Posts Tagged ‘dog coats’

As it’s day four-thousand and twentyone of lockdown, I thought I’d have some fun. Here are my top ‘facts’ about life with a Mini Schnauzer. Well, life with ours anyway….



They bark – but only a lot 

I know there are exceptions to the rule, but most minis I know love the sound of their own voice. They’re vocal little dogs and will woof at the drop of a hat. Little Bear sometimes barks just for fun (or to annoy my husband). We’ve neither of us finished a complete sentence in his presence for the last twelve years.


Mini Schnauzer being carried

They like to be carried 

All puppies do the ‘stop and stick’ to the pavement routine when they’re tiny and are a bit worried about the world.

Schnauzers, however, don’t seem to have forgotten that often, once the treats had run out, their exasperated people resorted to carrying them.

Little Bear is an old master at this trick now and will even limp dramatically to get a lift. Like a fool I usually give in and hey presto, the minute I close the front door, he’s racing about the house like a spring lamb.



They hate coats

I often think Schnauzers are the polar opposite of the House Elves in Harry Potter. Give an elf an item of clothing and you free them from servitude – give a Schnauzer a coat and he’ll look at you like he’s a newly condemned man.

A few years ago I decided that Bear’s statue routine could be ‘fixed’ by just   waiting him out.

I popped his new coat on him and waited. After an hour of him standing rooted to the same spot in the kitchen, I caved in. It was a battle of wills. I lost.


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They have sensitive fur 

While dog coats can render them instantly and completely immobile, so can other ‘unexpected items’ about their person.

Leaves on the legs, a twig on the toe and most infamously, a minuscule bit of poop stuck to the botty fluff. That one cost us £50, a mad dash to the vet with our ‘paralysed’ puppy and lost dinner reservations. We also had to change vets.



Mini Schnauzer curled up on the writer's chest


They’re incredibly loving 

Mini Schnauzers have huge characters. They’re certainly not a breed for anyone who wants a quiet life.

Little Bear is and always has been, a total drama king, but he is also the most sensitive, loving little soul imaginable. I suppose, in the end, that’s all we really need to know.


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No go Bear

So, here’s the story about making the neighbours laugh. 

Little Bear has an annoying habit of standing stock still and refusing to move when a) you put any kind of dog coat on him and b) when he feels like it.

Now the coat issue I’ve come to terms with. I don’t believe in ‘dog fashion’ – they’re not toys or accessories so if you want to dress something up, buy a Barbie. 

I only attempted to get a coat on him because as a puppy he refused to go out in the rain. I’ve stood in the garden before now with an umberalla over him for fear that his bladder would burst before it either stopped raining or he’d get desperate enough to get wet.  Being a delicate little soul a coat seemed like a practical alternative to a shivering, pathetic looking little scrap of a thing huddled on the sofa under five blankets after a trot around the block and a light drizzle. 

Little Bear had other ideas of course.  Coat goes on. Dog freezes. Coat comes off – dog regains motor controls and resumes doing whatever he was doing before the evil dog coat immobilized him.  I’ve tried waiting him out but he has an amazing ability for stillness when he puts his mind to it. 

For the record I’ve tried several types of coat. I even made him one thinking that maybe the weight of a quilted coat was the culprit, but even that received short shrift. He did manage to walk most of the way around the block in it – mostly sideways though and with ridiculous amounts of encouragement and a handful of dog biscuits which meant it took twice as long and we all got twice as wet.  Half way around, presumably in a misguided attempt to get it off or mount a new kind of silent protest, he spent a good three minutes in someone’s front garden doing what looked like a strange doggie yoga pose.  (I can feel a Yogi Bear post brewing).  So we’ve pretty much abandoned the idea.

But the ‘I’ve stopped because I feel like it’ is another matter.  The headcollar is still working wonders, but not wanting to put undue pressure on his face, it does mean that I’m relying on voice commands.  This in itself is quite a  revelation as it’s only when you decide to use a different method that you realise how much you relied on that physical connection down the lead. 

It’s called a ‘lead’ for a reason, but too often we use it to yank our dogs in the direction we want them to go.  I’ve started watching people as they walk their dogs and it’s sad to see so many pulled around from pillar to post, with the lead used as a substitute for giving the dog verbal guidance.  (more…)

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