(Riesenschnauzer) The Giant Schnauzer, like the name suggests, is a large dog much bigger than their other Schnauzer counterparts but with the same appearance. A long unusual shaped head leads to a rectangular muzzle which has a long beard. Small round eyes are set fairly close together on the face. Sitting on top of their head are two small folded ears that usually stick out on the side of their head. A long neck leads from their perky face to their very square body. Long thick legs lead to their big round feet. Covering their body is a unique fur which is sleek on the back but furry on the face, belly, and legs. Only two colors are seen on the Giant Schnauzer: salt and pepper or black sometimes with small white markings.
White markings on black, or salt and pepper are considered a fault. White may be present, but never in spots. The ears can be cropped and are naturally very long. The eyes should be big, dark and almond shaped. The coat should never be curly. This breed is powerful and very fast.
The Giant Schnauzer is a difficult dog to deal with for almost any owner and should be trained extremely well at a very young age. This breed does well with their family but is not good with children and can be overly protective causing them to be unfriendly with strangers. Plus, if they have little socialization, aggression will arise with other dogs, especially if the other dogs are dominant. This breed is almost too intelligent because they will often use that to get into trouble, especially if they are not receiving enough exercise. Barking is also going to happen a lot and cannot be trained out easily.
Giant Schnauzers can be excellent family companions if socialized with children and other pets from a very early age. Obedience training is not optional with this breed and it is an cornerstone of successful rearing . Well trained Giant Schnauzers are an absolute pleasure to live with, but if untrained they may be unruly and in even some cases aggressive. Males can be aggressive to other males but are gentle to female dogs and cats. They are very devoted to their owners and need lots of walking and running. It's advised that these dogs are not for older inactive people.
In Germany, the country of origin, the PSK and FCI official standard calls for 35 - 47 Kg or 77-103 pounds.
The Giant Schnauzer has many common and often deadly health concerns including cancer, bloat, epilepsy, and hip dysplasia which are all becoming extremely common in the breed. Even with these health concerns, many live 12-15 years.
Created by crossing Great Danes with Bouvier des Flandres and the Standard Schnauzer, the Giant Schnauzer was meant to help drive cattle in Bavaria, Germany. Today, the breed can fill plenty of other useful roles in addition to being a companion.
The Giant Schnauzer was mainly bred as a watch dog to protect beer carts in Bavaria. They were also used to protect cattle during drives from predators like bears.
Grooming is not very difficult for the Giant Schnauzer even with their unique coat. Brushing should be done once a week and trimming should be done around the ears and eyes regularly. Four times a year, their coat should be clipped to a consistent length all over. Exercise is the most important thing about owning this great breed. Two times a day, this breed needs intense exercise and should also get chances to run off leash, otherwise they are completely anxious indoors.
Grooming for the Giant Schnauzer is not easy, and clipping is not recommended for show dogs. Show dogs are trimmed by plucking their hair. If clipped, their coat will become soft and redish. Clipping is ok for dogs used as pets.
The Giant Schnauzer is a family dog that only wants to be with its family. Children, other animals, and strangers will usually not get kind greetings from this breed unless training has been done. The hardest part for owners is dealing with such an intelligent dog that is also large and able to reach almost every place in a home. Apartments are not suitable for a Giant Schnauzer because they are extremely active and enjoy having a yard. Exercise is essential and time consuming for owners. Only owners who are extremely dedicated to training, discipline, and exercise will have a happy life with their Giant Schnauzer.
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