How to Best Clean the Whiskers of a Schnauzer

by Ann Compton
    The schnzauzer's distinctive beard and whiskers need special care.

    The schnzauzer's distinctive beard and whiskers need special care.

    Jupiterimages/ Images

    Schnauzer name is German for “snout” because of the breed's distinct snout, beard and whiskers. The breed was developed in the 15th century to catch vermin and act as guard dogs. They come in giant, standard, miniature, toy and teacup size – all with the distinctive schnauzer beard and whiskers. This characteristic, while part of the dogs' heritage, can collect food, debris and sometimes, odors. You must frequently clean the schnauzer's face to keep it free of food and dirt. Keep up with it on a daily basis and it's an easy task.

    Step 1

    Comb through your schnauzer's beard and whiskers after each feeding. Schnauzer beards and whiskers collect crumbs as they eat. Removing food particles after each meal prevents bacteria and odors from growing in the dog's whiskers.

    Step 2

    Wash the dog's beard, snout and whiskers with a washcloth and warm water daily.

    Step 3

    After washing, brush through the beard and whiskers with a slicker brush to eliminate any tangles and remaining particles.

    Step 4

    Use a mild, no-tears shampoo for dogs to wash the snout, beard and whiskers weekly. Put a drop of shampoo on a wet washcloth; rub the dog's whiskers and beard to distribute the soap and rinse with warm water. Dry with a clean towel.

    Step 5

    Clean the dog's beard and whiskers with one-half teaspoon of baking soda mixed with 1 cup warm water if it develops an odor. Apply the solution with a damp washcloth and dry with a clean towel.

    Items You Will Need

    • Comb
    • Washcloth
    • Slicker brush
    • Mild shampoo
    • Towel
    • Baking soda


    • Use a specially designed no-spill bowl for water. This prevents the dog from soaking its beard and whiskers whenever it drinks. Keep the bowl on a towel or mat to catch any water that drips after the dog drinks.
    • Feed your schnauzer on a small white towel or washcloth rather than in a bowl to eliminate saliva mixing with kibble particles and collecting in the beard and whiskers. Use white so it's easy to tell when the cloth is dirty.
    • Brush your schnauzer's teeth several times a week to keep the dog from developing bad breath.

    Photo Credits

    • Jupiterimages/ Images

    About the Author

    With more than 25 years in journalism, Ann Compton has written for national newspapers, magazines and websites. She has covered the equestrian events in five Olympics as well as the Westminster Dog Show and specializes in animal topics. She breeds, trains and shows Shetland Sheepdogs.

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