Giant schnauzer

A guard and family breed at the same time. It is a muscular dog with well-developed memory and intelligence. In translation from German, Giant Schnauzer means «a huge muzzle».

Energy level
Level of affection
Level of friendliness
female: 60—70 kg
male: 60—70 kg
female: 35—47 cm
male: 35—47 cm
requires little time
Gives birth to
Gives birth to:
4—5 puppies
in 17 century
Life span
Life span:
12—15 years


Giant Schnauzers are faithful dogs. They were developed for serving and helping people. However, these animals serve only those people who they love. They treat others with suspicion. This makes them skilled guards and helpers. If a Schnauzer feels that it is being respected, it will do everything: guard, play, and help in family activities. 

These pets are always on alert. They can skillfully protect their owner and territory from dangers. If a stranger pays an unexpected visit, a Schnauzer will let him know that it lives there: it will start barking and might even attack, especially if it encounters resistance or aggression. However, if it sees a stranger together with his owner, it will let the new person go. Giant Schnauzers have well-developed memory: they remember faces very well. It is enough for them to see a person once in their lives in order to remember him forever.

Giant Schnauzers are active dogs which do not like laying on the sofa. They constantly need to do something: run around, play or help with family activities. It is hard to make these pets tired. Giant Schnauzers have a well-developed reaction. They can immediately react to any noise, even if they are asleep. This breed is not for people looking for a calm dog.

These pets do not get on well with other animals because they like being dominant. However, if they feel that someone is weaker than them — they will offer protection. Meanwhile, it is not recommended to keep Giant Schnauzers with other cats or dogs, especially if they will not grow up together. While Schnauzers do not get on well with animals, the situation is completely different with children: they like playing with and taking care of them. These dogs react calmly to kids` tricks. If a child hurts the dog, it will react to it patiently. However, it is better not to leave them alone. It will be safer, especially taking dog`s large size into consideration.


Giant Schnauzers are smart dogs. However, they like being cunning and stubborn. These pets need to be trained throughout their whole life. It is crucial to remind them who is main in the house. Otherwise, the pet will manipulate and resist, demonstrating its own opinion. 

Start bringing Giant Schnauzers up right after their purchase. It is crucial to show your authority to the dog, as well as to teach it house rules. A Schnauzer will listen only to the person who it loves and respects. If the pet feels weakness and lack of confidence in a person, it will stop respecting him and will start demonstrating its own authority. That is why it is important not to let pet`s cute appearance manipulate you. Forbid it everything what it should not do: chew shoes, climb and eat on the table, bark at strangers with no reason, and other similar actions. The second way to fight pet`s manipulations is to ignore them. If the animal does something wrong on purpose — to demonstrate its personality to the owner — such actions can be ignored, and then the dog will stop behaving that way.

Start working on dog`s socialization after it turns 3–4 months old: take it outside, introduce it to smells, animals and people. At the same time, teach the dog basic commands like «come here», «stay close», «sit down», «no», «lay down», «go to your place», «fetch» and others. You can work with your pet either in- or outdoors. Patience and persistence are key instruments for training a Giant Schnauzer. It is important not to overwork with the dog, but to teach it gradually: start with simple commands, and then work on more complicated ones. Repeat commands 4–5 times with a strict voice. Training should take no more than 15–20 minutes every day. It is better for it to take place in a playful way, but with strictly set borders of behavior. Praise your dog for performing a command. Scold it for misbehaving. Do not beat the dog in order not to damage its psycho.

Apart from teaching a Giant Schnauzer on your own, you can take it to either a course of general training, or the one of guarding. It is better to ask a professional trainer to teach your dog how to guard and protect.


Giant Schnauzers are large animals. Their body is muscular and athletic. It is the most varied species of the Schnauzer family. It is made up of 3 breeds: Miniature Schnauzers — the smallest; Standard Schnauzers — middle-sized dogs; and Giant Schnauzers — the largest pets. All Schnauzers are hypoallergenic.
Short, thick and stiff, lays closely to the body. A thick undercoat is present. 
Black and «salt and pepper» colors are acceptable. 
Big and elongated, with a flat forehead. It is wedge-shaped, covered with long hair.
Middle-sized, oval-shaped, of dark colors, high-set.
High-set, triangular-shaped, floppy, can be cropped.
Long and muscular.
Straight and muscular, with wide hips. Front legs are longer than hind ones.
Of medium length, saber- or crescent-shaped, can be docked. 

Basic Care

Giant Schnauzers do not require much time to be groomed. Their thick and stiff hair should be brushed once a week, using a comb and a metal bristle brush. Apart from being brushed, hair of Giant Schnauzers needs to be pulled out once in half a year. You can either do that by yourself, or take the pet to a hair trimming procedure. If you prefer to do that by yourself, use a special trimming knife. It is important to work on the regions on ears, the throat, hips and the groin. Then put some antiseptic on the skin, so that it does not get irritated.

These dogs are neat. Their water-repellent hair does not produce odor, and almost never gets dirty. It is recommended to give Giant Schnauzers a bath two times a year, using a tar shampoo or some soap. Wash their paws after each street walk. Wipe dog`s muzzle after it ate. Check its eyes and ears every day and clean them when needed, using cotton swabs. You should clean your pet`s teeth once in 10 days, using a zoo-paste and a special brush. Trim its claws once a month.

Giant Schnauzers are not picky in what they eat. They can be fed with either natural or dry food of premium quality. Pet`s diet needs to be well-balanced. Dog`s size should be taken into consideration. Such natural ingredients can be given to them: not greasy meat — turkey and beef; offals; fat free dairy products — cottage cheese and kefir; grains — oatmeal and buckwheat; vegetables. Once a week, boneless fish fillet can be given to the dog: sea fish — uncooked, freshwater fish — only boiled. A puppy under the age of 4 months needs to eat 5 times a day, under 6 months — 4 times; under 8 months — 3 times; then — twice a day: in the morning and in the afternoon, preferably at the same time. An adult Schnauzer needs to eat 500 grams of dry food every day. Its natural diet has to include 25% of raw not greasy meat.

For comfortable life, Giant Schnauzers need much free space and interaction with people. They can be kept either in an apartment, or in an aviary. The second option is better for them. If the pet will live in an aviary, it needs to be insulated. However, after the Schnauzer turns 8 years old, it is better to keep it indoors. It is also crucial not to enchain the dog. It affects their psycho in a negative way. You need to walk a Giant Schnauzer for at least 30 minutes twice a day. It is important to use a leash for that purpose. These pets treat strangers with suspicion and might attack animals in street.

Health and Illnesses

Giant Schnauzers can live up to 15 years if treated well. On average, they live up to 12 years. Their health is strong. However, these pets are prone to some hereditary health issues, just like other dogs. 

Hip dysplasia is a common hereditary disorder that destroys joints of a dog. It occurs because of incorrect development of the acetabulum, which the head of the femoral bone is located in. Because acetabulum becomes flat, the head gets dislocated and starts rubbing against the joint. The dog starts feeling pain while moving. It is impossible to cure dysplasia. However, if it is diagnosed in time, its development can be slowed down.

Pancreatitis is inflammation of the pancreas which leads to its self-destruction. As a result of its normal functioning, everything what the pancreas produces — enzymes, pancreatic juice — goes to the duodenum. When pancreatitis develops, these substances get accumulated in the gland, thus destroying it. Because of it, the dog starts feeling pain. It develops the will to vomit, loss of appetite and fatigue. The treatment of pancreatitis depends on its symptoms. In order to prevent development of the disorder, it is better not to give the dog food from the table, and to control the size of its portions.

Lipoma is a fatty benign subcutaneous tumor. Lipomas, which are smaller than 5 cm, do not make the dog feel discomfort. However, they can grow up to 30 cm. Then, they need to be removed, so that these outgrowths do not grow into a malignant fibrosarcoma that might prevent the pet from walking.

Volvulus is a pathology that makes the stomach twist. By twisting, it blocks the duodenum and the esophagus. As result, food leftovers and gases get accumulated there. The stomach enlarges, and blood stops coming there. The dog starts feeling pain and loses an opportunity to move. If volvulus is severe, the pet might die in 30 minutes. That is why it is important not to overfeed the animal, as well as not to take it for a walk right after it ate. It is better to wait for 1–1,5 hours.

Cataract affects the transparency of the lens and makes dog`s eyesight worse. The lens focuses light rays on the retina. And because it gets darker, it stops performing its functions. Cataract can be either congenital or acquired. The latter is more common. Dogs older than 8 years are likely to develop it. It can be surgically cured.

History of the Breed

For the first time, Great Schnauzers were mentioned in Germany in the Middle Ages. Their ancestors were used for all kinds of purposes: to graze cattle, to guard farms, and to protect people from bandits. It is not known exactly how Great Schnauzers appeared. It is believed that the breed was developed by crossbreeding Shepherds, Black Great Danes and Standard Schnauzers. However, there are no proves of that. These pets were popular in Southern regions of Germany, as well as in mountainous regions of Austria. Having evaluated dogs` skills, breeders started working on development of the breed.

The peak of Great Schnauzers` popularity was in the 19th century. They were depicted on portraits of Princess of Bavaria — Elisabeth, and on pictures of other governors. A lot of dogs served in the police. Back then, Giant Schnauzers were believed to be the main police dogs, and they were valued as much as German Shepherds were. In 1902, these pets participated in a show for the first time. In 1909, 30 purebred Giant Schnauzers participated in a show in Munich. Then, they were called «Munich Schnauzers». However, away from Munich, these dogs were called «Beer Schnauzers» because they were used for delivering beer in pubs. Officially, Great Schnauzers were registered in 1923, when the standard of the breed was also developed.