Dog Health & More
The Giant Schnauzer was created to be a working dog breed, so he has intelligence and drive. He can be a loyal and courageous companion for the person who can provide him with the training, exercise, and attention he needs.
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The Giant Schnauzer is the largest of the three Schnauzer breeds. He has a commanding appearance and rugged build. But his stoic demeanor is belied by the twinkle in his eyes, hinting at his playful nature.
This is a big dog with a big personality. He's an energetic, intelligent companion who makes life interesting with his independent thinking and playfulness, but dominant personality and bold approach to life. In short, he's a handful, even for experienced dog owners. Still, in the right home he's a loyal and courageous companion.
There is no limit to the capabilities of a well-trained Giant Schnauzer. Obedience, agility, tracking, carting, and herding are among the dog sports in which you can find him competing. Originally used to drive cattle to market, he excels as a police and guard dog and more recently has branched out to drug detection and search and rescue. He has a gentle and loving side as well, making him an admirable therapy dog. But the Giant Schnauzer's favorite activity is being with the people he loves.
The keys to living successfully with a Giant Schnauzer include training, socialization, and providing physical and mental stimulation. Giant Schnauzers need all of these to become well-mannered dogs, and they need them in abundance.
The breed's intelligence is widely known, and they can be easily trained when their people are firm and consistent. Never let the Giant Schnauzer's wonderful mind go to waste. Make sure to give him a job; let him find things for you, carry things, perform tricks, and show off his obedience training.
Whatever you do, don't let him become bored. A bored Giant Schnauzer is a destructive Giant Schnauzer. An essential part of preventing boredom is exercise. Expect to provide your Giant Schnauzer with at least an hour of vigorous exercise daily. He'll enjoy long walks and jogging.
Apartments are not the ideal dwelling for the Giant Schnauzer. They do much better if they have a large yard to play in and do their best if they have acreage. They are not outdoor dogs and need to live inside with their family.
Giant Schnauzers are among the more dominant breeds and not recommended for homes with young children. In fact, the suggested age range of children is 12 and older.
Socialization should begin at a very young age, and it should include exposure to many different people, dogs, and other small pets. Giant Schnauzers tend to be reserved and suspicious of strangers, a trait that makes them excellent guard dogs, but that characteristic must be balanced with socialization to avoid fearfulness or aggression.
The Giant Schnauzer has many good qualities and many challenging qualities. It's important before choosing this breed that you understand the demands he will make upon your life. A Giant Schnauzer is not the fabled gentle giant, but a hard-working, energetic dog who will give back as much as he is given.