Giant Schnauzer Breed Information and Buying advice

Giant Schnauzer

Are You Looking to Buy or Adopt a Giant Schnauzer?

Quick Giant Schnauzer Facts

Average Size of Adult
Large (4/5)
Puppy Puppy Puppy Puppy Puppy
Grooming Requirement
High (3/3)
Puppy Puppy Puppy
High (3/3)
Puppy Puppy Puppy
Average Life Span
10-12 years (4/8)
Exercise Requirements
High (3/3)
Puppy Puppy Puppy
High (3/3)
Puppy Puppy Puppy
Low (1/3)
Puppy Puppy Puppy
Child friendly
No (2/2)
High (3/3)
Puppy Puppy Puppy
Breed Group
Working (7/8)
Yes (1/2)

Schnauzers are lovely companions, regardless whether they’re Miniature, Standard, or Giant-sized. The noble and powerful Giant Schnauzer is a hardworking Bavarian utility breed that has a loyal and affectionate side, too. With their big, bushy eyebrows and beards and their thick coats of fur, these working dogs look beautiful yet remain watchful and protective at all times. This breed has also been called the Munich Schnauzer due to its prominent use in towns and villages around Munich in centuries past and present. There are plenty of great reasons to consider purchasing a Giant Schnauzer, but they aren’t for everyone. This breed is ideal as a working dog, but they are also fantastic companions.  

Why Giant Schnauzers are Great

Some highlights of Giant Schnauzers:

  1. Watchdog: Giant Schnauzers are territorial and naturally suspicious of strangers, so they make excellent watchdogs.

  2. Child-friendly: this breed gets along well with children and families.

  3. Intelligent: this breed is highly intelligent and can be trained rather easily without much need for repetition.

  4. Barking: generally Giant Schnauzers remain silent and will only bark when they notice suspicious activity.

  5. Shedding: surprisingly, this breed doesn’t shed much at all for a dog of its size.


Things to Consider when Looking at Giant Schnauzers for Sale

Some downsides to the Giant Schnauzer:

  1. Grooming: Giant Schnauzers will require extensive grooming multiple times per year.

  2. Costs: due to grooming and feeding costs, maintaining a healthy and happy Giant Schnauzer can be expensive.

  3. Prey drive: this breed has a high prey drive and is prone to chasing anything that moves past him.

  4. Boredom: Giant Schnauzers can become bored if they’re neglected, and boredom often leads to destructive or naughty behaviour.


History of the Giant Schnauzer

The Giant Schnauzer was originally used by Bavarian cattle farmers in the 17th century. In addition to herding cattle, this large breed was also used to drive cattle to markets, guarding homesteads, and forming loyal bonds with their owners for centuries. The ancestral origins of the Schnauzer are not completely known, but they were likely bred over the millennia from other dogs known to have originated in Germany. Although the advent of train transport reduced the need for Giant Schnauzers to drive livestock, they were adaptable enough to continue to be bred for multiple new purposes, such as guarding and protecting factories and breweries in Bavarian villages and towns. During the World Wars, the Giant Schnauzer became known outside of his native Bavaria thanks to his use as a military dog. This breed was then introduced internationally to great acclaim. After the Second World War, they were bred to serve as police dogs and service dogs for search and rescue operations.  


Giant Schnauzers are instantly recognisable due to their giant size. Few breeds are as large as the Giant Schnauzer, but it isn’t the biggest overall. It’s certainly larger than the Miniature and Standard Schnauzer breeds.  Exuding power, self-respect, and a sense of watchfulness, this breed appears docile yet ready to protect at a moment’s notice. One of the most recognisable features of the Giant Schnauzer is his bushy beard and eyebrows.   

How big is the Giant Schnauzer?

Giant Schnauzers are giant-sized dogs. Males grow on average to 65-70 cm in height, whilst females can grow up to 60-65 cm high.  

How heavy is a Giant Schnauzer?

Fully-grown adult male and female Giant Schnauzers weigh between 34-43 kg on average.  

What colour is the Giant Schnauzer?

The following colours are commonly recognised for the Giant Schnauzer:

  • Pure black;

  • Pepper and salt.

  Regardless of colour combination, every Giant Schnauzer should have a prominent black mask.  


This breed stands tall and proud, showing respect and loyalty to his owner. Giant Schnauzers are built for rugged outdoor weather, and every part of their temperament reflects this purpose. They make excellent farm dogs, utility dogs, and working dogs as necessary. In terms of behaviour, they are gentle yet watchful. For this reason and due to their intelligence, they tend to be trusting and affectionate with owners and families but wary of any strangers that may pass by. As with other Schnauzers, the Giant Schnauzer can become bored if neglected and can quickly develop bad habits and mischievous behaviour. Ensure that your Giant Schnauzer is receiving plenty of attention and stimulation, and exercise every day.  

Do Giant Schnauzers make good guard dogs?

Giant Schnauzers are amongst the best guard dogs and watchdogs. They are natural guard dogs, so they won’t require any training to fulfil their duty. Moreover, they are always watchful and will alert their owner to any suspicious activity. Their sheer size shows dominance to any strangers, so they work effectively at these roles.

Do Giant Schnauzers bark a lot?

This breed doesn’t bark often and tends to be well-behaved. Barking will be used to alert owners of any suspicious activity, however.  

Are Giant Schnauzers easy to train?

This breed is easy to train, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take it seriously, either. Giant Schnauzers have a powerful disposition and can become aggressive if not trained obedience as puppies. As with other intelligent breeds, treat them gently yet firmly make them understand their role in the household.  

Are Giant Schnauzers playful?

As puppies, Giant Schnauzers love to play. This playful side lasts well into adulthood, but they may behave mischievously from time to time as well.  

Are Giant Schnauzers good with children?

Giant Schnauzers have an affinity for children, but due to their large size, they should be supervised whilst playing with toddlers or young children.  

Are Giant Schnauzers good with other pets?

Giant Schnauzers can be taught to get along with other dogs in the home, but they will not get along with cats or smaller pets at all, so don’t purchase one if you own cats or small pets.  

Can I leave a Giant Schnauzer alone?

This breed has a low tolerance for isolation, so don’t leave him alone for too long, especially as a puppy.  

Do Giant Schnauzers like water?

Many Giant Schnauzers love water and will jump in at the first chance they get. Ensure that they’re properly dried off after going for a swim to prevent any bacterial infections.  


How long do Giant Schnauzers live? 

Generally, Giant Schnauzers are expected to live anywhere from 10-12 years.  

How much exercise does a Giant Schnauzer need?

Giant Schnauzers require plenty of exercise. Spend no less than two hours every day walking and playing outdoors with your Giant Schnauzer. Ensure that activities are both mentally and physically stimulating to keep your Giant Schnauzer happy and healthy.  

What are a Giant Schnauzer’s common health issues?

Giant Schnauzers are prone to the following common health issues:

  • Hip dysplasia;

  • Elbow dysplasia;

  • Keratoconjunctivitis sicca;

  • Glaucoma;

  • Cataracts;

  • Multifocal retinal dysplasia;

  • Progressive retinal atrophy.



How much space do I need for a Giant Schnauzer? 

Due to their large size, Giant Schnauzers are happiest and healthiest in a large home with a large, fenced-in garden in which they can play and exercise.  

What should I feed my Giant Schnauzer?

A fully-grown Giant Schnauzer should be fed 8 to 10 cups of high-quality dog food every day. Adjust as necessary to promote good health and to prevent overfeeding.  

How much grooming do Giant Schnauzers need?

This breed is demanding in terms of grooming requirements. Every 2-3 months they will need to have their coats hand-stripped and clipped as well.  

Do Giant Schnauzers shed?

This breed doesn’t tend to shed too much despite their size.  

Average Costs

How much does it cost to keep a Giant Schnauzer?

As a rough guide in pricing:  Cost to buy: roughly £700-1,200 for a well-bred Giant Schnauzer puppy Other costs (Vet, Food etc): £100-180 per month  

Specific Buying Guide

You can read our general buying guide here, with the most important thing being going to view your Giant Schnauzer puppy, seeing it with its mother, and checking the quality of the breeder.  More specifically, here is some Giant Schnauzer puppy buying advice:

  1. Giant Schnauzers are a demanding breed that deserves a loving owner that’s willing to put in the effort required to raise them well. Don’t purchase a Giant Schnauzer on a whim; consider your needs and what you are able to provide your Giant Schnauzer puppy. Standard and Miniature Schnauzers may be a better choice of puppy if you aren’t looking for a hardworking farm dog or utility dog.

  2. This breed has high grooming requirements, and you’ll need to clean their bushy beards often as well since they soak up food and debris after eating or playing outdoors. Only purchase a Giant Schnauzer if you can ensure that their high grooming needs are maintained as necessary.


Other Reading, Adopting Giant Schnauzer Puppies and Rescue Organisations

A big thank you to the following sources who helped to shape this article: UK Giant Schnauzer Club:  Schnauzer Club of Great Britain:  Federation Cynologique Internationale:  Kennel Club of Great Britain:  UK Dog Trust: Blue Cross: