Breed Group: Working
Height: 23.5 to 27.5 inches at the shoulder
Weight: 65 to 90 pounds
Life Span: 10 to 12 years
Smart, stubborn, and an independent thinker, this big guard dog will play with family and defend them and their home from any threats, but he isn’t for novice owners.
Did You Know the Giant Schnauzer Needs to Have a Job to Do?
The Giant Schnauzer was probably developed in southern Bavaria and for a long time was known as the Munchener, after the city of Munich.
The Giant is the largest of the three Schnauzer breeds. He was created by German land owners who wanted a tough dog to drive their cattle. It’s thought that they started with the large and shaggy “Bear Schnauzer” and mixed in some herding and working dogs such as the Bouvier des Flandres, the black Great Dane, and the Standard Schnauzer. Today’s Giant Schnauzer has many good qualities, but he is demanding.
The Giant Schnauzer is smart, but like any dog with a working background, he is an independent thinker. You must begin early teaching him to think of you as his leader. The Giant Schnauzer is not an appropriate choice for a first-time dog owner.
It’s important to give him a job to do, from his daily training exercises to participating in a dog sport such as agility, obedience, rally, or tracking. Giant Schnauzers are energetic and athletic, and they enjoy long walks, jogging, and hiking on leash. Plan to take yours for at least a 20-minute walk twice a day, at a good pace, plus training practice for 20 minutes to an hour.
Be aware that a Giant Schnauzer can be messy to keep. His beard will drip water after he drinks and will need to be cleaned after meals. You may also need to wipe walls or furniture if he shakes his head before you can get to a towel. His coat picks up all kinds of dirt and debris which may be deposited throughout your home.
The Giant Schnauzer is best suited to a home with a large yard surrounded by a solid fence that is at least five or six feet high. Do not rely on an underground electronic fence to keep him contained. The shock it provides is nothing to this tough dog, and he won’t let it deter him from leaving the yard if that’s what he wants to do.
Giant Schnauzers are a good choice for families with older children. They can be too active in the presence of toddlers and may accidentally knock them over.
The Giant Schnauzer’s coat must be brushed or combed at least a couple of times a week to prevent or remove mats and tangles. To maintain the Giant Schnauzer’s distinctive look, you’ll need to trim his head and body regularly. You can take him to a professional groomer or learn to do it yourself. Other grooming requirements include cleaning the ears and trimming the nails as needed, brushing his teeth, and bathing him when he’s dirty.
While you might think of him as an outdoor dog, nothing could be farther from the truth. Chaining a Giant Schnauzer out in the yard and giving him little or no attention is not only cruel, it can also lead to aggression and destructive behavior. Giant Schnauzers are guardian dogs, devoted to their people. A Giant Schnauzer should have access to a securely fenced yard, but when the family is home, he should be in the house.
Other Quick Facts About the Giant Schnauzer
The Schnauzer hallmark is a harsh beard and eyebrows.
Its large body is nearly square, while the head has a strong rectangular appearance.
There are three Schnauzer breeds, classified by size.
The breed is named for a show dog named Schnauzer, who won a dog show in Hanover in 1879.