Will a giant schnauzer attack an intruder

Will a giant schnauzer attack an intruder

Will a giant schnauzer attack an intruder

Will a giant schnauzer attack an intruder, Top Quality mini Schnauzers, black Schnauzers. Health tested, vaccinated, potty trained.

Key Takeaways

  • Giant schnauzers are vocal watch dogs who will alert owners to intruders using loud barking as deterrence
  • They are imposing in stature but not inherently aggressive or prone to biting
  • With proper socialization and training, giants are usually docile and friendly dogs
  • Actual attacks on strangers are highly atypical in stable, well-raised giant schnauzers
  • Their guard dog skills are better utilized through presence and barking rather than unprovoked aggression
  • Serious aggression issues should be addressed immediately using positive training methods

Will a giant schnauzer protect its owner?

As a breed developed to work as guard dogs on farms, giant schnauzers do exhibit protective instincts, though the extent varies:

Vocal warnings

Most giant schnauzers will readily bark to alert owners of anything unusual, acting as a deterrent to potential intruders. Their loud warning barks make them excellent watch dogs.

Stand their ground

If confronted or feeling their territory is threatened, giant schnauzers will firmly stand their ground, using their large size and authoritative bark to intimidate strangers.

Varying protectiveness

Some giants exhibit strong protective behaviors, positioning themselves between the threat and their owner. Others may hover back near the owner and vocalize rather than engage. Protectiveness varies.

Personalities differ

Not all giants have strong protective instincts. Some are more outgoing and friendly. Genetics, socialization, and training play roles in defensiveness.

Rarely aggressive

While vocal and imposing, very few properly raised giant schnauzers will actually attack or bite an intruder without being provoked. They are seldom aggressive by nature.

Overall, giant schnauzers use their size and bark to act as deterrents and most will guard their family to some degree, but overt aggression towards strangers unprovoked is atypical.

Are giant schnauzers aggressive?

While giant schnauzers may initially seem intimidating due to their large size, authoritative bark, and working guard dog heritage, aggression is quite uncommon in the breed when properly socialized and handled:

Strong bark, but not bite

Giant schnauzers are vocal watch dogs who will sound the alarm at anything unusual with their deep, loud barks. But barking is their main deterrent. They very rarely bite or attack.

Cautious, not aggressive

Wariness around strangers is common in the breed. Giants prefer to keep close watch on newcomers in their territory. But caution should not be confused with true aggression or violence.

Strong pack drive

Devoted to their family “pack”, giant schnauzers can exhibit mild protective behaviors if they sense their family feels threatened. But they do not attack unprovoked.

Proper socialization essential

With positive exposure to many people, children, other dogs, and settings as a puppy, giants become confident and friendly as adults rather than overly defensive.

Even temperament

The AKC standard describes the giant’s temperament as spirited, reliable, and even-tempered. Aggression towards people or animals is atypical in a stable, well-raised giant.

While their bark and imposing presence help deter intruders, giants are quite docile by nature when bred, socialized, and handled properly. True aggression issues are rare.

Do giant schnauzers make good guard dogs?

With their large size, intimidating bark, working heritage, and moderate protective drive, giant schnauzers can certainly excel as guard dogs for properties and homes when properly trained:

Loud authoritative bark

The giant schnauzer’s deep, loud barks will alert owners to anything amiss and often scare off intruders or predators simply due to the sheer volume and tone. Their bark is their best security feature.

Imposing physical presence

Standing 25-27 inches tall and weighing 75-100 pounds, giant schnauzers are capable of intimidating potential threats with their muscular size and stance. Very few would choose to mess with them!

Alert and observant

Giant schnauzers remain aware of their surroundings and notice any unusual sights, sounds, or smells. Their working guard dog ancestry makes them naturally attentive.

Intelligent and trainable

With their working intelligence and eagerness to please owners, giants respond very well to guard dog training from an early age. Important commands come easily to them.

Moderate protective instinct

While not overtly aggressive, properly socialized giant schnauzers do exhibit moderate protectiveness and defensive posturing if they sense their family is at risk. They are loyal guards.

For these combined reasons, the giant schnauzer can serve as an excellent formidable guard dog for property, home, and family with the right training foundation.

Will a giant schnauzer actually attack an intruder?

While giant schnauzers were originally bred to serve as guard dogs for farms and estates thanks to their size and loud bark, the majority would avoid outright attacking an intruder in most home settings today:

Barking is their defense

Most giants rely on their deep, booming barks to warn intruders and owners rather than physical engagement. Their bark is intimidating enough to deter threats in many cases.

Varying protectiveness

Some giants may posture or even nip if feeling their home is threatened, but an outright vicious attack would be extremely rare in a stable, socialized giant schnauzer. True aggression issues are unusual.

Prefer to watch and guard

Though imposing in stature, giants are not inherently aggressive. They prefer to observe potential intruders closely and position themselves near their family rather than initiating any attack.

Guard, don’t attack training

Responsible giant schnauzer owners train their dogs to guard on command, not use teeth unless absolutely essential to defend. Controlled guarding does not involve unprovoked attacks.

Friendly unless provoked

Properly socialized giants are friendly and docile by nature, even with strangers. Only if provoked or sensing imminent danger would a bite occur, and even then it would be a last resort behavior.

With their personable temperament and guarding skills better utilized through vocal alerts and presence rather than violence, giants attacking unprovoked is highly atypical. Their bark says enough.

How do giant schnauzers react to strangers?

While initially cautious and aloof with new people, giant schnauzers who are properly socialized display friendly, polite behavior rather than aggression:

Cautious assessment

When encountering strangers, most giants will pause to observe at a distance first. They tend to be more reserved than outgoing with new people.

Alarm barking

Some giants may initially respond to strangers with loud barking as a warning. But once the person’s intent is determined, barking stops.

No hostility

Though wary at first, giants who were exposed to a wide variety of people as puppies should display little to no overt hostility, viciousness, or biting. They may simply avoid interactions.

Polite when socialized

With early socialization, giants learn greetings from strangers are normal and non-threatening. They become tolerant and polite, if not overly affectionate with newcomers.

Loyal to family

While reserved around strangers approaching their home or property, giants are quite affectionate and trusting with their immediate family members. Their loyalty is selective.

Obedient to handlers

Properly trained giants remain under control of their owner when greeting strangers. The owner can allow or discourage interactions.

While initially protective instincts may kick in, a well-socialized giant schnauzer controlled by its owner presents little risk to friendly strangers after the initial introduction.

Should giant schnauzers be trained for protection?

Whether to train a giant schnauzer in formal personal or property protection is a debated topic among owners. Here are some considerations around protection training:

Not inherently aggressive

While vocal and imposing, giants are not naturally prone to unprovoked aggression. Extensive protection training risks creating guard dog tendencies uncharacteristic of stable giants.

Obedience first

Basic obedience should be mastered first before even considering protection work. A giant that only listens selectively is dangerous. Precision obedience is crucial.

Threat assessment

Unless there are highly unusual risks to a home justifying protection training, most pet giants can be taught to simply bark alerts rather than attack perceived threats. Assessment is key.

Ethical methods only

Only positive reinforcement should ever be used. Harsh corrections or punishments while training protection have no place in responsible dog ownership and can create other behavioral issues.

Consider risks

There are liability risks if a protection trained giant were to bite or attack without true justification. Lawsuits or forced euthanasia can occur. Risks must be carefully weighed.

Expert guidance essential

If pursuing protection work, guidance from accredited trainers very experienced in the breed is a must to prevent the creation of unwarranted aggression. Outside expertise should be utilized.

For most owners, effective guarding does not require full protection training. But if pursued, great caution is advised using ethical methods. The breed’s temperament should never be compromised.

What’s the temperament of a giant schnauzer?

The ideal giant schnauzer temperament according to the AKC breed standard is:

  • Intelligent and alert – Giants remain aware of their surroundings and keenly focused. Their working dog intelligence allows them to learn quickly.
  • Steadfast bravery – While discerning, giants are courageous and will investigate anything out of the ordinary or potentially threatening without being overly gun-shy.
  • Reliable devotion – Giants are intensely loyal to and protective of their human family while more reserved with strangers unless socialized.
  • Composed confidence – They display a calm self-assurance and firm restraint. Giants should never be shy, hyperactive, or overly excitable.
  • Even-tempered amiability – While an imposing presence, giants are friendly, docile, and non-aggressive by nature when properly trained and socialized.
  • Obedient biddability – Eager to please their owners, giants respond very well to consistent training methods and commands. They aim to follow direction.

With proper socialization, training, and handling, the typical giant schnauzer is an attentive, brave, and amiable companion who excels at guarding yet retains an even, friendly temperament.

Are giant schnauzers dangerous dogs?

When raised responsibly, trained adequately, and socialized properly, giant schnauzers present very little danger despite their large size and historically being used as guard dogs:

Not inherently vicious

While their bark and imposing physique are effective deterrents to intruders, giants are not naturally aggressive or prone to biting. Serious attacks are extremely rare in stable giants.

Strong work ethic

With the right leadership and training, giants focus their energy on serving useful working roles for owners rather than displaying any unwarranted aggression. They aim to please owners.

Responsive to commands

Giants are highly intelligent and trainable. Their working background allows them to respond very well to obedience commands when a confident owner provides proper direction.

Sociable when socialized

Exposing giants to a wide variety of people, places, and other dogs starting as puppies results in friendly, tolerant adults comfortable in public settings. Socialization prevents hazard.

Reliable temperament

The AKC breed standard describes the ideal giant temperament as “spirited, reliable, and even tempered.” Nervousness or hostility are atypical.

Gentle with family

Despite their size, giants display remarkable gentleness and affection with children and family members they are raised with. They are sweet loyal companions.

When their needs for activity, socialization, and training are fully met, giants present very low danger and make safe, loving family dogs.

Do giant schnauzers bite?

As with any breed, giant schnauzers may bite if sufficiently provoked, though responsible giants display great restraint:

Rarely bite unprovoked

Though imposing in stature, giants are quite docile and tolerant by nature when properly bred, socialized, and handled. Unprovoked biting is highly uncommon.

Use barking over biting

Giants rely on their loud, authoritative bark to ward off intruders rather than teeth. Biting is a last resort. Intimidation through vocalization is their first line of defense.

Bite inhibition training

Responsible owners invest time in bite inhibition training for giants as puppies using positive methods. This teaches them to control jaw pressure and resist the urge to bite.

Respond to recall

With diligent recall training, giants learn to immediately disengage and return to their owner when called off rather than continue aggression. Recalls prevent issues.

React when threatened

Giants may bite as a last means of self defense if attacked or perceiving an imminent threat. But non-aggressive giants avoid biting whenever safely possible.

Well-fenced yard

Ensuring giants are kept securely contained in a tall, reinforced yard prevents any incidences with passersby. Fencing reduces risks should a dog get overly defensive.

While any breed is capable of biting, obedient, stable giant schnauzers demonstrate admirable restraint and avoidance of biting unless absolutely necessary as a last resort. Their bark suffices in most situations.

How can giant schnauzer aggression be controlled?

For giant schnauzers exhibiting unwelcome aggression, there are ways owners can help control the behavior:

Veterinary exam

Have a veterinarian examine the giant for any underlying pain, injury or medical condition causing the aggression. Health issues may require treatment.


For giants showing same-sex dog aggression, neutering or spaying may reduce territorial hormonal influences. Check with your vet.

Obedience training

Reinforcing basic obedience using positive reinforcement establishes important control. A brush up on training often helps reduce behavioral issues.

Consult professionals

An experienced dog trainer or behaviorist may need to get involved for serious aggression. They can assess triggers and develop a customized desensitization program.

Avoid punishment

Aggressive giants should never be physically punished or subjected to harsh correction methods, as this will only worsen the behavior. Always use reward-based training.

Management methods

Leashing, proper fencing, shutting dogs in separate rooms, or muzzles when guests arrive helps manage aggressive schnauzers in the home during re-training.

Medications if needed

In the most severe cases, veterinary behaviorists may prescribe anti-anxiety or other medications to help reduce aggression during training.

With patience, consistency and help from professionals when warranted, giants exhibiting excessive aggression can often be rehabilitated through targeted desensitization training and lifestyle management.


  • The giant schnauzer was originally utilized as a guard dog on farms and estates thanks to their large size, loud bark, and moderate protective instincts
  • But overt aggression resulting in bites or attacks on strangers is extremely uncommon in properly bred, socialized giants
  • They serve more as impressive watch dogs and vocal deterrents than aggressive attackers
  • With their amiable steady temperament and trainability, giants pose little danger in homes when raised responsibly using positive reinforcement
  • Their working abilities are best directed into useful tasks, obedience work, and therapy roles rather than protection training requiring aggression
  • With proper handling, the giant schnauzer presents very low risk while still acting as an imposing verbal guard dog.

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