As you may know, the giant schnauzer comes in two different colors, black or pepper/salt, just like the standard schnauzer.
The black giant is the most popular color in the breed. The pepper/salt in contrast is almost a rare color worldwide. If you search for breeders worldwide you will only find an occasional litter regardless of which country you are in.
One of my mentors and by far one of the best breeders of pepper/salt giant schnauzers in Europe was Mr. Cyril Meulenaere of Van de Havenstadt kennel. I knew him since I was fifteen years old, so many years ago he trusted me with his superb Int. Ch. Faust Van de Havenstadt. You can read Faust’s story in a different place. I set out to breed the pepper/salt color. In order to widen the gene pool, I mixed them with the blacks. This turned out to be a huge success even if it took several generations to get it right. When you breed a black to a pepper/salt you get all blacks in the first generation. The European kennel clubs consider the two colors to be two different breeds so they cannot be bred together there.
In 2011 the top winning giant schnauzer in Canada was Skansen’s Great Gatsby with the impressive titles of Canadian Champion and winner of the Canadian National as well. Gatsby is also an American Grand Champion, International Champion and winner of twelve All Breed Best in Shows. Janine Starink in Canada groomed, conditioned and campaigned Gatsby, making him the top winning pepper/salt giant worldwide. Gatsby is the result of five generations of mixing blacks with pepper/salt giants.
The pepper/salt is now a hardy, healthy, long-lived giant. He is a little softer in personality, I believe there is some Irish Wolfhound in the background.
Once somebody shares their life with a pepper/salt, they rarely switch off this breed. They are extremely devoted to their owner, generally calm and gentle as adults, get along great with other dogs and children. The pepper/salt giants draw a lot of attention on the street as they are so rare.
We have several excellent stud dogs besides Gatsby, see attached photos. We will have pups by Gatsby, Hopkins, & Gregory Peck summer/fall of 2012. Sometimes in a litter of pepper/salt we get a black/silver pup. This color is really rare and very beautiful. They are solid black with silver on the legs and beard. This is not an approved color to show at the AKC shows.
If you would like to get a giant schnauzer, consider the pepper/salt variety, they are unique, probably no more than a couple of hundred in the US.
PEPPER/SALT GIANT STUDS
Am. Can. & Int. GRAND Ch. Skansen’s Great Gatsby–By Ch. Skansen’s American President, retired (photo above right)