The Giant Schnauzer

By BarkUpToday

Image Credit: Wiki

The Giant Schnauzer originated from Wurttemberg and Bavaria, Germany, and is part of the UKC, Guardian Group, and the AKC, Working Group. It was bred in the Bavarian Alps during the mid-1800s. They are bred from the Standard Schnauzer and are strong working dogs used for driving cattle.

Brief History

The Giant Schnauzer was bred by crossing the Standard Schnauzer with great Danes, Bouviers des Flandres, and rough-haired sheepdogs. This dog breed was later used for guarding farmers, merchants, and innkeepers. 

After railroads made cattle driving obsolete, the Giant Schnauzer worked for the military, police and also became renowned show dogs and obedience class winners. This dog breed nearly became extinct during World War 2, but breed fanciers kept the breed alive.

Physical Description

The Giant Schnauzer should look like the Standard Schnauzer but is a much larger version of it. This is a large and powerful dog breed. It is squarely built. With a long, strong rectangular head, this breed has dark brown eyes and a black nose. The ears are cropped erect or are naturally button. The body is compact, agile, and powerful. 

The tail is docked and held moderately high. The trot is forward, and movement is free and balanced. The coat is wiry and thick. This breed has a double coat, with a soft undercoat and a harsh outer coat. The coat color can be solid black or pepper and salt. There is a dark facial mask, with the eyebrows, whiskers, cheeks, throat, chest, legs, and under tail a lighter shade.


Dogs       25.5- 27.5 inches

Females   23.5- 25.5 inches


55-80 pounds

Life Expectancy

12-14 years


The Giant Schnauzer is an even-tempered dog breed that is brave and intelligent. The Schnauzer is protective over family. This dog breed is spirited and alert and is reliable and composed. 

The Schnauzer is easy to train and does well with canine sporting activities that combine mental stimulation with sports. This dog breed is very loyal to family and is playful and fun to have around. 

The Schnauzer should be supervised around small children and needs plenty of socialization and positive dog training starting at puppyhood.

Activity Level

Moderate to high

Special Needs

The Schnauzer needs professional grooming and plenty of regular exercises. This breed must be socialized early on during puppyhood. It can be aggressive towards other dogs and people. The Schnauzer is a guardian dog breed that was bred to guard homes and people. 

Guardian dog breeds require expert dog parents to provide them with the right amount of positive training and consistency in their schedule. This breed does make for an excellent family dog, but they do need socialization and positive dog training that goes along with it. The Schnauzer does well with plenty of outdoor space to run around in. This is also a working dog that is active and needs to expend energy.

Possible Health Concerns

The Giant Schnauzer is a healthy dog breed that may be susceptible to the following health conditions:

  • Hip Dysplasia. This is a hereditary, developmental disease. HD affects Schnauzers. H.D. occurs when the hip joint fails to develop properly. In dogs with H.D., the head of the thigh bone does not fall into the hip socket. The imperfect fit results in the joint becoming loose and unstable and results in osteoarthritis.
  • Autoimmune Thyroiditis: This is an immune-mediated disease that destroys the thyroid gland. It is common in the Giant Schnauzer. Consult with your veterinarian for advice.
  • Albinism: A Schnauzer that is completely white with pink eyes and pale pink skin is an albino. Tyrosinase-negative refers to the enzyme involved in melanin production. Many albino dog breeds will also suffer from deafness. There is also tyrosinase-positive which means that the dog has whiteness but also some pigment.
  • Epilepsy: is a brain disorder marked by sudden bursts of abnormal electrical activity in the brain. This results in recurrent seizures.
  • Hip and Elbow Dysplasia: These are common developmental disorders of the hip and elbow joints. The Schnauzer has an increased risk of both hip and elbow dysplasia. It is an inherited disorder.
  • Hypothyroidism: This occurs when there are decreased levels of thyroid hormones. Symptoms include hair loss, a dull coat, flaky skin with weight gain, and muscle loss. Consult with your veterinarian for advice if your Schnauzer shows any of these symptoms.


The Giant Schnauzer needs plenty of exercises. This large dog breed does best with off-leash trips to the dog park or beach. Dog parents should organize playdates at the dog park for their Schnauzer. This breed enjoys active play and thrives on a combination of mental and environmental stimulation. 

This dog breed makes for the perfect hiking, biking, or running companion. The Schnauzer enjoys swimming, cross-country activities, and going camping. Skijor is also a favorite canine sport. This dog breed has to have companionship when participating in canine sports, whether a human or another canine buddy. Frisbee and hide–an–seek are also favorite fun games for this dog breed.


You may not realize that your Schnauzer’s physical well-being depends on what you feed him. Feeding your dog balanced, high-quality dog food will help him or her overcome certain diseases and live a longer and happier life. High-quality nutrition prevents many behavioral problems and skin conditions that may be linked to improper nutrition. 

While dehydrated dog food is an excellent option for active Schnauzers, canned and dry dog foods also provide high-quality nutrition. Dogs also enjoy variety when it comes to what they eat. With the huge selection of high-quality dog foods available containing duck, salmon, venison, and chicken as a first ingredient, make sure to try different varieties in the same way that we try new foods. And as always, consult with your veterinarian for expert dietary advice. 

5 Bonus features to look for when choosing the best dog food for your Schnauzer

  • Flaxseed – This is one of the best plant sources of healthy omega-fatty fatty acids. Flaxseed is rich in soluble fiber when it’s been grounded into a meal.
  • Chelated minerals – When minerals have been chemically attached to a protein that occurs during the chelation process, they become easier to digest.
  • Oatmeal – Oatmeal is a whole-grain product that is made from ground oats. It contains plenty of B-vitamins and dietary fiber.
  • Chicken fat – This is a high-quality ingredient that offers plenty of linoleic acids, which are omega – 6 fatty acids, and is necessary for life.
  • Kelp– Kelp provides extra minerals and vitamins that our furry best friends need to complete their nutritional needs. This nutritious sea vegetable is also rich in calcium and helps to maintain a shiny coat and healthy skin.


The Giant Schnauzer has a wiry, weather-resistant double coat. It is also thick. The undercoat is soft. This dog breed needs to be brushed every day and bathed weekly or as needed. Try finishing sprays and dry canine shampoos in-between regular bathing.

This breed needs to be stripped or clipped regularly to maintain a perfect coat. Ears need to be checked often for signs of infection and cleaned weekly. Daily tooth brushing is needed to prevent tartar buildup. Nails need to be trimmed as needed. As with all dog breeds, it’s necessary to bring your dog in for a twice-yearly dental cleaning.

Adopting a Giant Schnauzer

This is one of the most popular dog breeds today. That said, adopting a Giant Schnauzer will bring you much happiness. These dogs are hardworking, easy-to-train, and understand exactly what it is that you’re asking of them. They are always motivated to keep going and find the upside in absolutely everything. 

It’s recommended that no harsh training be used on this breed. That said, this breed is very territorial, so expert dog parents are preferred for this breed. The Schnauzer needs fenced-in gardens or large properties where they are free to run and play. 

This breed also needs human companionship and should never be left alone for long periods or used to guard. Speak to shelter workers, and try to find out as much as you can about the dog’s history so that you can move forward and build a positive future filled with stability and kindness. Keeping your Giant Schnauzer happy and healthy must be a priority.

Woofs & Wags!


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