The Giant Schnauzer is a large, powerful, elegant and compact dog with bushy eyebrows, whiskers and a beard. This breed has a hard, stiff outer layer and a dense, soft undercoat. Ideally, the height of the dog is the same as the length, which gives a rather square impression.
Because of its kinship with the schnauzer and its past of sheepdog, the giant schnauzer is a large robust and strong dog, which is used both for surveillance and protection, as well as breeding, although in the latter aspect, it is less and less used. Being so tall, he needs a healthy dose of daily exercise, so it’s not recommended for people who don’t have time for long walks or playing with him. But it is not because of its size that it is an independent dog, but it is a very intelligent, active and loyal dog breed which, with proper training and exercise, is able to develop many skills. .
In this ‘ Love Cats and Dogs ‘ article, we will share with you all the information you need if you are considering adopting a giant schnauzer.
Origin of the giant schnauzer
This breed is native to Germany, from its cousin the schnauzer. The German farmers were so impressed by the qualities of the schnauzer that they decided to create a new breed that had the same qualities, but was larger. Size was a necessary quality for managing livestock. There is no record of the crossings made to obtain the giant schnauzer, but it is thought that there are some bloods of Great Dane and Bouvier des Flandres, among others.
Over time, the giant schnauzer has demonstrated its watchdog qualities and has ceased to be a bulldog. With the Second World War, the breed lost popularity, but at the end of the war its population increased again.
Today, it is a known breed but not very widespread. Its popularity is moderate and is mainly used as a pet, although it is a highly valued breed of police force where it can give free rein to its greatest qualities.
Characteristics of the giant schnauzer
According to the FCI standard of the breed, the height at the withers, for males and females, varies from 60 to 70 centimeters. For its part, the ideal weight for males and females is between 35 and 47 kilograms.
The general appearance of the giant schnauzer is exactly the same as that of the schnauzer, but in a much larger size. It is a large, strong and robust dog, with a height at the withers approximately equal to its body length. The back is short and solid, and it descends slightly from the cross to the posterior region of the dog. The loin is short and the rump slightly rounded. The chest is moderately large and deep, reaching the elbows. The flanks are gathered in the belly, but without excess.
The head of the giant schnauzer is very characteristic and has bushy eyebrows. It is strong and elongated, and has an approximate length of half the body, measured from the withers to the base of the tail. The forehead is flat and the occiput is not very marked. The stop, or nasofrontal depression, is well marked under the eyebrows.
The muzzle is straight and truncated in the form of a wedge. He is covered in bushy fur which forms mustaches and a beard. The lips are black and well attached. The bite must be in scissors. The eyes of this dog are oval, medium and dark. They have a living expression. The ears, meanwhile, are high insertion and “V” shaped. Previously they were cut to meet the breed standard, but luckily today the standard requires them to be complete, so there is no need to mutilate the dogs. Either way, you can still see a giant schnauzer with amputated ears.
The tail should be shaped like a saber or sickle. Today, the FCI breed standard requires the tail to be natural. However, an amputated tail was previously required, and there are still many dogs of this breed with a severed tail. Fortunately, this practice is disappearing.
The coat of the giant schnauzer is composed of a thick fleece and a hard outer coat which is well attached to the body. The result is a hard, wired and thick overall layer. These hairs form a beard on the muzzle and very bushy eyebrows, characteristic of the breed. The accepted colors are pure black and “salt and pepper”.
Character of the giant Schnauzer
The giant schnauzer dog is of stable temperament, very intelligent, loyal, brave and active. It loves to play and enjoy outdoor physical activities in a big way. It is usually territorial and reserved, so it can become a combative and aggressive dog if not properly educated. These undesirable characteristics in a domestic dog can be channelled very well to make the giant Schnauzer one of the best guard and defense dogs.
On the other hand, when properly socialized as a puppy, this dog can get along with other dogs of its breed, with people and with other species of pets. However, it is not expected to be as sociable as a golden retriever or similar dog. When it lives in the right environment and is properly educated and socialized, the giant Schnauzer can become an exceptional pet. Its temperament allows it to be a great companion for dynamic people who enjoy physical activities, as well as families with big kids or teenagers. It is not usually the best pet for families with young children, because these dogs love difficult games and can become very clumsy with children.
This dog should not be alone for very long periods. Despite his independence, he often needs companionship. This dog is not suitable for living in apartments because its size and dynamism tend to cause problems.
Health of the Giant Schnauzer
Like many other breeds, the giant schnauzer can suffer from several hereditary eye disorders and hip dysplasia (a condition that can cause mobility problems).
Therefore, an examination of the hip and eyes is important before devoting the dog to reproduction. It is also found with relative-frequency epilepsy and a particular type of cancer that attacks the fingers.
This dog needs to do a lot of exercises. To make it happy, it is necessary to walk about three times a day and allow it to do a good amount of exercises. It also needs games and, if possible, with other dogs. Of course, it must play only with dogs with whom it gets along well. Canine sports such as freestyle and canine agility are very good for the giant schnauzer because it allows it to release energy in a controlled manner.
However, protective dog sports, such as schutzhund, tend to be better because they allow the giant schnauzer to meet its needs for rough play and develop a potential as a defense dog (although this is only an adorable animal).
Large breed dogs, in addition to having a great appetite, need a different nutritional balance, including minerals and vitamins, than smaller dogs.
The giant schnauzer is also subject to bloating and stomach problems, a risk that will be reduced with smaller and more frequent meals.
Grooming of the giant schnauzer
The fur of these dogs is not difficult to maintain, but it requires some care. You should brush it about two to three times a week to prevent hair from getting tangled.
In addition, it is important to clean the beard after meals to eliminate traces of food that can generate odors. And it is also good to take the dogs to the canine hairdresser about three times a year.
Anyway, the small effort that requires taking care of the hair of the giant schnauzer is worth it, because this dog loses very little hair and does not smell as strong as that of other dogs.
As it is normal to take the giant schnauzer at the groomer, it is important to get used to the use of dog carriers. In this way, it will feel comfortable and safe when it has to wait locked in a carrier.
Giant Schnauzer Dog Breed Highlights
- The giant Schnauzer is loyal and affectionate, it is a great companion and a good pet.
- It excels in all kinds of dog sports like agility and obedience.
- It is a very intelligent dog in good hands, easy to train and learn quickly.
- The giant Schnauzer does not shed like other races.
- It is an excellent choice for people familiar with its needs.
- It is best for families with older children.
- The giant Schnauzer is known to be stubborn sometimes.
- It requires a lot of maintenance and his coat must be hand-stripped several times a year.
- This dog consumes a lot of energy and needs a lot of daily physical exercise.
- It is not the best choice for new owners.
- The giant Schnauzer is best suited to people with secure back gardens.