Giant Schnauzer

Giant Schnauzer

The Giant Schnauzer is a large dog standing 23-28 inches tall and weighing around 55-80 lbs, however in Germany the official weight standards are between 77-103 lbs. They should be black in colour or salt and pepper, although their face should always be dark. They are recognisable by how their face is trimmed leaving long eyebrows, and a full moustache. Their bodies are as long as they are tall which gives them their square appearance, their eyes are small and round and set close together, and they have ears that are small and fold over although they can often look like they stick out. However in some countries their ears are cropped which makes them pointy and stand upright. They have long, thick and powerful legs, and their front legs should be straight. History: The Giant Schnauzer was developed by crossing the Standard Schnauzer, the Bouvier des Flandres and the black Great Dane. The name Schnauzer comes from the German word Schnauze, which means muzzle, they were developed for driving cattle in Bavaria, Germany. Although no breed standards were established until 1923, they have been known as far back as 1832. They have also been used as guard dogs by the police and military and to this day are better known as working dogs than as pampered pets.
Temperament: They can be a very loving dog and are highly intelligent. However they are prone to being rather dominant so need an experienced owner who can be the ‘alpha’ while maintaining a calm and consistent manner. They are exceptionally energetic dogs and if not exercised enough and left on their own they can become destructive. They need plenty of structure in their lives’, and should be socialised well with both people and animals from a young age. However if properly trained and well exercised they can be wonderful pets that will always look after you, they are brave, fun-loving and full of character and will always be faithful.

Health Issues: The Giant Schnauzer is prone to quite a few illnesses and diseases including hip dysplasia, epilepsy, incontinence, bloat and cancer. These are all becoming almost common in the breed. They can also suffer from autoimmune diseases, and are especially prone to toe cancer which even when caught early still is fatal to many Giant Schnauzers annually. Their average life expectancy is 12-15 years.

Grooming: Although in some ways they do not need much grooming and are relatively easy to keep there are a few things that are important to do. Due to the fact that the Giant Schnauzer doesn’t shed, it’s important to regularly brush them to remove any dead undercoat as if this is left it can matt, you should first brush with the lay of the hair, and then against it to lift the coat. Giant Schnauzers who are pets will only need to be clipped down a few times a year, whereas show dogs should be hand stripped. It’s also important to clean their faces down after they eat as bits of food can get caught in their moustache which can matt the hair and cause discolouration.

Living Conditions: The Giant Schnauzer is really not suited to apartment life, they are extremely active and need plenty of space to run around as well as twice daily walks or runs. They would do best with a family with no other pets and no young children, unless the dog is well trained. They really cannot be given enough exercise so an active family that can take them out cycling or running for hours would be best. It’s also worth remembering that they are tall dogs so can easily grab things off of any low surfaces.

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