Looking for playful, amiable, and loyal dog breeds who are also courageous dogs?
You are at the right place.
Giant schnauzer is an interesting dog breed, possessing an obedient, adaptable, and sweet personality. This
dog breed was created to be working dogs, so they are the highly intelligent, brave, and bold figure of
Their loyalty, obedience, courageous nature, and intelligence make them stellar workers and companions.
They have a natural guarding and territorial instinct which make them a perfect guard dog.
In this blog, learn everything about the giant schnauzer dog breed. Here is a quick overview of this lovely canine.
Giant Schnauzer Dog Breed History
The giant schnauzer was developed in the late 1700s in Germany. These dogs originated from the Bavarian
Alps, the mountainous range in the German state of Bavaria. They are originally bred to be working dogs and
initially used to drive cattle from farm to market.
The reason to create this breed was to develop a multipurpose farm dog for guarding farms and animals. They
often served as guard dogs for innkeepers, merchants, and farmers and worked in butcher shops and
stockyards. They were unknown outside Bavaria until they were used as military dogs in World War I and World
This large breed and original giant schnauzer was considered a rough-coated version of the German Pinscher
breed. Giant schnauzer is a powerful and bigger version of standard schnauzer. These dogs are the largest of
the schnauzer breed; miniature schnauzer, standard schnauzer, and giant schnauzer. These are the three
different sizes of schnauzer breed, and all of them are different breeds.
These canines were developed by crossing Standard Schnauzer with Boxer, Dobermanns, Rottweiler, German
Shepherd, and black Great Dane. The Bouvier des Flandres dog breed also played its role in the development
of giant schnauzer puppies. They used to be known as Munchener and popular throughout Wurttemberg and
In the 1930s, the first giant schnauzer was imported to America; however, they remained rare until the
1960s. After the mid-1960s, the breed began to become popular throughout the world. In 1962, the American
Kennel Club (AKC) registered 23 giant schnauzer puppies. In 1974 the number rose to 386, over 800 in 1984,
and around 1000 dogs in 1987.
In modern times, these canines were used as police dogs and trained for Schutzhund, search and rescue,
herding, agility, and obedience. Later they were started to show in conformation shows. However, in Europe,
they are considered more of a working dog than a show dog. Therefore,f European giant schnauzer clubs focus
on the working ability and not on the conformation shows.
Giant Schnauzer General Appearance
The giant schnauzer is the largest of the three schnauzer breeds. As their name suggests, they are giant
and imposing and have a rugged build with a commanding appearance. However, their stoic demeanor is belied
by the twinkle in their eyes, hinting at their playful nature.
Giant schnauzers are big dogs with big personalities. They are also very energetic, intelligent, and
friendly companions who make life interesting with their bold nature. Their dominant personality,
independent thinking, and playfulness make them a lovely dog breed. In other words, they are courageous and
loyal companions but a handful for even experienced owners.
According to the AKC breed standards, the male giant schnauzer stands between 25-28 inches and females
23-25 inches. The body is square in shape, the tail is long, and the ears are small button-shaped and
cropped. The head is half the length of the dog’s back; the cheeks are flat but well-muscled. The fur on the
dog’s face forms a distinct long beard and eyebrows.
The double coat is either solid black, a “pepper and salt” pattern, black and tan, or fawn in color. It is
wiry and dense with weather resistance. However, every color of the coat has a dark facial mask to emphasize
the expression, perfectly harmonizing with the body color. Legs, chest, throat, cheeks, whisker, eyebrows,
and under tail are lighter in color but include peppering.
Have a look at the breed’s standard physical appearance.
- Robust, bold, and fearless
- Well muscled and strong build
- Strong and rectangular
- Slightly narrowed from ears to eyes
- Strong and short coupled
- Compact build
- Flat and sloping shoulders
- High withers
- Straight and vertical forelegs
- Elbows are set close to the body and directed towards the back
- Well sprung ribs, Medium width chest
- Strongly muscled and balanced with forequarters
- Upper thighs are slanting and well bent at the stifles
- Catlike compact feet
- Wiry and hard
- Harsh outer coat but the soft undercoat
- Neither smooth nor flat
Giant Schnauzer Personality and Temperament
Have you ever seen a dog who is calm, has a loving temperament of companionship, bold and powerful at once?
Well, to your surprise, giant schnauzer is one of the kindest breeds who have natural territorial and guarding instincts. They can be your best companion and friend and instantly become an assertive guard whenever needed.
You can have a caring and loving canine and a protective guard all together in one dog.
Combined alertness and spirit with reliability and intelligence, adding loyalty, courage, and watchful abilities, perfectly define a giant schnauzer’s temperament. They are quick learners and very easy to train with a dog whistle because of their high level of intelligence. They love to play with family and amiable in response, and have a commanding figure when aroused.
They were originally bred to be all-rounder workers. So, with their high energy, there is no end to the jobs they can perform. Because of their high demand for work and physical activity, they are often assigned important tasks. They also excel at dog sports competitions which made them earn many titles in obedience, tracking, and more.
However, their most important job is to protect the family and homes. They take their responsibility seriously for protecting their family and home. They are always ready and willing to defend their family with an intimidating fierceness. They are extremely loyal to their families and friends with kids and pets.
On top of that, they are one of the happy-go-lucky breeds who greets every visitor with a tail wag. However, you can train them to differentiate between welcome visitors and everyone else.
They are very energetic and need plenty of exercise and physical activities to keep themselves happy and active. They enjoy playtime in the fenced yard, jogging, long walks around the city, and all games they are good at. They will keep you company while swimming, hiking, running, and working out.
As with any other dogs, giant schnauzers also need early socialization and firm and constant guidance. They need exposure to various sounds, sights, different people, and experiences when they are young.
Without proper socialization and firm guidance, they are capable of thinking for themselves. They will run the household the way they think it ought to be run. Moreover, early socialization helps your puppy grow up to be a well-rounded dog.
Giant schnauzer’s quality personality traits make them the best option for an active owner. However, their intelligence can pose a challenge to an inexperienced owner. Their sound and reliable temperament make them one of the most powerful, useful, and enduring working breeds.
Giant Schnauzer Care and Grooming Needs
When it comes to giant schnauzer’s grooming needs, there is unpleasant news. These dogs need regular grooming and require high maintenance.
The giant schnauzer has a wiry and dense double coat consisting of a harsh outer coat and a soft undercoat. The owners need to be prepared to spend sufficient time maintaining and grooming the coat. The long and thick coat needs to be brushed weekly and clipped or stripped regularly. It will help you keep your dog’s coat attractive and healthy.
Teeth should be brushed with high-quality dog toothpaste, and ears need to be checked and cleaned regularly. Regular teeth cleaning helps you remove tartar and the accompanying bacteria from your dog’s mouth. Nails should be trimmed once or twice a month or whenever needed. Short nails keep the feet in good condition; cut them off when you hear nails clicking on the floor.
The facial hairs grow quickly, so the beard and eyebrows often need trimming. Unless you don’t keep the hair trimmed, your canine’s face can virtually disappear under a tangle of hairs. But do not cut the whole hairs, as their pronounced beard is one of the hallmarks of the breed.
Exercise and Physical Activity Needs
Giant schnauzer is a highly active dog breed. They need a lot of exercise and other physical activities like playing and walking. They are not suitable for the indoor environment as they have high energy levels indoors and out. Therefore, they are usually recommended for homes with a fenced yard where they can run off their energy and play safely.
However, keep them inside when they are not playing or doing exercise. They love spending time with their family members, so they should be kept inside for a while. Where they can enjoy your company and follow you around the house.
Give your canine at least an hour of exercise regularly. Take them for long walks for a couple of hours or spend some time with them for vigorous play. Provide them something constructive to do to fulfill their digging and chewing needs.
As they are working dogs, they need some job to do, whether it is guarding and searching or simply playing. You can also teach them some amazing tricks to help you around the house. If they are not trained well, they can be destructive; therefore, train them properly if you need assistance.
This dog breed is capable of learning anything from household tasks to be a military dog in a war zone. However, they are quite stubborn, so you need to train them with patience and consistency. You should be able to be a leader without resorting to physical force or harsh words.
These dogs get bored quickly, so make sure you do not repeat a task or training frequently. To teach them the same trick, make a variation in your teaching methods. Or, just turn a simple task into a challenging game to get the best out of them.
If you are a novice owner, you can work with a trainer who is familiar with and understand this breed. It will help you know the breed well and let your canine learn things quickly and efficiently.
General Health Issues of Giant Schnauzer
The giant schnauzer is generally a healthy dog breed. However, dedicated breeders screen them for various health problems, usually common in all dog breeds. Like all other breeds, not all giants will get sick or get any or all of these diseases. But it is important to be aware of health issues which this breed is prone to.
Knowing their health issues will help you keep your dog protected from diseases and give them timely treatment. Below is a list of health problems that giant schnauzers are at high risk of getting.
It is a condition in which the thigh bone does not fit snugly into the hip joint. It is a heritable condition, and most of the dogs do not show pain or lameness on any leg. But the signs of discomfort are always there, which you should be noticing carefully.
It is a hereditary problem, so dogs with hip dysplasia should not be used for breeding purposes. This problem gets worse by environmental factors like rapid growth or injuries.
Elbow dysplasia is the same as hip dysplasia. It is a displacement of the elbow joint and causes lameness in the forelimb. This problem is very common in large and giant dogs.
The common eye problem that giant schnauzers are prone to be are progressive retinal atrophy and multifocal retinal dysplasia. These dogs are also at high risk of getting cataracts, glaucoma, and keratoconjunctivitis sicca.
Squamous Cell Carcinoma
Squamous cell carcinoma is a skin cancer that occurs due to a defect in melanocytes. It may occur on toes or any dark-haired part of the body. It is common in dark color dogs because of the high ratio of melanoma - a cell that darkens the skin color. Over time, cancer can spread from toe to chest cavity and to all over the body.
Autoimmune thyroiditis is a chronic disease that interrupts the thyroid gland and its hormones. It is a heritable condition and considered a common cause of hyperthyroidism in dog breeds. It usually becomes evident at two to five years of age.
The giant schnauzer dog breed is also prone to skin diseases such as follicular cysts, vitiligo, alopecia, and noncancerous skin tumors. Some dogs can develop central diabetes insipidus, cataplexy, narcolepsy, and seizure disorders.
Get Giant Schnauzer as Emotional Support Animal
Who doesn't love an active, energetic, loving., and cute canine?
Everyone loves dogs because of their loyalty and courageous nature. People desire to have easygoing, interactive, talkative, and playful dogs that become the best companion. Papillon, Bichon Frise, Cavalier King Charles, poodles, and other small dogs have won people’s hearts with their beautiful appearance and amazing nature. But when it comes to giant and big size dogs, a giant schnauzer takes the lead.
The giant schnauzer dog breed is the favorite of many dog owners. Their happy-go-lucky nature, perfect for every kind of work, helping hand for house chores abilities, make them a priority over any other dog breed. Owning this breed can be challenging, but it is rewarding.
As their name suggests, they are large, giant, powerful, courageous, and energetic dogs. But, they are also loving, caring, thoughtful, smart, trainable, and loyal dogs. They have the capability of becoming the best companion in the house. You’ll enjoy their company as much as you enjoy your favorite human being’s company.
If you are looking for a dog breed that can become your emotional support animal, look no further. A giant schnauzer dog is the best option for you to choose as your ESA.
Get your ESA letter today and begin your journey of having a happy and loving companion around you all the time.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are giant schnauzer good family pets?
Yes, giant schnauzer can become the best family pet due to their loyal and courageous nature. They were bred for being a family protector and guard dogs, so they tend to be perfect guard dogs. They will enjoy playing and grooming time with their human family.
How much giant schnauzer puppies cost?
On average, the giant schnauzer puppies cost between $1300-$1800. The price can vary from breeder to breeder. However, getting a puppy from a well-known breeding farm could be more costly.
Are giant schnauzers dangerous?
No, giant schnauzer is a very lovely dog breed. They get along with almost everybody, and if they possess bad behavior, they can be trained to behave well. Their natural guarding instinct can make them possessive or destructive at some point. But early socializing can eliminate this behavior.
Do giant schnauzer bark a lot?
No, they are not excessive talkers and do not bark a lot. But they often bark when they are bored, depressed, frightened, or hungry. Otherwise, they are just normal talkers as other average talking dog breeds. However, they would love to have a small chit-chat session with you to have an interactive period.
Why do giant schnauzer smell so bad?
Giant schnauzers have naturally oily skin, which is the main reason for their bad odor. Regular bathing reduces the bad odor and prevents the bacteria and viruses that cause the bad smell.
Are giant schnauzers good for first-time owners?
No, giant schnauzers are a better fit for trained and experienced owners. Their high energy, playful habits, and independent nature can be challenging for a novice owner. These dogs also do not suit lazy and low-active owners.
Are giant schnauzers good off-leash?
Yes, they are great off-leash. You can train them to walk on a leash while walking on the street or a city sidewalk. But, these dogs prefer to be on their own and to be off the leash. So, it is better to train them well and let them run around without a leash.
Why are giant schnauzers the best dogs?
There are many reasons which make giant schnauzer the best dog breed. Some of them are:
- Loyal and courageous
- Perfect watchdogs
- Happy and playful
- Natural guards
- Housechore helpers