Giant Schnauzer Dogs

Take what you know about the Standard Schnauzer—its devotion, high-energy and protectiveness—and turn it up a notch. Giant Schnauzers are bigger and bolder than their smaller cousins, but just as fun and playful. However, they need lots of attention and guidance. Given plenty of playtime, constructive games, obedience exercises and positive attention, the Giant Schnauzer will be perfectly charming.

Giant Schnauzer

Giant Schnauzer Pictures

  • Giant Schnauzer dog named Zoey ('01-'06)
  • Giant Schnauzer dog named Ruby
  • Giant Schnauzer dog named Allie
  • Giant Schnauzer dog named Pilot
  • Giant Schnauzer dog named Zeus Thompson
  • Giant Schnauzer dog named Kohl
 
see Giant Schnauzer pictures »

Quick Facts

  • 55 - 80 pounds
  • 23 - 28 inches

Ideal Human Companions

    • Experienced dog handlers
    • Families with older children
    • Outdoorsy types

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Trademark Traits

    • Thick, dense coat
    • Beard and moustache
    • Watchful and protective
    • Loving
    • Loyal and dependable
    • Courageous
 

What They Are Like to Live With

Giant Schnauzers are very attentive companions. They stay very close to their owners and sometimes watch their every move. Affectionate and attached, they love to be involved every household activity.

Giant Schnauzers are superb watchdogs. Their commanding presence, combined with an intense loyalty to family, makes them a formidable household guard. However, they can easily distinguish between friend and foe. Giant Schnauzers will bark when they sense a threat to the household, but won’t make random or excessive noise.

Things You Should Know

Giant Schnauzers need lots of outdoor exercise. Take them for vigorous daily walks or long jogs to help them maintain physical and mental health. An bored or ignored Giant Schnauzer can become a little agitated.

Clever and trainable, Giant Schnauzers nevertheless have strong hunting instincts. The sight of small creatures—whether squirrels, birds or cats—could easily get them excited. Make sure to always walk them on a leash, and maintain a firm but encouraging hand while training.

A healthy Giant Schnauzer can live as long as 15 years. Common health issues include hip dysplasia, eye problems, joint problems and bone disease. Giant Schnauzers should be brushed regularly to avoid matting, and their thick coats and beards need regular maintenance from a professional.

Giant Schnauzer History

While the Miniature Schnauzer and Standard Schnauzer were bred to be ratters and watchdogs, the Giant Schnauzer was intended for bigger tasks: hauling, herding and even barroom bouncing. Bred by crossing Standard Schnauzers with much bigger dogs (e.g. Great Danes), Giant Schnauzers managed to excel in a wide range of tasks, including cattle driving, police work and of course household companionship.

The Look of a Giant Schnauzer

Essentially a larger, stronger version of the Standard Schnauzer, Giant Schnauzers have large, square-built frames covered in dense, wiry coats. Their long heads have distinctive bushy moustaches, beards and eyebrows, not to mention deeply set eyes, powerful muzzles and V-shaped ears that point up and forward. Their tails, sometimes docked, are carried high. They come in solid black and salt & pepper. Overall, Giant Schnauzers have a sturdy, commanding and lively look.

Talk About Giant Schnauzers 

Approach with caution!

I have a 7-year-old male, and while the experience of having him has been great and I love him to pieces, I would warn anyone contemplating getting a Giant Schnauzer to be cautious about it.

They are high-energy, very protective, stubborn, pushy, require a significant amount of grooming, and can be really loud.

I have talked to a lot of other Giant Schnauzer owners and they share the same experiences. I have heard that males are more difficult than females. It takes an experienced dog handler, a commitment to training, and a lot of patience. If you decide you're ready for a challenge, go for it, because they are also a loving, fun, and beautiful breed.

~Ivy R, owner of a Giant Schnauzer