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Giant Schnauzer - SaveARescue.org

Giant Schnauzer

Giant Schnauzer

  • Breed Group : WORKING
  • Origin : Germany
  • Average Height : 23" - 27"
  • Average Weight : 55 - 85 lbs.
  • Life Span : 10 - 12 years

Photo Courtesy of : Southern California Giant Schnauzer Rescue

  • Size

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  • Energy

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  • Intelligence

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  • Ease of Training

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  • Hypo-Allergenic

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  • Shedding

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  • Good with Kids

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  • Good with Other Pets

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  • Guard Dog

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Giant Schnauzer Rescue Organizations

  • The Schnauzer name derived from the German word "Schnauze," which means "muzzle."
    Giant Schnauzers are the largest of the Schnauzer breed, originating from Munich, Germany.

    The Giant Schnauzer originated in the Wurttenberg and Bavaria sections of Germany. During the years around the turn of the century, both smooth German Pinscher and coarse-haired Schnauzer pups appeared in the same litters.

    The Standard Schnauzers were crossed with the black Great Dane and the Bouvier des Flandresto form the Giant Schnauzer breed.

    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 German Pinscher Schnauzer Club initiated a policy requiring proof of three generations of pure coarse-haired Schnauzer coats for registration. This quickly helped set type and made them a distinct breed from the German Pinscher. These Schnauzers were given the name Standard Schnauzer.
  • • Intelligent, versatile, reliable, brave, loyal, bold and vigorous.
    • Easy to train.
    • Needs experienced dog owners who show leadership, firm, fair, positive training of do's and don'ts.
    • Can be dominant if left to taking an Alpha position within the household.
    • Can be overprotective and serious with a strong temperament.
    • Not good with strangers.
    • Great guard dog.
    • Love carting and protection work.
    • Can be dominant with other dogs.
    • Can be destructive if not exercised enough, both mentally and physically.
    • Have an imposing bark.
    • Often given up after the age of two because of the dominant personalities.
    • Need strong, calm, knowledgeable owners.


    Giants are alert to their surroundings, good natured and very intelligent dogs. They learn quite easily and have sensitive feelings. These dogs bond very closely with their families and will protect them if needed. A very loyal dog. Giants tend to become very attached and often have a tough time if ownership is changed. This breed is an excellent guard dog and will alert you to visitors, intruders or anything particularly out of the ordinary. Giants don't bark too much, it isn't warranted; their sheer size should scare away any unwanted visitors.

    This breed is very loving, protective, and responsible. Thriving on human companionship, Giants do get their feeling hurt if ignored or scolded. Being a large dog, extra attention should be made to make sure that Giants don't jump up and don't get too out of hand, as they could accidentally hurt someone or something. With this in mind, they are not overly energetic, so they are easily trained. Giant Schnauzers are highly intelligent, imposing, and extremely protective of their family and territory. They make excellent guard dogs. These dogs are a dominant breed, but with proper socialization they should do well with children and other pets.


    Coat Description
    The Giant Schnauzer has a double coat. The outer coat is wiry, thick, and harsh. The under coat is dense and soft. The hair is longer over the eyes and on the muzzle to form bushy eyebrows and a distinctive beard. The hair on the legs is longer than the body coat. The color of the coat is either salt and pepper or pure black. This breed sheds little to no hair, but should be groomed regularly to prevent mats from forming.

    The Giant Schnauzer has a stiff, wiry coat that sheds very little and produces no odor. Daily grooming is needed to keep the coat clean and free of tangles and mats. Grooming should start when the dog is a puppy, as this breed needs to be groomed quite a bit. A short wire brush should be used on a weekly basis. To prevent odor and discoloration, the beard should be cleaned after meals and dried after long drinks.
    Hair around the eyes and ears should be kept trimmed to prevent it from matting and getting in the dogs eyes. Clipping is usually required only twice a year and by trial and error, an owner could learn to do this at home. The coat should be stripped, not shaved to the body in order to keep the wiry coat. Shaving causes the coat of the Schnauzer to become soft and wooly, like that of a Bouvier, an unwanted trait. Giants shed less than most breeds, but still do release hairs occasionally, brushing weekly will keep this down to a minimum.
    With ears that are cropped, make sure that they are kept dry and are cleaned every second day. Discourage the dog from scratching the ears and make sure that they are taped properly, not to tight to cause discomfort and not too loose that the dog could pull the tape off. The ears should stay taped until the dog is 6 months old, or until they stand up on their own.
    The hair on the pads should be trimmed also, to prevent object from becoming stuck and injuring the dog. Nails should be kept short, if the dog has black nails, cut small amounts at a time so that the quick is not cut.


    Giants should be exercised daily for at least an hour. They are energetic dogs and require a lot of activity. If not properly exercised, these dogs can become destructive, bored and overweight. They love running and exploring new places and will be a great running/jogging partner as they love spending time with their owners.
    Giants tend to thrive and feel secure with regular daily routines. Best thing is to have a secure fenced area. For younger dogs play time and obedience training should be enough to tire them out. It is not a good idea to jog or heavily exercise younger dogs as they are so loyal they will run even if injured and this can also add to joint pain in the future. The best way to exercise pups is a game of fetch and games until they want to stop. A brisk morning walk, a walk in the evening and of course play time should be enough exercise for your Giant.


    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.

    Health Problems

    Giants are prone to cancer, more than most breeds.

    They have a tendency for developing toe cancer, regular vet checks and proper care can help you catch the disease early.

    They also are at an increased risk of Bloat because of their size; you can prevent this by Feeding them small amounts at different times during the day.

    Epilepsy is another disease that is common for this breed, as well as hip dysplasia. Special care should be done to prevent joints from suffering damage in puppy hood, such as not allowing the dog to jump up, avoiding stairs and limiting running times until they are full developed.

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