Leonberger Dog Breed
- General Appearance:
- The Leonberger is a double coat breed. The outer coat is long, profuse, and straight. The under coat is thick and dense. There is a mane of hair on the chest and around the neck and feathering on the front legs. If not for their black faces they would resemble a lion, which is what the original creator of the breed intended. Also called “the gentle lion dog,” the mane on the Leonberger is fully matured around the age of 3.The Leonberger is a large, strong and muscular dog. They have an unusual feature, webbed feet,which makes them good swimmers. They are furry-looking dogs, making a cuddly companion. Leonbergers have always been bred as companions, making their personality very good as well. The Leonberger should have a relatively broad head with a square muzzle. The ears are high set, hanging close to the head, wide, long and well feathered. The neck should be strong and long. The chest should be deep with well sprung ribs. The front legs should be straight and well boned, the back legs should be strong and muscular. The tail should not be carried too high or curl over the back.
- Other Names:The gentle lion dog
- Country Of Origin:Germany
- Dog Group Kennel Club:Working
- Black mask with a light yellowish golden color to a red-brown colored coat. Lion colored. They can also have black patches on their chests and elsewhere.
- They are easy-going, placid, loyal and even-tempered. Leonbergers are calm, gentle and lively. they are very friendly dogs, and love to be around children. They get along with other pets, and enjoy the company of people. Leonbergers are affectionate, have a working attitude, love water, and are playful. They are protective of their families and homes, making them an excellent guard and watch dog. They do not do well if left alone for extended periods of time and will bark and become destructive if bored or lonely. They require a highly dedicated owner.
- Ground covering, even movement in all gaits maintaining a level topline. Extending well in front with good drive from hindquarters. Seen from front and behind, legs move in a straight line when walking or trotting.
- Care and training:
- The coat needs to be brushed and groomed on a regular basis to remove any dead and loose hair. Special care should be given during seasonal blowing of the coat. Bathing should be done when necessary. Leonbergers also require, like most breeds, regular trimming of excessive hair on the feet, ear cleaning and nail trimming.
The Leonberger is an intelligent dog, it learns quickly and will become aware of what is expected of it. Due to its large size training should be started as early as possible. They will not respond to harsh or heavy-handed methods.
- Overall Exercise:
- 40 - 60 minutes per day.
As a puppy this dog should not be over exercised or allowed free running up and down stairs. When the bones are properly developed then the exercise can be gradually increased. The adult Leonberger can and should have long walks and loves to run around and play. They also have a great love of water and like nothing better than a good swim
- Feeding Requirements:
- The young Leonberger must be fed the correct diet in the correct amounts. The breeder will be able to advise on the best diet for your puppy.
- Personal Protection:Low
- Suitability As Guard Dog:Medium
- Level of Aggression:Low
- Compatibility With Other Animals:High
- Suitability for Children:High
- Often Docked?No
- Average Litter Size:6-14
- Life Expectancy (yrs):7-15
- Health issues:
- Unfortunately the Leonberger suffers from various health issues, including Addison’s disease, hypothyroidism, cancer, ectropion, entropion (inverted eyelids), hip dysplasia, osteosarcoma, OCD and bloat. Bloat is a health issue common to most dogs, being the second largest killer of all dogs. But Leonbergers can be particularly susceptible to it because of their deep chests. Bloat is also known as twisted stomach or gastric torsion.
- The Leonberger is the symbol of pride to the town of Leonberg in southern Germany. In the 1840s Herr Alderman Heinrich Essig, the Mayor of Leonberg, wanted to create a breed that manifested the same appearance as the lion which appeared on the Imperial Coat of Arms in the Town Hall of Leonberg. He set out to do so by crossing the Newfoundland, Landseer, St. Bernard and Pyrenean Mountain Dog. The breed has been bred since 1846. Some believe that the breed
descends from the Tibetan Mastiff. When first exhibited, the Leonberger was not accepted by the judges as a breed, simply as a mixture of other dogs, which is what it was.