Giant Schnauzer Information

Through its early history the Giant Schnauzer has been known as the Russian Bear Schnauzer, Riesenschnauzer and the Munich Schnauzer. It is thought the Giant Schnauzer evolved from the crossing of various breeds including black Great Danes, Standard Schnauzers and the Bouvier des Flanders. The Giant Schnauzer was first employed as a driving cattle dog throughout Bavaria before becoming a favourite guard, Police and Military dog.


The Giant Schnauzer is large, powerful and compact. His height is the same as his length, depicting a square-shaped dog. His head is moderately strong and is rectangular. The muzzle and back-skull are of even length with a slight stop. His nose is large and black. The lips do not overlap and are black. His ears are set high V-shaped and carried close to his head. His topline is straight and does not dip in the middle. His tail is set somewhat high but does not curl over the back. His coat comes in colours of solid black or salt and pepper


If you’re buying a puppy, find a good breeder who will show you a clinically health clearances for both your puppy’s parents; Sire and Dam. Health clearances prove that a dog has been clinically tested for and cleared of a particular condition. If there are no health clearance certificates immediately available – walk away as fast as you can.

A Cataract is an opacity (cloudiness) of the lens or it’s capsule, there are a number of different types of Cataract classified by where in the lens they first develop. The most common type of Hereditary Cataract in the Giant Schnauzer is the Posterior Polar Cataract (PPC), ‘polar’ refers to the centre, and ‘posterior’ means at the back. PPC is typically seen as a small triangular or inverted ‘Y’ shaped opacity which is often bilateral (in both eyes), and found at the back of the lens.In most instances there are no noticeable signs or symptoms, the eyes appear perfectly bright and clear, and usually there is no obvious effect on vision. This type of Cataract is not thought to progress in the Giant Schnauzer, although more research may be required.
This is a heritable condition in which the thighbone doesn’t fit snugly into the hip-joint. Some dogs show pain and lameness on one or both rear legs, but you may not notice any signs of discomfort in a dog with hip dysplasia. As the dog ages, arthritis can develop. X-ray screening for hip dysplasia is done by the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals or the University of Pennsylvania Hip Improvement Program (PennHIP). Dogs with hip dysplasia should not be bred. Hip dysplasia is hereditary, but it can be worsened by environmental factors, such as rapid growth from a high-calorie diet or injuries incurred from jumping or falling on slick floors.
is usually found in the elbows but it has been seen in the shoulders as well. This disorder causes a painful stiffing of the joint where the dog will be unable to bend its elbow. It is caused by an improper growth of cartilage in the joints and can be hereditary, caused by trauma or improper diet. It can be detected in dogs as young as five to seven months of age. Although it is a genetic disorder, some research has linked high-protein diets to increasing the severity of this disorder.
This cancer may occur on a toe or toes of dark-haired dogs, including Giant Schnauzers. If your Giant Schnauzer shows signs of lameness for no clear reason, have your vet take a look at his toes. Removal of the affected toe before the cancer spreads to the chest cavity increases the chance of survival.
This is the most common cause of primary hypothyroidism in dogs and is recognized as a heritable condition. The disease tends to become clear at two to five years of age. Dogs may be clinically normal for years, only to become hypothyroid later. Hypothyroidism is an abnormally low level of the hormone produced by the thyroid gland. A mild sign of the disease may be infertility. More obvious signs include obesity, mental dullness, drooping of the eyelids, low energy levels, and irregular heat cycles. The dog’s fur becomes coarse and brittle and begins to fall out, while the skin becomes tough and dark. Hypothyroidism can be treated with daily medication, which must continue throughout the dog’s life. A dog receiving daily thyroid treatment can live a full and happy life.