Breeding Giant Schnauzers

Breeding Giant Schnauzers

The Giant Schnauzer is a larger version of the much-loved Schnauzer. They are slightly less popular than the Standard size of the Schnauzer. But are still adored coming it at rank 78 out of 197 according to the AKC. So if you are a buyer or breeder, you are probably here looking for all the information on this stunning breed. Knowing concerns, genetics, history, and the other components that make up this breed help both kinds of researchers. It allows you to combat worries when breeding Giant Schnauzers. It also ensures that you are providing the best life for your new Giant Schnauzer puppy.

Knowing more about their nature can allow those that own and breed them to provide the best environment, social life, and even training program for them. Furthermore, it means breeds can suitably match their dogs to the best owners without any concerns. So if you have an interest in owning one of these dogs, or want to know how to breed Giant Schnauzers, let us help you out.

Background of Giant Schnauzers

The fascinating background of the Giant Schnauzer branches from their origin to different variants of the breed. So let’s start at the beginning of the Giant Schnauzer’s journey.

Origin

The German Schnauzer came from the regular Schnauzer. Being selectively bred to be larger and stronger to become their own variation. This occurred in the 17th century in Germany. They wanted to create a larger farm dog that can help with all areas of farming. They ensured their coat was thick and rough, perfect to keep them warm whilst outside and helping farming, but also to withstand rodent bites. Rodents are common in farms and one of their uses was to help kill vermin on farms. However, they mainly helped to herd cattle to market as well as guard the property, tasks which were easier due to their size and strength. As the years progressed they were soon recruited into K9 units and even by the military in both world wars.

The Modern Giant Schnauzers

Unlike the original Giant Schnauzer, the current Schnauzer is not only a working dog, but a household pet too. You can still find them in areas of search and rescue and police forces, but they are more renowned as a show dog. Obedience, agility, and displaying the beauty of the true breed standard are just a few elements the modern Giant Schnauzer does so well in. Their personality is one of which is easy to train due to the combined traits of intelligence and loyalty to their owner. This gives a need to please personality with the understanding to achieve through tricks and general obedience. Therefore, it is no wonder why they do so well in the show environment. Furthermore, they are very attractive dogs with their large frame and noticeable ‘eyebrows and beard’.

The Giant Schnauzer is the largest variety of the Schnauzer, next is the Standard Schnauzer and then the Miniature Schnauzer. It can reach a total height of 27.5 inches as opposed to the Standard (19 inches) and Miniature (14 inches). The creation of the Giant Schnauzer involved the mixing of the Standard Schnauzer and other breeds including the Great Dane, German Pinscher, and Bouvier des Flandres. The Great Dane helped to add height, strength, and an increase of muscle mass to this variety. Adding in the German Pinscher helped to provide a sleeker frame, alongside aid their hunting and alert personality. Finally, the Bouvier des Flandres helped to contribute size, coloring, and maintain the coat type existing in the Standard Schnauzer.

german giant schnauzer working dog
This breed was originally bred to help around farms in Germany to protect and herd animals,

Appearance

This breed IS renowned for their prominent facial hair and lovely curly coat. They possess a large frame and can appear both magnificent and powerful.

Size and Weight

Like with most dog breeds, the male is slightly larger in height and weight than the female. Find them labeled below with the numbers according to the AKC.

Male:

  • Height – 25.5-27.5 inches
  • Weight – 60 – 80 pounds

Female:

  • Height – 23.5-25.5 inches
  • Weight – 55-75 pounds

Color/s

There are two main colors that the AKC recognizes, these are black, and salt and pepper. The black coloring is the most common with this variation, however. Other variations include a wider spectrum of colors but these are the only two to be recognized in the giant variation.

Distinct Features

This dog is most well known for their coat. Their beard, mustache, eyebrows, and ears form the recognizable look of the Schnauzer. The hair on their muzzle hangs lower than the base jaw when the mouth is closed. Furthermore, the hair on their chin grows down to the length of their chest. This combination creates a rather magnificent beard that is quite recognizable. Furthermore, their pointed ears are another noticeable feature. This combined with well-groomed fur on the face is quite outstanding, especially with the eyebrow fur for emphasis to the sleek cut along the muzzle fur.

Temperament

If you’re interested in a Giant Schnauzer it is important to check that your personality and lifestyle meshes well with their nature and needs. This is a very loving dog breed, and not only to their owner! They love other dogs, children, and even other pets. To those who own cats, this may be the ideal breed for you. More than that, they are very easy to train. They aim to please their owners, and due to their high intelligence, they can do so through training. With a small amount of positive reinforcement, your Giant Schnauzer can learn tricks very quickly and remember them well. This is especially useful for puppies who you want to stop misbehaving, such as gnawing on furniture. It shouldn’t take you long to teach them the word no or come.

On the other hand, This breed requires lots of physical and mental stimulation to prevent boredom. It does not matter how much training your dog has gone through, if they are bored or frustrated, they may act destructively or what is deemed as badly. Every day they require adequate exercise and to be stimulated mentally.

the largest breed of schnauzers are giant schnauzers
There are three Schnauzer breeds and each of them are an entirely different breed.

Common Health Issues for Giant Schnauzers

It is important to be aware of the more common health conditions in a breed you are going to own or breed. In the case of breeding Giant Schnauzers, they are prone to four main conditions which we will be explaining below. Proper genetic testing and understanding of the symptoms can help. You can thereby prevent the conditions from being transferred genetically, or catch and treat problems as soon as they arise through noticing signs. So let’s go through the conditions and symptoms to keep an eye out for.

Hip Dysplasia

A dog’s hip allows movement through a ball and socket skeletal connection. The ball of the femur, also known as the femoral head moves smoothly in the groove of the hip socket. The smooth movement allows for your dog to run, walk, and play. Hip dysplasia is when there is an issue with this movement. The hip socket, femoral head, or both can not be formed properly. This means the bones may grind one another, leading to pain and erosion of the area. This pain leads to your Giant Schnauzer struggling to move well. Symptoms include swelling, lethargy, whelping, anxiousness, aggression, pain to the touch, and general abnormal movement such as a limp.

Treatment can include anti-inflammatories, pain killers, and surgery in more severe cases. A vet visit is always crucial to conclude whether your dog is suffering from hip dysplasia or not and the severity. Then they can recommend the proper treatment.

Elbow Dysplasia

Elbow dysplasia is the same as hip dysplasia but affects the elbow. As it is both a hinge joint and a ball and socket joint, the ball and socket joint is affected but the movement of the elbow as a whole is disrupted. The ball or socket have not formed properly or have gradually been eroded to an improper shape. This causes pain and makes it difficult for your dog to move smoothly. You may find them limping or refusing to move in order to not have to move that joint. The gradual grinding leads to inflammation, pain to touch the area, changes in personality such as anxiety and aggression, and a general issue with moving.

If you find your dog to have any of these symptoms, take them straight to the vet. They can confirm whether or not your dog has elbow dysplasia and if so, the severity. Depending on the severity the treatment will differ. Vets may prescribe anti-inflammatories and pain killers for some dogs, others may require surgery.

Gastric Dilatation Volvulus (Bloat)

This is a condition where the stomach can fill with gas, leading to the stomach swelling and twisting. It is a fatal condition and needs to be dealt with immediately. It occurs in dogs with deep chests, such as the Giant Schnauzer. Although the exact cause is unknown, it is often found in dogs that gulp down a lot of air during drinking and eating. Prevention of the condition includes using special food and water bowls to prevent your dog from eating and drinking too quickly. You can also monitor your dog and train them during dinner time to slow down. Symptoms of the condition include:

  • Lethargy
  • Signs of pain and discomfort
  • Drooling
  • Vomiting
  • Retching
  • Bloating of the stomach

Treatment will require surgery to untwist the stomach and release the gas. It is a dangerous condition and even with surgery, the condition can still be fatal. If a dog survives bloat, it will still be at risk of the condition and will require extra prevention and monitoring.

Panosteitis

This is also known as growing pains and can affect adolescent dogs in the lone bone of their legs. It involves inflammation and can lead to limping, lethargy, and a change in personality due to discomfort. The inflammation is usually in the front legs, but do not dismiss it if it occurs in the back legs. Your dog may begin to limp when walking or even refuse to walk regularly. It can also lead to them refusing to play and even avoiding human attention. Due to them not feeling well, their behavior may change to where you see aggression or an increase in anxiety.

Take them to the vets for a proper diagnosis. Often they will outgrow the pain but your vet can prescribe anti-inflammatories and pain killers to help until they do so. However, X-rays and blood tests may be conducted to see if there is an underlying condition leading to this problem.

Breeding

Proper breeding is important to ensure the litter produced is as healthy as possible. Finding a stud and bitch with good health alongside their grandparents can help to eliminate a litter of ill pups. This is why genetic testing is so crucial. So let’s look more into the elements of breeding Giant Schnauzers.

Litter Size

On average a Giant Schnauzer will produce a litter of 6 pups with them ranging from 4-10. This is influenced by a number of factors including the genetics of both parents, the size of the female, even the potency of both parents. For example, a female may be able to breed with ease, produces enough eggs, and all eggs are healthy. However, if the stud has low numbers in regards to sperm count, then not all the eggs may be fertilized.

On the other hand, both parents may have come from large litters, as have their grandparents. This means that within both genetic lines the females produce a high egg count and the males have a high sperm count. Therefore, more eggs may be fertilized than normal, leading to more puppies. Genetic testing alongside discussing the history of the parents and lineage can help you to know what to expect from litter size.

Genetic testing

Furthermore, ensure to use genetic testing to make sure that neither parent has a high probability of passing on a genetic disease. For example, parents that both have hip dysplasia are more likely to have a litter of puppies that have this as well. Although hip dysplasia can have a genetic origin or environmental, it is important to minimize the chance that any genetic conditions can be passed on. As the puppies are more likely to have a condition that can affect them for life and require years of vet treatment. To ensure ethical breeding do undertake all the genetic testing you need for both parents to know the litter will come out healthy.

Pregnancy

Your Giant Schnauzer’s pregnancy should go forward without too many concerns. Generally, they are able to carry their litter without too many health complications. Firstly, as their litter size is not too large they generally do not suffer with an abnormal difficulty of movement or pain. Many Giant Schnauzers will run and play the same as they always have up until late in their pregnancy. However, be sure that your pregnant dog is not overexerting themselves and that they are going on gentle walks and play sessions. Always ask your vet for advice whilst your dog is pregnant.

Dystocia and Birth

It is not common for Giant Schnauzers to suffer from complications during birth. As they are a large breed with their hips and skull in proportion with their body, puppies are usually born without issues. This is why C-sections in this breed are rare and are below average for dog breeds in numbers. However, every birth has risks and ensuring an emergency vet is on hand to call is crucial. A puppy may still get stuck or a cord could be wrapped around their throat for instance. Just be sure to be prepared and this offers the highest probability that everything will go smoothly.

giant schnauzers not for beginner dog owners
Giant Schnauzers tend to become destructive and out of control in the hands of an inexperienced handler.

Giant Schnauzers Breed: FAQ

We want to make sure that you have all the information before breeding Giant Schnauzers or buying a puppy. Therefore we have found the most searched questions about them and answered them for you below.

How long do Giant Schnauzers live for?

On average the Giant Schnauzer is expected to live between 12 and 15 years. An especially impressive age if you consider their size. Larger dogs often live shorter lives than that of smaller, but not this impressive breed.

Are they hypoallergenic?

Giant Schnauzers do have hypoallergenic coats. This means that any allergic reaction to dog fur is minimized due to the type of coat they possess. However, do note that not dog is truly 100% hypoallergenic.

Are Giant Schnauzers good family dogs?

Giant Schnauzers are natural family dogs. They are very loving and loyal to their family so can be wonderful with kids. However, this is an energetic breed so they will need to be well exercised, especially if they are in the household of very young children. As they could get over-excited and accidentally knock over a toddler or child. Proper training and exercise routines should sort this problem though.

Are they easy to train?

Giant Schnauzers are up with the best for ease of train-ability. Firstly, they adore their owners and love to please them. Secondly, they are very intelligent and learn tricks quickly and remember them well. This combination means they are very well adept for training. From a young age, we recommend combining clicker training and positive reinforcement to help mold the perfect dog.

How much exercise do they need?

Giant Schnauzers need quite a lot of exercise to keep them physically and mentally stimulated. Play sessions, long walks, and even a hike or two will be adored by this breed. If you don’t enjoy daily walks or a lot of exercise with your dog, this breed may not be the best match.

How often do they need to be groomed?

You will need to home groom or take your Giant Schnauzer to the groomers every 6 to 10 weeks. They don’t shed a huge amount and will just need a clip and trim to keep their coat clean and tidy.

Are Giant Schnauzers good guard dogs?

Giant Schnauzers can be trained to be excellent guards. Although they do love everyone around them, they are also easy to train and very loyal. Therefore, if they are trained from an early age, they can be a high-quality working dog guarding you or even farms.

The Giant Schnauzer is a truly lovely breed to own and breed. They are loving, easy to train, and love to play. Furthermore, they come with minimal complications and health concerns when breeding. Be sure to carry out the proper genetic testing if you have an interest in breeding Giant Schnauzers to get the healthiest litter possible. Furthermore, if you are looking at owning this loving breed, just be sure to keep them mentally and physically engaged and they will be your best friend.