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Giant Schnauzer Dog Breed Facts And Essential Information

Jun 26, 2008
The Schnauzer, as one might expect from the name, is definitely of German origin. The German word "schnauzer" means "muzzle". In Germany today there are three recognized Schnauzers, the Giant, the Standard and the Miniature.

Among the characteristics that the three Schnauzers have in common is the distinctive look of the head, which has a beard and mustache and heavy brows of hair over the eyes. The body structure is quite square in appearance. The coat is "wire-haired" and harsh, a typical terrier type of coat which is stripped since it will not shed naturally. The colors of salt and pepper or black are most common. The purposes of all three dogs are quite different.

Paintings depict the Standard Schnauzer as early as 1842. The Standard is considered the "foundation stock" of both the Miniature and the Giant. It is believed that the Giant Schnauzer was bred from the Standard Schnauzer by crossbreeding the Standard with some of the larger breeds of the day such as the Great Dane and perhaps the Bouvier des Flandres, a drover's dog. The Giant schnauzer was meant to serve the function of a drovers dog and a draft dog. The breed served a useful purpose in the farmer's market guarding produce carts besides pulling the carts to the market. The dogs were also used as livestock guardians.

The height of the male is 25 to 27 inches and of the female, 23 to 25 inches. The American Kennel Club standard remarks that dogs that are too large "lack the agility and maneuverability " of a working dog and can not perform the work for which they were intended.

The Giant Schnauzer must posses a certain strength and power, what is often called "drive" from the rear quarters in order to pull a cart and so there is good angulation in the rear, with strong straight forelegs and a "well laid back" shoulder, with nearly a right angle at the shoulder, also a necessity for length of stride and powerful pulling. The Giant Schnauzer is a large dog that is still in use today as a general livestock guardian on many German farms, besides being a much loved family guardian and pet. The breed gained popularity after World War I.

The dog was used as a military dog during the war, where it's strong working abilities were much admired. During the war the dog often served as a messenger dog, often braving the enemy fire to travel to its destination carrying the orders of the day.

It is still used in the world today in some places as a military dog, bomb sniffer and search and rescue dog. The typical personality of this large dog is one of friendliness and willingness to work for people. This is a breed that does not accept harsh punishment. A Giant Schnauzer will do anything for its master, with an extreme sense of loyalty and protection. Positive training will reap great rewards with a Giant Schnauzer.
About the Author
For more information on the giant schnauzer or a complete list of dog breeds visit this Dog Behaviour website.
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