The Giant and Miniature schnauzers both originated in the area around Munich, Germany. Over the years, the giant has been known as the Munchener Dog and the Riesen-schnauzer - the largest of the three schnauzers. Both the giant and the miniature were developed from the standard or mid size schnauzer. The miniature is the smallest of the three and is in the terrier group, while the giant and the standard are in the working group.
From the 15th century, the giant dogs were used to drive cattle, but almost faced extinction when the Machine Age made their services unnecessary. Thanks to its reputation as a guardian and to the efforts of a few breed fanciers, the Giant was kept alive.
The breed was believed to have been composed of a variety of other large breeds, including great Danes, Bouviers and some shepherd breeds, but when the resultant dog resembled the Standard Schnauzer, that breed was crossed in to reinforce the type and the name changed to giant Schnauzer.
The breed served with valour during two world wars and as security and police dogs. Today the giant is mainly a family pet. It participates in obedience, fly ball, agility and many other sports. It’s a good family dog but requires training at a young age and it must be enforced as the dog grows up.