Giant Schnauzers are large, powerful but compact dogs who, just as the name suggests, are large versions of the standard Schnauzer. They have a harsh, wiry outer coat and they sport the trademark Schnauzer eyebrows, whiskers and beard. They have black noses and oval-shaped, dark brown eyes. The ears may or may not be cropped, but tail is customarily docked to the second or third joint. Giant Schnauzers come in either solid black or salt and pepper, which at a distance, appears gray.
Size and Weight
Males should ideally stand from 25.5 to 27.5 inches at the withers and females should stand 23.5 to 25.5. The average weight for the breed ranges from 75 pounds to 95 pounds. Show dogs should not be too small or too large, as power and balance are important to this working breed.
Coat and Color
The Giant Schnauzer sports a hard, dense, wiry outer coat that stands up from the skin. The undercoat is soft and dense, as well. The face is adorned with the Schnauzer's distinctive beard and eyebrows. They come in either solid black or pepper and salt, which is a combination of black and white hair which, at a distance, appears gray.
The Giant Schnauzer's coat should be brushed with a stiff-bristle or slicker brush at least three times per week in order to prevent mats from forming in the undercoat. Every four to six months, the coat will require hand stripping. This is necessary to maintain the proper texture of the coat, so dogs who will not be shown can be clipped instead. Clipping, however, comes with it's own set of extra grooming requirements. Regular clipping of the Giant Schnauzer's coat will eventually change the texture of the hair, leading to more shedding. It can also alter the coloring of the dog. Whereas the dog may have a salt and pepper coat, clipping will cause the hair to match the undercoat – either solid silver or solid black.
Clean the Schnauzer's beard after every mail. Food, water and saliva that get caught in the facial hair not only make a mess around the house, but also cause foul odors and tangles that may be painful to comb.
Check the Schnauzer's ears on a regular basis for signs of irritation, infection or wax buildup. Cleanse with a cotton ball and a veterinarian-approved solution. Monthly nail trimmings are required of dogs who do not wear their nails down naturally. If the nails make a clicking sound on hard floors, it's time for a trim. Brush teeth weekly to prevent tartar buildup and keep bad breath at bay.