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The Leonberger Shop

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Leonberger Breed Summary

Intelligent, Energetic, Loyal and Obedient

These dogs are well-known for their dashing looks and noble lion-like manes! For this reason, they look very powerful in appearance! However, they are really just gentle giants and have even been nicknamed with this phrase as well.

Leonbergers are not the best breed for first time owners and need to be trained and handled by experienced individuals. They need to be placed in a house that is big enough for them to run around in and also need a large and secure garden to stretch their legs out!

Fun Fact: They absolutely adore being in water, no matter what the weather!

Kennel Club Group Working
Lifespan 8 - 9 Years
Height (at the withers) Males 28in - 31.5in, Females 25.5in - 29.5in
Weight Males 110lb - 170lb, Females 90lb - 140lb
Coat A Double Coat with a Harsher Top Coat and a Softer, Thick Undercoat with a Slight Wave
Color Gold, Gold with Black Mask, Golden Red & Black Mask, Lion & Black Mask, Lion Red with Black Mask, Red, Red & Black, Red Black Mask, Red Brown & Black Mask, Red Gold & Black Mask, Red with Black Muzzle, Sandy
Eye color Brown or Dark Brown
Common health issues Hip dysplasia, Elbow dysplasia, Eye issues, Glaucoma, Addison's disease, Anal furunculosis, Cancer, Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM), Bloat/gastric torsion, Hypothyroidism, Intussusception, Leukoencephalomyelopathy (LEMP), Inherited Leonberger Polyneuropathy & Laryngeal Paralysis (LP AND PN), Panosteitis, Pyometra
Other Names Leo, Gentle Lion, Gentle Giant

These big dogs have very high energy levels and are also extremely intelligent. Because of this they are both easy to train and perform very well in sports and competitions, such as Agility and Obedience. They get along well with other animals, such as cats and horses – and especially humans! Because of this, they shouldn’t be kept outside as they want to be surrounded by family as much as possible. They make fantastic therapy dogs and their fluffy affectionate ways will leave the whole family besotted!

Unique among the big guys of the AKC Working Group, Leos were developed first and foremost as companions. The breed was the brainchild of Heinrich Essig, a 19th-century politician and entrepreneur of Leonberg, Germany. Utilizing Saint Bernards and Newfoundlands, among other large working breeds, Essig’s goal was to breed a majestic pet for European royalty—truly a dog fit for a king. He succeeded grandly, and such clients as Napoleon III, Tsar Alexander II, and the Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII) lined up to add this stately companion to their royal courts. Other famous Leonberger owners, aristocrats in spirit if not of blood, have included composers Richard Wagner and Sergei Rachmaninoff, and the Italian patriot Giuseppe Garibaldi. Despite their regal beginnings, Leos have long been employed as versatile working dogs on farms, pastures, and waterfronts. They are surprisingly nimble and make excellent swimmers. A specialty of the breed is cart pulling, an activity that provides an enjoyable outlet for their prodigious strength.