The playful, rambunctious giant schnauzer may be too boisterous for small children, even though he is otherwise very good with children in his own family. He is bold and protective of his family and reserved with strangers. This intelligent and exuberant breed is a good choice for an active person wanting a partner in adventure, although at times the giant may try to be the leader.
Giant Schnauzer Dog Care
The giant schnauzer needs daily exercise and fun. His exercise requirements can be met with vigorous games and long hikes or walks. He does best when allowed to divide his time between house and yard. His harsh coat needs combing once or twice weekly, plus shaping two to four times yearly. Shaping is best done by professional scissoring and hand-stripping, but clipping is acceptable for pets.
Giant Schnauzer Dog Health
Major concerns: CHD
Minor concerns: OCD, gastric torsion
Occasionally seen: none
Suggested tests: hip
Life span: 10-12 years
Interested in the history of the Giant Schnauzer dog breed?
The giant schnauzer originated in the countryside of Bavaria and Wurrtemburg. Impressed by the smaller standard schnauzer, cattlemen there sought to emulate the standard on a larger scale, which would make him more suitable for driving cattle. It is likely, though not documented, that they crossed the standard schnauzer with their larger smooth-coated cattle-driving dogs in an attempt to create a wire-haired drover. Later crosses with rough-coated sheepdogs and the Great Dane and bouvier des Flandres probably occurred, and even crosses with the black poodle, wolf spitz and wirehaired pinscher have been suggested. The result was a weather-resistant, smart-looking dog capable of handling cattle, then known as the Munchener. Giant schnauzers later became more popular as butcher's or stockyard dogs, and even later, as brewery guard dogs. The dogs maintained a low profile, with little exposure until just before World War I, when it was suggested that they could be trained as police dogs. They excelled at their new assignment but have not been well-accepted outside of Germany in that capacity. They have gained more headway as a pet in recent years, however, and now enjoy modest popularity in America.