Giant Schnauzer Breed Information:
Giant Schnauzers are a Working Breed, Because of this they need a job to do. They were first bred to be cattle dogs, protecting the heard and their handlers, and so are very protective of their home and family. They will guard by barking at strangers that are within their territory or close to their home. Rest assured that if a Giant Schnauzer is barking, it is because they heard something or seen someone approaching. A barking Giant Schnauzer is a very big deterrent for trespassers. A Giant may even rush or charge to scare the trespasser away, but they are not generally attack type dogs unless trained to be that way. Once a visitor is accepted into the home, they are usually very friendly, unless taught otherwise. Giant Schnauzers may greet visitors by jumping up and being generally boisterous. Giants need to be trained not to jump up at people and children from early puppyhood. You should start the at home training the moment you bring your puppy into your home. There are many youtube videos you can look up on basic home training certain skills. It is very important to get your puppy into puppy classes asap. This will help him socially with other people and dogs but most importantly will start to train you to be a good handler. Puppy classes are to train the owner, not to train the puppy. You will learn how to train your puppy at home, which should be done every day consistently.
Giant Schnauzers have a high prey drive and may chase fast moving objects such as cyclists, joggers, squirrels, birds, etc… Early socializing and training from day one is required to prevent any undesirable chasing. When it comes to other large breed dogs, Giant Schnauzers tend to get along if they are spayed / neutered, but in general they may not be accepting of the same gender (male and male), (female and female) of another large breed. This is a generalization and not all will have this characteristic. Most Giants have no issues but that is depending on the individual dogs personalities in the home, the owner as a leader, and the amount of early socialization and training provided.
Giant Schnauzers love their families and will thrive if allowed to be apart of the family. They do not like to be excluded or isolated from their family. As such they do not like being left on their own for long periods of time and do not generally like to be left in a dog run in the back yard. If you are wanting to crate your Giant please understand he needs to become accustomed to being left for short periods on his own, otherwise your puppy may develop separation anxiety if suddenly left alone with no family (or cattle) to keep watch over.
This is a very intelligent breed, and will learn very quickly, whether it is something you want them to learn or not! Therefore, it is important to train Giants from the beginning and discourage unwanted behavior as soon as possible. They are also large, muscular and very strong, and if they do not have a definite “leader” or ‘boss’ they themselves will feel like they should adopt the role as pack leader, therefore Giants require a firm, fair leader.
Giant Schnauzers require daily exercise and mental stimulation, they do very well at obedience, agility, Shutzhund and many other disciplines. They are considered medium energy and high drive which is perfect for training. Many of our past pups have even become search and rescue dogs, service dogs, and police dogs. Of course they are a good breed even if you just want a loyal family pet that will protect you and be a good jogging buddy when fully grown.
Giant Schnauzers do not tend to shed their coat, therefore they will require brushing once a week for a pet to get any seeds and such out. Legs and beard require regular brushing and combing, stripping or clipping and trimming is required roughly every 8-12 weeks on a pet cut. Ears require plucking and keeping clean, nails need trimming, and routine canine dental care. If showing in conformation a show dog requires daily stripping and grooming from 2 months before showing and while showing.
The breed standard: Dogs which are adult males are 25.5 to 27.5 inches to the top of the shoulders, bitches which are females are 23.5 to 25.5 inches. Giant Schnauzers are very strong, well boned and muscular. We sometimes get larger Giants than the breed standard because we breed Giants on the top end or over the breed standard in size. These champion out just fine in my experience and many judges prefer a Giant that looks the part and is on the bigger, taller, more muscular side. My studs are 29” tall and my dams vary from 25” on up to 27” tall. Now I will add that we can not and will not guarantee size because on occasion even large parents can have a litter of pups that end up on the lower end of the breed standard. Also, you can not compare sizes of different lines since some lines start off as large puppies and other lines start off with smaller pups but in the end they all catch up to be within the breed standard with very few exceptions to the rule. A runt may never catch up.
Training and Guarding Instincts:
Giant Schnauzers were first bred to protect cattle and then for police work, so protection is bred into them from the very start. They are a family protector and devoted companion with a combination of courage and calmness. They have an independent personality and so can become stubborn if not trained from the start by a strong but fair leader. They learn very quickly and can learn bad behaviors if just left to themselves, so start training the right way from day one.
Giant Schnauzers are a comparatively healthy breed, quite hardy and generally do not suffer from many ailments. This breed does carry some things that any responsible breeder should test for before breeding the dog. The eyes should be OFA certified and clear of any congenital defects, the hips should be OFA certified, the blood should be tested for VonWillebrands disease and thyroid disease. Always ask to see test results from a breeder!!!
Epilepsy and thyroid problems have been known to occur in the breed. The latest breed health survey carried out by the breed clubs, shows that 4% of Giant Schnauzers that took part in the survey had epilepsy, and 2.9% had hypothyroidism. However most breeders work hard to try and avoid such problems. The breed club health survey also shows that cancers are the largest cause of death within the breed.
An adult Giant needs vigorous daily exercise, free running and mental stimulation; at least 1 hour twice a day. They are a large, strong and active breed originally used to herd cattle, and are classified in the working group of dogs. However Giant puppies will require restricted exercise until their joints are fully developed (up to approx 12-14 months of age), as a rough guide they should receive only 5 minutes of formal exercise for every month of age twice daily (i.e. if lead walking). Therefore a 3 month old puppy will require 15 minutes exercise twice a day if formal lead walking. However free running exercise on soft ground with gentle slopes, for short periods, is fine if the puppy can rest when they have had enough. Care should be taken to prevent puppies from over exercising, no jumping from heights, no vigorous ball chasing, no steps/stairs, supervised exercise only with older dogs etc. whilst puppies are growing as it can cause permanent damage to their developing joints.
Good with Children?
Giants love their family and are wonderful with children. If you have a small toddler please keep in mind a large breed dog can knock the child over while playing. Giant’s are not happy if isolated from their family. Train your Giant and give lots of time socializing and you will have a happy pet and family.
Good for Allergy and Asthma Sufferers?
Giants are known to be shed and allergy friendly. Even so, they do shed as any living creature with hair does shed a little. Many find Schnauzers to be hypoallergenic. This however does not mean every person is ok with a Schnauzer. Although Giants are classed as a non-shedding breed, they are ‘dogs’ and have both saliva and dander. Dog saliva and dander is what a person is reacting to when they have an allergy and each animal is an individual. For anyone with allergies and/or asthma considering getting a Giant Schnauzer, it is better to spend time with a number of Giants beforehand to gauge the response. And also consult with your health care provider for definitive advice. We can also send you a t-shirt if you are not able to come visit in person that we have rubbed all over the puppy and put in the puppy’s mouth. It costs $40 for us to do this which covers over night mail and cost of t-shirt.
Our Giants are Potty Trained using a doggy door. Bigger dogs do better with just training to go outside. You can read more about how pups are handled at our home on this training page…
Training puppy, CRATE TRAINING: Keep your puppy in a small area such as a pet crate or exercise pen. The area needs to be so small that the dog can not walk away from it’s mess if it goes potty. Take your puppy outside several times during the day to go potty, every couple of hours around the clock… Feed your puppy three times a day at the same time of day, and take him outside to potty after every meal, when he wakes up, or when you notice him whining and sniffing around. If you let the puppy out of his crate you must supervise him closely and if an accident is happening clap your hands together and yell nuaaa, (Never say NO),… then grab your puppy up asap and take him outside to finish his business. If you see poop on the floor take it outside and put it in the spot you want him to go. When your puppy does his mess outside reward him with a GOOD BOY and lots of love! When your puppy is doing well not potting in the small area you can then open the area to just a little bigger every few days , until eventually he will have the full run of the house. If puppy has an accident make the area small again and start over… We socialize our puppies very well and most come well on their way to being house trained…. Once you know your puppy is getting the idea you can incorporate how you want him to tell you he needs to go outside, (If you do not have a doggy door). Many people like the bells. They are a string of bells you put on or near your door and the puppy goes and rings them when he wants to go outside. To teach this behavior you just ring the bells yourself every time you let your puppy outside, You can even take the bells outside with you and ring them when your puppy is using the restroom… Then praise your puppy when he goes potty… After doing it a while the dog get’s the idea that the bells mean I need to potty…. Bells are not a good idea if you have small children that will ring them though… And remember to place the bells next to the door, not on the door, so you are not accidentally ringing them every time you open your door. That is just one of many different ways to train your house pet. If you have any questions or would like advice you are welcome to call me anytime.
First, I would like to discuss how we start the training process here before your puppy leaves our home.
Super Dog Military Training: This is a nero system stimulation technique that helps the nervous system and overall development mature more rapidly. It also makes for healthier happier less stressed puppies with stronger immune systems. We take the puppy even before the eyes are open and put it in many different positions and apply pressure to certain areas of the body to stimulate the nervous system while giving soft vocal cues saying good boy/girl. When older we keep it up but then give treats and positive touches and voice cues so put relates discomfort like an ear pinch with a reward. Teaching good things happen even when in an uncomfortable situation. So when your child pulls his ear as an adult he is less likely to be threatened. It also makes the pup healthier since it is less stressed in new situations.
Rule of sevens: We stimulate each sense in at least 7 different ways. For instance we put a small mat in the puppies’ area that has different texture to stimulate the sense of touch. Such as a mat with a shiny flooring on it, carpet, fake grass, wood flooring, textured flooring, a box of sand, and a cinder-block. We only use one stimulation at a time and leave it in for several hours so the puppies have plenty of time to get used to the new material before we switch to a different one. We also do the same thing with taste, site, sound, and smell…
A puppy that has had this pre training is less likely to get spooked or be nervous in new situations. We also socialize each puppy with people of different ages and backgrounds so each puppy is happy to be showered with attention no matter who is giving it. They are also less likely to snap at a toddler for pulling his/her ear or pee on them self when you bend down to pet him/her. If a puppy is to be shipped we start getting the pups used to their crate they will be traveling in by placing them in their crate for the last week before they leave us at night or a few hours during the day.
What should you do if your puppy cries when you crate him for the night… It is best to think pro-actively so make sure your puppy has already went potty and so would not be crying to go outside… You should have a toy or something for your puppy to do in the crate if he is not tired such as a Kong toy stuffed with tasty peanut butter… This is a diversion and gives the puppy something to do other than just sit there and be thinking of how alone he is…. After you have tucked him in for the night If he starts to cry: THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT: DO ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!!! Let the puppy learn to comfort himself and do not give any attention at all good or bad… After a few nights the puppy will realize bed time is bedtime and crying does not give him what he wants. Even when it is time for puppy to come out of his crate do not open the door until he is quite and calm! Every two hours take pup out to go potty outside. Yes that is every two hours around the clock for first week. Then add an hour every week up to 4 hours during day and 5 hrs at night. If pup has an accident you need to decrease the amount of time between potty breaks. Eventually puppy will be free to run through house and will be on a potty schedule. Remember to give a tiny treat or praise when pup potties like he should.
Only give a puppy affection and rewards if they are totally calm and submissive to you and everyone else around you. Do not give a puppy a treat if it is grabbing it or going crazy trying to get it from you. If a dog does this say a no word that is not no, like “NUAAA” or “AHAH” and take the treat away and then give it again slower until the puppy gently takes it from your hand. Never say “NO” because this word is used so much in everyday speech and you do not want to confuse your dog. Choose a no word that is not no and stick to that word every time you mean “stop behavior.” You will learn this and much more in your first puppy 1 class and we also recommend getting your pup into puppy 2 classes, basic dog training classes, and eventually his CGS, (CANINE GOOD CITIZENSHIP). If you are wanting a certified therapy dog or medical service dog you can look into those programs in your local area as well.
All our adults are well trained family pets and we hope you also choose ongoing training for your puppy. Please DO NOT go with a pet store training class. Look on AKC website on trainers in your local area or contact the Giant Schnauzer breed club to see what training is available in your area.
A puppy that growls or groans vocally while eating: This is a natural behavior from a puppy that is from a large litter. So at feeding time they maybe more vocal since they have other siblings that have been invading his /her space at food time. All our puppies get enough to eat so it is not from being starved. Think how you would feel if you had to eat off the same plate as all of your siblings at the same time at every meal. Obviously a breeder can not feed 10 puppies out of 10 different bowls in 10 different areas so they don’t eat out of each others bowls… So because a puppy has to share his bowl with several other squirming puppies they maybe a little vocal at food time for the first week or two. It is best to stop this behavior early on before your puppy turns it into food aggression. How you can stop this behavior is to get your puppy good and hungry and then hand feed him each bite of food. Make him take it from you gently or he doesn’t get it. After doing this several times in a row you will see a huge difference in how your pup looks at you and acts at feeding time. This can also help with the bonding process since it teaches the dog that his LIFE depends on you.
TIP: If you use a heavy ceramic type bowl to feed your pet then you will have less spills to clean up. Light weight bowls get knocked over and played with. You can also use a Food Bowl stand which helps your dog not have to lean down so much and is actually a healthier position for them to eat in and helps prevent bloat.
A young puppy is naturally submissive. Some may have a shy personality and others are more sociable or even dominate but in general an 8 week old puppy will submit to a strong dominate authority. If your puppy is playfully chewing on your hand and wrestling with you and tugging on your clothes or chasing you or your children around they are not aggressive but doing what pups naturally do in the pack to test each others boundaries. if your pup is doing this you need to be quick and firm in teaching him his place and not allowing him to test you. It is very important to get any puppy into training classes asap so u can be taught the correct way to train your pet. Behavior of a dog is 90% trained and 10% genetic so if the puppy is trained properly it should have a good personality and be a very social dog as an adult. Many people who end up having an aggressive dog did not know that they were training their puppy to be aggressive. An example is allowing your puppy to chew on your hand and play tug-of-war with your clothing. Also allowing your puppy to chaise you around and tug at your clothes. This actually teaches your puppy to put his teeth on you and it teaches him it is okay to put his teeth on anything and dominate anything he wishes and also to dominate you by wrestling with you like you are a litter mate. An aggressive dog and fearful dog is not a happy dog, a submissive dog is a happy dog. Many people make the mistake of teaching their dog that he or she is their baby or family member and not being submissive. Do not put a human personality or position on your pet. A dog’s feelings are much different than humans. Your dog is not human it is not a baby it is an animal that needs to be taught to be submissive. If you do not teach your dog to be submissive it will naturally start being dominated so that he can control the situation and not be fearful of the situation. If your dog is acting aggressive or dominant to anyone around you or any animal around you in your presence then you are not dominant over your dog. Your dog should look to you on how to react to any situation; this is a calm submissive dog. When looking for a training class make sure you find one where the person who is training actually has a good reputation. Please do not take your dog to a pet store where trainers are getting paid minimum wage to train you how to train your dog. You want a trainer that has been doing it for years and has many good references. Remember training classes are two train the owner how to train the dog at home. You can spend hundreds of dollars on training your dog and your dog may never be trained because you are not showing your dog the correct way to act at home or you are not being persistent in your discipline and training method. I cannot stand it when I hear people that say they are starting to take their dog to training classes at 4 or even 6 months old because it has started having a bad habit or being aggressive! It is up to you to start the training and socializing as soon as u get your puppy, not wait until you have a dog that has learned bad habits!!! Just like your child knows the negative consequences that comes from a certain action your puppy should also know that negative consequences come from their negative actions such as a puppy that cries while in his crate knows that you’re going to turn your back on it and not pay attention to it or an 8 week old pup knows if it play bites on your skin it’s going to get flicked in the nose. Dogs are animals of habit just like humans and they learn from repetitive behavior so if you allow your dog to repeatedly growl, bark, or nip at you and get away with it then it will learn that behavior but if you are pro-actively teaching before the dog even gets to the point of growling / nipping behavior then it will learn not to do that behavior. Some giants are naturally dominant when it comes to other pets at feeding time. So if you have another dog that is also dominant you may need to feed them separately.
A good example of watching behavior and avoiding a dog fight is if your dog gets a certain look before attacking another dog. Well the first moment the dog even looks the direction of the other dog, even before he starts giving that certain look you should be proactive and put your dog in a submissive position such as on his back and hold him there until he relaxes. Do this every time you think your dog is going to show a dominate behavior even before he shows any such behavior. In doing this you are teaching your dog you are dominate and you control every situation. Some dogs when put in the submissive position on their back and held down may cry, squirm, bite, and maybe even urinate on themselves out of fear but they soon learn that this position is safe and secure and actually teaches the dog to be calm and submissive. You should do that submissive position throughout the day every day so your dog learns that it is a normal position where his position is in the family and is not a negative thing. You know your dog better than anyone else so if you know your dog is going to be negative or fearful in a certain situation then you need to be proactive and teach it to be submissive before it even gets to the point of being fearful. I cannot explain how important it is to socialize your puppy while it is a puppy. If you want to social dog you have to socialize your dog. No one else other than the owner can be blamed if the dog is aggressive or fearful in any situation because just like well known dog behaviorist Cesar Milan says “a dog’s behavior is 90% learned and only 10% genetic”. I like to get some examples of certain situation and what you should do, and what many people mistakenly do. For instance let’s say you have an adult female that has had a litter of puppies. Now she growls at you because you are near her puppies and touching on her puppies. As the owner you should be dominant over her and you should not allow her to ever growl at you. Growling at you is not normal even if she has puppies that she is protecting because you are the dominant one in her life and so you are the one in control and the fixer of negative situations in her pack. If she is growling at you she is in fact saying I am dominant over you and back off. In this situation most people would just think well she’s being protective of her puppies and I should leave her alone. This is not correct you should take the opportunity to show her she needs to submit to you. You should touch on all of her puppies and her as well and she will see you mean no harm to them. If your dog shows aggression you should not back off because this teaches your dog they have gotten their way with their negative behavior. Instead you move forward and put the dog in the submissive position and keep doing this everyday throughout the day. Now let’s say you have a puppy that acts fine and loving but every now and then will growl at you or your children. Most people just leave the pet alone at signs of growling or biting. This is the worst thing you can do. You need to immediately put the dog in the submissive position and not let it up until it is relaxed and submits to you and those around you. You should do this every day and the dog will naturally learn to stop the behavior. I have seen a dog act aggressive at their home with their owner and as soon as they are placed into a different home they take a submissive position. This is because the dog has LEARNED to be dominate and that certain behavior had a positive response for him from the first home but the same dog is unsure of his role in the new home so will be submissive and may TEST the new owners and if the new owners are dominate and do not allow the puppy to act up the puppy stays submissive and happy. This is why it is harder to teach a dog that has LEARNED the behavior at the first home while it is still in the first home, but the same pup can learn quickly in the second home with a different family. Yes you can still teach your pup that has LEARNED the bad behavior to be submissive to you in your home but it takes perseverance and persistence with sticking to the same discipline action every day and having the proactive mind set in teaching the pup you and your family are dominate over him. An 8 week old puppy comes to you with a clean slate and it is up to you what you teach him. If you do not socialize your puppy or do not train him correctly you are in fact teaching him to have bad behaviors. This is why we do not guarantee a dogs personality. We can only make sure we are breeding loving family pets that have great personalities and we encourage you to visit and meet the parents so you can see the proper behavior that comes from a well trained well socialized dog that has been properly taught from 8 weeks of age on.
There are many different methods to train your puppy once he/she is in your home. I recommend the clicker training method. Read below for more info. You can train your dog to just be a loving loyal family pet or you can have ongoing training and train them to become a therapy service dog or a medical service dog or can even choose to get your dog into agility and obedience trials. Whatever you choose for your pup’s future training I know you will be thrilled with the success of your puppy and we are proud to have a part in the foundation work of that success… Remember your puppy’s end personality and behavior depends on how much correct training you the owner are giving him at home throughout his life from the first day on! You are more than welcome to call me anytime for advice.
Whatever breed of dog you have, clicker dog training is one of the most effective and impressive methods for controlling and dictating a dog’s behaviour when trying to teach them basic commands. It takes very little time to initiate clicker training and with a well operated clicker, you can teach your puppy the behaviors that will make your pet a welcome member of the family.
The Method behind Clicker Training
The reasoning behind clicker training is that you’re teaching your puppy to associate the sound of the clicker – a strong, sharp sound that they can hear from 20+ yards away – with a specific command you give. The goal of the training is to mark specific desirable behavior and then reward it with the sound of the clicker. Of course clicker dog training does not start with a clicker. You must first teach your dog that the clicker is a reward for good behavior. This can be done with a bag of treats and a simple, two dollar clicker from your local pet store. It is important that you use a clicker in this instance for a number of reasons. To start with, a dog will never hear that clicker for any reason other than to tell them they did a good job and that a treat is on the way. A word or verbal command might be given in different situations and the relationship in their head is not quite as strong because of it.
Three Basic Steps Teaching Clicker Behaviors
When you start training your dog to respond to a clicker, there are three very basic steps. First, you will get the behavior – convincing your dog to do something that you want. It may be sitting, speaking, rolling over, or whatever other tricks you’re trying to teach. Once you’ve gotten them to perform their behavior, mark it with the clicker and a reward. It usually only takes two or three markings before a dog learns what the behavior they did was and starts repeating it whenever you click use the clicker. Clicker dog training works well because they will immediately respond, allowing you to reward them and immediately instill it in their minds. A verbal command will take time to get through. Once the dog has done the behavior and received their reward, continue doing it to reinforce the behavior as much as possible. You do not have to use treats every time. Praise and petting work just as well and can eventually replace the behavior.
Transitioning to a Spoken Command
Once the dog has learned the behavior well, clicker dog training will have you transition to a spoken command that can be used anywhere, even when you don’t have a clicker. Whenever you are about to use the clicker, say the command and then click, followed by the reward. The dog will quickly learn to associate all three. Eventually, with good clicker dog training, a dog will respond to a verbal cue and praise for their action and then they will simply learn it. The need for treats or praise will be gone and the dog will simply know that the action pleases you. As you might imagine, clicker dog training has a number of applications. It can make training your puppy so much easier in many ways. With a simple, sharp command, you can mark and reinforce nearly any behavior. Just remember to be patient and in time you will have the well trained family pet you have always wanted. Watch the video below before starting clicker training:
Here are some helpful articles I have found for certain behaviors: Keep in mind you will be leaving our site to view them so click back or put us on your favorites now!
Puppy Biting and playing to rough: Here is a 4 page article I like… Remember to look at all four pages. http://pets.webmd.com/dogs/guide/biting- puppy-how-train-puppy-bites
Puppy or dog is barking to much: http://www.cleverpuppies.com/puppy-barking.html
And a wonderful wealth of info can be found at Cesar Millan’s website at:
Other nice books and articles to read:
The World of Schnauzers – Johan Gallant Dog Psychology and Development : Culture Clash – Jean Donaldson, Dog Talk – John Ross and Barbara McKinney, Dog Behavior: Why Dogs Do What They Do – Ian Dunbar, Dog’s Mind: Understanding Your Dog’s Behavior – B. Fogle, Don’t Shoot The Dog – Karen Pryor, How To Raise A Puppy You Can Live With – Rutherford & Neil, Man Meets Dog – Konrad Lorenz, The Body Language and Emotion of Dogs – Myrna Milani Training – Obedience: Play Training Your Dog – Deborah Burnham, Beyond Basic Dog Training – Diane L. Bauman, Expert Obedience Training For Dogs – Winifred G. Strickland