Giant Schnauzer Puppies
Information, Behavior and Training

Giant Schnauzer puppies make loyal, amiable and spirited companions that will keep you entertained and active.

If you are looking for a dog that is large and strong, yet elegant and graceful, you may be interested in this breed.

Whether you are thinking about buying a puppy or adopting an adult dog and want to know if this is the right breed for you or just want to learn more about this breed, I hope this article will help you find the answers to your questions.

Giant Schnauzer History

Also known as the Riesenschnauzer (which means "giant" in German) and, in the past, as the Munchener, the Russian Bear Schnauzer and the Munich Schnauzer, Giant Schnauzers have been known for working with cattle in the Wurttemberg and Bavaria sections of Germany since the early 1800s.

Some specimens were also used to work as guardians in butcher shops, stockyards and breweries. In the early 1900s, during World War I, some Giant Schnauzers were employed as police dogs and this soon became this breed's main occupation.

Giant Schnauzers are believed to have been obtained by crossing Standard Schnauzers with Bouvier des Flandres and black Great Danes. Of the three types of Schnauzers, the Giant is the most recently developed breed.

The first specimens were imported into the United States in the late 1800s and registered with the AKC in 1930. It was categorized under the working group. Today, these gentle giants are used mainly as guardians and loyal companions.

Giant Schnauzer Puppy

Physical Characteristics

Giant Schnauzers appear to be the scaled-up version of the Standard Schnauzer and the Miniature Schnauzer. Overall, this breed is robust, giving the impression of a strongly built dog with a courageous temperament.


The word "schnauzer" means "mustache" in German.

The body of these dogs is large and well-muscled, denoting great power and agility. The straight back is strong and firm. The neck is moderately long and elegantly arched. The Schnauzer's tail is normally docked and carried high.

Black Giant Schnauzer

The front legs are straight, boasting strong pasterns and elbows that are kept close to the body. The chest has well-sprung ribs but without any indication of being barrel-shaped. The hindquarters feature strong muscles and sloping upper thighs. The feet are cat-like, with tough paw pads and dark nails.

Giant Schnauzer eyes are dark brown and oval in shape. Their nose is black and large. The ears have pointed tips and should be identical when cropped. Left uncropped, they present as V-shaped button ears. The powerful jaws enclose teeth that meet in a scissor bite.

This breed has a double coat comprising a soft undercoat and a harsh top coat. The facial hair forms a harsh beard and eyebrows of contrasting colors, giving this breed its unique appearance. Accepted coat colors include solid black or salt and pepper.

    Height Weight
  Male 26 to 28 inches 65 to 85 pounds
  Female 23 to 26 inches 55 to 75 pounds

Giant Schnauzer Personality

Giant Schnauzers appear to have a "sixth sense" in recognizing your mood and thoughts. This gentle giant likes to cling by your side and anticipate every move you make. When you acquire Giant Schnauzer puppies, expect them to mature into balls of energy that love to engage in vigorous play.

If you are looking for a faithful guardian, you may be happy to learn that this breed fits the role well; indeed, most specimens make natural watchdogs capable of differentiating between first time and frequent visitors. But unlike many other breeds that make excellent watchdogs but lousy guard dogs, this breed is both. By nature, Giant Schnauzers are very territorial and protective, and will fight to protect what's theirs.

While loyal to their family and friendly to those it knows well, the breed may be reserved with strangers. It's important to invest in early socialization training in order to prevent Giant Schnauzer puppies from becoming too timid or excessively skittish.

Giant Schnauzer Facing the Camera

If there are small children in your household, consider this breed with caution - Giant Schnauzer puppies are known to engage in rough play. Some Giant Schnauzers may also become overly protective of your little ones when they are engaging in rough play with other kids. As with any breed of dog, never leave your Giant Schnauzer alone with a child, no matter how docile and trustworthy the dog is.

Giant Schnauzers may be aggressive towards dogs of the same sex. While cats and other pets may be accepted when introduced to Giant Schnauzer puppies from an early age, things may not work out as desired. In general, small pets, including dogs, should be kept away from this breed. Giant Schnauzers are best for one pet households.

Giant Schnauzer training requires firmness and consistency. Try to keep this guy's mind stimulated with some tricks or give him a "job." He can be stubborn at times but you can motivate him through positive reinforcement training.

Best Owner and Living Conditions

The best owner of this breed has time to channel this breed's needs and keep its mind busy. A Giant Schnauzer is not your average Golden Retriever; consequently, they are not pushovers to raise. They require a firm, experienced owner capable of providing consistent leadership.

Giant Schnauzer dogs don't fare well in an apartment or condo. This breed does best in a home with a large yard to romp around. However, don't forget this breed out there for too long; remember that Giant Schnauzers are happiest when they are near their owners!

Activity and Exercise

Bred to work on farms, guard breweries and perform various police-work tasks, this breed needs a job. So, don't leave your Giant Schnauzer unemployed for too long. When bored, frustrated or unhappy, he may decide to fend for himself and find his own form of entertainment through digging, chewing or excessive barking loud enough to wake up the dead!

There is saying among Giant Schnauzer breeders - a tired Giant is a good Giant. So, while daily walks are important, a 10 minute walk around the block will not suffice with this breed; rather, concentrate on providing at least a good hour of exercise each day. And forget the dog park, while Giant Schnauzer puppies may get along with their peers just fine, once they reach social maturity it may be a whole different story.

Giant Schnauzer Grooming

Though it doesn't shed a lot, to keep this breed's wiry coat free of mats, you will need to invest some time in regular brushing sessions. You may also want to clean your Schnauzer's mustache after each meal. Getting Giant Schnauzer puppies acquainted with being touched and groomed from an early age is time well spent.

Hand stripping is a term you will hear quite a lot among Schnauzer dog breeders and groomers. The process entails manually removing dead hair from wired-coated breeds. An alternative to this is clipping the coat but doing so will turn the hair of Giant Schnauzer dogs quite soft, with the end result of ruining the coat's texture and changing the color.

Health Concerns

From a health standpoint, the Giant Schnauzer dog breed is generally healthy, but it doesn't hurt to get acquainted with some health conditions this breed may be predisposed to. Hip dysplasia, osteochondrosis dissecans and toe cancer are orthopedic problems found in this breed. Other conditions include several autoimmune diseases, epilepsy, incontinence and bloat.

Visit dog health problems to learn more about dog diseases and health care.

Purchasing Giant Schnauzer puppies from reputable breeders can help reduce the chances for hereditary disorders. Look for Giant Schnauzer breeders who health test their breeding stock and provide health guarantees.

Even healthy dogs get sick. While many health problems will require an immediate attention from your Vet, there are many others that you may handle on your own. Learn how to save time and money (and how to prevent small problems from becoming big problems) by diagnosing and treating dog health problems that don't require your Vet's attention.

Life Expectancy

The average life expectancy for healthy Giant Schnauzer puppies is between 11 and 15 years.

Final Thoughts...

Interested in Giant Schnauzer puppies? Keep in mind this breed's strong temperament, exercise needs and grooming requirements. Of course, if you are not too eager to go through the destructive puppy chewing phase and the hurdles of potty training, you may want to bypass Giant Schnauzer puppies and head to a rescue for an adult Giant Schnauzer.

Did you ever consider adopting your next pet?

If this is the breed you are interested in, and adoption appeals to you, consider contacting your local Giant Schnauzer rescue and adoption center. There are thousands of pets waiting for a loving home and, yes, it's possible to adopt a purebred dog.

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Puppy Training

Not happy with your pet's behavior? Need help with training your dog for obedience? Then check this Giant Schnauzer Behavior and Obedience Training Guide.


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