The Giant Schnauzer is a large, powerful, compact breed of dog. It is one of several Schnauzer breeds. Like most large breeds, the Giant Schnauzer needs a fair amount of exercise.
(Alternative names: Riesenschnauzer, Russian Bear Schnauzer (early 1900s))
Giant Schnauzer Appearance
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 99 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.
Giant Schnauzer Temperament
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 the Giant Schnauzer tends to be very willful. Its ability to understand a command does not always translate into obedience.
Giant Schnauzers are very loyal and intelligent dogs. They often become so attached to their owner that they follow them around the house.
Giant Schnauzer Health
This breed used to be generally hardy; however, recently more auto-immune diseases have cropped up in this breed. Arthritis does occur in shoulders or hips, though usually resulting from a poor diet. Its life expectancy is about 11 or 12 years.
Other health problems in the breed include:
Autoimmune diseases (hypothyroidism, Autoimmune hemolytic anemia (AIHA) (also called Immune Mediated Hemolytic Anemia (IMHA)), SLO, Crohn’s disease, and so on)
Giant Schnauzer History
The breed originated in the Middle Ages in Germany by selectively breeding the Standard Schnauzer for larger and larger sizes. In earlier centuries it was a popular herding breed, but its need for more food than some breeds made it less popular for farmers on tight budgets or with limited resources.
Its popularity grew again in the latter part of the 19th century, when it was used as a drover and as a guard dog.