Showsight Presents the Giant Schnauzer

Th ere was a conglomeration of types, colors, hair textures, and sizes. After this, as the type came closer to that of the Standard Schnauzer, the name Giant Schnauzer was adopted. Gradually breed- ers selected two color varieties, black and pepper/salt, with the black soon becom- ing dominant. Th e Giant Schnauzer made slow prog- ress in North America when it was first imported in the 1920s. He arrived at the time the German Shepherd Dog was at the peak of his popularity. Th e AKC gave them recognition in 1930 and the CKC had the first two Giants registered in 1934. Form & Function—Character Th e Giant Schnauzer has always been praised for his intelligence. Along with his spirit, alertness and reliability, the Giant has a robust and agile build. Although, his name is “Giant”, this is not technically a giant breed. He is simply the largest of the three Schnauzer breeds, being the giant among them. While the Standard Schnauzer has been held strictly to its original size by setting a disqualification in the standard, the size of the Giant has been allowed to increase gradually over the past thirty years, from a range of 21 ½" -25 ½" , to the present 23 ½" -25 ½" for females and 25 ½" - 27 ½" for males. For the show ring, size

might seem impressive, but few breeders and owners want to see the Giant push- ing the maximums. Th e standard clearly states mediums preferred. In his duties as police and army service, he must have the weight and strength for “man-work”. If he is too large and heavy, he would lack the required speed and agility. If too slight and light, he would lack the power. Th e primary function of a Giant Schnauzer these days is being a devoted family member, a guardian of the home and an enthusiastic performance dog. Th ese functions require a dog with a sound temperament and a reliable, responsive disposition. Giant Schnauzers are an excel- lent choice for those wanting a willing and active companion, but they are not the right choice for everyone. Th ey are a domi- nant dog and can quickly take control if given the chance. It is essential they learn basic obedience and understand their posi- tion in the household, which is their pack. Th eir legal position in this pack is below all the humans. Once the order is established, they are great family dogs and reliable, devoted companions. Although they are alert and watchful towards strangers, they are basically non-aggressive and are excel- lent natural guard dogs. Th ey are most happy when they are with you, having a willingness to please. Th ey do best with mental stimulation and lots of exercise.

In 1909, the breed was first exhibited in Munich, Germany, as Reisenschnau- zers, the name they are still given today in Europe. Th e dogs were also called Muchener, or Munich Schnauzers, because of their popularity in the town of Munich. Even at this early first show, the judge was confronted with two di ff erent types of coat. Along with the rough coat- ed dogs, there were exhibits with long, smooth hair, dubbed Russerls or Bear Schnauzers. In the end, a coarsely haired black male, was chosen as the best repre- sentative of the breed. Th e Giant Schnauzers characteristics were greatly valued by the local stock breeders, butchers, and brewery owners, his greatest asset being that of a steadfast guard. As well as being used to herd and move the livestock, his intelligence and sharpness was used to guard his master’s possessions and to accompany and pro- tect wagons in travel. With the decline of cattle driving, the Giant Schnauzer’s strong agile body, active, alert, and reliable temperament, made him noticed by the police and law enforcement services, and he soon began a new career in the field of guard and police work. In 1925, the breed received o ffi cial designation in Germany as a working dog. In 1910, called the birth year of the Giant Schnauzer, the German Stud Book entered 9 Munich Schnauzers. Four were pepper/salt, three were black, one was brown/yellow and one was grey/yellow.

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