Showsight Presents the Giant Schnauzer


The total balance of front and rear angles utilized in a square dog is a very sensitive equation. If all components are in synch, the result is effi- ciency; if any part of the equation is not a good fit, the dog requires extra effort to move. Understanding the importance of the Giant’s ability to trot all day over rough terrain shows us why we must pay attention to these important details as breeders. BACK Short, straight, strong, and firm. This section is self-explanatory and fits into the overall picture con- cerning the necessary balance requested by our written standard. When I first started showing Giants, I noticed the poor toplines, first and fore- most. Many of the Giants at that time were high in the rear as a result of too little angulation in the rear. These specimens usually had a severe dip in the topline as well; this being the result of a difference in angulation from front to rear. Standing alertly, a Giant may have a slightly sloping topline, but it should remain flat when moving. A sloping topline when moving indicates more angulation in the rear than in the front. What the standard is about is balance and the ability to work. TAIL The tail is set moderately high and carried high in excitement. It should be docked to the second or not more than the third joint (approximately one and one-half to about three inches at maturity). This section is very specific. The docked tail should consist of either two or three joints. No guideline was established for undocked tails by the authors of the standard, leading us to believe that the concept was either not considered or it was rejected. Keep in mind that the standard includes descriptions for both cropped and uncropped ears. An undocked tail is not a listed disqualification, so how should a judge treat an undocked tail? Refer to the section on faults: The foregoing description is that of the ideal Giant Schnauzer. Any deviation from the above described dog must be penalized to the extent of the deviation. Since a full tail is quite a deviation from two or three joints, it must be considered a serious fault. Keep in mind that the judges should be making their picks by consider- ing how exhibits compare to the standard rather than through individual, personal tastes or convictions. Another common fault, discussed in the Illustrated Standard , is the gay or “squirrel” tail. An undocked tail is NOT a disqualification. However, a person wish- ing to show an undocked Giant must understand that it is a fault that must be overcome with sufficient overall quality and breed type. HINDQUARTERS The hindquarters are strongly muscled, in balance with the fore- quarters; upper thighs are slanting and well bent at the stifles, with the second thighs (tibiae) approximately parallel to an extension of the upper neckline. The legs from the hock joint to the feet are short, perpendicular to the ground while the dog is standing natu- rally, and from the rear parallel to each other. The hindquarters do not appear over-built or higher than the shoulder. Croup full and slightly rounded. We should always keep in mind the purpose for which this breed was developed; to drive cattle through the Bavarian Alps. Our Standard is predicated on that concept. The Giant must be strong and hardy enough to accomplish the assigned task. Dogs with weak or over-angulated rears cannot hold up over long days in rough terrain. A very common fault is sickle hocks. This is a product of incorrect bone lengths, and it greatly affects movement and stamina. Feet - Well arched, compact and catlike, turning neither in nor out, with thick tough pads and dark nails. This section is concise and to the point. Again, it describes what is necessary for a drover dog. Of course, the dark nails are a product of the strong pigment inherent in the breed.

Dewclaws - Dewclaws, if any, on hind legs should be removed; on the forelegs, may be removed. No comment is necessary for this section. GAIT The trot is the gait at which movement is judged. Free, balanced and vigorous, with good reach in the fore- quarters and good driving power in the hindquarters. Rear and front legs are thrown neither in nor out. When moving at a fast trot, a properly built dog will single- track. Back remains strong, firm, and flat. A trot is the working gait of the Giant. It was bred to work at this gait over rough terrain all day long. Efficient movement is absolutely necessary. Balance from front to rear is required to ensure the dog both reaches and drives. Common faults are poorly constructed fronts that flip or swing, and rears that have incorrect angles or long hocks. The back should be firm and flat when moving, though the topline may appear high-stationed while the dog is standing alert. The back is more likely to remain firm and flat when the dog is compact and balanced. COAT Hard, wiry, very dense; composed of a soft under- coat and a harsh outer coat which, when seen against the grain, stands slightly up off the back, lying neither smooth nor flat. Coarse hair on top of head; harsh beard and eyebrows, the Schnauzer hallmark.


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