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The Giant Schnauzer is one breed that feels the need for speed. These versatile dogs crave adrenaline and have an undeniable herding instinct. They're strong, too! German herders developed the breed to drive cattle; they also pulled produce carts to market.
Today, Giant Schnauzers are valued guard dogs and companions. Some also serve in law enforcement.
Originally from Germany, this large-sized and high-energy breed can grow to between 55-85 pounds and lives an average of 12-15 years. The breed is recognized by the American Kennel Club and classified as a member of the Working breed group.
AKC Recognized: Y
Breed's Original Pastime: Hunting, Guarding
Breed Group: Working
Average Lifespan: 12-15 years
Bark Factor: Moderate
Energy level A sprinter
Exercise needs An hour or more a day
Playfullness and Games All day, every day
Attachment to People I'm looking for more of a roommate than a companion
Behavior with Other Dogs Shy. I may prefer to be the only dog.
Behavior with Other Small Pets I'll probably want to chase or will be shy
Behavior Toward Strangers I'm a single-family or person dog at heart
Trainability It's fun, but I may lose focus
Watchdog ability I know all that's going on, all the time
Protection ability I can be highly protective
Grooming needs Regular brushing, probably professional grooming
Cold tolerance I'll probably need a jacket in the cold
Heat tolerance A warm day can be fun, but not too hot please.
BEHAVIOR & TRAINING
WHAT IS A GIANT SCHNAUZER'S PERSONALITY LIKE?
Steady and reliable, Giant Schnauzers are intelligent, devoted, and very brave. They can also be quite playful and affectionate. Their size and energy level means that they'll do best with supervised children and other dogs. They can be shy or standoffish with strangers and don't usually do well with other pets.
WHAT IS GIANT SCHNAUZER BEHAVIOR LIKE?
These alert and active dogs have an imposing presence. Your Giant Schnauzer will need regular exercise and lots of it. This is an energetic, powerful, and rugged working breed. They make for vigilant, dependable, territorial, and very protective watchdogs.
HOW EASY IS IT TO TRAIN A GIANT SCHNAUZER?
Giant Schnauzers are very trainable. But like most smart and stubborn dogs, they have something of an independent streak. You'll want to be sure you have a fenced-in space for your furry friend to run in, and preferably a job for this diligent working dog to do — they're great at obedience, agility, and carting work.
CARE & HEALTH
HOW MUCH DO GIANT SCHNAUZERS SHED AND WHAT ARE THEIR GROOMING NEEDS?
Giant Schnauzers have wiry and dense medium-length double coats. They shed seasonally, but they don't shed much. Plan for daily brushing and regular clipping and trimming or stripping. Bathe as needed.
WHAT HEALTH PROBLEMS DO GIANT SCHNAUZERS HAVE?
Giant Schnauzers are a hardy breed. Some may develop eye ailments, hip dysplasia, or autoimmune diseases.
Breed history has moved while this section is under construction. Please check out the first tab for fun facts about this breed's history. You can also read on to learn about this breed's ideal family situation.
ARE GIANT SCHNAUZERS GOOD FOR PEOPLE WITH ALLERGIES?
The American Kennel Club lists Giant Schnauzers among its breeds recommended for allergy sufferers. This breed sheds infrequently and predictably. It produces less dander than most dogs.
You can reduce your furry friend's impact on your allergies with frequent baths and brushings to reduce loose hairs and allergy-aggravating proteins in your pet's dander. Use a damp cloth to wipe off your dog after playing outside. Smaller dogs have less surface area, so they produce comparatively less dander than larger breeds — definitely something to keep in mind with a dog as large as a Giant Schnauzer! Remember that no breed is 100% hypoallergenic, and any breed can aggravate allergies.
WHAT'S A GIANT SCHNAUZER'S BEST DAY?
The whole day watching out for you and the kids—oh, and a long, supervised romp in a new area—is all this dog needs to make each day her best day.
SHOULD I ADOPT A GIANT SCHNAUZER?
Giant Schnauzers are probably not the best choice for a novice dog owner. Though lovable, affectionate, and playful, these are serious working dogs who need a person or people to keep them active and engaged. This breed is a great choice for folks with mild allergies looking for a large dog who can keep up with an active lifestyle. Brave and reliable, your Giant Schnauzer will be happiest and healthiest if he can be active, useful, and near you as much as possible.
Have you decided that a Giant Schnauzer is the perfect dog for you? Why not be your new best friend's hero and adopt a rescue! Be sure to check out our article on what to expect when you're adopting a dog or cat.