Giant Schnauzer Research & Genetics

The Giant Schnauzer Club are working in conjunction with the Kennel Club and Animal Health Trust to provide a thorough and ongoing analysis of the health status and genetic diversity of the Giant Schnauzer. Also advancements are being made to facilitate research into Hereditary Epilepsy, Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) and Canine Melanoma.

Seizures/Fits/Epilepsy Study in the Giant Schnauzer

The Giant Schnauzer Club in association with the Northern Schnauzer Club, Schnauzer Club of Great Britain and Giant Schnauzer Health Fund are conducting a study in relation to seizures/fits/epilepsy in the Giant Schnauzer. The purpose is to determine the prevalence of seizures and Idiopathic epilepsy, and it is hoped that the study may highlight any causes and/or triggers for seizures, any familial links, what treatment is available, and generally provide a better understanding of the nature of seizures/epilepsy within the breed. It is also hoped that the study will identify individual dogs that may meet with the criteria for the Animal Health Trust's new and exciting ‘Give a Dog a Genome’ project, possibly leading to genetic research into canine Idiopathic Epilepsy.

As part of this study the breed clubs along with the Animal Health Trust are asking for assistance from the Giant Schnauzer community; we would like to ask if you have owned or currently own a Giant having seizures/fits please complete our seizure/epilepsy study which can be found on the following link:

Alternatively a paper version of the study can be emailed or posted out if preferred.

All information will be treated with the strictest of confidence.

Lesley Parker on 01757 611130
More information about the Give A Dog A Genome project can be found on the AHT website:


Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)

N.B. This is a different type of PRA to prcd-PRA for which there is already a DNA test available

PRA is a blinding disease for which there is no treatment, so developing a DNA test would enable breeders and owners to test for this disease and eventually eradicate it from the breed. The AHT are currently using a whole genome sequencing approach (reading the entire DNA from an individual) to investigate PRA in the Giant Schnauzer. Data from PRA-affected cases will be compared against older clear Giant Schnauzers to try and identify the casual mutation for PRA in these dogs.

We are currently looking for Giant Schnauzers with clear eyes certified under the BVA/KC or ECVO scheme (and of course any affected Giants also).

Is your Giant Schnauzer 6 years or over? The AHT are offering free eye examinations for the first 20 dogs over the age of 6yrs!

Download the AHT PRA information leaflet Download Giant Schnauzer PRA Flyer

If you would like to help out or for more information, please contact Rebekkah Hitti at the AHT

Canine Melanoma

Do you own a Schnauzer diagnosed with Toe Cancer, Skin or Mouth Tumours?
If so please send a cheek swab, the AHT need samples from Schnauzers affected with Toe Cancer (also known as Ungual Melanomas), Skin Tumours (Cutaneous Melanomas) and Mouth Tumours (Oral Melanomas). If your vet needs to take a biopsy of the affected area the AHT are also collecting biopsy samples which can be taken at the same time. Please inform your vet about the AHT cancer research in Schnauzers.
Download the AHT Oncology Research Group article on melanomas in Schnauzers Download Schnauzer Melanoma article


DNA Sampling & Research
To contact the Breed Health Co-ordinator:
Lesley Parker

DNA collection via cheek swab is simple and pain free. Please help if you can.

Please Help


To order a free cheek swab kit:

Contact the AHT
Cheek swabs can be obtained and returned directly to the AHT.
All enquiries are treated in confidence.
Animal Health Trust

PRA Research:

Cancer Research: