Soft coated Giant Schnauze

Grooming is an important part of looking after your Schnauzer. Regular grooming will help keep your Schnauzer healthy and comfortable and you will spot potential problems early. Whether you decide to clip or strip your Schnauzer, help is on hand. Schnauzers are generally a non-shedding breed and will require a fair amount of grooming to get rid of dead hair.
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Trillium
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Soft coated Giant Schnauze

Post by Trillium »

Hi,
Molly is our first Schnauzer, so this is total new territory for me.
Yesterday I called Molly’s breeder to ask for her advice about grooming Molly. I was hoping to be able to strip her, but the breeder said
Molly doesn’t have the right coat for stripping,as she is soft coated. Is the difference in coat texture so great that some dogs only should be clipped?
I read a lot of posts on here about that topic, but could not really find a clear answer.

Thanks and Happy Easter to everyone!
Trillium

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zeta1454
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Re: Soft coated Giant Schnauze

Post by zeta1454 »

Giant Schnauzers should have a harsh outer coat and soft undercoat as with the other two schnauzer breeds. The puppy coat is often very soft and needs to be stripped out to allow the harsh hairs to come through. However, looking online I did see that some American breeders seem to have bred (cross-bred?) Giant Schnauzers to have a thick, soft coat which is not typical of the original breed. It is also possible that Molly’s breeder just assesses her coat as softer than usual and therefore thinks it will not be suitable but that may change as Molly matures. Did you see her mother or even both parent dogs to be able to assess yourself whether they had the standard harsh jacket?

It may depend whether Molly’s breeder is making the comment regarding the puppy coat or whether she is breeding a different type of GS. I had never heard of the ‘soft coated’ GS until I searched online and I am not aware of them in the U.K. but others on the Forum may be able to give you more information. If it is just ‘puppy fluff’ you would be able to hand strip Molly.

There are differing opinions regarding the ‘soft coated’ Giant. This is from the website of the Giant Schnauzer Club of America:~

During the 1970's the popularity of the Giant Schnauzer began to rise. During that period the fashions of the American dog show scene began to affect the style and presentation of many breeds, including the Giant, dramatically changing the look that was more commonly seen prior to that time. This has been a common occurrence in many breeds here in this country where fads and fashions have derailed the progress of even the most dedicated breeders committed to breeding for correct type.

Because of the new grooming fashions from this time, many fanciers and breeders became quite taken with this new style and started to breed for more fancy and elegant dogs with profuse furnishings; consequently these dogs began to excel in structure and conformation. Unfortunately, in so doing, they adversely affected the overall quality of the coats produced. The softer, more profusely furnished dogs became more popular and less of the correct harder coated dogs were presented in the ring. Many judges were also so taken by this style that many times harder coated dogs lost (often to inferior animals) and were not considered simply because of lack of fancy furnishings. Clearly the message was being sent “More coat is better”. While this type of coat is admittedly more glamorous and looks spectacular, it is not correct Schnauzer type. This look is simply high maintenance, has no practical function and requires maximum upkeep. It is a challenge to even the most skilled master groomers. Often, because of the softness and lack of texture, the topcoat is indistinguishable from the overly dense and profuse undercoat. This is especially not practical outdoors in inclement weather and becomes worse with exposure to water. It absorbs and holds moisture like a sponge and carries ice in freezing weather. The topcoat lacks water repellency, allowing moisture to reach the skin and cause chilling. It dries slowly and is difficult to keep clean, carrying water, debris and dirt indoors.[/i]

Fortunately, with the introduction of many new imported European dogs during the 90's, we are seeing positive overall improvements in the Giant Schnauzer coat. By combining these softer coated dogs with the imports, we are creating new bloodlines that produce good hard topcoats and furnishings that can either be stripped into the classic European style on the legs or grown out and scissored into the fancier American presentation. Most serious and conscientious breeders have become more aware of correct coats and their efforts are focused in that direction.”


And another US website:

The American soft coat Giant is what we refer to as the Glamour coat that is "Perfect" for the show ring, family or a Childs pet. EXCELLENT therapy, or guide dog aspect.. It has a longer softer coat texture than the German or Hard coats. This coat can be wavy in appearance. This coat type does require more grooming, as it is thicker and more profuse. It is more desirable to look at. However it is usually more expensive, and harder to find a breeder, that breeds this type.”
Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole. ~Roger Caras

Magic - Silversocks Sharade at Darksprite
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Trillium
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Re: Soft coated Giant Schnauze

Post by Trillium »

Thank you Leigh for the interesting article.
The breeder didn’t actually call Molly ‘soft coated’, that was just the term I used. She did say though that Molly doesn’t have the right type of coat for stripping.
I think I will try to find a groomer and see what his/ her opinion is on the matter.
I have met Molly’s mother, she seemed to have a harsher coat, but to be honest, I didn’t pay a lot of attention to that. I haven’t seen her sire , only on pictures.
Anyway, Molly is a beautiful dog and we love her clipped or stripped😀

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Schnauzerluv
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Re: Soft coated Giant Schnauze

Post by Schnauzerluv »

Do you have a pic of Molly's coat? I'd love to see a pic anyway 😉

I have only started hand stripping, but as Leigh (zeta1454) explained, puppy fluff is just that, a bunch of fluffy fine hair. It grows in harsher. I can't understand why she wouldn't be a good candidate for it.

For some reason, my pup's breeder seemed to discourage me from hand stripping. I have no idea why (unless she was worried I was wanting to show him...) idk. I learned how to do it here and watching youtube. I know I don't do a show quality job or even close, but his jacket is coming in nice and thick shiny black.

Trillium
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Re: Soft coated Giant Schnauze

Post by Trillium »

This is Molly from all sides😀.
I have stared to rake some of her undercoat out, there is quite a bit coming out, all fluffy and brownish coloured. Her ears are a light brown now because I attempted to shave them,which was not an easy task😂
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zeta1454
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Re: Soft coated Giant Schnauze

Post by zeta1454 »

Molly looks lovely and I think a discussion with a good professional groomer should help you decide re stripping or clipping as it would be a shame to lose the opportunity of keeping a good harsh coat if you can. Not all groomers are knowledgeable about hand stripping in my experience so do make sure they are someone whose judgement you trust :) If you ever have the opportunity to go to a championship or breed club dog show in the near future you may also find a schnauzer breeder there who could advise too.
Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole. ~Roger Caras

Magic - Silversocks Sharade at Darksprite
Trilby - Darksprite Rosa Bud


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Trillium
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Re: Soft coated Giant Schnauze

Post by Trillium »

Good advice,thank you!
I will certainly try to find the most knowledgeable groomer possible.
A dog breed show would be great to go, to be able to meet other giant schnauzer owners, there are none in our immediate area as far as I know.
Hopefully by summertime things will be a bit more normal regarding COVID.

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Re: Soft coated Giant Schnauze

Post by Dawnspell »

Shes gorgeous :x

Was she clipped by the breeder ? I ask as in the middle photo her back leg hair looks shorter on the thigh than the outer furnishing.
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Schnauzerluv
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Re: Soft coated Giant Schnauze

Post by Schnauzerluv »

You are right! She does look like she was clipped already. That could be a reason the breeder was saying the coat is not right for stripping. But as far as I know, even with one clipper, you could still hand strip. Just might be a little more difficult and you might have to let the hair grow some so you could take out less hair.

I clipped my pup's hair on his head, I changed my mind afterward and now I'm attempting to hand strip it. Right now he has a curly fro lol.

She is so cute!

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Re: Soft coated Giant Schnauze

Post by Trillium »

@ Dawnspell,
Yes she was clipped when she came to us. Her hair is getting quite long now, especially the dark hair. This afternoon I will give her a little “grooming session”😀

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Re: Soft coated Giant Schnauze

Post by Dawnspell »

Schnauzerluv wrote:
06 Apr 2021, 15:18
You are right! She does look like she was clipped already. That could be a reason the breeder was saying the coat is not right for stripping. But as far as I know, even with one clipper, you could still hand strip. Just might be a little more difficult and you might have to let the hair grow some so you could take out less hair.

I clipped my pup's hair on his head, I changed my mind afterward and now I'm attempting to hand strip it. Right now he has a curly fro lol.

She is so cute!
My thoughts exactly :)) Great minds think alike =))

We've had a few minis in the past on the forum who've had a puppy clip but gone on to be stripped. So Im sure the same will apply for a giant.
Our first family dog
Barney - Pocketpark Biali Eyebright 6/2/13 - 8/3/19 Gone too soon
Motto for owners who groom their own Schnauzers -"Never mind it'll soon grow back"

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