Giant Schnauzers originated from the Bavarian and Wurttemberg 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 watchful instincts with large, course coated, cattle protecting Oberlander dogs. Little is known about the true origins but It is thought that the Great Dane, Bouvier des Flandres, possibly Dobermans, and Rottweilers 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 acquired 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, hardiness, trainability and presence. However they were somewhat over shadowed by the increase in popularity of the German Shepherd.
During the 1930’s Giant Schnauzers were exported 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 and breeding began to take off in the 1970’s.
The vast majority of Giant Schnauzers in the UK today are companion dogs, show dogs, or compete in dog sports such as IGP, obedience, agility, man-trailing etc. They are a multi-faceted and versatile breed with intelligence, loyalty, and a keen family protector.