Giant Schnauzer Resource

Giant Schnauzer

Tallest of the three Schnauzers, the Giant is a good-looking bearded dog that is thought to have originated in Bavaria near Munich, where it was called the Munchener. The breed’s history traces to the late 1800s when it developed from what is now the Standard Schnauzer. It is assumed that local herdsmen’s dogs also contributed to the Giant’s heritage. Later, black Great Danes were used to increase size and substance. Because it resembled the Standard Schnauzer, the breed’s name was changed to Giant Schnauzer. The Giant Schnauzer was originally bred by cattlemen seeking a dog that was large and bold enough to move livestock to market. When modern transportation methods replaced cattle drives in Germany, the Giant remained as a butcher’s dog, stockyard helper and brewery guard. The Giant was seldom seen outside Bavaria until the early 1900s, when it became known as an excellent police and military dog. It measures 25.5 to 27.5 inches at the shoulder, females 2 inches less. The wiry double coat may be black, or pepper and salt (gray). The coat should be hand stripped to maintain correct pattern and texture. Pets may be clipped, but this will change the coat texture. The breed does well in obedience and makes a fine family pet and watchdog in country or suburban settings. The Giant has a moderate activity level and needs daily exercise.

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Breed Details

Country of Origin:
Large Dog Breed
Black or salt and pepper.

Hard, wiry, dense outercoat with soft undercoat.


Brush weekly. Trim hair around eyes and ears every six weeks. Clip or hand strip as needed.

Life Expectancy:
12 to 15 years
AKC Group:
Working Group
UKC Group:
23.5 to 27.5 inches at the shoulder
Proportionate to height
Use Today
Watchdog, herding