The largest of the three Schnauzer varieties, the Giant Schnauzer, also know as Munchener Dog and Riesenschnauzer, originated in Bavaria, Germany in the 18th century. It was used as a general purpose farm dog used for cattle droving, guarding, etc. It is thought to have been developed using many different breeds such as Standard Schnauzers, Great Danes, Bouvier and German Pinschers. The breed was first registered in America in 1930 but didn't really gain much notice until the late 1960's.
Giants are large, powerful, extremely handsome working breed. As striking as they are to look at, this is a challenging breed and is NOT for everybody! It is extremely important that you do your research thoroughly if considering this breed.
Some points to consider...
This is NOT a large version of a miniature schnauzer. I get inquiries all the time from people that think that having owned a mini makes them perfect for a Giant. Totally different breed, totally different needs.
This is a highly intelligent working breed. They need tons of socialization and mental stimulation. Leaving this breed alone and ignored all day everyday will result in boredom and behavioral issues that will manifest itself in many ways....destructive behavior, excessive barking, etc... It will be a miserable life for a Giant.
They are velcro dogs. Nothing makes them happier then being and doing things with their owners. This is not a breed to be banished outside alone. This is a housedog that loves doing things with you...everything.
This is an athletic, active breed. They need lots of exercise and an active family. Yes, they enjoy cuddling on the couch to watch a movie but they better have burned off steam first! A tired dog is a good dog. Exercise is an absolute and they need an outlet to release energy so you must live an active life to consider this breed.
Giants have a strong temperament with a mind of their own. They absolutely need obedience training and they do thrive on learning, after all this is a versatile working breed. They will however challenge you and are not pushovers to train. If you want a robot dog then better to look at Golden Retrievers.
This is a naturally protective breed. They generally are not immediately welcoming to strangers on their turf until you assure them it's ok. This is not a breed that will happily go wagging up to all new people.
Same sex aggression is very common. It is always safer to pair a Giant with another dog of the opposite sex. Of course there are exceptions but if aggression should develop it can result in serious injuries or worse. Not worth the risk.
Giants are NOT a suitable breed for service work. Yes, some can do it but generally this breed is too protective. Better to look at a milder mannered breed if you are looking for a service dog.
They are NOT hypoallergenic. They are one of the better breeds for people with allergies because they aren't big shedders but people with severe allergies will react.
This is a high maintenance grooming breed. If you want your Giant to look gorgeous it needs regular grooming. This is not a Doberman that always looks good, Giants need grooming to look like they do in fancy pictures. This is a financial consideration as it has to be done every couple months and it's an expensive breed to groom. You are probably looking at $90-160 each time depending on where you are.
This is a very rough exuberant breed. Puppies are landsharks and the mouthing/biting stage is something you will be glad to see pass. They also do not know their own strength so it is better that children are older or always supervised if you decide on this breed. They do make wonderful family pets but everybody has to get past the first year in one piece first.
On a positive note, if you are ready to invest the work and time into raising and training a Giant this breed can be very very rewarding. There are obviously lots of wonderful things about this breed too. Besides being a head turning specimen this breed is loyal, affectionate, devoted and are always ready for an adventure which makes them a wonderful companion. I want to make sure every puppy is going to a home that knows exactly what they are getting into first and that is committed for that pups' lifetime. Making sure you are aware of the challenges involved is my responsibility as a breeder.