The Giant Schnauzer is a breed that originated from the ancient herding dogs of Germany. The birthplace of the Giant Schnauzer is considered to be Bavaria and Württemberg but historians cannot exactly pinpoint when this breed arose. There are several theories of origin, and the most common is that the Giant Schnauzer was bred to help cattle breeders.
The Giant Schnauzer most likely originated from crossing the Shepherd, Black Great Dane, and Standard Schnauzer with large smooth-haired dogs. Perhaps the Bouvier of Flanders also took part in the formation of this breed. It was also known as the Municher and was widely distributed in Bavaria and Württemberg.
For several hundred years, these dogs were used not only as shepherds but also for other purposes. In particular, in protection and hunting. The German Schnauzer is a versatile dog that has many useful qualities and can perform many different tasks, helping a person. They could be seen at breweries, in butcher shops, and on farms.
In the first decade of the 20th century, in Germany, the Giant Schnauzer began to be used by police and had great success. In Berlin, the Giant Schnauzer became the main police dog. Over time, it spread to other European countries, as well as to England and the United States. However, in the US the police did not use these dogs, since the German Shepherd was already widely accepted as the best possible breed of dog for service in law enforcement agencies.
The Giant Schnauzer is a large dog with an athletic build. The chest is pronounced, wide, and with a deep abdominal cavity. Their neck is long and strong. Their muzzle is square, with hair that grows like a beard. The ears are usually docked, as is the tail. Their limbs are of medium length, the hind legs are longer than the front ones. This breed is rough-haired.
The Giant Schnauzer breed is a very intelligent breed that can be an ideal companion for almost anyone. The only thing you need to prepare for is that these dogs have a very high energy level. They require physical activity and long walks. Preferably 1 hour or more a day. Physical activity should not just be a walk in the park. It should be either training or playing some active games with your pet. And therefore, if you cannot provide this for your dog, it is better to think about another breed.
The Giant Schnauzer is very devoted to his family and can defend himself if he senses danger. This does not require any special training – the dog simply has this instinct. The Giant Schnauzer is well suited for being a watchdog. They are very alert and distrustful of strangers. However, it will be difficult for this breed to spend all year outside, since their coat does not provide sufficient heat retention in winter in our latitudes.
These dogs are good with children. They can go for walks with them and spend time with them but it is still believed that it is better to not leave very small children alone with them. This is not a breed suited as a nanny. The Giant Schnauzer has a tendency to aggression and therefore needs early socialization. This will help develop the character of the dog.
You should introduce this breed to other animals, and people as well as different scents. The breed has a highly developed intellect which greatly simplifies the training process. If a Giant Schnauzer enters into a fight with another dog, he does not retreat and continues until one of them falls. This breed perfectly adapts to life in various conditions and is well suited for life in an apartment.
The Giant Schnauzer breed needs socialization and education in order to develop a correct character. They need to be taught good manners. First of all, you must put the authority of the owner in first place. You have to be the leader. There are several proven ways to do this, however, the main thing is consistency and rigor when needed.
It cannot be said that the Giant Schnauzer is distinguished by any special stubbornness. But sometimes you will still have to overcome some resistance. In general, the training of these dogs goes well, they learn quickly and remember well. They can be taught both basic and complex commands.
The Giant Schnauzer needs to be combed 1 – 2 times a week. Try to clean its eyes daily as well as clean its ears about 3 times a week. Bathe the dog once or twice a week, and cut its claws 3 times a month.
The Giant Schnauzer is prone to certain diseases:
- Hip dysplasia;
- Autoimmune thyroiditis;
- Squamous cell carcinoma – a type of cancer that occurs on the toes of dark-haired dogs.