AKC Group: Working
Originating from Munich, the Giant Schnauzer is the largest member of the Schnauzer breed. They were used to drive cattle, or to herd and guard sheep. They are still used by the police and military to guard to this day. The Giant Schnauzer is believed to be crossed with Bouviers, Great Danes and Shepherd breeds. “Schnauze” is German for beard.
Size: 23 to 26 inches high; 60 to 100 pounds
Color: Solid black or salt and pepper
Life span: 12 to 15 years
Health problems: Glaucoma, heart problems, epilepsy, progressive retinal atrophy, hip dysplasia, osteochondritis dissecans (OCD), allergies or skin problems.
The Giant Schnauzer is a spirited, lively dog with plenty of stamina. They are loyal and protective, courageous and eager. Some Giant Schnauzers may have a more laidback streak. Intelligent and high energy, you’ll need to give him enough physical and mental stimulation. The Giant Schnauzer learns quickly, but may be a little too determined making training difficult — but not impossible. Though he may outsize them, Giant Schnauzers get along with kids. They accept other playmates, but may too domineering or aggressive with a same sex canine. Generally a people dog, a stranger will probably beg to differ.
The Giant Schnauzer coat is hard and wiry. They sport a cute beard, wise expression and a sturdy build. Grooming requires much attention, so be prepared before you bring this puppy home. He will need frequent regular brushings. His beard should be cleaned daily, his bottom hair should be kept trim; both for hygenic reasons. He’ll also need frequent clipping (about every few months) to avoid looking straggly.
The Giant Schnauzer is easily trainable, though his personality requires consistent and firm training. They require lots of socialization to avoid domineering others. Also take care to avoid him developing food and/or object aggression. This can be easily done by petting him as he eats or plays. They love to learn new skills, so feel free to give him a vast education. It’s especially common for them to bond to one family member. All family members should actively train and feed them. They may still favor one member, but you’re doing all you can and that’s all you can ask for. Begging should be strictly discouraged because once he’s full grown, stealing off your dinner plate will be easy. Crating while you’re away and he’s alone may keep him out of trouble. If you’re afraid of boredom, give him a toy or a peanut butter kong. He’ll be happy until you come home.