The Giant Schnauzer comes from Bavaria, where it was first bred back in the 1700’s. It is the result of crossbreeding between a standard Schnauzer, Black Great Dane and Bouvier des Flandres. This resulted in a large dog that was suitable for guarding farms and shepherding cattle. The breed’s popularity took off after the first world war when they started appearing more in towns and cities, being used by the Police and Military. By the 1960’s the breed had made its way into America and it’s popularity grew even more. Even to this day the Giant Schnauzer is still used as a Police dog, and the military sometimes use them as search and rescue dogs.
They are the ultimate working dogs. This breed is calm and loyal to their family. They were bred to work and need a lot of mental stimulation to keep them calm and happy. This being said they are content with children or in a family setting. They need to be taught that you and your family are above them in the pack, if you don’t they may try to claim the title of Alpha for themselves.
Giant Schnauzers are protective of the home and have a natural wariness towards strangers. It is key to invite lots of different people into the home when they are puppies, as this will help them get used to the idea of other people being around them and will curb and future aggression towards strangers. They tend to get on well with cats if brought up together, however, they were bred to catch vermin and have an instinct to go after rodents. They are a relatively quiet breed and will only bark when they feel the need to.
Schnauzers are clever and have a very quick mind. They learn easily and will become good at almost anything you teach them. They are a large breed and need to be taught not to pull when on a leash. Recall commands are also important. They will pick up and learn new commands fairly quickly, this however doesn't mean that they will always listen to you. They have a stubborn independent streak and need to be taught to respect and listen to you at all times. Both Puppy and Adult classes are advised to help reinforce training. Make sure to be consistent with training, if you lapse your dog will soon start taking advantage of it. Short daily training sessions will be needed even throughout adulthood.
These dogs like to roam and hunt out small furry things, preferably rodents. Due to this it is best to walk them in a secure area. They can run for miles without seeming to lose even a drop of energy, but a couple of slightly longer walks per day will satisfy their needs. Make sure you do give them enough exercise otherwise they will become bored and destructive. They make for good jogging partners.
Their coat requires regular grooming to keep it in good condition. Their beards/muzzles tend to get drool on them and need the occasional wipe. They need clipping every few months for pets and stripping every 4 weeks for show dogs.
Giant Schnauzers are a playful and bold breed. They are strong and energetic and sometimes don’t realize their own strength. All this means that they aren’t the best breed to keep if you have young children
Giant Schnauzers may suffer from canine hip dysplasia (CHD), bloat, hypothyroidism, eye disease, blood clotting disease, allergies and autoimmune disease and cataracts, and they have a higher risk of cancers than many other breeds.
- Status: Common
- Life Expectancy: 12 - 14 years
- Weight: 75 - 95 pounds
- Height: 23 - 27.5"
- Rare: No
- Coat: Medium - Short
- Grooming Requirements: Everyday
- Town or Country: Either
- Minimum Home Size: Large House
- Minimum Garden Size: Large Garden
- Size: Medium
- Energy Level: Medium
- Exercise Required: Up to 2 hours
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