Salt and Pepper Giant Schnauzer- Everything You Need to Know

Giant Schnauzer is an authentic member of the Schnauzer breed. Salt and Pepper Giant Schnauzers are born black with pale feet. With maturity, the dominant black color of the coat disintegrates, revealing the pepper-salt coat beneath it. The pepper salt hair appears in black, gray, or white combinations and turns silver/gray with adulthood. They feature brown eyes, black pads, and a black nose.  

Salt and Pepper Giant Schnauzers have distinct eyebrows and beards. They are massive, muscular, courageous, devoted, and affectionate and closely resemble Standard Schnauzers in appearance.

Salt and Pepper Giant Schnauzer Pros and Cons

Pros Cons 
Excellent guard dogsDoesn’t get along well with other pets
Easy to trainHighly energetic 

Salt and Pepper Giant Schnauzer Basic Information

  • Name: Salt and Pepper Giant Schnauzer
  • Height: 23½-27½ inches
  • Weight: 75 – 100 pounds
  • Coat: Mix of black, white, and gray hair 
  • Color: A relatively uniform gray coloring
  • Energy: High
  • Activities: Agility, advanced obedience, schutzhund, carting, and tracking
  • Group: Herding
  • Barking Level: Medium
  • Shedding Level: Medium
  • Hypoallergenic: Yes
  • Litter Size: 6-10 puppies
  • Life Span: 12 – 15 years
  • Other names: Riesen Schnauzer, Russian Bear Schnauzer, Munich Schnauzer, Schnauzer Géant

Schnauzer vs. Salt and Pepper Giant Schnauzer: A Comparison

          Features  Schnauzer Salt and Pepper Giant Schnauzer 
Height  12 – 26 inches  23½-27½ inches
Weight  20 – 70 pounds  75 – 100 pounds
Size  Medium  Large
Group  Working Group  Herding Group
Children Compatibility  Medium to High  Medium
Family Compatibility  Medium to High  High
Pets Compatibility  Low to Medium  Medium
Barking Level  Low to Medium Medium
Shedding Level  Low Medium
Hypoallergenic  Yes Yes
Grooming Needs  Medium  Medium to High
Overall Health  High Medium to High
Energy  Medium  High
Exercise Needs  High High
Trainability  Medium  High
Activities  Farm Dogs, Ratting Agility, advanced obedience, Schutzhund, carting, and tracking
Complication in Breeding  No No
Life Span  12– 15 years  12 to 15 years

Salt and Pepper Giant Schnauzer Personality

Salt and Pepper Giant Schnauzers have a powerful and substantial body to demonstrate their vigor. They have a strong, rectangular head with dense beards and eyebrows; their body length and height are equal, making them square-shaped. Their muzzle is identical in size to the top of their head. They have a black-colored nose and lips that don’t intersect. The teeth are positioned in a way like the overlapping of the scissors. Their eyes are found deep within the sockets and are oval-shaped. Naturally, their ears are V-shaped and are carried close to their head. Giant Schnauzers have a straight back with sloping legs. The tail stands above the body. Additionally, the Giant Schnauzer is double-coated with dense hair and a soft undercoat on the outside. 

Friendliness Overview     

Affection Level                            Medium to High
Family-Friendly   High   
Kid-Friendly   High  
Pet-Friendly   Low to Medium   
Strangers-Friendly   Low    

Adaptability Overview

Good for apartment livingLow
Good for new ownersLow
Sensitivity levelMedium to High
Tolerates being aloneLow 
Cold toleranceMedium to High
Heat toleranceMedium to High

Salt and Pepper Giant Schnauzer Temperament

Salt and Pepper Giant Schnauzer is one of the most athletic, good-natured, and intelligent dog breeds. Naturally, these dogs have a solid protective disposition, making them excellent guard dogs. As a result, when they perceive something strange, they immediately alert their owners with an imposing bark. Being versatile working dogs, they enjoy a job and need to be kept busy. However, if inactive, they can become destructive.

Additionally, these dogs are said to be very dominant. For this reason, they require firm and consistent training with positive reinforcement. Further, they are suitable for calm, fair, firm owners who can establish themselves as a dominant authority. These qualities ensure these dogs don’t get aggressive or overprotective and enhance their learning capability. However, these dogs can be challenging to handle for a submissive owner.

Further, their high energy levels call for vigorous exercise routines. Finally, they must be adequately socialized to ensure their companionship with other pets and strangers. But these pups are very loyal and loving towards their family, which makes them ideal family pets. Additionally, they love to be around the family; hence,  Salt and Pepper Giant Schnauzers are prone to separation anxiety if left alone for long.

Salt and Pepper Giant Schnauzer Training

Salt and Pepper Giant Schnauzer Giant Schnauzers are easily trainable with a robust intellectual capability and obedience. However, they tend to become headstrong; hence, they should be given firm, consistent and reward-based training. Their rewards could be a simple treat or their favorite toy. The Giant Schnauzers are quick learners and can grasp new commands within 15 to 25 repetitions. However, due to their intense defensive instincts, they are prone to be aggressive. To prevent this behavior, they have to be socialized well early. For this, they can be exposed to new people and experiences by accompanying them to parks, trails, pet-friendly events, pet-friendly buildings, and inviting some friends to your home. 

Additionally, Salt and Pepper Giant Schnauzer Giant Schnauzers are good therapy dogs. As therapy dogs, they bring comfort and warmth to mentally challenged people. They make excellent service dogs and aid physically challenged people to lead an independent lifestyle. 

Trainability Overview   

Easy to Train   High
Intelligence   High 
Prey Drive   High  
Tendency to Chew, Nip & Play-bite   Medium 
Tendency to Bark or Howl   Low to Medium 
Wanderlust Ability   High

Salt and Pepper Giant Schnauzer Exercise Needs 

Salt and Pepper Giant Schnauzer Giant Schnauzers require strenuous exercise routines to match their high energy levels. However, these dogs could turn destructive even if they are well-trained without sufficient exercise. Hence, they should be taken for a daily long walk, jog or run twice a day. Additionally, these dogs love free run play sessions. Some of the canine activities suitable for them include long walks, running, hiking, biking, swimming, or getting involved in agility, advanced obedience, Schutzhund, carting, and tracking. Thus, these dogs are suitable for owners who can actively participate in physical activities. 

Exercise Needs Overview   

Energy Level                                   High 
Exercise Needs                              High   
Playfulness                                     High   
Intensity   Medium

Salt and Pepper Giant Schnauzer Grooming

Coat and Hair 

Salt and Pepper Giant Schnauzers don’t shed much. They are double-coated with a dense undercoat and wiry outer coat. Although you can easily maintain the wiry outer coat, the undercoat has to be combed or brushed once a week with a short wire brush to prevent maturing. Additionally, it is essential to clip out the knots to an exact length at least four times a year. You can use blunt-nosed scissors to trim the hair around their eyes and ears. It is also vital to clean the whiskers of these animals after their meals. Finally, they must be bathed weekly based on their skin dryness. 


Salt and Pepper Giant schnauzers build up black discharge at the inner corners of their eyes. It would help if you gently wiped them clean with a cloth dipped in warm water.


It is vital to check your canine’s ears for any sign of infection frequently. To prevent this, wipe your dog’s ears with a cotton ball dipped in pH-balanced ear cleaner.  


Brush your canine’s teeth daily with dog-formulated toothpaste to support their overall health. This daily routine prevents the possibility of developing eye problems, joint problems, liver disease, kidney disease, and heart disease. To reduce your dog’s tartar buildup, you may use a chew toy and an enzymatic water additive. Additionally, scheduling a visit for an annual periodontal examination with his veterinarian will help.  

Grooming Overview 

Amount of Shedding                     Low  
Tendency to Drool   Low 
Tendency to Snore   Low 
Easy to Groom   Medium

Salt and Pepper Giant Schnauzer Health

Salt and Pepper Giant Schnauzer lives quite long, with a life expectancy of 12 to 15 years compared to other giant breeds. But unfortunately, these dogs are predisposed to develop specific life-threatening health conditions. For this reason, many vets classify this breed as an unhealthy breed of dogs. 

Health Overview   

Basic Health   Low  
Weight Gain Possibilities   Low  
Size   Medium

Some of the diseases rampant in Salt and Pepper Giant Schnauzers include:

 Orthopedic Diseases

  1. Hip Dysplasia

Hip Dysplasia is a heritable condition that occurs when the thigh bones don’t fit aptly into the pelvic socket of the hip joint.

Other Causes of Hip Dysplasia: 

  • Injuries 
  • Excessive weight gain 
  • Wrong exercises 

This condition causes defects or injury to the hip bones and joints and worsens without treatment.

Symptoms of hip dysplasia in dogs include:

  • Reduced activity and movements
  • Reluctance to rise, jump, run or climb
  • Lameness in the hind limbs
  • Reducing thigh muscle mass
  • Swaying, “bunny hopping” gait
  • Grating in the joint during movement
  • Enlarging shoulders
  • Pain
  • Stiffness
  1. Elbow Dysplasia

Elbow dysplasia occurs when the elbow joint bones don’t align properly. This misalignment causes abnormal pressure at the joint, leading to chronic rubbing and severe osteoarthritis.


  • Mild to moderate pain 
  • Lameness in the forelimbs 

Although the symptoms begin to show as early as four months of age, some dogs will not show these signs until later in life. Further, it involves both elbows, of which one may be heavily affected.

  1. Osteochondrosis Dessicans

Osteochondrosis Dessicans is an inflammatory condition that occurs due to the cartilage’s abnormal development, leading to its separation from the underlying bone. Although it most prominently affects the shoulder, it may be prevalent at the elbow, hip, or knee.

Symptoms of OCD

  • Limping in the affected leg 
  • Extremely painful when the affected leg is manipulated
  • Swollen or warm joint

Treatment generally involves following a strict rest schedule, medications, supplements, and surgery if necessary. 

Eye Problems

1. Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)

The gradual deterioration of the eye’s retina marks the progression of this disease. Affected dogs exhibit symptoms of night-blindness that slowly progresses to complete loss of vision. Most of the affected dogs adapt well to their limited or lost vision if they continue to reside in the same environment when they had a vision.  

2. Cataract: Cataract causes cloudiness on the eye lens due to its thickening, leading to blindness.

Primary health concerns

Squamous Cell Carcinoma is a type of cancer affecting the skin where the squamous cells are present. Salt and Pepper Giant schnauzers mainly develop this cancer in their toes. This cancer is treatable if detected early, while detection in the later stages may lead to death. 

Hypothyroidism: An underactive thyroid gland results in hypothyroidism.

Consequences of Hypothyroidism:

  • Epilepsy
  • Hair loss
  • Obesity
  • Lethargy
  • Hyperpigmentation
  • Pyoderma and other skin conditions

Epilepsy: The common cause of epilepsy is inheritance, and it presents itself in mild or severe form

Other Causes of Epilepsy:

  • Metabolic disorders
  • Infectious diseases of the brain
  • Tumors
  • Exposure to poisons
  • Severe head injuries

Symptoms of Epilepsy

  • Frantically running as if being chased
  • Staggering 
  • Hiding


Bloat or GDV is a life-threatening condition that is prevalent in deep-chested dogs. When bloat occurs, your pet’s gut becomes distended with gas and twists. This trapped gas hampers your canine’s ability to belch or vomit. This inability blocks the average return of blood to the heart, causing a drop in blood pressure leading to shock. If untreated, this shock could eventually lead to death. 

Causes of bloat: 

  • When they are fed more than one large meal per day. 
  • They eat rapidly. 
  • Drink large volumes of water after eating. 
  • Exercise vigorously after eating. 

Symptoms of Bloat: 

  • A distended abdomen
  • Excessive salivation 
  • Retching without vomit 
  • Restlessness 
  • Depression 
  • Lethargy 
  • Weakness 
  • Rapid heart rate 

Von Willebrand’s Disease: 

This disease is a genetically transmitted blood disorder characterized by an inability to clot. 

Symptoms of Von Willebrand’s Disease:

  • Excessive bleeding post-surgery or injury  
  • Nosebleeds 
  • Bleeding gums
  • Bleeding in the stomach or intestines.

Unfortunately, treatment is currently unavailable for this illness. Hence dogs with this disorder shouldn’t be bred.  

Genetic Health Conditions

Fetal Onset Neuroaxonal Dystrophy is a disorder that affects the development of motor nerves in the central nervous system. Puppies born with this disorder have an abnormally curved spine and contracted joints, leading to loss of voluntary movement of limbs. They also develop respiratory deficiencies that ultimately end in death.

Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM) causes heart failure. 

Factor VII Deficiency is an inherited blood clotting disorder. This deficiency may cause severe bleeding after a trauma or surgery. 

Hyperuricosuria is a condition that can lead to the formation of urinary stones, such as kidney or bladder stones in dogs. 

Vitamin deficiency: Some Salt and Pepper Giant Schnauzers may be deficient in producing Vitamin B12, which is required for body and brain function. The loss of these vitamins makes these dogs disoriented and weak. As a result, supplementation of this vitamin is crucial to maintain their general health. 

Salt and Pepper Giant Schnauzer Diet and Nutrition

Salt and Pepper Giant Schnauzers require an excellent glucosamine and chondroitin supplement to support their orthopedic health. Additionally, as these dogs are prone to hypothyroidism, you may feed them fresh vegetables in small amounts to enhance their thyroid function. They include:

Additionally, this breed needs an age-appropriate, high-quality diet. If your dog seems to gain weight profusely, reduce the portions accordingly, cut down on the number of treats, and feed him the appropriate quantity.  

Salt and Pepper Giant Schnauzer Living Condition

Salt and Pepper Giant Schnauzers are the dominant breed of dogs. Hence, they are unsuitable for new pet owners and submissive owners. However, they love to run free and are not recommended for apartment life. As they crave human companionship, they require people around them to combat separation anxiety and shouldn’t be left alone for long. These dogs adapt well to hot and cold climates with a double coat. 

Adding a Salt And Pepper Giant Schnauzer to Your Family

Things to Remember Before Buying

Salt and Pepper Giant schnauzers require a lot of exercises. Hence they are suitable for highly active owners. Also, they become destructive if not properly exercised. These dogs are also dominant, and it is equally important to establish yourself as the pack leader. 

Cost of a Salt and Pepper Giant Schnauzer 

The cost of a Salt and Pepper Giant Schnauzer can range from approximately $1,300 to $5,500. The price varies depending on the breeder’s location and the dog’s color.

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