NPPE Breed Library Info Page

Giant Schnauzer

Giant Schnauzer

A large, imposing dog, the Giant Schnauzer is alert, powerfully built and quite square-looking in shape. Adult male dogs stand at 65-70cm and adult females at 60-65cm. Adult males weigh approximately 45kg. The harsh wire coat comes in black or pepper and salt (light and dark grey).

giant schnauzer
  • Category size: Large
  • Grooming requirements: More than once a week
giant schnauzer
  • Shedding: None
  • Allergies: Yes
  • Noise: Not too noisy
  • Dog Group Kennel Club: Working
giant schnauzer
  • Alone: 1 to 3 hours
  • Other pets: Low
  • Stability as a guard: High

Origin

The Giant Schnauzer dog breed comes from a medium-sized wirehaired-Pinscher type dog found in 15th century Bavaria that was used for ratting and other general farm duties. It is from this dog that all three sizes of Schnauzer descend. In the 19th century, some of these dogs were bred with larger cattle-droving breeds and possibly the Great Dane, to produce the Giant size that we know today. This dog was used for moving cattle to market and has gone on to become a popular police and security dog.

Personality

The Giant Schnauzer looks strong and imposing, but he should be good-natured in temperament. He can get along with other dogs and with family cats, but early socialisation and careful introductions and supervisions are essential. They often get on better with a dog of the other sex. A natural watchdog, he is alert and will be vocal to alert your attention if necessary.

Health

As with many breeds, the Giant Schnauzer can suffer from various hereditary eye disorders, and hip dysplasia (a condition that can lead to mobility problems). Eye testing and hip scoring of dogs prior to breeding is therefore important. Epilepsy and a particular type of cancer of the toe are also encountered relatively frequently.

Exercise

More than two hours a day is needed to keep this dog content. He loves the great outdoors and is unaffected by the rain or cold, thanks to his weather-resistant coat. However, the coat will need checking after a walk, to remove any debris that has been collected.

Nutrition

Large breed dogs, as well as having large appetites, benefit from a different balance of nutrients including minerals and vitamins compared to smaller-breed dogs. The Giant Schnauzer is also prone to bloating and stomach problems; smaller, more frequent meals can help minimise this risk.

Grooming

Check the coat daily after walks, and brush through two or three times a week. Handstripping is needed every three months, to remove dead hair, though pet owners who are not exhibiting their dogs may prefer to get the coat clipped instead.

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What to Consider next

Adoption

It is incredibly fulfilling to adopt a dog from an animal shelter or rescue organization. It often means offering them a second chance in life. There are many dogs waiting for a loving family, a forever home. Reputable centers will be very careful about matching the right people with the right dogs. Staff learns all they can about the dogs they take in, and will spend time getting to know you, your family and your lifestyle, before they match you with any of their dogs. They’ll also be happy to give you advice and answer any questions you might have before and after the adoption.

Finding a good breeder

If your heart is set on a pedigree puppy, then your best bet is to find a reputable breeder. Contact The Kennel Club or a breed-club secretary who may have a list of litters available, or should be able to put you in contact with breeders in your area. Try to choose a breeder who is part of the Kennel Club’s assured breeder scheme.Visit dog shows to meet breeders in person and inquire about availability of pups of your chosen breed.

Welcoming your dog home

Whether you’re bringing home a tiny puppy or rehoming an adult dog, this is a hugely exciting time for everyone. While you’re waiting for the big day you might need to distract yourself, so luckily there are a few things you need to sort out before you welcome your new arrival. Click here for more information