Overview of Leonbergers

  • Leonbergers may participate in water rescue dog training using the Newfoundland Club test regulations—their love of the water makes them a logical choice for the job, but their watchful nature and desire to be near people help the breed succeed in waterwork.
  • Leonbergers definitely fit into that latter category and they’d certainly love an activity like backpacking – in which you and your dog take a trip through the wilderness with nothing but the supplies you can fit into your backpack.
  • Leonbergers have been owned by many royal families including Napoleon II of France, Empress Elizabeth of Austria, the Prince of Wales, Emperor Napoleon II, Bismarck and Italian King Umberto.
  • Leonbergers are
    large and powerful dogs that need training from early puppyhood so
    an owner can live with the full grown dog of over 100 pounds without
  • Leonberger temperament, personality, training, behavior, pros and cons, advice, and information, by Michele Welton, Dog Trainer, Behavioral Consultant, Author of 15 Dog Books
  • The Leonberger is classified by the FCI in the molossians, type mountain
    dog (Group 2, Section 2.2), not a typical working breed
    that was bred to serve one purpose.
  • Leonbergers can come in alternative colors and build
    but all should have black masks and have a strong body that is still
    elegant and neither massive nor plump.
  • The Leonberger is intelligent, resilient and observant, making natural watchdogs who are quick to identify strangers and will alert their owners of anything unusual.
  • Leonbergers are smart though, they quickly pick up new behaviors quickly and will love the chance to spend time with their family learning new things.
  • The Leonberger is a relatively rare sight in America, and he usually sits between the 90th and 100th spot in the AKC’s popularity contest.
  • Bloat

    It is recommended that Leonbergers are fed in two, smaller meals, rather than giving them one large meal a day to help prevent the chances of bloat.Leonbergers’ biggest daily problems will be obesity and gastric dilatation and volvulus (more commonly known as bloat).The former will be a problem if you aren’t giving them the exercise they need, and the latter is a common ailment among breeds with large chest cavities.


    Bernard had a high, domed head, much more similar to that of the Leonberger.Bernard of the day was quite different from the modern version of the breed, which was extensively out-crossed to produce the dog with the large, blocky head which we now see.However, it is believed that early Leonbergers exhibited a variety of coat colours which would be impossible to achieve from this relatively narrow gene pool, and so many authorities contend that other breeds must have been involved in the early breeding programme.It can be seen from imprints at the time that the St.The St.


    (They usually live about 9 years, according to the American Kennel Club.) Hip dysplasia has been a remarkably small problem for the breed, though you’ll want to be aware of it.Long term, the breed has historically had issues with some cancers, particularly bone cancer, though it most commonly doesn’t strike Leonbergers until late in life.


    After the death of Henrich Essig in the late 19th century, Essig’s niece Marie, who is believed to have actually bred the first Leonbergers, altered the line to incorporate the distinctive tan, gold, or red coat with black mask that we see today.The first Leonbergers were originally bred with white and black coats, as large white breeds were extremely popular in mid 19th century Europe.


    Check with your vet or breeder for advice on appropriate exercise for your young dog.Even though an adult Leonberger is generally a calm individual, they do need to have the chance to get some good exercise each day to keep fit and healthy, Young Leos are well known for their high levels of energy and exuberance, but care is needed not to over-exercise their developing bodies.


    Leo’s do shed their coat, and with this size of dog, that means a lot of hair flying around the home.The Leonberger doesn’t generally need professional grooming, but they do need daily brushing.Their heavy double coat can become matted and tangled if not taken care of.


    It is important to be able to perform basic health tasks with your dog, whatever their size, and so Leonberger puppies should learn to accept having their teeth brushed, nails clipped, and ears handled and cleaned.

    Life expectancy

    A healthy breed, a Leonberger lifespan is relatively long for a dogs of their size.The typical Leonberger life expectancy is anywhere between 8-11 years, with very healthy dogs living past this.


    A large, fenced-in yard is an ideal spot for a Leo to stretch his big legs.Additionally, since this is a breed that loves pulling loads, drafting competitions (where a dog pulls a cart) can be an excellent choice for keeping them busy and stimulated.Leonbergers are active dogs, so they will need daily activity to keep them healthy and to help prevent obesity.They make great hiking companions and love to swim.


    Read our guide for further information on the Leonberger’s health, personality, history, and more!This giant pooch is slowly gaining popularity across the world.


    He needs to get used to other animals and you should be there until he learns how to behave around them.If not socialized, Leonbergers can become aggressive with other animals and even with people that they do not know, so make this one of your top priorities when training him.Introduce your Leonberger to other animals and stay in the immediate area with him.It is not usually an agressive dog, but it can be if it doesn’t learn the proper behaviors early.Jumping up on people is another behavior that you shouldn’t allow because your cute cuddly puppy is going to become a large dog that could easily take you down whle just playing around.Leonberger owners will agree that early socialization of this dog is important if not vital.Start by teaching your dog to play gently and not to bite ever.

    Spay or Neuter

    “Removing any of the organs that control or regulate hormones in a dog’s body can affect how that dog will grow, so there’s a thought that waiting until a large breed dog is closer to adulthood is better.”Beck also notes that like other giant breeds, there’s some controversy among veterinarians about when is the right time to spay or neuter a Leonberger.The Leo’s large size and potential stress on growing bones means the dog’s growth plates close later than in smaller breeds.


    “By that time I had met a bunch of Leonbergers and Leonberger people and decided that the temperament, gentleness and size made it the breed for us.But the size is something anybody who is interested in a Leonberger needs to take into serious consideration.”


    Can a dog be a lifeguard?Obedience training is the first step in waterwork training.The different levels of waterwork titles are earned when Leos learn and present specific skills at trials.The most advanced Leos can search for an abandoned boat, rescue more than one conscious or unconscious person from the water, and rescue from a capsized boat.These skills include the ability to retrieve from both land and boat, swimming with a handler, taking a line, and towing a boat.

    Is a Leonberger right for you?

    Leonberger’s size may be prohibitive if you have babies and toddlers at home.Leos tend to get messy because they also shed a lot of hair (remember that they have double coats).They also love to frolic in water and mud (fun!) and they can be messy eaters, too.But if you love big dogs with loving and calm behavior (and fun company), and if you’re willing to go the mile in training, grooming, having them socialize, then by all means, get a Leonberger or adopt one.

    Are they good with children?

    This is a big, gentle, and very sweet breed. Leonbergers are loyal and easy to train provided he receives plenty of socialization. They are great with kids and have the energy to keep up with them. They can be messy to live with and they do have a shorter lifespan.

    Are Leonbergers Ok With Other Dogs?

    Leonberger dogs can be aggressive to other Leonbergers of the same sex.So it isn’t recommended to keep two.They are otherwise friendly with other dogs.You can take them for doggy meetups and can have other different breeds within your household.

    Are They Child-Friendly?

    Yes! Leonbergers are extremely good with children because they are very gentle and show calm behavior with kids.Since they are highly energetic they will make an excellent pair with children.However, they can be rough players while playing and may knock down children while playing.

    Should You Adopt a Leonberger?

    Leonbergers make excellent family dogs.Despite their incredible size (up to 31.5 inches tall), weight (up to 170 pounds) and strength, they’re submissive to family members and friendly towards kids.

    Leonberger size: How big do Leo’s get?

    As their nickname reflects, the Leonberger dog breed grows to a giant.Once fully grown, the male is 28 to 31 inches (71-80cm) high at their withers, averaging 30 inches.Females, only slightly smaller, are 26 to 30 inches (65-75cm) in height.

    Do they require a lot of grooming?

    This type of coat requires consistent grooming.If you can spend 30 min each week doing regular brush outs to keep the hair separated and divided to prevent matting and allowing the skin to breathe, you should be able to maintain this coat. In addition to regular, routine baths are necessary.

    Are Leonbergers Good With Children?

    Playful by nature a Leonberger will keep any child happy! They are gentle and hold a lot of stamina, keeping up with your child as they play throughout the day! This breed isn’t known to intentionally harm a child, but the Leonberger size makes toddlers susceptible to injuries.They are intelligent and do recognize how big they really are.

    Is the Leonberger a Popular Breed?

    The Leonberger is the 95th most popular AKC registered breed.Having just been recognized in 2010, this is still a relatively unknown breed in the United States.As such, their popularity continues to rise as they become more well known.

    Are Leonbergers Good with Children?

    Leos are exceptionally friendly with children.They have the Newfoundland’s maternal instinct and friendly demeanor towards children of all ages.They are patient, kind, and gentle with even the most rambunctious children.Your Leo will love to meet new children, and they seem endlessly fascinated by little humans.As with all giant breeds, make sure to supervise very young children with them because they can inadvertently be knocked over.

    Need help finding the right product?

    Use our finder to discover where to buy Royal Canin, both online and near you.

    Are Leonbergers Hypoallergenic?

    No, Leos are not a hypoallergenic dog breed.In fact, they’re quite the opposite given how heavily they shed.Examples of hypoallergenic breeds include the Basenji and Italian Sighthound.

    What Are Some Lower Shedding Breeds?

    There are lots of breeds that shed less than the Leonberger, so take your pick.However, out of the larger breeds, the Irish Wolfhound, Saluki, or Giant Schnauzer are worth considering.Nothing is going to be the same as a Leo though, they’re one of a kind.So it’s a matter of weighing up the pros and cons.

    Do they shed or cause allergies?

    They do shed year around.Frequent baths and blow outs will help accelerate the shedding process and help keep the skin and coat in good condition.In addition, it will help cut down on the dander, which can be a trigger for those suffering from allergies.

    How is the Leonberger with children and other animals?

    Leos are good with children especially when raised with them and with socialization.It will play with them, is gentle and patient and affectionate too.Even if a situation becomes aggressive on the child’s side the dog is more likely to just walk away than react at all.Just be aware since it is a large dog it can still accidentally knock small children over.

    Temperament: Are Leonbergers good family dogs?

    Leonbergers are excellent family dogs, and their wonderful temperaments are a notable characteristic.

    What is the average cost of a Leonberger puppy?

    Leonberger puppies are very popular and may be hard to find.Their average litter size is six strong.The Leonberger price varies, depending on their breeding, but you can budget between $1500 and $3500.

    Are Leonbergers Good With Strangers?

    In their younger years during socialization, Leonbergers will be friendly towards strangers.Yet as they get older and mature they will become more suspicious.They shouldn’t become aggressive but may deter those they don’t know by barking.They are a creature of habit and don’t like strangers unexpectedly knocking the door.

    What Does the Leonberger Look Like?

    Considering the above descriptions, it should come as no surprise that the Leonberger size is massive.

    Grooming: Do Leonberger dogs shed?

    Leonbergers are quite the shedders and are not hypoallergenic.You should brush them once a day to keep their long coat in good condition and stop constant shedding all over your space.

    What are the common problems in the breed?

    Like most other purebred dogs, the Leonberger has its fair share of health issues. Orthopedic problems such as hip and elbow dysplasia, osteochondritis dissecans and panosteitis are more common. Eye diseases including cataracts, entropion and ectropion are also seen. Cancer including hemangiosarcoma, lymphoma, and osteosarcoma are also seen among Leonbergers.

    Should I get a Leonberger?

    If you’re a first-time owner, you may want to reconsider getting a Leonberger german mountain dog.

    What if I have a show dog?

    Whether you have a show dog or a companion dog, the same basic care is given regarding nutrition, socialization, and hygiene. The difference is the maintenance, conditioning, coat preparation for the show ring. It is always helpful if your breeder is willing to mentor you to lead you in the right direction upon entering the wonderful world of showing dogs. A great place to start is with the national breed club like the Leonberger Club of America, https://www.leonbergerclubofamerica.

    Looking for Upcoming Events to participate with your Leo?

    Info about upcoming Working Group Shows, Obedience, Rally Trials, Draft Tests and All-Breed Water Tests.

    Where Does the Leonberger Come From?

    Named after Leonberg, Germany, this German giant was bred for companionship, making him unique to other large breed dogs, who were primarily built for work.

    How active is the Leonberger?

    It is important that you are an active person as this dog is very active and it will need owners happy and committed to taking out every day.This is not a breed to live comfortably in an apartment, the space is just too small.Also it really would do better in a home that had a least a large yard, though some actual land would be even better.It should have a couple of long walks daily, but it also likes to hike, swim, pull carts or sleds and track.While time somewhere it can socialize and go off leash like a dog park is an option, take care and be sure about how it reacts to strange dogs.It is also not a dog inclined to chase balls or jump for Frisbees.When it is young and its bones and joints are still growing take care not to do anything with too much impact to avoid injury.If not given enough activity or stimulation it will become bored, hyperactive and even destructive.

    What kind of dogs are part of your family?

    Help us get you the most relevant information.

    How Does Leonberger Behave Around Strangers?

    Many Leonbergers have protective instincts towards strangers.They need friendly people so they learn to recognize the normal behaviors of good people.If introduced properly with everybody, they are gentle and show friendly behavior even with strangers.

    What’s your primary interest in dogs?

    Help us get you the most relevant information.

    Is the Leonberger the Right Dog for You?

    Leos are large dogs that shed daily and need to be with their families.We don’t recommend them as outdoor pets, or for people with meticulous homes or small living quarters, unless there is access to a park or path for daily exercise.Leos are known for being gentle pooches that are all bark and no bite, and they are an intelligent breed that trains easily with positive reinforcement.If you have the space and don’t mind the fur, by all means consider a Leo for your next pet.

    What are the Leonberger’s Exercise Requirements?

    While Leonbergers are relatively mild-mannered dogs, they do require plenty of exercise to stay healthy and happy.

    What Can Make Your Dog Aggressive?

    Leonberger dog aggression can be a problem and two Leonbergers of the same sex should not be kept together.Though protective instincts develop at maturity and it becomes more discriminating with strangers, it is never aggressive.

    Where does the Leonberger dog come from?

    The Leonberger received its name from the town in Germany where they originate.Heinrich Essig, a 19th-century German politician and mayor of Leonberg, created this breed.

    What Are They Like to Groom?

    I’d like to say they’re easy to groom to cut you a break, but that’s just not the case.I mean, they’re not difficult to groom or particularly high maintenance, like the Afghan Hound for example.

    What will training look like?

    This breed is easy to train for experienced owners as it is intelligent, eager to please and capable.In fact less repetition is usually needed which means training is quicker.It does not respond to harsh methods, be positive, firm, consistent and controlled but fair, using treats, praise and encouragement at times.Along with good training you need to make sure socialization is carried out as early as possible.Get it used to different places and people and teach it what responses are acceptable.When it is not well socialized, some can become aggressive and some can become overly shy, anxious and scared.

    What Brush Is Best for Leo Shedding?

    A slicker brush or pin brush is best to use for the Leos outer coat, while an undercoat rake or metal comb (regular or purpose built deshedding comb) is ideal for his undercoat.

    What does the Leonberger look like?

    The Leonberger is a graceful, regal dog that is both powerful and massive.Their appearance is visually impressive, while also making elegant movement possible for such a large body.

    What health problems do Leonberger dogs have?

    For a giant dog breed, Leo’s are strong and healthy.Hip dysplasia, which is a common issue in large dogs, has been well controlled through careful breeding.However, they are prone to certain health issues.

    History of Leonbergers

  • in 1846, Essig declared that he had created the Leonberger.
  • In 1882 At a dog show in Heilbronn, Germany, the Rottweiler nearly became extinct.
  • In 1901situation began to change when the Rottweiler and Leonberger Club were founded and it created the breed’s first standard.
  • In 1915, a group of enthusiasts led by the zoologist Dr.
  • In 1915, efforts began to revive the hovawart.
  • In 1922, Kurt Friedrich König and his father Bertram König made the first attempt to breed these dogs.
  • In 1937, these instinctively capable guard dogs that boasted both a well-balanced nature and protective urge were finally recognised as an independent breed called the “Hovawart”.
  • In 1945 German breeders and enthusiasts pulled together as many of the Leonbergers that were left as they could and worked hard to re-establish the breed.
  • In 1945, several Germans gathered some of the few remaining Leonbergers and re-established the breed.
  • In 1949 a breed standard was agreed upon and in 1971 they made their way to the US.
  • In 1964 the German Kennel Club recognised the Hovawart as the country’s seventh working breed and around this time enthusiasm for the breed started to develop in other countries.
  • In 1964 the German Kennel Club recognised the Hovawart as the country’s seventh working breed.
  • In 1975 the International Union of Leonberger Clubs was formed, representing 18 national clubs, including the Leonberger Club of America.
  • In 1981 they bred the first litter in the U.S.A producing 6 puppies.
  • In 1998, the first US Registered Bergamasco sired from Silver Pastori, Fauno and Gae dell Albera, was introduced to Canada.
  • In 2010 it was recognized by the AKC and currently is ranked 93rd in popularity.
  • In 2011, a DNA study concluded that there was a genetic relationship between the Tibetan mastiff and the Great Pyrenees, Bernese Mountain Dog, Rottweiler and Saint Bernard, and that these large breed dogs are probably partially descended from the Tibetan mastiff.[11] In 2014, a study added the Leonberger to the list of possible relatives.
  • In 2012 Lynn & Connie were awarded the AKC Working Dog Breeders of the Year.
  • In 2018 Karen was awarded the AKC Breeder of Merit acknowledgement from the American Kennel Club.
  • In the 1830s a Newfoundland and Barry der Menschenretter (now known as the Saint Bernard) were cross bred to produce the Leonberger.
  • On 0 reviews naturally bobbed tail of 5 stars My New Furminator Connolly, a.