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Giant Schnauzer

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Giant Schnauzer Breed Information

Description: The Giant Schnauzer is a breed with German origins that date back to the 1600s when they were originally bred with thicker coats to withstand the cold winters, and function as working dogs on farms.  Eventually they also proved to be reliable guard and watch dogs to many homes and businesses in the early 1900s. After it served as a guard and messenger dog in World War II, the Giant Schnauzer’s popularity spread worldwide.  

The Giant Schnauzer has a strong, distinct, boxy shaped body making it the largest and most powerful of all Schnauzer breeds.  He has an especially elongated snout with a distinct longer facial beard, and high set pointed ears that naturally flop, but are quick to stand at attention.  While some Giant Schnauzers can be on the more serious side, they can also have a fun and playful demeanor, especially with family and friends that they know and love.



Other Names: Munchener, Russian Bear Schnauzer, Munich Schnauzer, Riesenschnauzer
Group: Working
Height: 23-28 inches
Weight: 65-100 pounds
Colors: Black, black and white, black and grey
Coat: Dense, wiry, short, thick
Hypoallergenic: Yes

Grooming: The coat is low shedding, but does require constant brushing to keep it tangle and debris-free.  Baths are required only if dirty, but trimming regularly helps to keep the coat clean. Regular tooth brushing and ear and nail care is a must.

Temperament: The Giant Schnauzer is a loyal family dog who is both intelligent and strong willed. They are territorial and have a strong protective instinct.  Even if you keep them well socialized, they can still be wary of strangers.

Kid friendly: If your Giant Schnauzer has spent their life around other dogs and people, he or she should do well around kids.  Caution and careful supervision should always be exercised around especially young children or children not known to your Giant Schnauzer.

With Pets: If your Giant Schnauzer is a well-socialized pet, he or she should get along well with other dogs or other pets; however, be careful around smaller animals.  They do have a strong prey drive bred into them, so a smaller animal can bring that out.

Guard-dog: Since the Giant Schnauzer was originally bred to serve as a guard or watch dog, they still carry that temperament today.  Their loyalty to owners also make them a fierce and faithful protector, and their loud bark is sure to scare away unwanted intruders and strangers alike.

Training/Learning: Above average intelligence, but the process will be a long and slow one.  For an experienced dog owner who has the patience and fortitude to work with an often stubborn and strong willed breed, a Giant Schnauzer would be a good fit.

Special Needs: Keep in mind that their extra thick and dense coats make them well suited to handle cooler climates and even rough winters, but they may not do well if you live in an especially hot climate year-round.

Exercise/Activity: Propensity to gain weight means they need to stick to their prescribed diet, and stay active.  They need plenty of time each day to get outdoors and get moving, so keep this in mind as you will need to also enjoy logging the daily miles of walking your dog will need to stay healthy.

Living Environment: As the Giant Schnauzer is a larger dog that needs room to get regular exercise, so it is a breed that is not well suited to apartment living.  

Health Issues: Hip dysplasia, diabetes, eye problems, skin issues.  The Giant Schnauzer is a dog breed prone to cancer, and can sometimes die from cancer.

Life Span: 10-13 years
First Registered by the AKC: 1962
AKC Class: Working
UKC Class: Herding
Registries: AKC, UKC, KC(UK), FCI, CKC, ANKC, NZKC
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