Canine Breed Menu

Giant Schnauzer

Giant Schnauzer


Additional
Giant Schnauzer
Pictures
Breed Organization
Giant Schnauzer Club of America
Website: http://www.giantschnauzerclubofamerica.com
Native Country
Germany
Other Names
Riesenschnauzer, Munich Schnauzer, Munchener, Russian Bear Schnauzer
Life Expectancy
Approximately 12-15 Years
Litter Size
Average 5-8 Puppies
Breed Group
AKC Working
Breed Appearance
Although the Giant Schnauzer is called 'Giant', this is not in comparison to other large dog breeds such as the Great Dane or the Rottweiler, but instead in comparison to the Standard and Miniature Schnauzers. Giant Schnauzers are square in shape, and should resemble a larger version of the Standard Schnauzer.

The tail is always docked where it is legal, and the ears are usually cropped. If the ears are uncropped, they are small button ears carried high on the head. The head is 1/2 the length of the dog's back, when the back is measured from the withers to the base of the tail. The cheeks are flat, but well muscled.

The coat is dense, wiry, and weather resistant. The fur on the Giant Schnauzer's face forms a distinct "beard" and eyebrows. Its stride is long and crisp. Giant Schnauzers come in two colors: solid black, and a pattern called salt and pepper, where strands of black, gray, and white fur speckle the dog, giving it the appearance of having been salted and peppered.


Breed Description
Head: Strong, elongated. Pronounced stop. Rectangular nose bridge. Shaggy muzzle ending in a blunt wedge. Black lips.
Ears: If cropped, carried erect. If natural, v-shaped, breaking at skull level or small and held erect.
Eyes: Oval. Dark color.
Body: Square outline. Arched neck. Medium width chest with moderately sprung ribs. Belly moderately tucked up. Short back sloping gently toward the croup.
Tail: Set high and carried erect. Docked to three vertebrae.
Hair: Hard, wiry, thick. Dense undercoat. Wiry beard on the muzzle; eyes slightly hidden by bushy eyebrows.
Coat: Solid black or pepper and salt. Dark mask. White markings are not desirable.
Size: Giant Schnauzer: 60 to 70 cm (23.5-27.5 in).
Weight: - Giant Schnauzer: 30 to 40 kg. (66-88 lb).


History
The first Giant Schnauzers emerged from Swabia in the German state of Bavaria, and Wurttemberg in the 17th century. These original Giant Schnauzers were considered a rough-coated version of the German pinscher breeds, and their fur was thought to help them withstand the harsh German winters and bites from vermin. The origins of the breed are unclear, but sources speculate it originated through some combination of black Great Danes, German Shepherds, Rottweilers, Dobermans, Boxers, Bouvier des Flandres, Thuringian Shepherds, and the Standard Schnauzer.

The Giant Schnauzer was originally bred as a multipurpose farm dog for guarding property and driving animals to market. By the turn of the 20th century the Giant Schnauzer was being used as a watchdog at factories, breweries, butcheries, and stockyards throughout Bavaria. It was unknown outside Bavaria until it was used as a military dog in World War I and World War II. The first Giant Schnauzers were imported to America in the 1930s, but they remained rare until the 1960s, when the breed became popular.

In modern times, the Giant Schnauzer is used as a police dog; is trained for obedience, dog agility, herding, search and rescue, and schutzhund; and is shown in conformation shows. They are also used for carting. In Europe, the breed is considered to be more of a working dog than a show dog. The focus in many European Schnauzer clubs is not so much on conformation shows, but on the working ability of the breed. In several countries, including Germany, dogs must achieve a Schutzhund Champion title before they can qualify to be a conformation champion.


Behavior
Giant Schnauzers are usually a quiet breed. Due to its breeding, the Giant Schnauzer is inherently suspicious of strangers and can be very territorial. Once introduced, it is usually accepting of people or situations. It has the potential to be aggressive, but Giant Schnauzers are usually reserved, and a commanding figure when aroused. Giant Schnauzers have been described as trustworthy with children. They are very intelligent, and can become bored easily. They are also very energetic and highly spirited, which, when coupled with boredom, can lead to unwanted and destructive behavior. They are easily trained, and deeply loyal to their owner. Some breeders believe that salt and pepper colored Giant Schnauzers are more docile than their black-furred counterparts.

Health
Giants are more prone to cancer than most breeds, especially toe cancer which kills many Giants annually even if caught early. They are at increased risk of bloat. Epilepsy is all too common in this breed and hip dysplasia is rampant.

Advice
Giant Schnauzers should not be confined indoors. They are active dogs and need space and considerable exercise to stay fit and maintain their mental health. Daily brushing and professional grooming once every three months is required.

Function
Working Dog, Guard Dog, Defense Dog, Military Dog, Police Dog, Pet.


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