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About Giant Schnauzers
The Giant Schnauzer is a member of the working group in the United States. Its body appearance should resemble a larger and more powerful version of the Standard Schnauzer. The Giant is a bold and memorable figure of a dog. Once seen, the Giant Schnauzer is seldom forgotten. It is a strongly built, nearly square dog in proportions of body length to height at the withers or shoulder. It is a strongly built dog and well muscled. Its temperament combines a strong spirit and alertness with a high intelligence and reliability. The Giant is composed, watchful, courageous, fairly easily trained, deeply loyal to family, playful, amiable and a commanding figure when aroused. The sound, reliable temperament, rugged build, and dense weather-resistant wiry coat make for one of the most useful, powerful, and enduring working breeds. For some Giants, a five-foot fence can be easily cleared in one smooth jump. Other Giants have a much higher prey drive, and that becomes another training issue if the dog is just living in a family home and not making use of its drive potential.
The Giant Schnauzer originated in Germany where it is known as the Riesenschnauzer and the name means 'snout'. It has evolved as a keen herding dog. Just before the First World War the Giant began to be used in Germany as a police dog.
The Giant Schnauzer is a dog that must be groomed on a regular basis, once every 6-8 weeks for most Giants. Their beard and furnishings must be combed out at least once a week, but every few days is preferable. The dogs are from 23.5 inches to 27.5 inches at the shoulder and can weigh upwards of 95 pounds for the larger males. These sizes do vary and while they are called Giant Schnauzers, they are not giant sized dogs, just big dogs. The Giant Schnauzer is either black or pepper salt in color with about 85% of the dogs being black. The Giant has eyebrows and a beard. Giant owners learn to keep beard towels on hand for wet beards after every drink.
The Giant Schnauzer is a highly intelligent dog. They love to learn and can be good at obedience, agility and herding to mention a few things they do well. A Giant is a working dog and needs a job to do. The Giant is a well-built athlete who needs exercise to keep in shape. It is commonly said that a tired Giant is a good Giant.
Giant Schnauzers are people dogs and do not do well if left outside. They want to be inside with their family, hence the nickname of 'velcro dogs'. If left outside, it will not be good for the dog or the owners. If a Giant doesn't have a job, it will find one. Left outside, that might mean redoing the landscaping that is found there including moving small trees.
Giant Schnauzers need to be trained and understand that the humans are the alpha and are in charge. From the ages of one year to four years, Giants can be the same unruly teenagers as their human counterparts that try the patience of their owners and parents. Harsh treatment will not work with a Giant Schnauzer. They tend to have a very stubborn streak and need firmness and training. They are very intelligent and can open drawers or doors to get what they want. But with training, that won't be a problem. One of the programs suggested is Nothing In Life Is Free.
A well-trained and socialized Giant Schnauzer can be the best dog you have ever had. They are clowns and provide endless entertainment and love to their owners. A poorly trained and under socialized Giant can be the worst nightmare you ever had. Owning a Giant Schnauzer is not for the feint of heart. But we do Giant Schnauzer rescue because the latter can be turned around and be the best dog you ever had.