The Giant Schnauzer dog is the biggest of the 3 different breeds of Schnauzer (the others are known as the Miniature Schnauzer and the Standard Schnauzer). This large dog isn’t just an exuberant breed but is also a more powerful version of the standard Schnauzer, which makes it a good choice for police work and more. In this article, we discuss all you need to know about this gorgeous canine while answering something you may wonder about, which is “How much does a Giant Schnauzer cost?”
What is the Giant Schnauzer?
Before we get to how much a Giant Schnauzer is, it’s a good idea to first get to know that breed and understand whether it will be the right fit for your home. As mentioned above, the beautiful Giant Schnauzer is the biggest of the Schnauzer breeds. It stands at 23.5 inches to 28.5 inches at the shoulders and will weigh as much as 85 pounds.
This represents a 65-pound difference from their smallest brother, the Miniature Schnauzer. According to the Giant Schnauzer Club of America, this breed was first developed in Germany by breeding a Great Dane with a Standard Schnauzer and was used to work as home guardians.
Giant Schnauzer History
While they may seem like a new breed, the Giant Schnauzer’s origin actually goes back to 17th-century Bavaria and Württemberg, a couple of states in Germany. The first of these dogs was considered to be the rough-coated version of the German Pinscher, and they were thought to have a weather-resistant coat that protected them from the elements. While the origins of these giant breeds aren’t clear, some experts believe that they originated through a combination of the Bouvier des Flandres, German Shepherd, Standard Schnauzer, and more.
Due to its short hair and large body, this canine is often used as a working dog while also serving as a family dog. They first became popular during World War I when they were used as military dogs and have since been trained to serve as police dogs, as well as search and rescue dogs. By 1930, the breed was recognized by the American Kennel Club and is a frequent candidate in competitions circuits and dog sports.
Giant Schnauzer Temperament and Behavior
Giant Schnauzers are high-energy dogs that are very intelligent and much like every other dog, they should stay indoors because they enjoy the company of their people. However, they will also need to have a fenced yard where they can get a lot of exercise and play around. These dogs are playful and affectionate but are also wary of strangers and are vigilant watchers.
When given enough exercise, play, and socialization, the Giant Schnauzer is a well-behaved dog in general. However, these dogs will always be on alert and will often bark to tell their family if there’s anything they deem suspicious. Luckily, they have a reliable temperament that allows them to be predictable, so they can be a good fit for families with older children.
Caring for Your Giant Schnauzer
The Giant Schnauzer’s intelligence allows you to train them easily and they’re also eager to please. When thinking about purchasing one, be sure to check out the guide below and ensure that you’ll be able to meet their needs.
Feeding Your Giant Schnauzer
To prevent weight gain, your Giant Schnauzer should be given a measured amount of dog food twice a day, regularly given at the same time. You can also help to prevent hip dysplasia by feeding it large-breed puppy food until it reaches 1 year of age. You must feed your pooch high-quality dog food; brands to consider include Purina Pro Plan, Hill’s Science Diet, and Royal Canin.
The best way to prevent heart disease is to provide a grain-inclusive diet — however, puppies should be fed more often than adults, around 3 to 4 times a day. Just keep in mind that these dogs can get big, so they will need more food than small to medium-sized dogs. As such, the price of food for your pooch can quickly go up to $100 or more each month.
Training Your Giant Schnauzer
Proper training is important for Giant Schnauzer puppies because they have such high energy levels. Moreover, their large size can be a problem if you have a rambunctious Giant Schnauzer with behavioral issues. Thankfully, they will respond well to positive reinforcement and can be trained to overcome their territorial tendencies.
An adult dog will excel at herding, agility, obedience, and coursing but they will also benefit from mental stimulation and daily exercise from their playtime and training sessions. While they were bred for guard work and will be suspicious of new people, they’re protective of their humans and are gentle and sweet with family. Early socialization is a must for your Giant Schnauzer puppy to let them know that new experiences, animals, and people aren’t scary.
Grooming Your Giant Schnauzer
These dogs come with a double coat that consists of a soft undercoat and a dense undercoat that’s wiry — it also comes with a characteristic beard and heavy eyebrows. Because it has such thick fur, it will need regular brushing every week along with professional grooming. Below is a quick guide on how to groom your Giant Schnauzer.
- Skin Care: Apart from grooming and bathing your dog regularly, your dog might need to visit your vet as soon as possible for signs of scabbing, sores, redness, or hair loss.
- Coat Care: To prevent matting, be sure to give your pup weekly brushing and a monthly visit to your professional groomer to get its coat stripped out.
- Eye Care: Their eyebrows can grow fast so they should be trimmed regularly so they don’t get to your dog’s eyes. If you see any cloudiness or redness in their eyes, as well as green or yellow discharge from their eyes, be sure to contact your vet quickly.
- Ear Care: These dogs may develop ear infections, so they should be checked every week for odors, redness, or discharge to be evaluated by your vet. Cleaning your pup’s ears once a week or two using an ear cleanser for dogs can help keep their ears healthy.
Giant Schnauzer Health Issues
The Giant Schnauzer has an average life expectancy of around 12 to 15 years and is generally a healthy dog. Even so, they’re still prone to a few health conditions which is why they should visit their vet at least once a year.
This developmental disease is common in larger dogs, which includes the Giant Schnauzer. When your puppy grows, three bones inside the pelvis need to fuse for the proper formation of the hip joint around the thigh bone. When these bones fail to fuse correctly, it can result in hip joints that are too shallow or loose which can cause pain and arthritis when they get older.
Similar to hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia occurs when certain bones in the dog’s elbows don’t develop properly. These health problems can be detected through an x-ray and can be managed through joint supplements and medications to help reduce pain and slow the progression of arthritis. In severe cases, your vet may recommend surgery to give your pup the treatment it needs.
Gastric dilatation and volvulus (GDV) is known as a life-threatening condition that commonly occurs in big and deep-chested dogs but any dog can be affected. Within its early stages, the stomach will fill with gas which causes bloat, but if it progresses into a volvulus, the gas-filled stomach will twist on itself and block both the entrance and exit to the stomach. This is the time when you need to rush your dog to the emergency room because it can have fatal consequences.
Osteochondritis Dissecans (OCD)
This developmental disease is often seen in young, giant breeds that affect bone and cartilage development. Dogs will start with cartilage which will then change into bones as they get older, but when a dog has this disease, their cartilage will instead separate from the bone and cause limping and pain. You will often see signs of pain and limping in these puppies at 3 to 9 months old — because this condition is related to their diet, be sure to feed your puppy a diet that’s not too high in protein with a good calcium-to-phosphorus ratio.
Autoimmune Thyroiditis comes from an autoimmune disease that eliminates the thyroid gland’s ability to create hormone-producing cells. These are important for your dog’s skin health and metabolism; signs of this disease include low energy, a dull coat, skin infections, and obesity. This condition can be treated using daily medication, which can help to give your dog a healthy and normal life.
How Much Does a Giant Schnauzer Cost?
The cost of getting your new dog can be difficult to predict and if you’ll be looking through the AKC marketplace for one, be sure to take into consideration the costs involved. A Giant Schnauzer puppy will have an average cost of $1,200-$3,500, with an estimated first year expense of around $5,940. This will include one-time costs such as essential vaccinations, supplies, microchips, and others.
After this, you should expect an annual cost of $2,190 for each subsequent year for vet bills, food, training, grooming, and more. As a result, you could expect to pay around $34,410 throughout your Giant Schnauzer’s lifetime. Moreover, optional costs may include medical expenses such as spaying or neutering, as well as the additional cost of dog walking or pet insurance.
When you’re ready to take one of these dogs home, the best place to look for a puppy is with reputable breeders who can provide pedigree papers and have screened each dog for temperament and health issues. Responsible Giant Schnauzer breeders will be able to answer any question you may have and should be able to show you the litter’s parents.
Are Giant Schnauzers Good Family Dogs?
While their first-year expenses and purchase price may seem quite high, these great dogs will fit in right at home when given proper training and early socialization. However, they’re not the best choice for a first-time dog owner or in families with small children or pets because of their great power. Even so, these lovable canines will greatly benefit from a responsible pet parent who can keep them well-trained and in line as they protect your home.