Giant schnauzers are ebullient, bright and lively working dogs with origins in southern Germany. Out of the three separate schnauzer breeds in existence, they're the biggest, as their name expresses. Giant schnauzers make successful as police dogs, but many also live in residences as companion dogs. In the past, Giant schnauzers worked on farms herding livestock.
Overall Physical Appearance
Mature giant schnauzers usually weigh 65 to 90 pounds. Their typical adult heights, when taken from their shoulders, fall between 23 1/2 and 27 1/2 inches. The males are usually taller than the females. Giant schnauzers have thick double coats that are either completely black or a combination of black and white, called "salt and pepper." As schnauzers, they have signature beards and conspicuous, lengthy eyebrows. The big dogs have squarish, solid physiques and sturdy heads with rectangular forms.
Breed Temperament and Behavior
Giant schnauzers adore the humans in their lives, according to the American Kennel Club. As intensely territorial pooches, their have a powerful drive to keep their owners safe and secure. Because of that, they often react to new people with caution. Since giant schnauzers are so vigilant in nature, they make effective guard dogs. When giant schnauzers have been around children since their puppy stage, they frequently have good relationships with them. Since they can be rowdy, they might be a little too much for households with young children, however. If you have a toddler or baby at home, this might not be the breed for you. Giant schnauzers can be peaceful around fellow household pets, although it isn't unheard of for them to behave fiercely around other canines. Giant schnauzers also can be obstinate and headstrong creatures.
Physical Activity Requirements
Exercise is a daily requirement for giant schnauzers; they typically need a handful of lengthy walks each day. Giant schnauzers also appreciate leashed hikes, active play sessions and jogging. Since giant schnauzers thrive when kept busy, many of them even excel in sports, such as tracking or agility. Giant schnauzers are peppy animals and love zipping around and getting their energy out.
Giant schnauzers need routine grooming to maintain their appearance. Weekly combing and brushing sessions are vital. To keep your pet's coat looking sharp, take him to a professional groomer for hand-stripping. Look for someone who has a strong background with giant schnauzers so they understand how to work with the double coat. Clipping giant schnauzers is also acceptable, although it can affect the feel of the hair.
Giant schnauzers often live for anywhere between 12 and 15 years. They tend to be extremely strong and robust animals, according to Kevin Michalowski, author of "15 Minutes to a Great Puppy." Despite that, they are vulnerable to various health conditions, including progressive retinal atrophy, hip dysplasia and gastric torsion. Visit your vet regularly to monitor him for any signs of trouble.
- American Kennel Club: Get to Know the Giant Schnauzer
- Westminster Kennel Club: Giant Schnauzer
- Vetstreet: Giant Schnauzer
- Animal Planet: Giant Schnauzer Guide
- DogChannel.com: Giant Schnauzer Dog Breed Profile
- ASPCA Complete Guide to Dogs; Sheldon L. Gerstenfeld
- Giant Schnauzers; Joe Stahlkuppe
- 15 Minutes to a Great Puppy; Kevin Michalowski
- Photos.com/Photos.com/Getty Images