The Pepper & Salt Giant Schnauzer

by Karen Palmer

Reprinted from What You Should Know About The Giant Schnauzer, 5th Edition 1988

In the late 1950's Arthur Lockley of California imported Gedo v.d. Libellenwiese and Kira v.d. Libellenwiese from Germany. Their litter was believed to be the first pepper/salt litter whelped in the USA.

Today there are approximately 200 pepper/salt Giants in the USA and Canada. Difficulty in breeding the P/S has been due to their small population, the lack of potential breeding stock, and good studs, and the presence of hip hysplasia.

When Mr. Lockley died, his Greyguard line was continued by Ralph Medefesser. He owned three P/S Giants besides raising one litter. One dog he handled, Quick v.d. Libellenwiese, was the only P/S who could regularly beat the black Giants in shows. A big male, 27" and 110 Ibs., Quick was a top obedience dog, who got his CD and CDX in seven months from the time he started training. Breeders concurrent with Medefesser were Calvin and Irene Hart, who used von Stalag Luft for their kennel name.

In the 1960's two lines appeared In the East. In Illinois, the Klinahof line was established by Mary Hoenig out of Ch. Gauner v. Widderhof, a German Import, and Kira of the Greyguards. At the same time in New Jersey, Peter Ossendorf, under the von Felsenhof name, raised two litters born of German imports.

Then in the early 1970's, Dr. and Mrs. Guido Schmitz‑Mancy of Virginia imported two excellent German dogs from the Widderhof Kennel ‑Kuno v. Widderhof and Olivia v. Widderhof. These dogs easily gained their American championships and were responsible for two Massadale Farm's litters, whelped in 1972 and 1973.

Within ten years, P/S's registered under the kennel names Challenger, Appawillow, Challengwlllow, Arman, von Marsyn, Buchholz, Bar‑Bev, Graygambol, Greymist, Genesis, Mickey, Saltshaker, Seldomseen, and Bart's Buchholz had appeared. In 1984 the first litter from two American‑bred P/S champions (Ch. Challenger's Eleotris CDX and Ch. Greymist Athena v. Shakers) was produced. And within the PIS ranks are now many Championships, CD's, CDX's, TD's, TDX's and carting certificates.

In show competition however, even our best, smaller and more docile than the black Giant, didn't seem to impress the judges, most of whom had seen and thought of the Giant Schnauzer as typically black. It became evident that in order for the P/S Giant to be improved in size, substance, and conformation, some breedings would have to take place between P/S's and a few select black Giants. This idea had been abhorred by breeders of blacks in the States, and such breedings were, in fact, banned in Germany. But as we approached the 1980's, the fancy became more aware of the P/S plight and, at last, four litters of black pups carrying the P/S gene appeared ‑ the Challenger D, the Buchholz F, the Buchholz K, and the Trilogy Misty litters.

With the advent of these litters it becomes imperative that pedigrees show which dogs were black and which were P/S. The dogs from these cross litters should be registered to future breedings with pure P/S's only. The reason for that, of course, is to protect the black Giant Schnauzer's coat, which should be COAL BLACK. If any of these dogs from the cross breedings are bred with pure black Giants, grayish or off‑black coats will result. P/S breeders have a primary responsalbllity to see to it that their black pups are not sold for breeding back to pure black Giants and black breeders have just as much responsibility to look into a potential stud or bitch's pedigree to determine if there are any P/S's in that pedigree and to stay away from it if there are! With the exception of the Buchholz kennel, which also produces pure black Giants, all of the kennel names above produce or have produced P/S Giants. It would be well for all breeders to familiarize themselves with these names.

With their beautiful, coarse agouti coat and dark masks, P/S Giants have all the charm of the smaller Schnauzer plus the power and steadier temperament of a large breed. We love our P/S Giants because they are canine ladies and gentlemen ...loving clowns in the family, not quarrelsome or hyper, but joyfully aggressive in protection of home and family‑ the supreme companion dog.


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