The Giant Schnauzer was originally a droving dog. He is an imposing looking dog, large and square in shape. He is strong, bold and vigorous and requires firm and experienced handling. He has been used for police work in Europe and is a good guard dog. As a large and energetic dog he ideally needs to live in a house with a garden. He needs more than two hours exercise every day and should be given plenty of opportunity to run free. His coat is harsh and wiry, needs daily grooming and professional trimming from time to time.
Inbreeding Coefficient - COI
(Should be as low as possible)
The UK Kennel Club breed average COI is 3.4% - see 'A Beginners Guide to COI'
Effective Population Size - EPS100.02
EPS is a measure of how many individuals are contributing genetically to a breed population. It is a measure of the size of the gene pool in a breed. Lower than 100 is considered critical by conservationists and below 50 brings a breed close to extinction. For more information see the Kennel Club article.
Health and Welfare Problems due to Conformation
(Body shape and physical characteristics)
- Gastric Dilatation Volvulus (Bloat/Torsion) Deep chested breed
- Medial canthal pocket syndrome
- Hip dysplasia: breed mean score 11.2 (parents should be lower)
- Eye disease: Multifocal retinal dysplasia (MRD) (litter screening); Hereditary cataract (HC) (annual testing); PRA
Estimated Breeding Values (EBVs) : No EBVs are currently available for this breed
DNA Tests Available
DogWellNet and IPFD Harmonisation of Genetic Testing for Dogs (HGTD)
- Cobalamin Malabsorption (Imerslund-Grasbeck Syndrome)
- Factor v11 Deficiency
- Degenerative Myelopathy (DM)
- Progressive Retinal Atrophy (prcd-PRA)
- Neuroaxonal Dystrophy (foetal onset, FNAD)
- Hyperuricosuria and Hyperuricemia (HUU) (Urolithiasis)
- Cone degeneration (Achromatopsia)
Availability of a DNA test does not mean that it is always necessary or even desirable for breeders to use this test. Good breeders will have followed the recommendations of the appropriate breed clubs, Kennel Club and/or other qualified experts.
Unofficial (Breed Club) Schemes
- Litter screening for Eye disease
- Adult testing for Eye disease before breeding
Ask the breeder to show you the certificates for the above tests/screening for both parents. If any of the above tests have not been considered necessary by the breeder (and there may be good reasons), ask her to explain why.
Other Diseases Reported
(For which there are currently no genetic or screening tests for sire or dam)
- Mitral Valve Disease
- Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM)
- Urinary incontinence (more often in spayed females)
- Idiopathic Epilepsy
- Pharmacogenic abnormality (adverse responses to some drugs)
Ask the breeder about the medical history of the parents, grandparents and great grandparents. Consider carefully whether to purchase a puppy if some of these or other diseases are in the family line.
Ask about the breeder’s policy in cases of serious genetic diseases occurring to your puppy in later life. Good breeders will request to be informed of such events in order to improve future breeding decisions. Some breeders will also agree to contribute towards medical costs or refund purchase price.
You are strongly advised to buy from a breeder who uses (or is prepared to use) the RSPCA / BVA AWF Puppy Contract and Puppy Information Pack (PIP): www.puppycontract.org.uk
You are also advised to buy from a breeder who follows the Dog Breeding Reform Group’s (DBRG) Standard for Dog Breeding: