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Your Pet, Our Passion.

Giant Schnauzer

Strong, imposing, and business-like, the Giant Schnauzer is a powerfully built, square framed dog with a coat that is harsh and protective in texture. This working dog is an affectionate and loyal companion, but they’re also full of energy and stamina. If you don’t mind play sessions several times a day, this is the dog for you.

  • Dog suitable for experienced owners
  • Extra training required
  • Enjoys vigorous walks
  • Enjoys walking one to two hours a day
  • Large dog
  • Minimum drool
  • Requires grooming every other day
  • Hypoallergenic breed
  • Chatty and vocal dog
  • Guard dog. Barks, alerts and it's physically protective
  • May require training to live with other pets
  • May require training to live with kids

Key Facts

Lifespan: 12-15 years
Weight:  Adult males 27-48kg, adult females 25-34kg
Height:  Adult males stand at 65-70cm, females are around 60-65cm
Colours:  Black or pepper and salt (dark iron grey to light grey with hairs banded dark/light/dark)
Size:  Large
UK Kennel Club Groups: Working


Family-friendly: 5/5
Exercise needs: 5/5
Easy to train: 5/5
Tolerates being alone: 2/5
Likes other pets: 3/5
Energy level: 5/5
Grooming needs: 4/5
Shedding: 3/5
Giant Schnauzer walking on a leash


The Giant Schnauzer should look strong, alert and imposing, but be good-natured in temperament. A natural watchdog, they will be vocal to get your attention if necessary, and will need polite introduction to new people rather than assuming friendship on sight! 

If well socialised, the Giant Schnauzer can get on well with other animals, but are generally better with dogs of the opposite sex. 

Giant Schnauzer puppy in the autumn forest

History and Origins

Country of Origin: Germany

The original ancestor of the Giant Schnauzer is unsurprisingly, the Standard Schnauzer. Cattlemen from Bavaria found they needed a larger dog for working their cattle over long distances and created the breed using other pastoral types including Great DanesRottweilers and possibly the Bouvier des Flandres. Since then this tough, working breed has found popularity as a very effective police and security dog

Health and Common Issues

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 Needs

Two hours a day or more, of dog exercise with walking, training and games included will be needed to keep the Giant Schnauzer content. This is an athletic outdoors dog, not put off by wind and rain due to his protective, weather resistant coat. Although smart in appearance, the Giant Schnauzer’s trousers and beard will pick up water, mud and debris and so need drying and checking after each walk to clean up.

Space Requirements

The Giant Schnauzer is a large dog with a coat that collects muck, water and debris, so may not be suitable for the smaller home. A large garden offering space to train and play in, and access to a variety of walking routes will help keep them mentally satisfied. 

Given their vocal, guarding nature, this is a dog who needs space and will be potentially over stimulated and stressed by constant noise from neighbours or traffic. Quiet suburbs or rural living will suit the Giant Schnauzer better than busy town or city. 

Nutrition and Feeding

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. Discover more about how to offer your dog a balanced diet with our easy-to-follow guide. 

Grooming Giant Schnauzers

Giant Schnauzers’ beards tend to gather water and debris from both the floor and meals, so cleaning the beard daily is necessary to avoid lip fold infections and nasty pongs. Check the coat daily after walks, and brush through two or three times a week. Hand-stripping 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. This can be done at home if you wish to learn how, or by professional groomers if not. Find out more about dog grooming and daily care with our article.

Training Giant Schnauzers

The Giant Schnauzer is suited to those who enjoy dog training and working with their pet. Early dog socialisation is vital to ensure they are relaxed and happy in the presence of other dogs and animals, as this breed has guarding tendencies and will react to unfamiliar sights and sounds. Well capable of competing in a variety of dog sports including tracking, Cani-X and obedience, this is a dog who needs a job to do. 

Best Family Dog Breeds

The Giant Schnauzer is still very much a working, guarding breed and therefore better suited for those with older children or teenagers. As puppies and juveniles they are big, boisterous and bitey, not an ideal combination with children. This is also a dog who requires several hours exercise and training per day which will take up a reasonable amount of time and energy making them less suitable for the young, busy family. 

While many dogs are traditionally thought of as being good with children, all dogs and children need to be taught to get on with each other and be safe together. Even so, dogs and young children should never be left alone together and adults should supervise all interactions between them. 

did you know?

Did You Know?

  • The Giant Schnauzers moustache and beard are so important to the breed it is actually where their name originates. The term comes from the German word for ‘snout’ and colloquially means ‘moustache’ or ‘whiskered snout’.

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