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.
|Other names||Munich Schnauzer, Russian Bear Schnauzer, Munchener|
|Coat||Undercoat: Hard, dense, wiry; Outer coat: Harsh|
|Color||Solid black, black and tan, pepper and salt, fawn|
|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 size||5 to 8 puppies|
|Behavioral traits||Intelligent, alert, spirited, friendly, loving, playful|
|Good with children||Yes (older children)|
|Barking tendency||Moderately high (on seeing strangers)|
|Shedding (Do they shed)||Moderate|
|Competitive Registration Qualification/Information||AKC, ANKC, ACR, ACA, APRI, CKC (Canadian Kennel Club), CKC (Continental Kennel Club), FCI, DRA, NZKC, NAPR, KCGB, KC (UK)|
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.
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 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.
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.