The Giant Schnauzer is one of three distinct breeds of Schnauzers, including the Miniature Schnauzer and the Standard Schnauzer. All of the schnauzers were developed in Germany, and the Giant Schnauzer was generally considered to be the working dog of the schnauzer group. He aided shepherds in getting their livestock to the market, and also served as guard dogs for local butchers and brewery owners. During World War I the breed’s intelligence was put to work, and they also began serving as police dogs.
The term “Giant” Schnauzer is a bit of a misnomer, as they are not really a giant breed. Standing at about two feet tall at the shoulder, they are a large dog, but the “Giant” terminology was used simply to help distinguish them from their “Miniature” and “Standard” cousins.
Giant Schnauzers are wonderful family dogs. They are highly intelligent, loyal and outgoing, and they make an excellent addition to any household. Given their guarding heritage, they may be a little wary of strangers, but they warm up quickly once they know their families are safe. Daily exercise is required, as is regular grooming.
Despite their loyal nature, Giant Schnauzers are still prone to a number of hereditary and congenital conditions that can adversely affect their health – not to mention your budget. Some of the conditions and illnesses Giant Schnauzers are prone to include eye conditions such as progressive retinal atrophy and retinal dysplasia; hip problems such as hip dysplasia; thyroid problems such as hypothyroidism; and nervous system problems such as cobalamin deficiency.
Thankfully, Petplan pet insurance covers all hereditary and chronic conditions as standard. Which means if your Giant Schnauzer inherits more than just energetic intelligence, you’re covered.