The Giant Schnauzer, also for a time known as the Russian Bear Schnauzer, the Munich Schnauzer the Munchener, the Munchen Dog and the Riesenschnauzer , is a large, intelligent, loyal and sometimes headstrong breed developed in Germany hundreds of years ago. The first Giant Schnauzer was shown in Munich in 1909 under the breed name of the Russian Bear Schnauzer. The Giant Schnauzer was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1930, as a member of the Working Group.
The Giant is the largest of the three Schnauzer breeds. He was created by German land owners who wanted a tough dog to drive their cattle. It’s thought that they started with the large and shaggy “Bear Schnauzer” and mixed in some herding and working dogs such as the Bouvier des Flandres, the black Great Dane, and the Standard Schnauzer. Today’s Giant Schnauzer has many good qualities, but he is demanding.
The Giant Schnauzer is smart, but like any dog with a working background, he is an independent thinker. You must begin early teaching him to think of you as his leader. The Giant Schnauzer is not an appropriate choice for a first-time dog owner.
It’s important to give him a job to do, from his daily training exercises to participating in a dog sport such as agility, obedience, rally, or tracking. Giant Schnauzers are energetic and athletic, and they enjoy long walks, jogging, and hiking on leash. Plan to take yours for at least a 20-minute walk twice a day, at a good pace, plus training practice for 20 minutes to an hour.
Be aware that a Giant Schnauzer can be messy to keep. His beard will drip water after he drinks and will need to be cleaned after meals. You may also need to wipe walls or furniture if he shakes his head before you can get to a towel. His coat picks up all kinds of dirt and debris which may be deposited throughout your home.
The Giant Schnauzer is best suited to a home with a large yard surrounded by a solid fence that is at least five or six feet high. Do not rely on an underground electronic fence to keep him contained. The shock it provides is nothing to this tough dog, and he won’t let it deter him from leaving the yard if that’s what he wants to do.
Giant Schnauzers are a good choice for families with older children. They can be too active in the presence of toddlers and may accidentally knock them over.
The Giant Schnauzer’s coat must be brushed or combed at least a couple of times a week to prevent or remove mats and tangles. To maintain the Giant Schnauzer’s distinctive look, you’ll need to trim his head and body regularly. You can take him to a professional groomer or learn to do it yourself. Other grooming requirements include cleaning the ears and trimming the nails as needed, brushing his teeth, and bathing him when he’s dirty.
While you might think of him as an outdoor dog, nothing could be farther from the truth. Chaining a Giant Schnauzer out in the yard and giving him little or no attention is not only cruel, it can also lead to aggression and destructive behavior. Giant Schnauzers are guardian dogs, devoted to their people. A Giant Schnauzer should have access to a securely fenced yard, but when the family is home, he should be in the house.
- Giant Schnauzers are energetic breed and require at least two long walks per day or 30 to 60 minutes of vigorous exercise in the backyard.
- Without proper exercise and mental stimulation, Giant Schnauzers can become very destructive and difficult to handle.
- Giant Schnauzers are not recommended for first-time or timid owners. They need a strong leader who can provide clear and consistent rules without resorting to physical force.
- Although they are a very affectionate breed, the Giant Schnauzer is not recommended for homes with young children because of their size and forceful behavior.
- Giant Schnauzers will make excellent guard dogs.
- Apartments are not suitable dwellings for Giant Schnauzers. They need a large fenced yard where they can play and run safely.
- Socialization is a must with this breed. They can be aggressive toward people, dogs, and other animals they don’t know. They are naturally suspicious of strangers and need to become accustomed to experiencing new people and situations.
- Giant Schnauzers are companion dogs and should live indoors. They thrive when they are with the people they love.
- Giant Schnauzers require brushing one to three times a week. Their coats must also be stripped or clippered to remain neat looking.
- Giant Schnauzers are intelligent dogs who learn quickly and excel at a variety of jobs. Be firm and consistent, and use positive reinforcement techniques such as praise, play, and food rewards. Giant Schnauzers will see and take advantage of any inconsistencies in your behavior.
- Never buy a Giant Schnauzer from a puppy mill, a pet store, or a breeder who doesn’t provide health clearances or guarantees. Look for a reputable breeder who tests her breeding dogs to make sure they’re free of genetic diseases that they might pass onto the puppies and who breeds for sound temperaments.
- The Schnauzer hallmark is a harsh beard and eyebrows.
- Its large body is nearly square, while the head has a strong rectangular appearance.
- There are three Schnauzer breeds, classified by size.
- The breed is named for a show dog named Schnauzer, who won a dog show in Hanover in 1879.