Created to become an idealized breed of working dog, the Giant Schnauzer offers intelligence, high energy, and the drive to make their owners happy. These beautiful dogs can be quite challenging at times, but not if you know what to expect from them.
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Giant Schnauzer Appearance
Boasting a rugged build and serious demeanor, the Giant Schnauzer reveals much of its intelligence behind its lively, engaged eyes. The outer coat of the breed is dense and quite wiry. Some would even describe it as hard. The hairs stand up from its skin, and you can find a very soft undercoat beneath that. The harsh-looking beard and eyebrows are both considered to be hallmarks of the typical Giant Schnauzer appearance.
The color of the coat itself can vary somewhat from one dog to the next. Some have a coat that consists entirely of solid black. Others have a coat that could more accurately be described as pepper and salt. With the pepper and salt examples, the effect is created because the white hairs have banded with the black hairs. From a distance, you may even call a salt-and-pepper Giant Schnauzer grey. The double coat can present some challenges, in terms of grooming.
Giant Schnauzer Grooming
Because of the unique double coat, the Giant Schnauzer should be brushed using a brush with very stiff bristles. Using a slicker brush can also be effective. They should be brushed roughly three times per week. This cuts down on the likelihood of the dog developing mats in its undercoat. You will also want to make sure you wash your Giant Schnauzer’s face after every meal.
The standard coat with this breed should be hand-stripped regularly. This is something that most owners do every four-to-six months or so. This is necessary for anyone who plans to show their dog, but it can also be an important step for those who simply like the way their dog’s coat looks and feels. If the dog is just a pet, and you aren’t particularly obsessed with the Giant Schnauzer looking and feeling a certain way, you can accomplish a great deal by simply clippering. However, this can cause the dog’s coat to eventually change, in terms of both texture and touch.
Your Giant Schnauzer’s teeth should be brushed at least two or three times a week. Some would go so far as to suggest this should be done daily. Regardless, you want to brush to remove tartar buildup, bacteria, and more. Nails should be trimmed once or twice per month. The grooming experience overall needs to be as positive as possible. Treats, praise, and other rewards are essential, particularly in the beginning.
Giant Schnauzer Temperament
Calm and loving are two excellent words to describe this breed. This is why they are frequently known as a companion dog. As mentioned before, these dogs are deeply intelligent, and they tend to be fiercely loyal to their owners. These are dogs known for their assertiveness, as well as their boldness. It is unlikely that this dog is ever going to be considered shy. Furthermore, this is a breed that is noted for taking what it wants. They make exceptional guard dogs and working dogs for all of these reasons.
At the same time, certain precautions should be kept in mind. It is not advisable to have this dog in a home with very young children. Experts believe these dogs work best in households with children at least twelve years of age, if not older. They sometimes do not get along with other dogs of the same sex, and they shouldn’t be left alone with cats for any meaningful length of time. Training them can be a bit challenging, as it requires consistency and firmness. These dogs can also get bored very easily.
Giant Schnauzer Training
This is not a good breed choice for anyone who is not prepared to give their dog some sort of job or responsibility. That is what this breed is designed for, and that is what your training should keep in mind. Training requires consistency and discipline. Lots of rewards and encouragement will be necessary, as well.
Furthermore, this is also a breed that requires consistent work and tasks. You will need to work on training for much of the dog’s life, even if you’re just brushing up on the basics.
Giant Schnauzer History
The largest of three distinctive Schnauzer breeds, the Giant Schnauzer was initially developed in Germany. The idea was to create a breed that would be well-suited to the task of driving cattle. As time went on, the dogs were also used in places such as stockyards and butcher shops. Some were even utilized as guard dogs at some of Germany’s most famous breweries!
It is believed that the dog was created by combining Standard Schnauzers with smooth-coated dogs, the rough-haired sheepdog, and a bit of the Great Dane breed. The dogs eventually made their way over to the United States, with the first dedicated club forming in 1962.
Munich Schnauzer, Munchener, Russian Bear Schnauzer