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The Giant Schnauzer is an alert, large, sturdy
and powerful dog with a distinctive beard
and eyebrows. This breed, known to be a great
cattle and driving dog, originated in an agricultural
area of Germany where raising sheep and livestock
is largely common. The German Schnauzer is
the largest of the three Schnauzer breeds.
According to a 1928 English edition of German
Dogs in Word and Picture, E. von Otto
indicates the 'bear Schnauzer' of Munich as
the Giant Schnauzer's ancestor. The bear Schnauzer
had long, shaggy hair and was related to the
Old German shaggy shepherd dog. However, because
of the desire to make the hair shorter, black
and a larger body, the breed was crossed with
the black Great Dane. It is also believed
the Giant Schnauzer was crossed with the Bouvier
des Flandres and the Standard Schnauzer.
German Schnauzers were imported into the United
States in the 1930s, but were considered a
rare breed for many years. The Giant Schnauzer
Club was founded in 1962 and over the next
twenty years, more of these dogs were imported
into the US which helped raised interest and
popularity in the German Schnauzer.
The height for a Giant Schnauzer is 23.5 -
27.5 in (59 to 70 cm).
Weight: The weight of a Giant
Schnauzer is between 70 - 99 lb (32 to 45
Coat Type: The
Giant Schnauzer has a weather resistant double
coat - the outer being hard, wiry and very
dense while the undercoat is soft. This breed
sheds very little and is fairly easy to groom.
It is common misconception that Giant Schnauzers
do not shed at all.
Color: The color of the Giant
Schnauzer's coat is solid black or pepper
Temperament: Giant Schnauzers
are highly intelligent, sensitive and very
territorial. This breed is fiercely loyal
to its family and is a natural guard dog.
Giant Schnauzers should not be ignored or
left alone for long periods of time - they
need to be a big part of the family - which
makes them best suited for those who will
spend a lot of quality time with them. The
owner must consistently show leadership and
others in the family must also show they are
'higher up in the pack' from their pet. Giant
Schnauzers should be socialized at an early
age and obedience training is important. These
dogs respond to praise and should never be
harshly reprimanded. As a working dog, this
breed learns quickly.
Giant Schnauzers are very energetic and need
plenty of vigorous exercise.
Health Problems: Health issues
which can affect the Giant Schnauzer include:
autoimmune diseases, SLO, Crohn's disease,
epilepsy, cancer (specifically toe cancer),
hip dysplasia, and incontinence. Giant Schnauzers
are prone to bloat.
• Giant Schnauzers at
one time were also referred to as Munchener.
The German name Riesenschnauzer means "the
• The German Schnauzer
is the largest of the three Schnauzer breeds
- the other two being Miniature and Standard.
• Giant Schnauzers are used for
police training and as army service dogs in
part because they are easily trained, highly
intelligent and have a keen nose.
AKC: Working Group
ANKC: Group 6 - Utility
CKC: Group 3 - Working Dogs
FCI Group 2; Section 1 Pinscher and Schnauzer
KC: Working Group
UKC: Herding Dog