The AKC Standard writes… Giant Schnauzer “a bold and valiant figure of a dog – amiable in repose and a commanding figure when aroused.”
The keen expression is what you may notice first about the Giant Schnauzer. This sensitive dog seems always aware of your moods and likes to be physically close to you, watching you.
Some lines are “harder-tempered” (bold, serious, vigorous) while others are much sweeter and more mellow.
But in general, when you acquire a Giant Schnauzer puppy, you should expect him to mature into an athletic, energetic dog who plays hard and needs a mile or two of walking and/or running each day.
This is a larger, more powerful version of the Standard Schnauzer. Their body is strong, compact, and nearly square, combining great power with agility. The stride is free and vigorous, with good reach and drive. Their double coat consists of a soft undercoat and a harsh, wiry, dense outer coat, a combination that once enabled them to withstand harsh, alpine conditions. Their hallmark beard and eyebrows, coupled with their smart outline, make a striking figure.
The Giant Schnauzer originated in the countryside of Bavaria. Cattlemen there were impressed by the smaller Standard Schnauzer, and sought to emulate them on a larger scale that would be suitable for driving cattle.
It is likely, though not documented, that they crossed the Standard Schnauzer with their larger smooth-coated cattle driving dogs in an attempt to create a wire-haired drover. Later crosses with rough-coated Sheepdogs and the Great Dane probably occurred, and even crosses with the black Poodle, Wolf Spitz, and Pinscher have been suggested.
The result was a weather-tolerant, smart-looking dog capable of handling cattle, then known as the Munchener. They later became more popular as butcher’s dogs. The dogs maintained a low profile, with little exposure until just before World War I, when it was suggested that they could be trained as police dogs.
They have gained more headway as a pet in recent years, however, and now enjoy modest popularity in America.
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Giant Schnauzer needs daily exercise and daily fun. Their exercise requirements can be met with games and long hikes or walks. Their coarse coat needs combing once or twice weekly, plus shaping two to four times yearly.
The playful Giant Schnauzer may be too much to handle for small children, even though they are otherwise very good with children in their own family. They are bold and loyal to their family and reserved with strangers. This intelligent and exuberant breed is a good choice for an active person wanting a partner in adventure, although at times the Giant may try to be the leader.
- Mitral Valve Disease
- Diabetes Mellitus
- Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM)
- Urinary incontinence (more often in spayed females)
- Idiopathic Epilepsy
- Pharmacogenic abnormality (adverse responses to some drugs)
- Cancer: lymphoma