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The anticipation of bringing a new puppy home is exciting. It is just like having a new baby! On one hand there is nothing more delightful than a new little ball of energy to love on and shower in kisses.
On the other hand, there are some things that will take some getting used to such as cleaning up, vet health checks and making sure you puppy-proof your home and yard. Unlike some breeds, Giant Schnauzers have additional care to maintain such as grooming- to keep them looking their best, and training- so they can be on their best behavior. Keep in mind that a Giant Schnauzer puppy will grow a lot over the next year and it is better to get a handle on these areas sooner, rather than later.
Having a Giant Schnauzer is very much a hands-on learning experience- you won’t know what it’s like living with one, UNTIL YOU DO. We wanted to make sure you can be as ready as possible and Prepare to Bring Your New Giant Schnauzer Puppy Home.
Let’s have a look-see…
*Always be careful with toys. Be sure they are not too heavy to lift or small enough to get lodged and cause choking.
These are an excellent training tool for crate training and house training. A Giant Schnauzer puppy on a regular schedule will help you to create good habits. A crate will also make a nice spot for your puppy to call their own. Make it fun so they can associate their crate with all good things, rather than an area of punishment. You want them to love it. Crates can also help in times of travel to keep your pet safe and secure.
No puppy or dog should ever be crated for long periods of time. Your puppy should be let out every couple of hours even if that means hiring a dog sitter, dog walker or enrolling in doggie-day-care. Your Giant Schnauzer puppy will need plenty of exercise, mental stimulation and socialization which can hardly be done from crate.
If you are interested in purchasing one crate, the larger crates here include the adjustable divider to size right during house training.
For help with Crate sizing and info, Read more here
For puppies, bedding that is washable and will hold up through chewing phases are ideal. It is a good idea to have an extra one on hand in case there is a need to wash while your puppy is house training.
By keeping it basic for younger puppies, has worked out best for us here but, for young adults up to senior Giant Schnauzers the best beds have been Kuranda Dog Beds, Big Barker and K9 Ballistics, all built specifically for large breeds. It is important to get them up and off of hard floor surfaces to help support their large bone structure.
At 8-weeks the right sized collars measure approximately 10-16 inches. When walking your dog be sure you have a durable collar and not the breakaway style. Whether you use a collar and leash or a front clip harness, it’s crucial to train your puppy to walk on a “loose leash”. There is a lot happening in the throat area that you don’t want to cause any damage to. Back clip harnesses encourage pulling like sled dogs, therefore we don’t recommend this type of harness. We also discourage the use of retractable leashes for safety reasons. If you are having trouble walking without pulling, the Halti Head Collars have been successfully used by many Giant Schnauzer owners. If you find you are still having trouble, get with a professional trainer in your area.
Your giant schnauzer is going to need a lot of consistent training. For those who are food motivated, treat training is a quick way to get your puppy’s attention and makes the reward fun for them.
DO NOT buy rawhides- these are unsafe and have been shown to be full of harmful toxic chemicals and can cause choking or get lodged in the intestinal tract. You would be better off using a KONG extreme and stuffing it with something like all-natural peanut butter or other tasty treats safe for your pet. Always use supervision. Giant Schnauzers are known to destroy the indestructible
We prefer protein treats for our own puppies and adult dogs but, there are times it is hard to steer away from carb type treats. At the very least, it is better to keep your Giant Schnauzer on the lean side (not skinny but, LEAN). They have a lot of growing to do and will not be developed enough to support added weight until the growth plates have closed (2-years-old).
Food and Water Bowls- Stainless steel no-tip and non-skid food and water bowls are preferred. Otherwise, your puppy will be pushing their food bowl around the kitchen without any good traction to support them. Plastic bowls are not recommended for several reasons, mainly because they trap bacteria that spreads to your Giant Schnauzer’s beard causing acne or other unsightly and uncomfortable bumps around their lip and chin areas. Many plastics also contain toxic material that a lot of dogs are sensitive to.
Dripless water bowls– Everyone loves their Giant Schnauzer partially due to their impressive good looks and they are known for having that amazing beard. A Giant’s favorite thing to do is take an enormous drink of water and venture over as much of your furniture as possible before setting that very wet beard on your lap. Did I mention I’m pretty sure that beard holds a gallon of water!?! Kidding BUT, many owners have found the Slobber Stopper to be of great benefit by reducing the amount of water scattered around your home and you. Size medium or large are generally recommended for an adult.
Slow feeders- like the Our Pets Durapet Slow Feeder can help encourage your puppy to slow down if they are eating too quickly. If you have a puppy/dog that eats too fast it is very important to get them to slow down. Bloat is a serious condition that mostly, but not always, can affect deep chested large breed dogs.
Dental care– Just like people, dogs need regular brushing and dental care to keep them healthy. Brushing daily is ideal but, even a few times a week is better than no brushing at all. We use an enzymatic cleaner formulated for dogs and a dog toothbrush. Done regularly, they don’t seem to mind too much. We like the C.E.T Vanilla Mint for our Giant Schnauzers.
Grooming your puppy is one of the best things you can do to bond and build a trusting relationship with your Giant and it can be rewarding for the both of you. Maintaining your Giant Schnauzer’s coat, ears and nails are part of caring for their physical health. When adding toys and treats to your list, do not forget some essential grooming supplies. Here are a few basics to help you get started.
1. Puppy Shampoo and Conditioner
A shampoo formulated for puppies is recommended. These should be gentle and tearless without added harsh chemicals. Following up with a good conditioner is ideal to work through their hair without pulling.
2. Brushes and Combs
Giant Schnauzer have hair, not fur and there really is a fair amount of maintaining to be done. Choosing a suitable brush and comb can make all the difference depending on your dog’s hair needs at that time. Your Giant Schnauzer may benefit from each of these style brushes and combs.
3. Nail Care
Nail trimming can be stressful for a dog making it difficult for owners too. When using nail clippers, you will want to be certain they are sharp and will cut through nails quickly to lessen the chances of spooking your pet. Our Giant Schnauzers prefer a rotary tool over clippers though we tend to use both.
4. Ear Care
Giant Schnauzers have hair, not fur and it grows in their ears too! Regular attention is needed in this area to avoid problems such as ear infections. This includes plucking of the inner ear hair as well as regular cleaning.
Notice the photo with the hair in my hand? This is just two-weeks of ear hair growth from one of our own Giant Schnauzers.
5. Dog Grooming Clippers
Professional groomers and owners often use clippers to quickly and efficiently get their Giant Schnauzer’s hair back in shape and looking like their sharp self every 4-6 weeks. Proper care of the coat involves hand stripping which takes more time, and many pet owners opt to use dog grooming clippers instead.
We think the Andis UltraEdge Super-2 performs well with its 2 speeds that provide enough power on low, and quiet enough to work around a puppy. Being a heavy-duty clipper, it does tend to heat-up and blades should be changed out often to avoid burning puppy’s delicate skin. This clipper has a detachable blade system that also works with Andis CeramicEdge blades which we prefer since they stay cooler than traditional blades. Don’t forget blade combs.
Professionals will use scissors to neatly trim and give brows their expressive look and work around leg hair, belly, chest and feet areas and thinning shears to blend.
6. Mentally Stimulate with Toys
At least a variety of 4 toys are recommended. Giant Schnauzers are a thinking breed… Give them something to do! Mental stimulation is so important and by adding interactive toys to the rotation will stimulate fun for your puppy and may keep them out mischief and eventually causing harm to furniture and your home. Keep it entertaining and rotate in new toys weekly. You will be AMAZED with how quickly they can learn new things.
7. Probiotics and Good Gut Health
A good dog probiotic will aid in gut health, good digestion as well as boost the immune system. Our adult dogs and puppies are given daily probiotics and we see the benefits of a good healthy gut. Human studies have been documented to show their effectiveness on diarrhea, irritable bowel and inflammation in the intestines. Many pet owners and veterinarians have turned to dog probiotics because of their observed benefits not only for short-term effects, but long-term as well.
8. Potty Training
Depending on how you plan to potty train can vary in the supplies you will need. Having a schedule and sticking to it will help to achieve the most successful results. If you plan to use potty pads, I would steer away from this method as quickly as possible or chance the idea in your puppy that it is okay to potty inside your home rather than outside.