Breed Organization Giant Schnauzer Club of America Website:
http://www.giantschnauzerclubofamerica.com Native Country Germany Other Names Riesenschnauzer, Giant 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
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.
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
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
Function Working Dog, Guard Dog, Defense Dog, Military
Dog, Police Dog, Pet.