat mats instantly, especially his legs/tummy. We use a human brush on those parts, as well as his beard in between groomer visits. Here on the Farmette, he simply cannot be left with a longer coat. I've never been fond of breeds meant to be groomed a certain way (Airedales, Schnauzers, Poodles) left "unkempt" or not trimmed as the breed standard directs, at least in part.

            I think you should do a "puppy cut" on your pup.
            Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!


            • #7
              Show Sheen is your friend...

              I would keep your friend fairly short, myself. I know exactly what that cottony coat is like, and it is terrible! I do like slickers, as a rule, and there is a brand of soft-tipped slickers that seem to be well accepted by most dogs: http://www.groomersmall.com/images/PPSS-BT-Color-lg.jpg

              Keep in mind, though, that schnauzers are massive drama queens and rather intolerant of discomforts. It kind of brings their back up and they holler and struggle and carry on. If you are certain you're not killing your dog, let him know that discomfort is part of life and suck it up, baby. You'll get a cookie for your trouble...

              I always work from bottom to top & back to front with coated dogs. That way, I am not trying to brush through unbrushed areas a subsequently compounding discomfort. If it's just debris and not tangles clogging up the works, a wide-toothed comb works very well. Make sure to brush your dog before going to the barn as well as after. It does make a difference.
              Don't tell me about what you can't do. That's boring. Show me what you can do. - Mom


              • #8
                I keep my fuzzy boys in short cuts all summer, and their legs get cut even shorter. The groomer couldn't believe we were serious at first. No sute fluffy poodle ankles for my guys. We want the boys almost bald up to the elbows. They look like they are wearing socks. It breaks the groomer's heart. We tip heavily in compensation.

                I find that Chris Christensen Ice on Ice helps a lot when I've let the boys get matted.

                I also like using a Goody Ouchless brush on longer hair. (I found mine at Walmart.) The brush has widely spaced bristles in an elastic base. The bristles bend when they hit a snag instead of ripping through the tangle. The brush doesn't do as thorough a job as a more severe brush, since the bristles are so flexible. Ultimately, however, I find I get more grooming done since the dog protests less when I use this brush. I can go back later in the day with a comb once I get the worst of the mats out with the Goody brush.


                • #9
                  Proud schnoodle owner x2 here ;-) schnoodly doooooooodley! I had to say it!

                  Schnoo One has coarse hair, wavy and thick but doesn't mat. Schnoo 2 has that fine, thin, soft hair that definitely does mat, mostly around her beard, which I refuse to remove because it's just so darn schnuffly! Love it. Anyway, because she's (supposedly....) white, i tend to bathe her three times as often as the other one. I use a conditioner too, if the mats are stubborn, but other than that, as others said, a hairbrush from the store with a soft base and bristles (well, fingers on the brush, not bristles. It's not a fluffy-maker type), and keeping the hair short enough that her feet, ears and chest don't have a chance to grow out and tangle too much... that's about all I do. Her fur gets matted too when dogs lick it, and

                  MrB's parents' Boston terrier is visiting.... which means any dog is either getting humped mercilessly or compulsively licked at any given moment.... Eye twitch. I think schnoo2's going to have to soak in conditioner to loosen the tangles once orgy camp is over.


                  • #10
                    We had a chow/golden mix for years...talk about a combination dream and nightmare! He didn't care what he looked like, so any mats got cut out as soon as we found them, and we took a brush to him as often as possible (in our case a rake, since his undercoat was significant).

                    My advice would be to keep it short, and to try to find a gentler, nubby brush or even some kind of glove. Our guy tolerated "rough" groomings better if you wet the hair down first with a spray bottle, which seems to let the brush glide through better.
                    "Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out." ~John Wooden

                    Phoenix Animal Rescue


                    • #11
                      I have 2 schnauzers. Keeping the furnishings short will cut down on the matts. So just keep your guys leg hairs shorter. And find a medium comb to gently comb out the matts. I've heard folks have success with detanglers like Cowboy Magic to help comb out the matts.

                      But sounds like you are grooming poodle hair, not schnauzer hair. So I'd ask a poodle owner what to use on the coat, either a comb or a brush...

                      My 2 are standard schnauzers, and they are groomed differently than a mini. Less leg hair. This is a SS from the wiki link picture.


                      I actually keep the leg hair shorter, beard shorter, and no fluffy hair on the chest...


                      • #12
                        I can't say this with absolute certainty, as my long haired dog (a sheltie) has a completely different coat... but IME these are going to be your best grooming tools (especially for a sensitive dog):

                        #1 - A poodle comb with widely, evenly spaced teeth, NOT the wide on one end/narrow on the other end configuration

                        #2 - A pin brush that DOES NOT HAVE NUBBIES on the end of each pin. Those little nubbies catch their hair terribly, and can be quite painful.

                        #3 - A nice, standard slicker.

                        #4 - Invest in a grooming table. If your dog is wiggly, has hard to groom hair, and hates being groomed... you'll find it makes a WORLD of difference.

                        Also, learn how to line brush. The dog in the link is an OES, and so probably has a *lot* more hair than your dog, but it's the same concept regardless of breed. Line brushing is really easy, and will make a tremendous difference- you'll be using your grooming time much more effectively.

                        I bet show sheen would make it easier to keep his coat tangle free, too.

                        I hope this helps!!


                        • #13
                          Maybe start by clipping the dog very close to get rid of all mats, and then letting the coat grow to the right length with proper grooming from the start.
                          You can't fix stupid-Ron White


                          • #14
                            I have a question about the show sheen-- our dog is a mini poodle and her legs get tangly all the time. We try and keep them brushed but when she goes to the farm it messes everything up.... so my question is, is it okay if she licks the show sheen off of her legs? She often nibbles at her legs because she has some allergies... not trying to hi-jack!



                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Lazy Palomino Hunter View Post
                              #1 - A poodle comb with widely, evenly spaced teeth, NOT the wide on one end/narrow on the other end configuration.

                              Also, learn how to line brush. The dog in the link is an OES, and so probably has a *lot* more hair than your dog, but it's the same concept regardless of breed. Line brushing is really easy, and will make a tremendous difference- you'll be using your grooming time much more effectively.
                              Ditto!! I've had to learn as a I go with my first long haired dog. Get a greyhound comb! I got a plastic one at Walmart in the people section as a starter. Came with a pick for $2.50 and I love both items! After a year, I just recently bought a slicker because I felt I was supposed to have on in my kit. Pooch hates it and I don't much see the point: I get all the undercoat out with combs or brushes of varying teeth width.

                              I think it is very difficult to get to the skin to line brush with a slicker and painful for the dog. You must get the comb or brush teeth flat to the skin on those woolly legs or Fido's looking at a #7 or 10F shavedown.