Giant Schnauzer dog breed

The Giant Schnauzer originated from Wurttemberg, and Bavaria, Germany, and is part of the UKC, Guardian Group, and the AKC, Working Group. It was bred in the Bavarian Alps during the mid-1800s. They were bred from the standard Schnauzer, and are strong working dogs used for driving cattle.

Brief History

The Giant Schnauzer was bred by crossing the Standard Schnauzer with great Danes, Bouviers des Flandres, and rough-haired sheepdogs. This dog breed was later used for guarding farmers, merchants, and innkeepers. After railroads made cattle driving obsolete, the Giant Schnauzer worked for the military, police, and also gained notoriety as show dogs and obedience class winners. This dog breed nearly became extinct during World War II, but breed fanciers kept them alive.

Physical Features

The Giant Schnauzer should look like the Standard Schnauzer, but is a much larger version of it. This is a large, squarely-built and powerful dog breed. With a long, strong rectangular head, this breed has dark brown eyes, and a black nose. Their ears are cropped erect or are naturally button. Their body is compact, agile, and powerful. Their tail is docked, and held moderately high. Their coats are known for being wiry and thick. This breed has a double coat, with a soft undercoat and a harsh outercoat. The coat color can be solid black or pepper and salt. Giant Schnauzers are known for their dark facial masks with bushy eyebrows and whiskers.

Average Height:

23-28 inches

Average Weight:

55-80 pounds

Life Expectancy:

12-14 years


The Giant Schnauzer is an even-tempered, brave and intelligent dog. They are known for being protective over family. This dog breed is spirited, alert, reliable and composed. They are also easy to train, and do well with canine sporting activities that combine mental stimulation with sports. This dog breed is very loyal to family, and is playful and fun to have around. The Schnauzer should be supervised around small children, and needs plenty of socialization and positive dog training starting at puppyhood.

Special Needs

The Schnauzer needs professional grooming, and plenty of regular exercise. This breed must be socialized early on during puppyhood. It can be aggressive towards other dogs and people. The Schnauzer is a guardian dog breed that was bred to guard homes and people.

Guardian dog breeds require expert dog parents that can provide them with the right amount of positive raining, and consistency in their schedule. The Schnauzer does well with plenty of outdoor space to run around in. This is also a working dog that is active, and needs to expend energy.

Possible Health Concerns

The Giant Schnauzer is a healthy dog breed that may be susceptible to the following health conditions:

  • Autoimmune Thyroiditis: This is an immune mediated disease that destroys the thyroid gland. It is common in the Giant Schnauzer. Consult with your veterinarian for advice.
  • Albinism: A Schnauzer that is completely white with pink eyes and pale pink skin is an albino. Tyrosinase-negative refers to the enzyme involved in melanin production. Many albino dog breeds will also suffer from deafness. There is also tyrosinase-positive which means that the dog has whiteness, but also some pigment.
  • Epilepsy: is a brain disorder that is marked by sudden bursts of abnormal electrical activity in the brain. This results in recurrent seizures.
  • Hip and Elbow Dysplasia: These are common developmental disorders of the hip and elbow joints. The Schnauzer has an increased risk of both hip and elbow dysplasia. It is an inherited disorder.
  • Hypothyroidism: This occurs when there are decreased levels of thyroid hormones. Symptoms include hair loss, a dull coat, flaky skin with weight gain and muscle loss. Consult with your veterinarian for advice if your Schnauzer shows any of these symptoms.
Giant Schnauzer dog


The Giant Schnauzer needs plenty of exercise. This large dog breed does best with off-leash trips to the dog park or beach. Dog parents should organize playdates at the dog park for their Schnauzer. This breed enjoys active play, and thrives on a combination of mental and environmental stimulation.


Your dog should be fed the highest-quality food possible that is appropriate for their age and health issues. Consult your veterinarian for recommendations.

Giant Schnauzer puppy


The Giant Schnauzer has a wiry, weather-resistant thick double coat with a soft undercoat.This dog breed needs to be brushed every day, and bathed weekly or as-needed. Ears need to be checked often for signs of infection, and cleaned weekly. Daily tooth brushing is needed to prevent tartar buildup. Nails need to be trimmed as needed. As with all dog breeds, it’s necessary to bring your dog in for a twice yearly dental cleaning.

Giant Schnauzers are hardworking, easy-to-train, and understand what it is that you’re asking of them. They are always motivated to keep going.

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