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Giant Schnauzer

GiantSchnauzer

A Rambunctious & Watchful Companion

Obedient, dependable, courageous

Giant Schnauzers are confident, lovable, and fearless large dogs. This loyal breed usually reserved with strangers and other pets at first, but with training can be friendly. They are great with older kids, but might play too rough for young children. Giant Schnauzers make great companions for active individuals, families with older children, and experienced dog handlers. As playful and energetic as Schnauzers are, they need to be exercised twice a day to channel their energy and prevent them from becoming destructive.

Understanding their unique needs will help keep them healthy and create a strong bond between the two of you. Explore this page to learn more about the breed’s history, health concerns, characteristics, and care needs.

Breed Details

Height:23-28 in. Weight:55-80 lb Lifespan:10-12 years

Size
4

1=small 5=large

Grooming requirements
3

1 = little grooming - 5 = much grooming

Energy level
3

1 = low energy - 5 = high energy

Ease of training
3

1 = difficult - 5 = easy

Affection toward owners
1

1 = independent - 5 = very affectionate

Friendliness toward strangers
1

1 = shy - 5 = very friendly

Routine Care: The Giant Schnauzer is a smart dog with lots of energy, so keep their mind and body active, or they'll get bored. That's when the naughty stuff starts. They have a high prey drive, so they need to be leash walked and a fenced yard is a must. Naturally a bit wary, the Giant Schnauzer can be distrustful of strangers; bond them to children early to trigger protective behaviors.

Grooming: Brush their coat as needed, at least weekly. Regular stripping or clipping is also required for her wiry double coat.

Dental: Giant Schnauzers generally have good teeth, and you can keep them perfect by brushing them at least twice a week!

Ear Care: Clean their ears weekly, even as a puppy. Don’t worry—your veterinarian can show you how!

The Giant Schnauzer is highly spirited, obedient, and courageous. With proper exercise and socialization they are a calm family companion.

Positive Traits:

• Energetic, active, and athletic

• Protective of owners; excellent guard dog

• Easily motivated and trainable

• Confident, steady, and fearless

• Lovable, playful companion

• Trustworthy and dependable

Negative Traits:

• May have a tendency to bark excessively

• Needs a lot of activity and mental stimulation to avoid boredom vices

• Overprotective of family and territory if not socialized properly

• Sees cats and small animals as prey unless trained otherwise

• Territorial with larger dogs, especially of the same sex

• Independent and headstrong



Whether you are considering adding a new Giant Schnauzer to your family or you already have one as a companion, it is important for you to know about the genetically linked diseases known to occur more often in this breed. Of course not every Giant Schnauzer will have these problems, but research shows your pal is more at risk than other breeds. 

By exploring the health concerns specific to the Giant Schnauzer you will become a knowledgeable and confident pet parent. Be sure to speak with your veterinarian about breed risks every time you visit and educate yourself on the most important signs to watch for at home. They are counting on you to be their health expert.

Some health issues a Giant Schnauzer could encounter:

The Giant Schnauzer is a working dog that originated in Germany in the late 1800s. Bred to drive livestock, they eventually became excellent watchdogs. The Giant Schnauzer is the largest of the three Schnauzer breeds and has been extensively utilized in Germany as a guarding and police dog since World War I. They have a weather resistant coat that has a low shedding tendency if properly cared for. One of the best attributes of the Giant Schnauzer is they tend to lack “doggie” odor. The Giant Schnauzer is an alert and loyal companion that requires a strong leader and adequate exercise. They are generally a healthy breed with an average lifespan of 10-12 years.

Consult with a veterinarian if your Giant Schnauzer shows signs of the following:

• Dry heaving or a large, tight, painful abdomen

• Blinking, redness, pain or itchiness around the eyes

• Squinting, watery eyes, bluing cornea, redness, enlarged eye

• Cloudiness to eye lens

• Bumping into objects, startles easily

• General reluctance to run or play

• Pain or straining to urinate, bloody urine

• Any abnormal shaking, trembling, or excessive involuntary tremors

• Excessive licking or chewing, pawing at face and/or ears, head shaking, face rubbing

• Dull coat, hair loss, sluggish, weight gain

• Misplaced or missing teeth, bad breath, hair and food stuck between teeth

• Brittle, easily breakable nails

• Urine leakage when sleeping or lying down

  • Care

    Routine Care: The Giant Schnauzer is a smart dog with lots of energy, so keep their mind and body active, or they'll get bored. That's when the naughty stuff starts. They have a high prey drive, so they need to be leash walked and a fenced yard is a must. Naturally a bit wary, the Giant Schnauzer can be distrustful of strangers; bond them to children early to trigger protective behaviors.

    Grooming: Brush their coat as needed, at least weekly. Regular stripping or clipping is also required for her wiry double coat.

    Dental: Giant Schnauzers generally have good teeth, and you can keep them perfect by brushing them at least twice a week!

    Ear Care: Clean their ears weekly, even as a puppy. Don’t worry—your veterinarian can show you how!

  • Characteristics

    The Giant Schnauzer is highly spirited, obedient, and courageous. With proper exercise and socialization they are a calm family companion.

    Positive Traits:

    • Energetic, active, and athletic

    • Protective of owners; excellent guard dog

    • Easily motivated and trainable

    • Confident, steady, and fearless

    • Lovable, playful companion

    • Trustworthy and dependable

    Negative Traits:

    • May have a tendency to bark excessively

    • Needs a lot of activity and mental stimulation to avoid boredom vices

    • Overprotective of family and territory if not socialized properly

    • Sees cats and small animals as prey unless trained otherwise

    • Territorial with larger dogs, especially of the same sex

    • Independent and headstrong



  • Health Concerns

    Whether you are considering adding a new Giant Schnauzer to your family or you already have one as a companion, it is important for you to know about the genetically linked diseases known to occur more often in this breed. Of course not every Giant Schnauzer will have these problems, but research shows your pal is more at risk than other breeds. 

    By exploring the health concerns specific to the Giant Schnauzer you will become a knowledgeable and confident pet parent. Be sure to speak with your veterinarian about breed risks every time you visit and educate yourself on the most important signs to watch for at home. They are counting on you to be their health expert.

    Some health issues a Giant Schnauzer could encounter:

  • History

    The Giant Schnauzer is a working dog that originated in Germany in the late 1800s. Bred to drive livestock, they eventually became excellent watchdogs. The Giant Schnauzer is the largest of the three Schnauzer breeds and has been extensively utilized in Germany as a guarding and police dog since World War I. They have a weather resistant coat that has a low shedding tendency if properly cared for. One of the best attributes of the Giant Schnauzer is they tend to lack “doggie” odor. The Giant Schnauzer is an alert and loyal companion that requires a strong leader and adequate exercise. They are generally a healthy breed with an average lifespan of 10-12 years.

  • Watch Out For

    Consult with a veterinarian if your Giant Schnauzer shows signs of the following:

    • Dry heaving or a large, tight, painful abdomen

    • Blinking, redness, pain or itchiness around the eyes

    • Squinting, watery eyes, bluing cornea, redness, enlarged eye

    • Cloudiness to eye lens

    • Bumping into objects, startles easily

    • General reluctance to run or play

    • Pain or straining to urinate, bloody urine

    • Any abnormal shaking, trembling, or excessive involuntary tremors

    • Excessive licking or chewing, pawing at face and/or ears, head shaking, face rubbing

    • Dull coat, hair loss, sluggish, weight gain

    • Misplaced or missing teeth, bad breath, hair and food stuck between teeth

    • Brittle, easily breakable nails

    • Urine leakage when sleeping or lying down

Giant Schnauzer Discussions

Share your thoughts and experiences, ask questions, or just show your love for the Giant Schnauzer breed here!

Select Another Breed

To view the sources for the information listed on this page, see our Dog Breed Guide Reference page.

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