Breed Information FAQ’s

How Long Do Giant Schnauzers Live

Giants generally live between 10-12 years, although some have been known to live longer up to the age of 14-16 years, and others have sadly died younger.

According to the Joint Schnauzer Breeds Health Survey 2023, from a total of 63 Giants that took part in the deceased survey, the median age of death was 10 years (average 9.6 years), and maximum age of the 63 entered was 14 years.

How Much Does Feeding Cost

Feeding costs will obviously depend on the type of food and will vary from one supplier to another.
An adult male will weigh around 38-45kg, and a female around 32-38kg.

If raw feeding 2-3% of their adult body weight is required, therefore approximately:

Males: 800g – 1.4kg per day (depending on body weight)
Females: 600g -1.2kg per day (depending on body weight)

If feeding kibble a Giant will eat approximately 11-15kg per month (depending on body weight)

From the amount of food required you can calculate the feeding costs based on the chosen food.

How Much Exercise Does a Giant Schnauzer Need

Puppies up to the age of 12 months should have restricted exercise to ensure their joints develop correctly. Free running on soft ground with gentle slopes is ideal, however formal lead walking will need to be restricted to short walks otherwise puppies may be encouraged to do more than they naturally would.

Adults will require at least 1hr off lead free running per day, in addition to another 1hr form of exercise or training.

Even when it’s raining and cold, you will still need to take your dog for a walk. If you do not take your dog for regular walks, they will become bored, destructive and overweight; this can impact both their physical and mental health.

Do They Shed Their Coat

Giants do not shed coat as with shorter course coated breeds, however you may notice clumps of hair and undercoat under furniture and near skirting boards. They require regular grooming, stripping/clipping and trimming, approximately every 2-3 months. If the body coat is left for too long it will eventually ‘blow’ this is where the coat appears very woolly and untidy,  and tends to be very loose and will come out quite readily.

Are They 'Hypoallergenic'

No not necessarily, there is much reference on the internet that Giants are hypoallergenic, however this is not strictly true, whilst they may not cause an allergic reaction for some suffers, they do still have dander and saliva which are the most common allergens. For anyone with allergies it may be better to spend some time with the relatives of a prospective puppy to gauge the response beforehand.

Are They Good With Children

Giants are a ‘people’ breed, they are loyal and devoted to their family. Their energy levels and enthusiasm makes them excellent play mates for older children. However, since they are very strong and boisterous they could unintentionally knock over a small toddler during play. Careful consideration should be given as to whether a busy family life can accommodate the amount of time, attention, training and socialising required by a large breed puppy especially if children are very young. A Giant will want to be involved with their family and are not happy if isolated away on their own in a kennel.

Do Giants Get On With Cats

If a Giant puppy is brought up with a cat from the outset, they often eventually form a relationship were they can live together, however a lot will also depend how the resident cat reacts with dogs. They may come to a mutual agreement to either keep out of each others way, or they may get along together. On the other hand if  a cat is introduced into the house once a Giant has already established their place, and is not used to cats, this may be a different story. Giant Schnauzers can have a high prey drive and may find it difficult to curtail their chase instincts if a cat is introduced later on. With a visiting neighbourhood cat, Giants tend to be quite interested and will most likely want to chase them away from the garden. Therefore the answer to this question is not so straight forward.

Is a Giant a Big Version of a Miniature Schnauzer

No. Although Giants and Minis may have the Standard Schnauzer as a common ancestor further back in their distant past, they were otherwise bred using different breeds, and for different purposes, in addition to the obvious size and strength distinctions. Giants were bred using working dogs such as the Great Dane, Bouvier des Flandres, possibly Dobermans, and Rottweilers, for the purpose of driving and watching over cattle and farmsteads. They are classified in the working group, whereas Minis were bred using the Affenpinscher and other small breeds and belong to the utility group, so you can see they are very much different breeds, although belong to the same Schnauzer family with the same characteristic Schnauzer appearance.

How Often Do They Need Grooming

Giant Schnauzers are a ‘trimmed breed’, they do not tend to shed coat as much as shorter haired breeds, and therefore require regular grooming. Legs and beard need brushing and combing frequently to prevent mats developing. Stripping, clipping and trimming is required roughly every 8-12 weeks. Ears need keeping clean, nails need trimming, and routine canine dental care. Puppies need socialising to grooming, nail clipping and dental care from a very young age and on  a regular basis. With a little practice you can learn how to groom yourself.

Is There a Difference Between Males & Females

The most obvious issue regarding a male or female is their size. Males are generally of a much larger stature, stronger and more powerful. There is also a hormonal factor requiring consideration. Females will have an oestrus cycle every 6-8 months, where the female will be in season for around 3 weeks. During this time segregation will be required to prevent unwanted pregnancies. Giant Schnauzer females are generally on the whole more aware of their surroundings. Males may tend to me more independent, although may also become hormonal and mark their territory, seek out bitches in season and display mounting behaviour during the adolescent phase. Both males and females may in some instances be dominant with dogs of the same sex. The decision between a male or female in some respects can be quite subjective, and each dog will have their own personality. It is always better to see the parents where possible, and speak to the breeder about the temperament of the relevant breeding lines. When making the decision to spay or neuter it is important to consider the age of the dog, and wait until their joints have developed and growth plates fully closed, which is under the control of hormonal changes. If considering spaying or neutering it is better to wait until the dog is fully mature in terms of growth and mental development, which is usually not until 2 years.