Giant Schnauzer History

Giant Schnauzers originated from the Bavarian and Württemberg regions of Germany where it was thought cattle men selectively bred a large dog for herding and driving. In the early 1900's German cattle farmers around Munich combined the Standard Schnauzer's vermin killing and watch-ful instincts with large, course coated, cattle protecting Bavarian Wolfhounds. It is also documented that the Great Dane, Bouvier des Flandres, and rough haired sheepdogs where also used. From them the Munchener or Munich Schnauzer emerged, which became a droving and guarding dog that protected both cattle and herdsmen. Later the Munich Schnauzer became known as Riesenschnauzer (Giant Schnauzer).
The Giant Schnauzer aquired a reputation for guarding and began to be used as guard dogs by breweries and butcher shop guards, and also carried out war duties during World War I and II. After the war the Giant Schnauzer took on a new role as a police dog due to their intelligence, hardyness, trainability and presence. However they were somewhat over shadowed by the increase in popularity of the German Sheperd.

During the 1930's Giant Schnauzers were imported into America from Germany but the breed received little promotion until the 1960's. And is wasn't until then that the first Giant entered the UK. The first giant registered with the Canadian Kennel Club was imported from America in 1934, however there were also very few registrations until the 1960's. It wasn't until the 1970's that Giant Schnauzer breeding began to take off in the UK.

Giant Schnauzers of today are mainly companion or show dogs, some compete in agility, Schutzhund and obedience. They are a multi-faceted and versatile breed with intelligence, loyalty, and a keen family protector.


"Giant Schnauzer, Special Rare Breed Edition", Barbara J Andrews, Interpet Publishing

"Giant Schnauzers, A Complete Pet Owner's Manual", Joe Stahlkuppe, 2002 Barron's Educational Series Inc

"The Giant Schnauzer Handbook", The Giant Schnauzer Club, 1999

"Origin and History of the Giant Schnauzer",

"The Giant Schnauzer Club, Breed Information",

"The Giant Schnauzer Canada, GSC History",