First of all, you will need a collar and leash. Most puppies will start out in a 10" puppy collar that is adjustable as he grows. His adult collar should be a 12-14" rolled leather collar, with all but the largest schnauzers fitting into the 12" collar. Always take the dog with you when shopping for a rolled leather collar, as different manufacturers make them slightly different lengths. This type of collar will last the dog a very, very long time and is the easiest on the dog's coat with less matting underneath.

Leather again makes for the best leash; it is strong and flexible and allows for a good grip. Don't get one too wide; leather is VERY strong and a 3/8"-1/2" wide leash will be more than sufficient. If you do any obedience training, the leash must be six feet long, but for just walking-around purposes, four feet is more than sufficient. Leashes come in lengths for absolutely EVERY purpose! Although the nylon leashes are much cheaper than the leather ones, be careful with them as they can give you a bad case of "rope-burn" if the dog decides to take off when you are not paying attention! Nylon is fairly slippery and doesn't allow for a good grip. For walking in the wide-open spaces or exercising your dog, consider the purchase of a Flexi-Lead. This is a wonderful product that allows the dog to move out either 16' or 26' away from you on a retractable lead. With this one, you can truly just stand in one spot and let the dog do all the running.....very handy when trying to get the dog to eliminate!

The only way to truly train a puppy/dog satisfactorily is to have a crate for him AND USE IT. Housebreaking becomes much easier, and crating a dog when he cannot be watched will keep him from getting into trouble around the house. Preventing problems is easier than correcting them; teach your puppy GOOD habits! Plastic crates are cheaper than metal crates, but are not recommended if you do not have air conditioning in your house during hot weather as they will cut down on the air circulation around the dog. Best to spring for a metal crate if your house does not have air conditioning! My favorite crate is the (small) Furrarri. This plastic crate is the most well-made plastic crate out there right now. The Vari-Kennel 200 is a commonly-used schnauzer crate and works very well. The 100 size works well for new puppies the first few weeks until they outgrow it. If your schnauzer is on the smaller side, the large Kennel Cab II will work very well. It is a bit smaller than the Furrarri and Vari-Kennel 200 and is MUCH cheaper. If you want a good, inexpensive plastic crate, the Pet Porter sold by WalMart is an excellent crate. If you feel you would rather have a metal crate, most any comparable-sized crate will suffice. Proper adult crate dimensions are *about* 20"W x 27"L x 19"H.

Avoid plastic food dishes, but use stainless steel instead. Stainless steel will last just about forever and is very easy to clean. Plastic dishes tend to discolor a dog's nose over time. A one quart stainless steel bowl is a very good size for food, while a larger one could be used for water. Water bottles work very well for drinking also. The beards don't get as messy from slopping in the water bowl, and dogs learn to easily lick the spigot to get their water. It is not uncommon for these water bottles to leak, so don't hesitate to return a bad bottle! I have found the Farnam water bottles to be the most reliable and use the quart size for the house, and the pint size for the crate.

Here is my recommendation for choosing a good food if one wants to feed kibble:

The first ingredient should be a specified meat meal (ie. chicken meal, lamb meal, etc.; "meal" means all water is removed from meat), there should be a minimum of grains (one, or, at the most, two... grainfree is even better), there should be NO by-products, NO preservatives such as BHA and BHT, NO ethoxyquin, and NO menadione sodium bisulfate (source of vitamin K). Dogs also do not need extra salt. Fiber shouldn't be over 4%; more fiber equates to more poop to pick up. I like to see probiotics and enzymes in the food (acidolpholus). For those of you with black coats, I feel that it is kelp in the food that helps with color (other than genetics and stripping). Corn is an excellent source of the omega fatty acids if one doesn't have a dog that is allergic to it. When I go to a company's website to see the nutritional analysis of a product, this means as much to me as seeing a list of the ingredients. I want to know how much protein, fat, and fiber is in that food. My dogs do best on 25% protein and 15% fat as they are fairly active and they have a large area to run in; some schnauzers require lower fat levels because of inactivity or hyperlidipemia (too much fat) in their bloodstream. The worst thing one can do with a schnauzer is let it get overweight; too many health disorders (ie. diabetes, pancreatitis) accompany that in schnauzers. One important thing to remember is that, if a dog is neutered, it will require LESS food than one that is intact due to the change in hormone levels.

Your new schnauzer will need to be groomed on a regular basis. You can get as involved with the grooming as you want, in which case you will need a fair amount of equipment to do the job yourself. Most people choose to pay someone else to do the grooming, but even so, your dog must be kept matt-free by combing and brushing him every day. The large Universal slicker brush works better than other brushes in getting through the snarls and matts a dog may have, and generally most any comb will work just fine. I pefer a comb with the combination of either medium and coarse teeth spacing or fine and medium. The Resco 200 comb is a fine inexpensive comb, but if your dog is heavily-furnished, you may need to buy the more expensive Belgium greyhound comb. The tines on this comb are a bit more pointed (rather than rounded), and it gets down to the dog's skin easier than the cheaper combs. I have recently been trying one of the newer teflon-coated combs, and I really am very happy with it. This comb seems to work the best yet! Being the intelligent person that I am, the container it came in was immediately thrown away!

Your puppy will need something to chew on. I recommend either Nylabones (if you can get your puppy to like them....most don't seem to), or 4-6" knotted rawhides. Avoid the little pencil-like rawhides; they get these softened too easily and can choke on the rawhide. All rawhides will get to the point where they will have to be removed and thrown away. They must be supervised (actually ANY toy) to insure that the dog doesn't choke on any pieces. Only buy rawhides that have been "Made in the USA". Rawhides made in other countries are often made from hides that have been cured with arsenic and other harmful chemicals. Rawhides do tend to make the dog's furnishings a bit gummy, so make sure that you comb/brush him thoroughly after a chewing session.

Puppies/dogs usually love squeakie toys. I buy mine the soft vinyl ones rather than the hard vinyl. Every time I bring home one of the hard vinyl toys, some dog or other lies down and immediately chews a piece of it off. GRRRRR! Some love to work at the squeaker, too, and get that out fairly quickly. Some of these new plush toys work pretty good, but eventually someone will have chewed a hole somewhere in one of them. Keep an eye out for missing eyes, etc. and stuffing that is beginning to be pulled out some small hole. I would avoid these plush toys if there are small children in the house. Most dogs cannot tell the difference between THEIR stuffed toys and the family child's. Having a new puppy in the house SHOULD teach children how to pick their toys up after playing with them. "Put it away, or expect the dog to play!"

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Copyright © 1996-2017 Karen Brittan and Britmor Miniature Schnauzers. All images and written material on this site are my property and may not be used without my express written permission.