With their compact build, tall frame, and black color, you may be initially scared with Giant Schnauzer dogs. It doesn’t help that they are wary of new people. However, all canine relationships take time, but the more you know this breed, the more you will love it. Here are the facts to learn about Giant Schnauzers.
Giant Schnauzer Dogs | The Ultimate Playful Awardee
Giant Schnauzer Dog Personality
- Obedient and Loyal
- Active and Playful
You can never unsee Giant Schnauzer dogs. Besides their large frame, they also have a commanding presence. Unlike the Miniature Schnauzer, these dogs don’t demand a lot of attention and are, therefore, independent and not really affectionate. Yet wait until they start to play.
The Giant Schnauzer is a canine force to be reckoned with as far as being active and playful is concerned. They may be huge, but it usually doesn’t know the meaning of rest. It loves to play – a lot. After all, this purebred was raised to be working dogs. It, therefore, knows movement all its life. Otherwise, it can become very bored and destructive. Sometimes it can be aggressive.
For this reason, the Giant Schnauzer dogs are not the best breed for apartment dwelling. They need a very large yard where they can move around as many times as possible. They may also be a handful, so first-time owners need to be well educated about the breed. If you have children and small animals, these dogs definitely require early socialization. You may want to supervise their playtime with your small kids.
These canines are also known for their obedience, and they are very easy to train. In fact, that’s what makes them a star in various competitions. The good news is you can use your training sessions as another venue for the Schnauzers to release their pent-up energy. But be careful. With their intelligence, they can actually manipulate you if they feel you’re weak.
Overall, the Giant Schnauzers may not be the most charming, but their energy and smartness are very impressive.
Size & Color
Giant Schnauzer dogs are obviously the biggest among the Schnauzers, including the Standard, which is considered a medium breed. However, they’re not the giants among the large breeds. Males can grow to 25.5 inches and 27.5 inches. Females are relatively shorter at 23.5 inches to 25.5 inches. They are smaller than a Great Dane, which can mature to 31 inches.
When it comes to weight, adult Giant Schnauzers can be 77 pounds to 104 pounds. Standard Schnauzers usually don’t weigh more than 20 pounds.
These dogs come in only two colors, with no markings. The most common are the all-black and the other is salt and pepper, which is black with streaks of white. From afar, these Giant Schnauzer dogs appear to be gray.
What are the common Giant Schnauzer health problems?
- Squamous Cell Carcinoma – Dogs can be prone to certain cancers throughout their lifetime. For the Giant Schnauzers, it’s the squamous cell carcinoma, a type of skin cancer. It usually develops on the digits or the toes underneath the nails. When left untreated, they can lose their nails, suffer from lameness, and develop complications that may be fatal.
- Cataract – A lot of dogs are susceptible to cataracts, in which the natural lens of the eyes become opaque. These can be treated with surgery to avoid complete blindness. In many cases, they are hereditary, although conditions such as diabetes mellitus can also cause them.
- Hip Dysplasia – It is a condition that describes a deformity or abnormality of the growth of the hip joint. While not all Giant Schnauzers can develop clinical symptoms, some can experience lameness and pain. It also increases the risk of arthritis.
- Hypothyroidism – It is a hormonal disorder characterized by the insufficient production of the thyroid hormone. It usually results in quick weight gain, slow metabolism, lethargy, and sluggishness. One of the most common forms of hypothyroidism is thyroiditis. It is an autoimmune disease in which the body’s immune system ends up attacking and destroying the thyroid glands.
The average lifespan of Giant Schnauzer dogs is between 12 and 15 years, which is comparable to that of their miniature versions. Standard Schnauzers have a bigger chance of outliving them all.
Due to their active and playful nature, as well as their size, they require a vigorous exercise for 30 to 40 minutes twice a day.
Food & Diet
Giant Schnauzer dogs have a higher serving requirement than other breeds, given their size and level of activity. In a day, they may need up to 4 cups divided into two meals. Giant Schnauzer puppies, on the other hand, require a high-quality dog food specially formulated for them. They also need to eat more often, particularly from 8 to 16 weeks. After that, the serving is almost the same as that of adults.
- Hand strip every 4 to 6 months
- Brush hair 3 times a week
- Brush teeth once a week
- Clean beard every meal
- Trim nails once a month
- Bathe once a month or when necessary
Giant schnauzer dogs are minimal shedders, and grooming them, in general, is easy. For example, you need to trim their nails only once a month or bathe them only when necessary to avoid removing the essential oils of the hair and drying their coats. To avoid the buildup of tartar, clean their teeth at least once a week.
However, these dogs also need extra attention to the coat. The Giant Schnauzer dogs have two, with the top coat being wiry. These wiry hairs can die to reveal the new top coat. To remove the dead strands, you need to perform hand stripping using tools like a hand stripping knife or stone. You can also do it the old-fashioned way, which is using your hands. Either way, this procedure, which should be done every 4 to 6 months, is considered better than clipping since it removes the hair from the roots and maintains the dog’s preferred look. Clipping has the tendency to change the color of the hair later.
Their beard can quickly accumulate food particles and get wet from drinking water. Clean it after every meal.
Price Of A Giant Schnauzer Puppy
Schnauzers for sale can range from $1,300 to as much as $3,000 usually depending on quality. The standard-quality ones may already make great pets, but they may not be the most ideal for either breeding or showing. If you want to spend less, you can consider getting a rescue. Shelters will charge you only for adoption fees.
The history of Giant Schnauzer dogs are murky, although one thing is sure: they emerged in a rural town in Germany. Farmers bred them to be herding and working dogs, dealing closely with cattle. With their build, they pulled carts and brought produce to the market. Their coat, which is coarse at the top, provided them ample protection from the cold winters as well as from bites from varmint.
Their lineage, which began sometime in the Middle Ages, may be traced to the sheepdogs of the country and the Standard Schnauzers. Some, though, believe Schnauzers bred with other big dogs like Great Dane or Wirehaired Pinscher.
Their existence was almost not known until the two world wars. By then, they became guard dogs. The first ones arrived in the United States around the 1930s.
Schnauzers have a lot of other names! Giant Schnauzers, for instance, were once known as Muncheners after Munich, Germany, and, interestingly, Russian Bear Schnauzer.
Because they’re agile, obedient, and easy to train, Giant Schnauzer dogs make great police or guard dogs. See Cooper in training here:
Giant Schnauzer dogs aren’t the easiest to handle but if you have the patience, commitment, and, most of all, love for the breed, they can return all these to you a hundredfold. They will be loyal and obedient. They will protect you. Most of all, they’ll keep you happy with their energy and playfulness.
What do you love about Giant Schnauzers? Share your thoughts in the comments below!