Not all dog breeds are as docile as they appear and Giant Schnauzers are a perfect example of this. Their sweet and friendly exterior with their cute beard and bushy eyebrows hides a protectively aggressive dark side that makes them a great guard dog - if you can train them, that is. And that difficult training can command a high price – up to $37,000! Once trained they are as effective as a Cane Corso or other equally intimidating breeds.
It's worth it though - although they are as fluffy and loveable looking as the more common Miniature Schnauzer, you don't want to be on the wrong side of the rarer Giant Schnauzer when they are in guarding mode. As trainer Leedor Borlant from elite family and personal protection dog's supplier Protection Dogs Worldwide explains "It's a wolf in sheep's clothing, that's what it is."
He adds, 'Finding a good one takes years of research. And they're not an easy dog to train. It can cost from $30,000 upwards."
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Giant Schnauzers were originally bred as general-purpose farm dogs, similar to the Belgian and German Shepherd Dog breeds. They are an imposing hound, standing up to 27.5 inches at the shoulder and weighing up to 95 pounds. Naturally athletic and energetic, once trained they are a friendly, loyal and courageous dog which will do everything it can to protect its family. While rare, they are a very useful breed, and are employed as police dogs, military dogs, search and rescue dogs, and even as guide dogs.
Protection Dogs worldwide have trained numerous dog breeds, but the Giant Schnauzer is a favorite of theirs, and associate trainer Matt owns one himself – Achilles.
The two-man team had previously trained Achilles, and after a two-year break the pair were keen to see if he had retained all the skills he needed to be a great guard dog. You can see Achilles being put through his paces in the video below:
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Jamie Middleton is a freelance editor and writer who has been editing and creating content for magazines and websites for over 20 years. As well as writing about the pets he loves, he has helped create websites about tech and innovation like TechRadar.com, Innovate UK and TechSPARK, written programmes for music festivals, books on inventions and architecture, TV listings magazines, and edited publications about cars such as Lexus, Toyota and Jaguar. In his spare time he writes fiction books and poetry - or at least he does when he is permitted to by his cat Pirate, who enjoys the warmth of laptops too much to allow being creative to get in the way.