The Giant Schnauzer is a larger version of the Standard Schnauzer with the same overall square shape, long arched neck and square looking head. The breed has the typical beard, eyebrows and whiskers of the other Schnauzers but the largest of the breed may have a tendency to look more assertive because of its size. The ears are pointed and erect, and may be cropped but this is optional and not done in many countries. The tail is often docked but again, many countries now ban this practice so it may be left natural. The coat is very harsh and wiry to the touch with a softer, thicker inner coat for warmth. The legs are straight and powerful giving the dog an athletic and sturdy appearance.
Temperament of a Giant Schnauzer
The Giant Schnauzer loves to be with people and will become very destructive if left alone for long periods of time. They are loving, protective and loyal by natural and are extremely intelligent dogs. Typically they are rather stubborn to train and may be more dominant in their personalities than most dog owners are accustom to. They are not recommended for a family with small children, nor are they ideal for a first time dog owner because of their dominant traits. They may be very dog aggressive if not properly socialized and some have protection instinct making them inappropriate for houses with other pets including other dominant types of dogs. Some of these traits may be minimized with training and socialization from early ages and many Giant Schnauzers are good with other dogs and even some with cats but it does require constant work and training. The dogs require lots of exercise to keep from becoming overly active in the house.
Grooming & Shedding of a Giant Schnauzer
The under coat of the Giant Schnauzer is prone to matting and needs complete brushing two to three times per week. Most owners will keep the breed clipped throughout the year to increase manageability of the dense undercoat. The longer hairs around the eyes and the muzzle should be washed and kept well trimmed to avoid irritation. The ears need to be checked regularly for infections and build up of wax. The breed is a light shedder throughout the year.
History of the Giant Schnauzer
Believed to have originated from a cross of the Standard Schnauzer with a black variety of Great Dane as well as a Bouvier Des Flandres, the breed was originally used as a herding dog in Bavaria. Its natural intelligence, size and protectiveness have also lead to its use as a police dog and a military dog. Currently it is used in various types of competitions including schutzhund trials, but usually are found as companion dogs.