Giant Schnauzer

Description:
A true work dog with of almost square proportions, the giant Schnauzer is the biggest and strongest of all the German Schnauzers as it is a very robust dog and active dog. The male's height is around sixty-four to sixty eight centimeters and the female is around five centimeters less. The head of this dog should look strong and rectangular, the skull should be moderately wide between the eyes; the cheeks should be smooth the muzzle should be strong and its teeth should be complete. The ears are often times nipped and should be highly inserted on the dog's head, the natural shape of the ears is v shaped. The neck should be somewhat long and well arched; the body is compact and short; the shoulders should be smooth and somewhat inclined, forming a straight angle, the wichers should be high. The front legs should be straight; its chest should be pretty long and the elbows should be well closed. The chest is moderately wide, its ribs are quite wide and it sternum should be noticeable. The insertion of the tail is quite high and is usually docked until the third vertebrate. The hindquarters of this dog should not be more elevated than the shoulders; its paws should be like that of a cat and should be well arched. The coat of this dog rough and very thick, with a short rough undercoat and rough hair on its head, it should always have eyebrows and a beard. The color of the giant Schnauzer's coat can either be completely black, salt or pepper (black and white which gives it a sort of grayish look).

Ideal owner:
A highly qualified guardian, the giant Schnauzer is very sure of it self and is perfectly able to defend itself. As a companion dog this fellow also stands out as it seems to highly admire its human friends, but it is quite cautious with strangers. It is very playful but be careful, as it can be quite rough when at play therefore if you have children you will need to keep an eye on them when they are with the dog. Despite its natural dominating and territorial nature, it is not a mean dog, but rather a good work dog that has a balanced personality.

Growth:
The average liter size of a giant Schnauzer is around seven puppies, however often it is more. The weigh of a puppy at birth varies from 170 to 500 grams depending on the puppy. Getting rid of the front dewclaws is optional but you should remove the hind ones if they have them and this should be done when the puppy is around two to four days old. Nipping the ears is optional but make sure to find out about the laws in your country before attempting this procedure. This dog usually goes through a very rapid growth period from the time it is twelve weeks old and it may last for several months. The owner will need to keep check on the dog's growth and it is recommended to feed it a prescribed diet and possibly feed it supplements as well. Find out from the breeder and or veterinarian about the most adequate diet. There have been many cases in which these dogs' bodies did not absorb vitamin B correctly. During adolescence this dog might become dominating and its natural instinctive nature as a guard dog will become evident. These obviously are excellent qualities that will need to be channeled the right way through training. The puppy hair will be replaced by the typical rough coat, and stripping will need to be done on its coat. A giant Schnauzer reaches its full height around two years of age.

General health:
Although this breed is affected by many diseases and defects, in most cases these have been pretty limited and controlled by responsible breeding. Hip dysphasia and personality problems are probably the biggest worry for breeders, which is why it is necessary to get the dog checked and character evidence is vital and very important as well. Some Shanuzers suffer from osteocondritis, which is an abnormality that affects the cartilage and causes limping. Skin and digestive problems have also been seen but these are pretty isolated problems and are not inherent to the breed. Ocular problems have been informed such as retina dysphasia, however this is not frequent either. The average life span of a giant Schnauzer is around ten to twelve years. Bloat is also a risk in this big breed, so the owner will need to make sure to provide it with water at all times, and feed it smaller portions through out the day and limit the amount of exercise it gets after it has eaten. The amount of care this dogs coat requires is considerable, stripping its coat is something that must be done frequently. It also needs a large amount of exercise and training at a young age is indispensable.

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