Giant Schnauzer – Full Breed Profile

Written by: Bojana Radulovic
Giant Schnauzer is a large size dog with high grooming needs. Do you think that you could train and keep this breed stylish all year round? Read on to learn about the breed's requirements and get your answer now.
Dog Breed Group:
Working Dogs
23 to 27 inches tall at the shoulder
55 to 80 pounds
Life Span:
10 to 12 years

Breed Characteristics:

Apartment Friendly


How well will this breed adapt to apartment living? Is the apartment size the most important factor when it comes to proper living conditions? Is the breed suitable for apartment living?

Good For First-Time Owners


Some dogs aren't suitable for first-time dog owners. Is this breed a good match for someone with no dog experience? Can training help them be on their best behavior with owners with no dog experience? Are they suitable to be handled by someone who is just entering the canine world?

Overall Sensitivity


Some dogs are sensitive. Certain breeds are rough on the outside, while having the softest heart on the inside. In other words, some dogs are 'thick-skinned' while some are 'easygoing.' Is this breed prone to sensitivity?

Tolerates Being Alone


Separation anxiety in dogs is a serious condition that can affect a dog's life quality. Is this breed prone to this condition? Can you leave him alone for hours? How destructive this breed can become when bored, neglected, or not loved enough?

Affectionate With Family


How affectionate this breed will be around his humans? Will he welcome new family friends easily or he will choose to be shy? Some breeds can be clingy with owners, while others don't attach a lot. Will this breed act as the family's best friend?



Some dogs will tolerate children, while others will adore well-behaved ones. Dogs and children should always be supervised, no matter how well trained the dog might be. Will this breed act as a nanny dog or he will stay away from children?

Friendly Toward Other Dogs


Some dog breeds cannot wait to run to the dog park and run with others. Others prefer to be with their humans, and not to be a part of a multi-pet household. Is this breed dog lover or not? How friendly this breed will be toward other dogs?

Friendly Toward Strangers


Some dog breeds tend to be reserved toward strangers and highly suspicious. Others are fast to walk away with them easily. How welcoming this breed is toward strangers?

Drooling Level


If you love to clean all the time drooling level in dogs is a trait that you should mind. Is this breed less likely to drool, or you will always need a towel on hand?

Easy To Groom


Heavier shedding during the shedding season is something that every dog needs to go through. However, some dogs shed just a bit all year round. Is this breed one of them? How often should you groom this dog?

Overall Health


What can you expect from this breed in terms of health? Are there any genetic conditions to vary about? Is obesity a major issue in this breed? By knowing more about the dog's health, you are learning how to help him live a longer and healthier life.

Prone To Obesity


Treats are a great addition to training sessions. Dogs love sweet bites of dog treats but they should be served in moderation. Treats can lead to obesity, next to poor nutrition. Can this breed gain extra weight from treats? How prone to obesity this breed actually is?

Trainability Level


Training some dogs is easier than others. How easy this dog will be to train? What can you expect? Some dogs are huge people pleasers and they will master commands easily, while others will try to outsmart you.

Intelligence Level


Dogs are smart beings. We do our best to train them, but they do still end up training us to adapt to their needs. How intelligent is this breed? Will he try to outsmart you? Or he will need multiple training sessions to master basic commands?

Prey Drive


Dogs were bred for a specific purpose. Those who were bred to hunt have natural instincts to hunt, even today. This is why many dogs, like Terriers, will chase other animals. They will also have a hard time concentrating on your commands when there is something small moving. Is this breed prone to following his prey instincts?

Barking Level


How vocal this breed is? Can you expect neighbors to ring you often to calm your dog? Or you can sleep without worries of hearing your Fido bark? Some breeds are highly vocal, others have unusual sounds, and some are silent. Is this breed prone to barking?

Energy Level


Low-energy dogs are happy with regular walks and indoor chill times. High-energy dogs are always ready for action. Is this breed a couch potato, energetic dog, or somewhere in between?

Exercise Needs


Some dogs are more than happy with a slow stroll down the street. Others need hours of active time to stay happy and fit. Is this breed demanding in terms of exercise? How much exercise this breed needs to stay happy and healthy?

Playfulness Level


Some dogs never lose that puppy spirit, not even in their senior years. Others are more serious and prefer having a job to do. Is this breed demanding in terms of playfulness? Can you expect playfulness in their senior years as well?

The Giant Schnauzer is a large and powerful dog of almost 28 inches and 85 pounds.

Females are slightly smaller compared to males, but it doesn’t mean that they are less powerful. Both males and females of the breed are working dogs and great companions.

This breed does resemble Standard Schnauzer, only they are significantly bigger in size. Their body is muscular and substantial. The Giant Schnauzer’s coat is always black, solid black, or pepper and salt.

Just like Mini and Standard Schnauzer, the Giant Schnauzer has a harsh beard and eyebrows.

This breed comes with a dense and wiry double coat that is weather-resistant making rainy walks stress-free, at least for the dog.

Still, you should plan time to groom your Giant Schnauzer regularly, if you want to keep that coat shiny and healthy. This dog likes to work hard.

After all, they were used to drive cattle long distances and to protect the farm and family. Today, they are seen everywhere, as police dogs, military dogs, and even search and rescue dogs, although they are bigger in size.

Their size doesn’t stop them from being excellent in dog sports, such as tracking. These loyal and courageous dogs will demand your time, energy, and love.

Do not leave them alone, unless you want to witness how it is when a large dog is bored and destructive.

As long as you can provide proper care, training, and meet the breed’s exercise needs you will have a loyal friend.

Quick Facts

Real name: Giant Schnauzer
Other names: Munich Schnauzer, Munchener, Russian Bear Schnauzer
Origin: Germany
Breed type: Working Dogs
Weight: 55 to 80 pounds
Height: 23 to 27 inches tall at the shoulder
Lifespan: 10 to 12 years
Litter Size: 5 – 8 puppies
Color: Pepper and salt, pure black with black undercoat, and black and silver
Coat: Wiry and dense coat, with a soft undercoat

Giant Schnauzer History

The very first Giant Schnauzer appeared sometime during the 17th century.

Originally, they are from Swabia, a German state of Bavaria. At first, they were described and seen as a rough-coated version o the German Pinscher.

Their famous hair was specially created to help them easily survive harsh German winters. Next to harsh winters, their wary coat had another protective role – to keep them safe from vermin bites.

The exact origin of the breed is still a big mystery, although some speculate that this powerful dog is a combination of the following breeds:

From day one, the Giant Schnauzer was bred to be a highly functional working dog.

This is even today a multipurpose farm dog who loves guarding the property and dealing with other animals. In busy farm life, they are the first ones to drive animals to the market.

At the beginning of the 20th century, these large-sized dogs were used as watchdogs at different facilities, including factories, and breweries across Bavaria.

During the World Wars, Giant Schnauzers were used as military dogs.

During the period between the wars, mostly during the 1930s, they were imported to the States, and people started noticing them in the 1960s. Plus, in the 1960s the breed started gaining serious popularity across the States.

Today, Giant Schnauzers are used as police dogs, as part of search and rescue teams, or even for carting. They are more of working than a show dog.

Giant Schnauzer Physical Appearance

They may be called ‘giant’ but they are not the biggest when compared to other really large dog breeds, such as Great Dane. However, they are ‘giants’ compared with the Standard and Miniature Schnauzers.

As for the overall size they commonly have between 23 to 27 inches and between 55 to 80 pounds.

If you manage to provide proper care, the right nutrition, enough exercise, and a stress-free environment you can expect your Giant Schnauzer to live between 10 to 12 years.

In appearance they are true schnauzers, having the look of power and determination. In fact, many would describe them as intimidating.

As general rules, females are smaller in size than males. As for the color, they will commonly appear as solid black or salt and pepper.

The facial mask will always be completely dark and will blend in with the rest of the body.

Some facial parts may be lighter in color, including eyebrows, whiskers, throat, chest, cheeks, legs, and area under the tail.

Giant Schnauzer Personality

Schnauzer lovers know how special these dogs are.

They are packed with so many features that dog lovers just adore. That being said. they are watchful, easy to train, devoted to their family, and courageous.

They have a gentle temperament and rugged appearance that many find too adorable. This dog needs regular walks, and additional exercise, to keep them satisfied.

If you are a jogger you are in luck, because this giant-like dog will be more than happy to join you for a good run.

He will always be ready for a good run, even on a rainy day. This breed needs a big deal of exercise and this is something to consider when getting this breed.

They need a big yard to run and explore. Indoors you should provide toys and fun indoor games.

You don’t want to learn what this dog can learn when he is bored or even worse neglected.

Destructive behavior is something that occurs normally in dogs when they are not satisfied.

Giant Schnauzer With Children And Other Pets

Giant Schnauzers are sweet dogs who will adore children, as long as children know how to behave around dogs.

The best way to make a safe space between dogs and children is to have them both follow the house rules.

Children should know not to disturb dogs while they are eating, sleeping, or resting in their corner.

Giant Schnauzers will follow children around and be sweet playmates as long as they are supervised.

Still, due to Giant Schnauzers size, their high energy levels, and a bit of commanding nature. They are not recommended for homes with young children.

Some dog experts advise that children should be at least 12 years old, and are educated and mature enough to know exactly how to interact with a large-breed dog.

This is one more reason why Giant Schnauzers are recommended to homes with experienced dog owners.

As for other animals, they will be best buddies with other dogs, even with dogs of the same sex.

As for the cats, no one can guarantee that they won’t chase them. It’s most likely that they will hunt cats until they catch them.

It may be different if they are raised with them, but still, you will have to be careful.

Giant Schnauzer Training

Giant Schnauzers will learn fast.

They will master basic commands on time, especially if you know how to train larger dog breeds.

These dogs are energetic, so make sure that training sessions are based outdoors. They will love being outside.

Still, they are a bit stubborn and will try to outsmart you, so be prepared. Keeping focus can be a challenge as well, so make training sessions:

  • Consistent
  • Fun
  • Engaging
  • Packed with treats

If you feel like you need help with training you should think about puppy classes.

Puppy classes are a great way to bond with your dog further and make the training process faster.

Have enough training toys and use treats in moderate amounts.

Too many treats can speed up weight gain in dogs, and lead to higher problems.

Giant Schnauzer Grooming

Giant Schnauzers come with a wary coat that is also hard on the touch and dense.

By grooming standards, this means that regular brushing is mandatory. They also have a soft undercoat, which means that you should use the right groomign tools to make brushing moments more enjoyable.

In another word, you should use a stiff bristle or slicker brush to keep that coat clean.

To keep skin debris-free, coat clean and shiny brushing should happen three times per week.

This brushing frequency is highly recommended if you want to prevent mats from forming in the undercoat.

You may have to wash Giant’s face after every meal. After all, they have harsh beards and eyebrows that may get messy when at least expected.

It’s common practice for a Giant’s coat to be hand-stripped every four to six months. Be careful with this, because stripping may change the coat’s texture.

It’s not uncommon for Giant’s coat to be soft and to shed even more.

The rest is basic care:

  • Regular brushing
  • Additional weekly brushing during the shedding session, in spring and autumn
  • Grinding or trimming nails monthly
  • Checking gums and eyes weekly
  • Brushing teeth if needed
  • Bathing only when needed – they are odorless, and frequent bathing may lead to more issues than benefits
  • Cleaning ears when needed

Make grooming a positive experience from day one. The best would be if you could take a puppy to a groomer, so he can get used to being handled.

Also, handle their paws frequently – dogs are very sensitive when it comes to their feet, so make sure that he gets comfortable with it.

This way you will prevent any future accidents and unwanted bitting. It can help to take him to the vet’s office as soon as you bring your Giant Schnauzer home.

Don’t forget to serve him treats whenever he acts as a good boy.

Giant Schnauzer Health

Giant Schnauzers are considered to be healthy dogs. This is the case if you are dealing with responsible dog breeders.

These breeders will:

  • Present you medical documentation on the breed
  • Let you meet the bitch
  • Show you the facilities
  • Inform you of any future possible health issues
  • Ask you a lot of questions
  • Share tips on grooming and health

This kind of treatment isn’t something that you will be given inside the puppy mills.

If you ever make the slightest assumption that you are standing in a puppy mill, feel free to walk away.

Responsible breeders deeply care about their dogs, and they won’t give you the dog if they do see you as a good fit.

Is Giant Schnauzer For You?

So far it should be clear that a Giant Schnauzer is a breed with vigorous exercise requirements, a strong need to jump, and is strong-willed.

They also require regular brushing and consistent grooming – if this is something that sounds like too much work for you, then a Giant Schnauzer isn’t the breed for you.

In that case, you should check a low-maintenance breed, as well as breeds with lower energy levels.

On the other hand, if you want a large and athletic dog who loves to play hard activities and has strong watching skills then Giant Schnauzer may be right for you.

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