The Giant Schnauzer is the largest of the members of the Schnauzer family which consists of three distinct breeds recognized by the American Kennel Club: Miniature, Standard and Giant. The breed was created by crossing the medium-sized Standard schnauzer with black Great Danes, Bouvier des Flandres, German Pinscher and local cattle dog commonly found on Bavarian farms in Southern Germany. It was bred and trained as a versatile working dog for farm work, family protection and police and security work. The Giants take their protection duties very seriously and are very popular as personal protection dogs. They will not retreat when threatened and make excellent watchdogs.
The Giant Schnauzer is a powerful, hardy, athletic, bold and good-natured dog that has always been popular as a good family companion. His imposing looks and high trainability made him a valued member of canine units of police departments. During the war, the Giant Schnauzer was used as a Red Cross aid and for carrying dispatches.
Other Names: Riesenschnauzer, Giant
Country of Origin: Germany
Utilization: Utility and Companion Dog
FCI Classification: Group 2 - Pinschers, Schnauzers & Molossian Types; Section 1: Pinscher and Schnauzer type (with working trial); AKC Classification: Working Group
Size: Large (23.5-27.5 inches at shoulders)
Colors: From light or dark silver-gray to black. Individual hairs may have light and dark areas which creates the "salt and pepper" or brindle color effects.
Litter Size: 6
Life Span: 9-12 years
Grooming Requirements: The coat needs regular attention and visits to grooming salons if you want him to look like a Schnauzer. The coat of show dogs should be hand-stripped to maintain correct pattern and texture.
Personality: Active, fearless, protective, loyal and dependable
Social skills: Gets along with other household animals.
Suitability for Children: Usually gentle with children. But considering their size, small children should never be left unsupervised around these big dogs.
Exercise Needs: Needs at least 90 minutes vigorous daily exercise. Giants love water.
Train Ability: Agile, curious, quick and willing to learn. Puppies are relatively easy to housebreak. Prospective Giant owners should bear in mind that this is primarily a working breed that needs lots of exercise, various activities and firm handling.
Health & Behavioral Issues: Hip dysplasia, PRA (blindness), hypothyroidism (hormonal disfunction) are hereditary disorders most commonly found in this breed.