Giant Schnauzer

The Giant Schnauzer is a large, powerful, and compact dog breeds. It is one of the three Schnauzer breeds. Like most large breeds, the Giant Schnauzer needs a fair amount of exercise.

The breed has been described as far back as 1832 from cattle and pig farms in the Bavarian highlands region of Germany and has been called oblanders, although a written breed standard was not established until 1923. It was at this time (breed description and showing of these dogs) that some breeders used standard schnauzers to help fix the schnauzer type and developed the central German type Giant Schnauzer. The Munich type and oblanders were used for power and size.

After World War I, the Giant Schnauzer was significantly reduced in numbers. The Kennel (Kinzigtal) owned by C. Clalaminus, contributed to reestablishing the breed. It was this kennel that admitted to three crosses to dogs of other breeds to assist with dominate black color, well-crested neck and correct head proportions. It is speculated that black Great Dane, and or the Bouvier des Roulers may have been the breed of the three unknown crosses. Still the foundation stock was oblanders to which oversize standard schnauzers were added.


When hand-stripped, the Giant Schnauzer has a harsh, wiry outer coat and dense, soft undercoat. Coat color is either black or salt and pepper (grey). It weighs between 70 and 100 lb (32 to 45 kg) and stands 23.5 to 27.5 in (59 to 70 cm) at the withers.

When moving at a fast trot, a properly built Giant Schnauzer will single-track. Back remains strong, firm, and flat.

The American Kennel Club lists the Giant as low shedding - and therefore hypoallergenic - along with both other dog breeds of Schnauzers. However, Giant Schnauzers, as with almost all dogs, do shed. When allowed, the hair on a Schnauzer will grow long, which increases shedding, and thereby potentially increasing allergens. This can be mitigated with consistent grooming to include mostly Long hair. The Giant Schnauzer does not molt.


The Giant Schnauzer is a large, powerful, dominant dog which needs a firm, consistent but friendly handler. Unnecessary harshness will only do harm.

Early and consistent training is necessary as Giant Schnauzers tend to be very willful and highly intelligent dogs. Their ability to understand a command does not always translate into obedience.

Giant Schnauzers are fiercely loyal, often becoming so attached to their owner that they follow them around the house. Giant schnauzers can be good with children if obtained as a young puppy and trained. Overall Giant Schnauzers are great pets.

"Some of the great qualities of Giants is that they can excel at obedience/agility/carting/protection work, if properly trained they are a dog that can do it all. They need an owner who displays consistent leadership, or they will feel it is their job to take over as top dog. If not given the proper amount of exercise and left to their own devices, this breed can turn very destructive, if their energy and busy minds are not channeled properly. They are a people dog and not a dog to be left outside. They need a job of some sort or they will create their own job and it may well be relandscaping the yard if left outdoors to long." The Giant Schnauzer is a natural guard dog.

Giant Schnauzer need vigorous exercise at least twice every day and can easily make a 15 mile hike. The Giant Schnauzer is not a good companion for hunters as they can be very willful and may not consistently obey a recall command.

Health problems in the dog breeds include:

  • Autoimmune diseases (hypothyroidism, Autoimmune hemolytic anemia (AIHA) (also called Immune Mediated Hemolytic Anemia (IMHA)), SLO, Crohn's disease, and so on)
  • Epilepsy
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Incontinence
  • Toe Cancer

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