The Leonberger is a breed of large, muscular dog that originated in Germany. It belongs to the working breed family which is recognized for their being excellent at performing various police jobs such as guarding property, sled-pulling, or water-rescuing. Leonbergers have been bred to become livestock guardians, and perform search and rescue functions. Their medium to long double coat is weather-resistant, and usually comes in lion-yellow, red-brown, golden to red, cream, sand, pale yellow, and any combination of these colors, paired with a black mask.
Height and Weight
The male members of the Leonberger breed normally stand a height of 29 to 31 in at the withers and weigh about 130 to 170 lbs. Btiches, on the other hand, are a bit smaller with a typical height of 27 to 29 in and a weight of 100 to 130 lbs.
Leonbergers, in general, are brave, lively, and highly intelligent dogs. They are steady, affectionate, and possess a sweet expression. The breed is known to be friendly, steadfast, and stable by nature. They tend to love everyone, and can display unparalleled loyalty and devotion for their family owners. Well-balanced members of the line tend to be incredibly patient and trustworthy. In fact, Leonbergers do not show aggression but simply walk away under intense situations. Most dogs of such kind just take bad behavior into their stride. They do not respond well to harsh trainings, and would need firm yet gentle leadership. Handlers have to be confident and consistent in demonstrating their authority over them. Often referred to as a gentle giant, Leonbergers are serious, and tend to be eager to please their masters. Early socialization is necessary to help them accustom well to people and various settings. The breed gets along well with other canines and household pets.
Leonbergers are quite demanding when it comes to their coat care needs. They require weekly brushing, though may be bathed only when needed. Their ears and teeth also have to be kept clean. To prevent Leonbergers from acquiring hotspots, some de-matting sessions have to be performed. These dogs are considered to be seasonal heavy shedders.
Like most giant breeds, members of the Leonbergers are susceptible to hip dysplasia, and other skeletal disorders. They are also prone to bone diseases, and eyelid defects. The breed has an average life expectancy of 8 to 9 years.
Leonbergers do not make excellent apartment dogs. They are fairly inactive indoors, and would do best when given access to a large, safe yard. The breed prefers cool climates, and can thrive inside or even outside the home. Nevertheless, most members of the line prefer to be wherever their owners are.