The Standard Schnauzer is a medium-sized working dog from Germany that was bred for tasks like herding, hunting and guarding. But they don’t just thrive on the farm, they also make smart, spirited and loyal family companions.
How much do they shed? Standard Schnauzers have dense, wiry outer coats and soft, thick undercoats that shed very little hair throughout the year, to the point they are considered to be hypoallergenic. However, they aren’t the lowest maintenance breed when it comes to grooming.
Let’s consider more closely how much hair Schnauzers tend to lose and what they’re like to groom, so you have a better idea of what to expect before adopting.
Standard Schnauzer Shedding
Standard Schnauzers are a low shedding breed.
They have a dense, wiry outer coat that comes in black or salt and pepper and can be up to 2 inches long. And a soft, thick undercoat that helps keep him insulated from cold and hot weather.
The Standard Schnauzer (Medium Schnauzer) is one of three German dogs: the Mini, Standard and Giant Schnauzer. Each shed about the same amount and have similar coats, so it really comes down to your personal preference and how large of a dog you want.
They’re not completely “non-shedding” as some claim, all dogs with hair shed to some extent, but they do shed very little. So they typically suit people who don’t like cleaning dog fur.
You may notice an uptick in shedding during seasonal changes like spring, however, but this is normal. They are just shedding their winter coat in preparation for the coming summer months. It can be noticeable, but nothing like a heavy shedding breed such as the Akita or German Shepherd for example.
Are they hypoallergenic?
Yes. Standard Schnauzers are listed on the American Kennel Club website as being hypoallergenic.
However, no dog is ever truly hypoallergenic. Even dogs with no hair can cause allergies because the problem isn’t with the hair itself, it’s mostly the dog’s dander (dead skin). And since dander attaches itself to a dog’s hair, heavy shedding dogs tend to spread more dander than low shedders.
In any case, as far as non-allergenic dogs go, Schnauzers fit this description and are therefore more suitable for people looking for this type of breed.
Related: Dog Shedding FAQ (Helpful Guide)
What Are Schnauzers Like to Groom?
Grooming a Standard Schnauzer requires a moderate amount of effort.
You will need to brush them daily to maintain their coat and ensure they don’t have any mats and tangles. This is especially important when it comes to the longer parts of their coat, like the beard and leg areas.
On one hand, they’re not as “wash and go” as some working breeds, like the Pudelpointer. But on the other hand, it shouldn’t take you hours each week to groom them like some other low shedding dogs, such as the Afghan Hound.
There is one caveat to this though. Like most wire coated dogs, once or twice per year it is a good idea to have them hand stripped. Hand stripping is a process of removing the old hairs from his coat by essentially plucking them out.
This is best done by a professional groomer, at least for the first time so they can show you how it’s done. But after that if you feel comfortable you should be able to do it yourself.
Hand stripping is most commonly performed on show dogs, but it can still be worth doing, especially when compared to clipping. Because clipping your Schnauzer all over can actually result in increased shedding and a coat that is less water and dirt resistant.
The reason they shed more after clipping is because the wiry hairs tend to trap the hair before they fall out onto your floors and furniture. So when you shave the fur it is shorter and tends to just fall straight out before you get a chance to brush.
Clipping is fine too though, so if you find this is easier or more suitable for your Schnauzer, do what works for you. Just be sure not remove their undercoat as they need this to help keep them warm in winter and cooler in summer.
Apart from brushing and hand stripping, you’ll need to brush his teeth and trim his nails regularly, and give him the occasional bath.
Reducing Excessive Shedding
Schnauzers don’t shed much, so there’s not a lot you need to do to reduce shedding to the point it is barely noticeable. Things like brushing, bathing and diet tend to have the biggest impact, so if you are wanting to limit shedding, start with these.
Brushing your Standard daily with a good quality slicker brush and metal comb is ideal. These work well to remove any debris and mats he may have accumulated as well as any dead fur.
This is also a healthy activity as it spreads his coat oils and prepares him for the much more intrusive job of hand stripping. So starting to brush him from an early age is key.
Bathing is also worth doing. A bath occasionally, with a good quality dog shampoo, will help to remove and loosen dead fur and is especially effective when combined with a brushing session after his coat dries.
Another important thing to keep in mind is to always feed your Standard a good quality dog food. This may cost a bit extra, but he will appreciate it and a healthy dog is going to shed less overall.
Mini vs Standard vs Giant Schnauzer (Which Sheds Most?)
Standard Schnauzers are the original breed out of the three.
They were bred in Germany to hunt, guard and herd the livestock of local farmers, so they earned their reputation as strong, spirited working dogs many years ago.
The main difference between Minis, Standards and Giants is (you guessed it) their size. The Miniature Schnauzer stands up to 14 inches tall, Standards up to 19.5 inches, and Giant Schnauzers up to 27.5 inches.
Other than that, they’re actually very similar. They all shed a very little amount of hair year round and all require more effort than your average breed to groom.
Worth considering though is that, even though the rate at which they shed is virtually the same for all three, larger dogs have more hair on their body overall. So if you had a Mini in your house for a month, and a Giant, you’re going to notice less hair loss from the Mini, simply because they don’t have as much fur on their body to lose.
Also, the larger the breed, the more food they eat and the more work they will be to groom. Because, quite simply, there’s just so much of them! All Schnauzers make excellent companions though, so at the end of the day, it comes down to your own personal preference.