Giant Schnauzer Dog Breed Information and Personality Traits

To assimilate to a family, early and extensive training is necessary for the highly intelligent and loyal giant schnauzer. His intelligence can be a blessing or a curse.

Giant Schnauzer At a glance
The Giant Schnauzer Dog Breed

During both World Wars, the giant schnauzer was used as a guard, trench and messenger dog.


Weight Range:

Male: 70-90 lbs.
Female: 65-85 lbs.

Height at Withers:

Male: 27 in.

Female: 25 in.


Floppy ears (naturally)


Exercise Requirements: >40 minutes/day
Energy Level: Very energetic
Longevity Range: 10-12 yrs.
Tendency to Drool: Low Tendency to Snore: Low
Tendency to Bark: Moderate
Tendency to Dig: Low Social/Attention Needs: Moderate

Bred For:

Herding, guarding


Length: Medium
Characteristics: Hard coat, straight
Colors: Solid black, salt and pepper
Overall Grooming Needs: Moderate

Club Recognition:

AKC Classification: Working
UKC Classification: Herding Dog
Prevalence: So-so

The giant schnauzer gives an impression of power and determination. The size of the dog can be intimidating. Females stand between 23 and 25 inches tall, and males stand between 25 and 27 inches tall. This breed weighs 65 to 90 pounds.

The colors for a giant schnauzer can be solid black or salt and pepper. Every shade of coat has a dark facial mask to emphasize the expression; the color of the mask harmonizes with the shade of the body coat. Eyebrows, whiskers, cheeks, throat, chest, legs and under tail are lighter in color but include "peppering."


Composed, watchful, courageous, easily trained, deeply loyal to family, playful, amiable in repose and a commanding figure when aroused …all of these traits are what make up the giant schnauzer. His sound and reliable temperament, rugged build, and dense weather-resistant wiry coat make the giant schnauzer one of the most useful and enduring working breeds.

The giant schnauzer is a powerful dog and needs a great deal of exercise. This dog needs walks, playtime and would love to accompany you while jogging. If you don't give a giant schnauzer enough exercise, he will invent his own games. Running through the house with toys, chasing the kids, getting in the way and basically being a pest are the ways a giant will display his boredom and restlessness.

Putting your giant schnauzer puppy out into the yard for exercise may provide you with a newly landscaped yard, replete with uprooted shrubs and yawning holes in your once-green lawn. Giant schnauzer puppies are bundles of energy.

They are also guard dogs, and are quite territorial. They instinctively feel their job is to protect their family. Some will assert their suspicions by growling and barking.

Living With:

Early socialization and extensive training are necessary for a giant schnauzer to turn into the type of family pet that you would be proud to have. The dog's high level of intelligence can be a blessing or a curse in disguise. While your giant schnauzer learns quickly, he will also use his intelligence to figure out clever ways to avoid obeying or complying with your commands. A giant schnauzer can often be selective about who gives commands and obey only those he considers to be the dominant family member.

You’ll need to be prepared to spend time stripping or clipping, trimming or scissoring the coat or using the services of a professional groomer. Giant schnauzers shed. Brushing, bathing and grooming are necessary for the dog's overall health.


The largest and most powerful of the German schnauzers, the giant (riesenschnauzer) schnauzer was developed by increasing the size of the standard schnauzer. All the schnauzers had their origins in the neighboring kingdoms of Bavaria and Wurtemmburg. People in these agricultural regions used dogs to drive their livestock to market, and the giant schnauzer was developed here as a cattle dog.

The standard schnauzers were crossed with the rough-haired sheepdogs and later the black Great Danes. The giant schnauzer may also be closely related to the Bouvier des Flandres. For many years, the giant schnauzer was called the Munchener and was known primarily as a cattle and driving dog.

When dogs were no longer used to drive cattle or other livestock, the giant schnauzer was used as a guard dog for butchers, stockyards and brewers. The giant schnauzer is excelled at guarding.

Just before World War I, the giant schnauzer began training for police work at the schools in Berlin and other principal cities. In 1925, this breed was given the "utility" dog rating for his abilities. Guarding and police work have been the giant schnauzer's main occupations since that time. During both of the World Wars, the giant schnauzer was used as a guard, trench and messenger dog. Participation in World War II greatly reduced this breed's numbers, especially the salt and pepper variety.

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