Giant Schnauzer

Giant Schnauzer At-a-Glance

These beautiful black dogs are one of the three Schnauzer breeds, being of course the largest one.

Giant Schnauzers originally came from southern Germany, where they were bred to be working farm dogs. They were also used to herd cattle, guard businesses, and even assisted soldiers during both world wars.  

Today, they excel in police departments, the military, as well as search and rescue. They also make both excellent watchdogs and guard dogs.

Weight (pounds)
Male: 60-85
Female: 55-75
Height (inches)
Male: 25-27
Female: 23-25
Lifespan (years)

Dog Breed Group

Characteristics Ratings

We rate 19 characteristics for each breed, divided into three categories:
Highest Rated – Characteristics for which this breed is rated 4 or 5 stars (on a 5 star scale).
Neutral Rated – Characteristics that rated 3 stars.
Lowest Rated – Characteristics that rated only 1 or 2 stars.

Highest Rated

  • Good Family Dog
  • Low Drooling
  • Likes to Play
  • Protective Nature
  • Handles Change Easily
  • Easy to Train
  • High Energy Level
  • Tolerates Cold Climate
  • Good General Health
  • High Intelligence

Neutral Rated

  • Kid Friendly
  • Good With Other Dogs
  • Low Shedding
  • Friendly to Strangers
  • Low Amount of Barking

Lowest Rated

  • Suitable for Small Yards/Apartments
  • Good for Novice Owners
  • Tolerates Being Left Alone
  • Tolerates Hot Climate

General Overview

Giant Schnauzers are loyal and affectionate family dogs that do well with the entire family. That said, they will tend to bond most with a single person.

They are generally good with children but may be too playful and active for young children. As with all large breeds, they should always be supervised around little ones.

This is a highly protective and territorial breed that is wary around strangers and other dogs. Their natural protective instincts mean that they don’t require formal training to be good guard dogs. To them, the most important thing is to protect their territory and their family.

However, they are extremely smart in recognizing what is and isn’t a threat and will rarely attack unless confronted and provoked. However, given their protective nature, early socialization and training are needed with this breed.

From a grooming standpoint, Giant Schnauzers have hair instead of fur, so they are relatively low shedders. They do, however, need do need regular grooming. Fortunately, they are low droolers, which is a good thing given their long facial hair.

These are stubborn and strong-willed dogs that very much want to be the alpha, so early and proper training is essential. If you miss a step here, you will end up as second-in-command in your own house! They are thus a poor choice for novice dog owners.

Giant Schnauzers are heavy chewers. It’s important to invest in a well-made doggy bone for them to chew on. Otherwise, they will use your furniture instead.

Giant Schnauzers have a tremendous amount of energy and therefore need a tremendous amount of exercise! If not provided, they may resort to destructive behaviors such as digging, barking, and chewing, all things you do not want in dogs this big.

This means they are best for active families that can provide intense and fun activities such as canine sports and retrieving games. They make excellent companions for any sort of active lifestyle.

Giant Schnauzers are highly intelligent dogs, but can also be stubborn and strong-willed when it comes to training. Because of this, they need an experienced owner who knows how to lead and use positive reinforcement techniques.

Schnauzers will only learn under positive reinforcement. They will not respond at all to harsh training and punishments and will simply refuse to obey. Trained properly, they will reward you with a superb pet and companion.

Giant Schnauzers enjoy overall excellent health. Being a large breed, they can be prone to some of the diseases typical to large dogs, such as hip and elbow dysplasia, as well as bloat. But they are less prone to these things than many other large breeds and have one of the longest lifespans, at 12-15 years. Chances are, you’ll have this loyal companion for a long time.

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