Showsight Presents the Giant Schnauzer

maximizing e ffi ciency in his movement and should not be penalized. Often, show speci- mens move about the ring, head and ears at attention. Th is movement is not conducive to good reach and good driving power. Th e subject of much confusion and of the most questions asked is the one of coat. Variance in coat type has always been an issue in the breed, as read even in the early origins. Th e genetic pool already consisted of harder coated dogs and softer more profusely coated ones. A body coat that is dense, weather resistant and wiry is called for. Th e standard is not very descriptive in defining furnishings that are shaped and trimmed on the legs of the dog. Breeders dedicated to showing Giants, work hard to maintain the proper texture on the body of the dog and yet have a dog with leg fur- nishings to shape. Often two types of dogs will be seen. Th ey have been dubbed the European ‘hard-coat’, and the American ‘soft-coat’. Actually, in visual observation, one could call the European ‘hard-coat’, the ‘short coat’, and the American ‘soft-coat’, the ‘long coat’. Th e hard coat, or short coated dog, will have less length and thickness in the leg furnishings. Th e soft coat, or long coated dog, will have leg furnishings that are much longer and thicker. On these dogs, it is necessary to conduct a thorough hands on examination to determine the body under the coat. When observing these dogs in motion, be aware of how the movement and grooming of the furnishings can disguise the

actual line of the dogs’ legs. A good moving dog might not look as clean moving and a bad moving dog will look better, depending on the skill of the groomer! No matter what length of hair is seen on the legs, the body hair should be strong, hard and wiry, with a dense undercoat. It is important to remem- ber, that in evaluating Giants, they are com- posed of many parts, and the coat is just one of them. Th e animal should be judged as a whole. Coat should not be the only reason to penalize an exhibit if the dog excels in other virtues, especially when judged against inferior animals that excel only in coat. And, on the other hand, harder coated dogs must not be dismissed because they lack the fancy, profuse furnishings of the elegant dogs that are well sculpted and immaculately present- ed. A sound body and a good temperament are of utmost importance! Health Concerns Th e Giant Schnauzer has been known as a relatively healthy breed compared to some others. Th eir average life expectancy is twelve years, which is reasonably good for a large dog. Since the early imports, a major con- cern has been hip dysplasia. With concerted e ff orts on the part of all the early breeders, the breed maintains a good percentage of dysplastic free dogs. Certified hip clearanc- es still are, and always will be, a necessary requirement in breeding programs. Hypo- thyroidism, epilepsy, toe cancer and urinary incontinence are also concerns. Th ese and

other disorders are health conditions that are known to exist in many breeds and are not limited to the Giant Schnauzer alone. Breed- ers are diligent in following health tests and certifications on their dogs. Th e Giant Schnauzer is a versatile breed, making a smooth transition from the farms of Europe to the homes in North America. It has been lucky enough to be desired by people who appreciate its unique quali- ties. It has been dubbed “the dog with the human brain”. More information can be found at Giant Schnauzer Club of America’s web site, http://

BIO Olga Gagne is from Canada. She has bred and shown Giants since the mid-seventies under the Bluechip prefix. Her dogs have won Multi

BISS and BIS, were top in their breed for many years and Top Working in 1988. Olga Gagne is President of Giant Schnau- zer Club of Canada and an AKC approved mentor for the breed. She served on the Giant Schnauzer Club of America’s com- mittee which compiled the breed’s I llus- trated Standard . In 1998, she began judg- ing and is currently approved to judge six groups in Canada. Olga Gagne has judged both the American and Canadian Giant Schnauzer National Specialties. 4 )08 4 *()5 . "(";*/& " 13*- t

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