Meet the Breed: The Giant Schnauzer



  • Height: 23"- 28”
  • Weight: 55-105 pounds
  • Historical function: Cattle driver and guard dog.
  • Modern function: Companion, guard dog
  • AKC classification: Working

Physical Characteristics:

The Giant Schnauzer is a large dog (not actually a giant, though.) It is simply a larger version of the Standard Schnauzer. The coat is wiry and weatherproof with distinctive long whiskers and eyebrows. The coat can be black or salt and pepper. The ears can be cropped or left natural. The tail is often docked though the practice is now illegal in Europe.

History of the Breed:

The Standard Schnauzer and German Pinscher were commonly found in the same litter as the wire-haired Schnauzer, but selective divergent breeding created two seperate breeds. The Giant Schnauzer was created by introducing the black Great Dane and the Bouvier des Flandres to the line. This larger dog was useful for driving cattle, a police dog, and a military dog. The dog was also used as a guard dog. 


The Giant Schnauzer is an intelligent, energetic dog with high exercise needs. If you are unable to live an active lifestyle with this dog (exercising twice daily) this is not the breed for you. Can be territorial because of their guard dog roots. Not suitable for apartment life. Devoted to their owner.

  • Best suited for: Active families, runners, joggers, bikers.
  • Preferred living conditions: This dog needs a lot of interaction and exercise activity to be a good pet. Needs a large yard or, better yet, acreage.

Care and Health:

  • Grooming requirements: Requires regular grooming, including brushing and stripping.
  • Exercise needs: Daily walk and/or run.
  • Life expectancy: 12-15 years.
  • Health concerns: May be prone to cancer, bloat, epilepsy and hip dysplasia.

Breed Club Links: Giant Schnauzer Club of America Perfect Pairings: WalkyDog Stainless Steel Bike Leash

Have any stories about a Giant Schnauzer? Please share!

Photo courtesy of Christopher Macsurak.

This entry was posted by Mary.
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