The personality of the Giant Schnauzer can vary from dog to dog. Some are high strung, some are laid back and easy going, some love everybody, others don't like new people. The key to raising a happy and well-adjusted Giant Schnauzer lies in commitment to exercise and training from an early age. Properly trained Schnauzer make excellent family pets – reliable with children, properly mannered with strangers, respectful of boundaries. Improperly trained and exercised Schnauzers can be much more challenging. Experienced dog owners describe their Schnauzer as loyal, loving companions who bring them nothing but laughter and joy. They can be quite clownish and if silly behavior gets them a laugh and some attention, they'll pick up on that and become show-boaters. With Giant Schnauzers, more so than other breeds, you get out of them what you put into them.
For people who aren't prepared to walk or run several miles a day, the Giant Schnauzer is not the right choice. For active people, he makes an excellent companion, as his daily activity requirements are high. Walking, jogging, hiking and biking are good ways to keep Schnauzers physically fit, and enrolling them in agility training can keep their minds sharp. Couch potatoes or city dwellers may not be the right choice for this breed, as they need lots of space, both indoors and out. Proper exercise not only keeps Giant Schnauzers physically fit, but it also helps maintain a steady temperament. High-strung Schnauzers are probably not getting enough exercise.
Training a Schnauzer varies from individual to individual. Training should be begin as early as possible, and should be conducted with firm leadership, 100% consistency, and a lot of delicious treats. Schnauzers generally won't accept a wishy-washy trainer as a leader. Once basic obedience is mastered, Schnauzers should be graduated on to advanced classes and if possible, enrolled in agility activities where they almost always excel.
Schnauzers need more socialization than a lot of other breeds. They can be timid or shy around strangers, and this can often lead to snapping or biting. It is important to teach a Schnauzer early and often, that new people can be trusted and new situations are nothing to fear.
Animal aggression is a common trait among Giant Schnauzers. Cats and small dogs should be kept away, as Schnauzers are prone to chase and can seriously injure other animals. They are best for one-pet homes, as their same-sex aggressive tendencies are high. Schnauzers should always be kept in a fenced yard and when out walking or jogging, should be leashed at all times. Proper socialization helps, but it's difficult to train aggression out of this breed, even if they are generally an even-tempered individual.
Destructive tendencies are also very common with Giant Schnauzers, but this trait is 100% avoidable. Committing to a Giant Schnauzer means committing to an active lifestyle. A well-exercised Scnhauzer is a reliable housemate. A bored Schnauzer will destroy a home.