By Macy Gen Veterinary AssistantMacy Gen Last updated: 17th March 2023

Giant Schnauzer


Macy Gen Veterinary Assistant Macy Gen
Last updated: 17th March 2023

The Giant Schnauzer, a breed of working dog, is the largest among the three Schnauzer breeds, the other two being Standard and Miniature Schnauzer. Strongly built, robust, and well-muscled, these dogs have a rectangle, elongated head, strong muzzle, high set V-shaped, perpendicular ears, dark brown, deep-set eyes, and a moderately set tail carried to a height. Initially bred for tending livestock and guarding property it has also been accepted as a perfect companion dog because of its pleasant disposition.

Giant Schnauzer Pictures

Quick Information

PronunciationSTAN-derd SHNOU-zur
Other namesMunich Schnauzer, Russian Bear Schnauzer, Munchener
CoatUndercoat: Hard, dense, wiry;  Outer coat: Harsh
ColorSolid black, black and tan, pepper and salt, fawn
Breed typePurebred
Average lifespan 12 to 15 years
Size (How big do they get)Big
Height Male: 26 to 28 inches; Female: 24 to 26 inches
Weight Male: 60 to 85 pounds; Female: 55 to 75 pounds
Litter size5 to 8 puppies
Behavioral traitsIntelligent, alert, spirited, friendly, loving, playful
Good with childrenYes (older children)
Barking tendencyModerately high (on seeing strangers)
Shedding (Do they shed)Moderate
Competitive Registration Qualification/ InformationAKC, ANKC, ACR, ACA, APRI, CKC (Canadian Kennel Club), CKC (Continental Kennel Club), FCI, DRA, NZKC, NAPR, KCGB, KC (UK)

Giant Schnauzer Puppies Video

History and Origin

The standard Schnauzer was the first and the original of the Schnauzer breeds, while the giant and miniature developed later.

The Giant Schnauzer breed, developed during the middle of the 19th century in Germany’s Bavarian Alps by crossing the Standard Schnauzer with large-sized dogs like the black Great Dane, German Shepherd, Rottweiler, Boxer, Munchener, Thuringian Shepherds, and the  Bouvier des Flandres.

Though initially bred to work in farms, by the 20th century their job to drive cattle lessened and they came to be employed in stockers, breweries and butcher shops. They were unknown outside their place of origin until the two World Wars where they served as military dogs.

The first of this breed was introduced to the United States during the 1930s, though till the 1960s they were rare. The AKC acknowledged them in 1962, the same year when the Giant Schnauzer Club of America was formed, with 23 of them being registered then. The number increased with every passing year from 386 in 1974; to 800 in 1984; and 1000 in 1987.  Though in Europe they are mostly engaged as police dogs, in America their usage pertains to show and dog sports like obedience and agility.

Temperament and Personality

These are a more powerful and bold version of the Standard Schnauzer regarding its looks and attitude. It is a calm and loyal family dog, with the salt and pepper colored varieties being more docile than the black ones.

However, behind its gentle nature lies a fierce protector, being extremely reserved and suspicious towards strangers, barking at a considerable pitch the moment they see an outsider. This trait raises them to the stature of a perfect watch and guard dog. They do well with children, though older kids are a better choice than the little ones keeping the dog’s energetic nature in mind. Their interaction with other canines should be avoided until they are socialized or brought up with them since the Giant Schnauzer has an extremely territorial nature and could also end up attacking the dog it is acquainted with. If you have a home with smaller pets and rodents, then these guarding breeds would not be an apt choice for you since it could trigger their chasing instincts.



Since they are dogs with high energy levels, they need to be exercised on a regular basis lest they could get bored and resort to destructive means. A long walk coupled with regular play sessions in a park or within the premises of a fenced yard would be a good choice. They would always be an ideal companion whenever you are out for jogging, hiking, cycling or swimming. If you live in the countryside and have a farm to manage you can always give them a job to do.


Their coat needs to be brushed on a weekly basis to maintain its shine as well as prevent the formation of mats and tangles. Moreover, stripping or clipping is even needed on a routine basis to help it remain healthy as well as look attractive. Trimming its nails, cleaning its eyes and ears as well as brushing its teeth are the other grooming needs that are to be followed.

Health Problems

Some of the common health issues of the Giant Schnauzer include hip and elbow dysplasia, eye problems like glaucoma, multifocal retinal dysplasia, progressive retinal atrophy, and cataracts, as well as skin conditions such as melanoma, diabetes and autosomal recessive hypothyroidism.


Since the Giant Schnauzer is a guard dog, it could be a little independent or stubborn. Hence a firm taskmaster is needed to train it properly and tactfully.

  • Giving it socialization training by making it interact with different kinds of people as well as other dogs will gradually help shed its territorial nature. The more it meets various people with different physical features and voice textures, its ability to identify the wrong from the right would get better.
  • Teaching it basic commands like “stop,” “come,” “no,” “sit” and so on would help it become obedient and disciplined as it grows up.


These large dogs require a proper amount of food to remain healthy and energetic. Besides choosing the right brand of dry dog food, you can simultaneously introduce a homemade diet comprising of vegetables, meat, cheese, and yogurt. Though make sure that the amount does not increase the recommended level as it could trigger obesity in your dog. It is good to pamper them at times with treats though go for healthy options rather than giving them spicy curries or chocolates from your plate.

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