(aka: Riesenschnauzer, Russian Bear Schnauzer [early 1900's])
The Giant Schnauzer has a coat that is hard, harsh, and wiry, and the coloring of the Giant Schnauzer can be black or salt & pepper. This is a distinctive looking breed with a beard, a sturdy build, and a wise expression. The weight of the Giant Schnauzer is around 65-80 pounds for females, and 80-95 pounds for males. The height of these dogs is around 23-26 inches for females, and 25-28 inches for males.
Giant Schnauzer Temperament
The Giant Schnauzer is a spirited, lively, and intelligent, with plenty of stamina and a very loyal and protective streak. The protective nature of this breed means that the Giant Schnauzer makes an effective watchdog. These dogs are courageous, alert, and eager, and whilst some may be very serious others may be far more laid back. These are high energy dogs and are also very intelligent, and it is important to ensure that your Giant Schnauzer receives both physical and mental stimulation. The Giant Schnauzer is a quick learner, which aids training, but can be very determined and dominant, which makes him best suited for those with some degree of experience when it comes to dog ownership and training.
The Giant Schnauzer is a large and high spirited creature, and although he gets along well with children it is best to limit this to older, more considerate children. Most Giant Schnauzers will accept other animals, but can be dominating and even aggressive with same sex dogs. They also have a tendency to try and herd children, and can be over protective of children in the family, which could prove a problem if they children are playing with other kids. The Giant Schnauzer is a people person, and does require attention and regular exercise. They can be wary around strangers.
The Giant Schnauzer is a high maintenance dog when it comes to grooming, so potential owners should ensure that they have plenty of time to dedicate to looking after the pet. You will need to brush the coat of the Giant Schnauzer on a regular basis, and his beard will need to be cleaned daily for hygiene reasons. You should also ensure that you keep the hair around his bottom trimmed for hygiene reasons. For show dogs, the dead coat will need to be stripped every few months, and for pets clipping may be necessary every few months. This breed is a low shedder, and may therefore be suitable for allergy sufferers.
Giant Schnauzers are the largest of the Schnauzer breed, originating from Munich, Germany.
A versatile breed, they were used as cattle driving dogs in Bavaria, sheepherders, guarding, and as noble companions, but as technology progressed they almost faced extinction as they were no longer needed. Thanks to its reputation as a guardian and to dedicated breeders, the breed was kept alive. They still make great herding dogs and wonderful pets. The police and military also use them as guard dogs or police dogs to this day. The Giant excels at Schutzhund and any other task you give it. They are loyal and protective over their owners, but will show unconditional love for years to come.
It is believed that the Giant Schnauzer is composed of a variety of other large breeds, including Bouviers, Great Danes and some Shepherd Breeds. When the resulting dog resembled the Standard Schnauzer, that breed was crossed in to reinforce the type and the name became Giant Schnauzer.
The name Schnauzer comes from the German word "Schnauze", meaning beard or muzzle and draws attention to the distinctive mustache and beard on the muzzle created by longer hair there.
The Giant Schnauzer is an intelligent dog that is easily trained, although it does need consistent training, as they can be quite stubborn. As puppies they do require lots of socialization and training. These dogs tend to be quite dominant with other animals, so socialization should start in puppy hood. With dominant breeds, special attention should be made to ensure that the dog does not develop food or object aggression. You can prevent this by petting the dog while it eats and making the dog aware that you are boss. They are bold and need an equally bold influence in their life. They love learning new tasks, which can make training them a lot of fun. It is also what can make them a handful or difficult to the wrong owners.
Giants can easily bond with just one person in the family, it is very common. That is why it is very important for every family member to give them commands, feed and train them. Even with that they have tendencies to favor one member a bit more. This type of breed needs to learn their place in a family, that the other family members are above the giant. Giants should also be taught to respect the dinner table, you should not allow your dog to beg or feed it scraps from the table, a puppy may not be able to reach, but a fully grown Giant can easily steal food from your plate and become a nuisance at dinner time.
They should also be taught from an early age to go in a crate. They are a large dog that becomes bored quite easily and could cause damage. Being in a crate all day may sound boring, but it keeps the dog out of harms way, a simple kong with frozen peanut butter will keep your Giant happy and safe while it awaits your return.
The life expectancy of the Giant Schnauzer is around 10-12 years, and there are a number of health problems that have been linked to this breed. This includes glaucoma, heart problems, epilepsy, PRA, HD, OCD, allergies, and skin problems. The parents of the Giant Schnauzer puppy should have OFA and CERF certificates.