Indie – A Sensitive Schnauzer

Here is little Indie, a darling Schnauzer that I started grooming when she was 6 years old. She has lovely markings and is diminutive in size. She was referred to me by another client of mine who owns a Shih Tzu who is also very sensitive and needs just that special touch.

When I first groomed Indie, she was very scared and not secure on the grooming table at all. It was clear to me that she would need a lot of training and patience during the grooming process. She constantly leaned while on the table which of course is dangerous. I had to teach her to plant all fours securely and firmly. I was sure to put a rubber mat (the ones that have suction cups and that cover the entire bathing area) in the sink where I bath her so she would not slip and slide. This gave her more confidence to stand and not constantly try to jump out. It was clear from that very first bath that she was very sensitive around her genitals. She snapped at me when I washing her private parts so, I was sure when I went to dry and groom her that I was extra careful in that area. She really disliked the blow drying process. Undoubtedly, prior to me, a power blower was used on her head. I used a human hair dryer on a low warm setting. She allowed me to do this with little defiance. It does take longer but, it was so important for Indie to learn that I would accommodate to her needs and not just force her to accept a more powerful dryer.

She has quite soft fluffy hair and grows very quickly. I must always thoroughly pull the hair from her ears and clean them with ear cleaner so they do not get infected. She has a propensity for them due to her thick coat.

Her Mom prefers her to be groomed in a more natural less traditional Schnauzer haircut. I leave her hair longer and I do not carve out her hand quarters. The hip area blends into the leg with out any demarkation line. The challenge on her head is to blend the area that I do shave with the sides of her face and beard so that it looks natural with soft contour lines.
Lots of thinning shear work.

I have been grooming her now for about 2 years and she has come such a long way! She stands squarely and securely. She doesn’t wiggle in the tub but, now enjoys the massage and attention. I use very warm water to relax her. Not hot just a tad warmer than usual. This helps her relax. She now allows me without any protest to remove the hair from her ears. I think she knows I am helping her. I groom her in a quiet space with calming music and we go into grooming Zen mode. She is very sensitive and needs a quiet and calm environment to relax.

It is so rewarding to see the transformation that Indie has made. She will always be sensitive on the grooming table but, now she can now experience the process with much more tranquility and security. All the small adjustments I made on her behalf has established a bond between she and I. She now trusts me and does not fight me to groom her.