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  • Writer's pictureLucka Zabkar


Anyone who knows me as a "schnauzer fan" knows I am passionate about the rolling coat technique. There are reasons for this: I want my dogs to have the most dense and wiry coat possible, I love to work on their coat regularly, and I have the time to do so.


Acquaintances and friends often ask me which tools I use, which is the best, what the procedure is, etc. It is almost impossible to answer these questions uniformly because dogs have different types of hair; the amount of hair on their bodies varies, as does the speed of hair growth. Some have a stronger undercoat; others have almost no undercoat... In any case, it is probably true for most of them that hair grows fastest on the head, back, and tail and slowest on the sides (ribs and down). The way of working should be adapted to this. Some people swear by sectional stripping, which requires very well-planned work. This does not suit me, as I am rather confused than organized type. So, I have learned to pull with a firmer grip where the hair grows fastest and a gentler grip where it grows more slowly.

The more time passes, the less sure I know how to work on a Schnauzer coat. I do it differently each time, depending on the feeling under my fingers. Lately, I use stripping knives less and less except for combing out the undercoat. I tend to use a much narrower selection of tools. One good coarse knife for the undercoat (for my standards this works, while for my miniature I would also add a fine one), a "saw" (stripping knife with very dense and short teeth) for the ears, throat, neck, and for thinning certain lines will do. For everything else, the best "choice" is my fingers (and, yes, finger condoms), sharp eyes, and persistence. And, of course, GROOMING STONE (for stripping and rubbing)! This is, at least according to my current thinking, A MUST and the best aid, especially if you are doing a rolling coat.


For the reasons I have stated, this is the way to achieve the absolute best hair. However, this also has negative consequences. As only the hair that would otherwise fall out on its own is removed weekly (with many layers, there is very little of it), a day or two after grooming, new mature hairs begin to fall out by themselves. Although not many of them, it might bother you when you sit in the car, you also used for traveling with your dog, or when you put on the pants you wore while petting your schnauzer. But there is a solution for this, too. Rub the dog with a grooming stone every day or two. Work more intensely, where the hair grows faster and a little more forgiving on the ribs. Every time, you will get quite a bit of hair that would otherwise lie on the car seat or your pants. 

If I had to go somewhere far from home and had limited space for grooming tools, I would take with me only two stripping knives (a coarse one and a saw, maybe also a fine stripping knife for my miniature), finger condoms, and a couple of grooming stones (besides one good comb and a slicker brush). I am convinced that with the above, I could take care of the coat adequately, and the quality would not be compromised. So, put the GROOMING STONE on the top of the grooming gear list. Appreciate also your fingers, which are your most valuable tool!

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