Schnauzers are energetic bundles of joy that will equally be happy running around your yard as curling up in your lap while you catch up on your favorite Netflix series.
But if you’re on the market for a new dog and don’t want to become a part-time fur cleaner, you might wonder, do Schnauzers shed?
Schnauzers shed, but not very much. In fact, they shed so little that they might be a good fit for people with dog allergies.
I’ll help you understand the ins and outs of when and why Schnauzers shed and their grooming needs.
About the Schnauzer’s Coat
Schnauzers have medium-length wiry fur. They have a double coat, which helps these dogs stay warm in the winter and cool in the summer.
The outermost coat of the Schnauzer serves to repel water and mud. Meanwhile, their inner coat hugs tightly to their skin as insulation.
Three types of Schnauzers exist, all of which have the same coat makeup:
- Miniature Schnauzer
- Standard Schnauzer
- Giant Schnauzer
None of these size varieties will shed much. But the larger your Schnauzer, the more fur you’ll naturally find on your floor since they have a bigger surface area.
Interestingly, the clubs place the Schnauzer as a three on a scale of one to five for shedding. However, they note in their description that Schnauzers are low-shedders, which is my experience and that of many other Schnauzer owners.
Some Schnauzer fans even go so far as to say that the Schnauzer doesn’t shed at all. Of course, that’s not true—every dog breed sheds—but it supports the idea that these dogs won’t leave much fur around your home.
The Benefit of Hypoallergenic Breeds
Schnauzers are hypoallergenic, meaning they shed so little that they often don’t elicit an allergic reaction in people with dog allergies.
Contrary to mainstream thinking, people with dog allergies aren’t allergic to fur but a protein that fur and dander carry. You can also find this protein in saliva, meaning dogs that salivate a lot are also a poor fit for people with allergies.
That said, if you’re considering welcoming a Schnauzer into your home and one of your family members has allergies, it’s best to have them spend time around a Schnauzer first.
There’s no such thing as a 100% hypoallergenic dog. So, seeing how your family member reacts to a Schnauzer in advance will save you and the dog from the heartbreaking experience of having to give them away.
Are Schnauzers Seasonal Shedders?
You might be wondering—do Schnauzers shed to grow a new coat according to the season?
Schnauzers usually shed a bit more in the spring and fall to prepare for a shift in weather. It’s a phenomenon that’s common among dogs with double coats.
Nevertheless, even though you might have some extra fur to vacuum in the spring and summer, a Schnauzer’s seasonal shedding is minimal compared to many other breeds.
Causes of Excessive Shedding in Schnauzers
Aside from encountering more hair on your floor during seasonal changes, below are other common reasons why your otherwise low-shedding Schnauzer suddenly begins dropping more fur.
1. Nutritional Deficiency
A lack of nutrition is one of the leading reasons that Schnauzers shed more than usual.
When your dog doesn’t receive the right balance of macro and micronutrients, their body will divert any nutrition they get to help their vital organs thrive. That means their living hair follicles will no longer receive the nutrients they need to hold the hair firmly in place.
Poor nutrition can result from many situations, including feeding them homemade food, poor-quality dog food, and food that doesn’t align with their age group.
I recommend speaking with your doctor about the best food to feed your Schnauzer. Also, remember that you’ll need to change their food as they age to help them maintain optimal health.
Some dogs shed more than others within the same breed, and Schnauzers are no different.
So, if you notice that your Schnauzer is shedding more than another Schnauzer you own and you rule out all the other options on this list, their parents could be to blame.
The good news is that since Schnauzers are already a low-shedding breed. So, you shouldn’t have to worry about bringing home a Schnauzer that sheds as much as dogs like Golden Retrievers.
Hormonal imbalances in pregnant or nursing Schnauzers can cause them to shed more than usual.
The good news is that such hormone changes are temporary. Therefore, after your Schnauzer gives birth or finishes nursing, the mother should soon return to her normal, nearly non-shedding state.
Like people, Schnauzers can experience a range of allergies. And one of the many symptoms they can have from them is shedding excessively (or excessively for a Schnauzer).
It would take pages to list the items that your dog could be allergic to, so I’ll stick with a few examples:
- Laundry detergent
- Bug bite
- Air freshener
Your veterinarian can prescribe your dog allergy medication to help with their symptoms, including shedding. Alternatively, you can give your Schnauzer Benadryl to help them manage their allergy symptoms (I would ask a Vet first – every single time though).
5. External Parasites
External parasites like fleas and mites can wreak havoc on your Schnauzer’s skin, causing patches of hair loss. If you’re not careful, these pests can even make their way onto your body.
Signs that your Schnauzer has an external parasite issue include itching or biting their skin, redness, flaking, and red bumps.
The condition mange, that comes from a mite infestation, is typically easy to treat, especially when you catch it in its early stage.
6. Skin Infection
External parasites can lead to skin infections, creating a double-whammy in terms of the potential for your Schnauzer to shed extra fur. But skin infections can also happen by not adequately drying your dog or if they have mud caked on their body for too long.
Skin infections usually occur by either bacteria or fungus. Aside from fur loss, signs that your Schnauzer has a skin infection include swollen, red, or flaky skin.
I encourage you to bring your pet to the vet immediately if you suspect they have a skin infection. These situations can rapidly change for the worst, but they’re typically easy to treat with the right medication.
The sad reality is that excessive shedding in Schnauzers could signify a more serious condition. Some diseases that can spur fur loss include:
- Immune disease
- Cushing’s disease
- Kidney, liver, and thyroid diseases
Furthermore, if you’re treating your Schnauzer for a condition and notice them shedding more, the medication could be causing it.
According to veterinarians, dogs ten years and older have an almost 50% chance of developing cancer. So, ensuring you keep up with your dog’s annual check-ups is especially important as they age.
Although it isn’t a disease, if your Schnauzer gets sunburn, this can also cause them to shed excessively in the area where it occurred.
A Schnauzer’s Grooming Requirements
It’s common for people to assume that a low-shedding dog requires little grooming care. However, that’s not the case with the Schnauzer.
The Schnauzer is a high-maintenance breed for grooming, given that they need to see a groomer every four to six weeks.
Between groomings, you should brush them two to three times per week. That’s because they have longer fur that’s prone to matting. Such matting opens the opportunity for skin infections, which, in turn, could make them shed more.
You don’t need to spend too much on grooming tools to maintain your Schnauzer’s coat during the week; a slicker brush and steel comb are excellent options.
Since Schnauzers have natural oils that protect their skin and hair follicles, I encourage you to refrain from bathing them between grooming sessions. Otherwise, you could strip too much of the oils from their skin, leading to even more shedding.
As you’re contemplating the question, “Do Schnauzers shed?” and love that the answer is “not a lot,” make sure you’re prepared to take on the responsibility of grooming your pet.
If you have the time and means to do so, you can expect your Schnauzer to bring lots of love and laughter into your home. And since you won’t be spending as much time vacuuming your floors of fur, you can spend more time bonding with them.