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Giant Schnauzer

Giant Schnauzer

Distinguished by his bearded muzzle, the Giant Schnauzer is a robust, powerful dog originally bred to drive livestock. He loves having a job to do, and this natural guard dog considers his most important task to be protecting his human family. Highly energetic, the Giant Schnauzer should be vigorously exercised daily. His lightly shedding, coarse coat requires weekly brushing and clipping or stripping four to six times a year.

DID YOU KNOW? A descendant of the Great Dane, the Giant Schnauzer was developed in Germany, where the breed is called the Riesenschnauzer, meaning “the giant.” The breed historically has also been referred to as the Russian Bear Schnauzer and the Munich Schnauzer. Highly intelligent and easily trained, the Giant Schnauzer was used as a police and military dog during World War I. The Giant Schnauzer is not actually a giant breed, but rather, the largest of the three Schnauzer breeds. The other two are Miniature and Standard.

ALSO KNOWN AS: Munich Schnauzer, Munchener, Russian Bear Schnauzer

The need-to-know
  • Dog suitable for experienced owners
  • Extra training required
  • Enjoys vigorous walks
  • Enjoys walking one to two hours a day
  • Large dog
  • Minimum drool
  • Requires grooming every other day
  • Hypoallergenic breed
  • Chatty and vocal dog
  • Guard dog. Barks, alerts and it's physically protective
  • May require training to live with other pets
  • May require training to live with kids
Giant Schnauzer

Pet Card

  • Living Considerations: Good with older children, not hypoallergenic, suitable for apartment living if adequately exercised
  • Size: Large
  • Height: Males – 64 to 67 centimetres at the withers, Females – 60 to 64 centimetres at the withers
  • Weight: 34 to 43 kilograms
  • Coat: Wiry
  • Energy: High
  • Colour: Black or salt and pepper
  • Activities: Conformation, Tracking, Guarding, Police and Military Work, Obedience, Agility, Schutzhund
  • Indoor/Outdoor: Both

Key Facts

Lifespan: 12-15 years
Weight:  Adult males 27-48kg, adult females 25-34kg
Height:  Adult males stand at 65-70cm, females are around 60-65cm
Colours:  Black or pepper and salt (dark iron grey to light grey with hairs banded dark/light/dark)
Size:  Large
UK Kennel Club Groups: Working

Ratings

Family-friendly: 5/5
Exercise needs: 5/5
Easy to train: 5/5
Tolerates being alone: 2/5
Likes other pets: 3/5
Energy level: 5/5
Grooming needs: 4/5
Shedding: 3/5
Giant Schnauzer walking on a leash

Personality

The Giant Schnauzer should look strong, alert and imposing, but be good-natured in temperament. A natural watchdog, they will be vocal to get your attention if necessary, and will need polite introduction to new people rather than assuming friendship on sight! 

If well socialised, the Giant Schnauzer can get on well with other animals, but are generally better with dogs of the opposite sex. 

Giant Schnauzer puppy in the autumn forest

History and Origins

Country of Origin: Germany

The original ancestor of the Giant Schnauzer is unsurprisingly, the Standard Schnauzer. Cattlemen from Bavaria found they needed a larger dog for working their cattle over long distances and created the breed using other pastoral types including Great DanesRottweilers and possibly the Bouvier des Flandres. Since then this tough, working breed has found popularity as a very effective police and security dog

did you know?

Did You Know?

  • The Giant Schnauzers moustache and beard are so important to the breed it is actually where their name originates. The term comes from the German word for ‘snout’ and colloquially means ‘moustache’ or ‘whiskered snout’.

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