The Giant Schnauzer (Riesenschnauzer in German) is a large breed categorised by the Kennel Club under the Working Group. It was developed in Munich, Germany by cattle farmers for driving cattle in large ranches and is the biggest of the three breeds of Schnauzers. It is a mix of several large dogs, bred for strength, stamina, and temperament for herding cattle and guarding work. At first glance, the Giant Schnauzer gives the general appearance of a powerfully built dog, a robust breed that appears almost equal in height and length. Its large size is so imposing, that intruders will have a second thought of messing around with this breed. Its keen expression and alert attitude make it an effective guard dog. This wonderful giant breed is flexible, strong, intelligent, and energetic. It runs very fast and has a large amount of stamina and energy. Its physical appearance is characterised by a harsh and wiry weather-resistant coat that comes in pure black or pepper and salt (dark grey to light grey), large v-shaped ears, bushy eyebrows, coarse short moustache and chin whiskers. Dogs stand between 65 – 70cm while bitches have a height of 60 – 65cm.
All dog breeds have different levels of intellect. Some dog breeds; working dogs in particular, are very independent thinkers and have been evolved to be very intelligent. Typically, a highly intelligent dog does well in obedience training and other activities. A highly intelligent dog can be very demanding and do require lots of physical and mental stimulation. If you’re looking for a relatively laid-back dog, that doesn’t require lots of mental and physical stimulation, then you must fully understand the level of intelligence of your dog breed of choice.
Before committing to a certain dog breed, you must fully understand their intellect levels and their specific levels of energy. To keep your dog well-balanced and happy, their needs must be met and maintained.
All dog breeds have different needs when it comes to the level of exercise they require. For the high energy dogs; which are your typical working dogs, they have a lot of energy and require lots of daily exercise along with plenty of mental stimulation. A highly energetic dog breed would suit an individual or family that is equally as active and loves the outdoors. There are also breeds that have relatively low exercise needs, such as toy dog breeds. Although they require daily exercise and mental stimulation, they’re just as happy chilling at home with their loved ones. This type of dog breed would suit an individual or family that prefers the peace and quiet and relaxation.
Before deciding on your chosen dog breed, Mypetzilla recommends that you research the exercise needs and whether you’re well equipped before committing to buying or adopting a particular dog breed.
There are several dog breeds that are known and potentially predisposed to developing health related conditions. Sensible breeding can help prevent the onset of health related conditions and this should always be taken into condition when researching your dog breed of choice. Before committing to a dog, you should speak to the breeder about any health related conditions that may affect the dog you’re looking to buy or adopt. You can also request to see any test results from genetic testing.
There are many dog breeds that tolerate children really well and are not affected by the constant noise and need for play-time. However, there are some dog breeds that don’t do very well with children and can become frustrated and snappy. That being said, all children should be shown how to handle and care for a dog in their home and should always be supervised when playing. As much as a dog can become annoyed and snappy with a younger child, the child can also become less tolerant and misbehaved towards the dog.
Mypetzilla recommends that you always supervise play-time between your children and dog. Children need to respect the boundaries and feeding time for the dog and likewise for the child. We also strongly advise that play-time doesn’t get out of control and too rough which can cause injury to both child and dog.
There are lots of dog breeds that are well suited to living in an apartment. It’s worthwhile noting that you need to check that you’re allowed dogs in your building before committing to bringing one home. If you do decide to own a dog and are living in an apartment, then you must make sure that they have plenty of room to roam around and frequent walks outside to prevent them from becoming bored and depressed.
Mypetzilla recommends that you check as to whether you’re allowed dogs in your apartment building and to fully ensure your apartment is dog proof before committing fully to bringing a dog home.
All dog breeds shed to some extent, some more than others. With this, all potential dog owners should be aware of this, as it will be a matter of putting up with some hair or lots of hair being left around the house. Depending on the dog breed, there are certain times during the year where some dog breeds shed the most and this is typically around spring and autumn. However, there are some dog breeds that shed all year round.
If you’re very house-proud, they you may want to choose a dog breed that sheds very little. Mypetzilla strongly recommends that you fully research your dog breed of choice and their shedding levels before committing.
All dog breeds require different levels of grooming. Some dog breeds are easier to maintain than others and only require a weekly brush to help keep their coat in good condition. There are some dog breeds that require regular trips to the grooming parlour and this can come at a huge cost. Either way, all dog breeds require their coat and nails to be maintained and cared for.
Mypetzilla strongly advices that potential owners research the grooming needs and associated costs with their desired dog breed before fully committing.
Barking is a necessity for your dog to communicate. However, it can also be a nuisance to yourself and fellow neighbours if it’s not kept under control. If you live in an apartment, then you’re better off choosing a dog breed that doesn’t bark as much. If you live further out and far from civilisation, then it’s worthwhile looking into a dog breed that does bark and will bark to alert you of any other company on your property.
Mypetzilla advices that you research the behaviours of your dog breed of choice and whether this would work for you and your family. It’s worth noting that dogs can be trained to bark less and this will take a lot of effort and training from the owner.
Majority dog breeds form very close relationships with their owners and as a result can become very stressed when left alone for a period of time. If a dog is suffering with separation anxiety then they’re very likely to become destructive around the home as a way of dealing with their anxieties. Dog breeds that do form strong bonds with their owners are better accustomed to a household where one member of the family remains home, whilst the others are out, this is to help avoid further anxieties and destructive behaviours.
Mypetzilla recommends that all potential owners research their dog breed of choice on their bonding abilities and how well-adjusted they are to being left alone at home. It’s also worth noting that you should never leave your dog for longer than 4 hours alone at home.
There are certain dogs breeds that have very high intellect and therefore easier to train than other dog breeds. There is also a downside to this; as fast as they learn the new trick or command, they can easily pick up bad habits just as quick. Other dog breeds that don’t rank as high on the intellect scale require patience and plenty of reward treats from their owners during training.
Before committing to a certain dog breed, Mypetzilla advices you to fully research your dog breed of choice and their level of training needs.
All dog breeds have different energy levels. The working dog breed has one of the highest energy levels in comparison to the low-energy dog’s breeds such as the Toy dog breed group. To keep a dog truly happy, healthy and well-balanced, their energy levels must be met.
High-energy dog breeds need lots of exercise and mental stimulation. High energy dog breeds would suit an active family or person. Dog breeds that are considered as low-energy, love to spend the majority of their time relaxing and sleeping in their favourite, comfy spot. A low-energy dog breed would suit an individual that equally loves the quiet life and relaxing lifestyle. Of course, low-energy dogs still need their daily walks and mental stimulation, just not as much as a high-energy dog breed.
Mypetzilla recommends that potential owner research fully on the type of dog breed that would suit their existing lifestyle and to also take into consideration the dog breeds energy levels and exercise requirements.
Before you decide on what dog breed would be suitable for you and your family, you must consider whether they’re a friendly dog breed and if you already have other pets within the household. For homes that already have dogs and other domestic pets, then it’s wise to choose a dog breed that has a friendly personality and temperament.
There are some dog breeds that mix well with other dog breeds and there are others that don’t suit one another and this could potentially cause issues later on down the line.
Another important point to consider is whether the dog breed of choice is friendly towards people and children.
Mypetzilla recommends to research fully on the right dog breed for your family and to also consider their temperament and characteristics.
The Giant Schnauzer was developed during the 17th century and is the largest among the three Schnauzer breeds (the other two being Standard Schnauzer and the Miniature Schnauzer.) The first known Giant Schnauzers originated in Bavaria and Württemberg, Germany. Cattle ranchers wanted a dog that could effectively herd wayward cattle and guard livestock and property at the same time so they set out to develop a breed that could have the strength, stamina and temperament to do so. Using the Standard Schnauzer, they added the black Great Dane, the Rottweiler, the Bouvier des Flandres, the Doberman, Thuringian Shepherds, and the German Pinscher to the mix. The result was a magnificent dog perfect for assisting on farms and driving livestock to market while effectively being able to do guarding duties on the farmer’s property. When train transportation for livestock became the norm, the Giant Schnauzer moved into the city guarding large business establishments such as breweries, stockyards, and large factories. It was brought to the United Kingdom in the early 1960s.
This giant breed was originally bred to be a versatile farm dog that can both drive animals to market and guard properties. Being able to do so means that the dog needs to be bold, strong, agile, reliable, intelligent, good-natured, alert, and brave. Remarkably, these are all traits possessed by the Giant Schnauzer. It is usually a quiet breed but is typically wary of strangers and has a strong territorial instinct which is why it is an excellent guard dog. It has a potentially aggressive behaviour due to its breeding but nevertheless, reserved most of the time. This intelligent breed is a working dog so it becomes bored easily when it has nothing to do which can lead to unwanted and destructive behaviour
The Giant Schnauzer is easily trained because of its intelligence and natural behaviour to please its master. Daily training exercises are essential for the breed because it is energetic and athletic. Participating in dog sport such as agility, obedience contest, rally, or tracking will benefit this breed. A half an hour to an hour of training in these sports can help channel the enormous energy that this breed has. Early socialisation and training is the key to raising a well-mannered and well-balanced Giant Schnauzer.
The breed requires regular grooming because it does not shed its coat. The harsh and wiry weather-resistant coat should be clipped or stripped (usually every 8-10 weeks), depending on whether the dog is for conformation show or simply a companion dog. Brushing and combing on a weekly basis helps maintain the coat healthy. Pay close attention to the legs and the beard to prevent tangles. The beard can easily collect drool and food particles so make sure to clean them frequently. Bathing is on a “as-needed” basis but care must be taken because there are some Giant Schnauzers that are allergic to shampoo.
The Giant Schnauzer has a median lifespan of 12 - 15 years. It is prone to minor and major health issues including:
Exercise requirements should be at least two hours of vigorous physical activity per day. The Giant Schnauzer is a working breed and as such, it requires a lot of work to stay alert and healthy. An owner should make sure that the dog always has a job to do. Long walks and jogging are essential daily routines that must be observed if one is to own a Giant Schnauzer. It is definitely not a dog for a stay-at-home owner. It will thrive when given a home to an active family who loves the outdoors.
The Giant Schnauzer is described as very good with older children (typically age 11 and up) but care must be taken when it is around small children because its sheer size can easily knock a small child down. Older children who know how to handle a large dog properly will suit the Giant Schnauzer best. It will challenge unfamiliar dogs because of its territorial and dominant nature and may become aggressive with the same sex, particularly males. Cats and Giant Schnauzers do not tend to get along well but early introduction and socialisation with other household animals can correct this issue.