Information about the Giant Schnauzer

The Giant Schnauzer is a large, powerful breed of dog. It is one of the three Schnauzer breeds. Like most large breeds, the Giant Schnauzer needs a fair amount of exercise.

When hand-stripped, the Giant Schnauzer has a harsh, wiry outer coat and dense, soft undercoat. Coat color is either black or salt and pepper (gray). It weighs between 70 and 100 lb (32 to 45 kg) and stands 23.5 to 27.5 in (59 to 70 cm) at the withers.

When moving at a fast trot, a properly built Giant Schnauzer will single-track. Back remains strong, firm, and flat.

The American Kennel Club lists the Giant as low shedding along with both other breeds of Schnauzers. However, Giant Schnauzers, as with almost all dogs, do shed. When allowed, the hair on a Schnauzer will grow long, which increases shedding, and thereby potentially increasing allergens. This can be mitigated with consistent grooming to include mostly Long hair. The Giant Schnauzer does not moult as much as normal dogs.

The Giant Schnauzer is a great dog if one is looking for a playful yet guarding protector. For those who like large dogs, the size of the dog can be very discouraging for any would-be offender. It is not necessarily a Gentle Giant as say the Great Dane. Some tend to have a herding instinct at a young age so it is best to teach puppies or younger dogs to not nip or mouth at all. Some Giants can be aggressive, but that is common with all Schnauzers. Poorly socialized dogs will have themselves a problem of a large dog unwelcoming of house guests and showing aggression towards other dogs.

This is a working breed and as such requires some amount of exercise or troubling behaviors may occur. A good jog or a let loose in a park with other dogs and maybe a water source will give the owner a well-mannered and tired friend coming home. They are a water breed, which means unless the owner wants to give a bath after their dog has been soaking in a well filled ditch or pond, proper training will be needed or Giants will jump head first into any body of water to swim and even drink. They are not a breed that will take off the moment one lets them off the leash. Some will even turn back mid-stride to make sure their owner is near and may even turn back if too far away. This is not to say to let a dog off in an open park as there are of course risks, especially with leash laws, but they are a distinguishing breed than most that would take off and not look back. Using caution will minimize the risk.

The Giant has received four stars out of five on protection. They’re usually a very alert dog. This is a dog who loves to give and get affection from the family. But understand firm training is needed, otherwise this affectionate nature may lead to people aggression if not properly socialized. This is not a dog to stick in the backyard and leave it at that. Acquaintances, friends and even family members can find themselves on the wrong end of the Giant’s massive mouth which will lead to much bigger legal problems. Proper training and socialization will suffice. Be wary of possible domineering attitudes, although this is an uncommon occurrence. The Giant Schnauzer is a powerful breed that demands a steady, yet very gentle hand and with proper leadership, this large breed can not only be a couch companion and jogging partner, but a loyal and a not too overprotective friend that will take a bullet for its owner.

Giant Schnauzers can compete in dog agility trials, carting, obedience, flyball, Schutzhund, tracking, and herding events. Herding instincts and trainability can be measured at noncompetitive herding tests. Giant Schnauzers exhibiting basic herding instincts can be trained to compete in herding trials.

Giants have been described as far back as 1832 from cattle and pig farms in the Bavarian highlands region of Germany and had been called oberlanders, although a written breed standard was not established until 1923. It was at this time (breed description and showing of these dogs) that some breeders used standard schnauzers to help fix the schnauzer type and developed the central German type Giant Schnauzer. The Munich type and oblanders were used for power and size.

After World War I, the Giant Schnauzer was significantly reduced in numbers. The Kennel (Kinzigtal) owned by C. Clalaminus, contributed to reestablishing the breed. It was this kennel that admitted to three crosses to dogs of other breeds to assist with dominant black colour, well-crested neck and correct head proportions. It is speculated that the black Great Dane, and or the Bouvier des Flandres may have been the breed of the three unknown crosses. Still the foundation stock was oblanders to which oversize standard schnauzers were added.