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Giant Schnauzer

The Giant Schnauzer is a large, powerful, compact breed of dog. It is one of the three Schnauzer breeds. Like most large breeds, the Giant Schnauzer needs a fair amount of exercise.

When hand-stripped, the Giant Schnauzer has a harsh, wiry outer coat and dense, soft undercoat. Coat color is either black or salt and pepper (grey). It weighs between 70 and 99 lb (32 to 45 kg) and stands 23.5 to 27.5 in (59 to 70 cm) at the withers.

When moving at a fast trot, a properly built Giant Schnauzer will single-track. Back remains strong, firm, and flat.

The Giant Schnauzer is a large, powerful, dominant dog which needs a firm, consistent but friendly handler. Unnecessary harshness will only do harm.

Early and consistent training is necessary as Giant Schnauzers tend to be very willful and highly intelligent dogs. Their ability to understand a command does not always translate into obedience.

Giant Schnauzers are fiercely loyal, often becoming so attached to their owner that they follow them around the house. They are extremely kind natured (similar to that of a retriever or Labrador) and a good choice for those with children.

Giant schnauzers need vigorous exercise at least twice every day and can easily make a 15 mile hike. The Giant Schnauzer is a good companion for hunter of raccoons, foxes and even deer.


Giant Schnauzer
Other names: Riesenschnauzer, Russian Bear Schnauzer (early 1900s)
Country of origin: Germany

Health problems in the breed include:

Autoimmune diseases (hypothyroidism, Autoimmune hemolytic anemia (AIHA) (also called Immune Mediated Hemolytic Anemia (IMHA)), SLO, Crohn's disease, and so on)
Hip dysplasia
Toe cancer

The breed originated in the mid to late 19th century in the Bavarian and Württemberg regions of Germany. Cattlemen wanted a larger version of the Standard Schnauzer for herding and driving, creating it by selectively breeding the Standard Schnauzer with the Great Dane, the Bouvier des Flandres, and rough haired sheepdogs. It was a popular herding breed, but its need for more food than some breeds made it less popular for farmers on tight budgets or with limited resources. It was used as a guard dog in breweries and stockyards, a police dog, and during World War I as a military dog. It became scarce during World War II, but its popularity grew again after the war, when it was used as a drover and as a guard dog.