- Origin: Germany
- Group: Working
- Weight: Male: 50-75 kg Females: 40-60 kg
- Height: Male: 70-80 cm Females: 65-75 cm
- Colors: cream, mahogany, yellow, red
- Training: easy-to-medium
- Care: Long fur requires brushing
- Temperament: adaptable, obedient, loyal, loving, fearless
- Health: robust and durable
- Puppies: 6 to 14 puppies
- Age: 9-14 years old
Tradition records that around 1830, Heinrich Essig, a dog breeder and trader in the town of Leonberg (near Stutgart, Germany, the Land of Baden-Württenberg), had the initiative to create a new breed of dogs to form -a symbol of the community.
For this, he left a Newfoundland female (Terra Nova) (the Landseer variety, characterized by the black-and-white combination of the fur) and a giant mountain dog brought from St. Bernard’s Monastery (where the Saint Bernard breed stabilized).
The dog was named Leonberger to symbolize the city where he was born as a breed, but also because he wanted a replica of the translation of that name (“leon” = leu, “berg” = mountain).
The initiator of the breed wanted to get a dog whose fur suggested the color of the lion’s coat, with an equally impressive waist and a rich hair horn on his head and neck. Subsequently, Essig continued the process of improving the physical characteristics exhibited by the first specimens obtained, using crossovers and copies of the Pyrenean Shepherd.
Never feed the dog with a spoon, let him handle it alone. When he starts eating a new type of food, make sure the Leonberger puppy eats a milk bowl once a day. Milk is highly recommended for these dogs during the junior season.
Choose the type of milk only if you are sure the source is available for at least 2 months. Changes will not be well received by puppy and milk intake is very important in the first few months of life. If you can provide cow’s milk, it must be pre-cooked and served at a temperature of 25-27 degrees Celsius.
As he advances aged between 6 and 12 months, a Leonberger puppy will have to get used to solid food slowly with a lot of patience and understanding. You can make a slice of pasteurized bread, well-cooked oatmeal flakes, junk biscuits, and add the juice from a meat soup until the consistency of the food is a soft one.
Enter this “soup” in the menu at two of the six daily meals (the other will consist of milk). It is good to feed a dog when he asks for it, expressing himself explicitly, but without exceeding the barrier of the 5-6 meals. Do not forget that the Leonberger breed includes poignant dogs that will reach a large waist and specimens are prone to obesity.
Do not make mistakes that, for sentimental reasons, you break the principles that delineate correct food. Carefully keep appetite, increase the portions of porridge / soup to the detriment of milk. You will definitely notice, around 9-10 months old, that little Leonberger requires more food at a meal, but calls for it to be fed less.
When expressing a bigger appetite and good health, you can begin to insert small pieces of meat (chest) or calf (pulp) into the daily diet, finely cut and well homogenized. Also, bone meal specially designed as dog food can be used, sprinkled over the gates.
The three essentials that identify the right food for a dog (in this case Leonberger, but the concept is true of any dog breed) are: the amount of food, the number of meals provided daily and the regularity. After 12 weeks of age, until 6 months of age, a Leonberger puppy is recommended to be fed 4 times a day. Up to 1 year old, 3 meals per day are enough.
After this age, if you do not submit that dog to an intensive workout, you can feed it in two meals, divided in the morning and evening. When a Leonberger dog reaches 1 year of age, meat should be well presented in the menu for a harmonious and healthy muscular development.
The idea is not that you have to feed it exclusively with meat, but the ideal percentage would be a part of meat to two parts of food (biscuits for dogs, for example). This percentage may be too strong if you have a puppy that does not carry out training or activity with sustained physical involvement (swimming, transport of materials or towing sleighs / trolleys), but it is good to appreciate, depending on the situation real.
Leonbergers have double coat, which varies in length but is generally of medium length. Color of the coat can be in a variety of shades of brown, yellow, gold and red. The hair is soft and somewhat curly, but not curly. His bushy tail is carried down.
Leonberger has long ears, ears that are ornate on the edges with dark brown or black hair. His face is slightly cut, with a black mask and blond and cheerful eyes. The mask should not exceed the eyebrow line. Nose and lips are always black.
The neck is strong, but it does not have to be provided with a wad. The dandelion leaves it like a lion. In males, the thymus develops completely in about four years. The limbs are chamomile and muscular, and the hair covering them is longer forming multiple fringes. The spines on the hind limbs must be amputated.
Considered to be a giant race, the height of Leonberger can intimidate. His body conformation is robust, and the paws are round and strong. They are provided with an interdigital membrane that helps them swim. However, a simple look in his brown eyes will make you understand that this race is just fascinating.
Adult Leonberger can reach a height of about 74-80 cm in the male and 61-74 cm in the female and a body weight of about 59-77 kg in the male and 45-59 kg in the female.
Its general structure is that of a lively, intelligent, peaceful dog with mild reactions. Being a strong dog, aware of his force, requires early socialization and obedience training performed thoroughly at an early age.
If he develops his personality under the careful supervision of the master, Leonberger will prove to be an affectionate, devoted adult dog with a good predisposition play, permissive and attentive to the relationship with the children. If this strong dog interacts early with other animals he will accept it as an adult without problems.
Foreigners are alerted as they approach, but since they are recognized and accepted by the master, there will be no interaction problems. It is not a dog with aggressive tendencies, young males that exhibit a dominant temperament and territoriality tendencies can be molded through early training.
This dog is effective for protection because it impresses with the simple appearance and the force displayed. Their effective intervention is unnecessary and Leonberger prefers to control a situation rather than solve it by direct action (deterrence).
First of all, Leonberger is a very family-friendly dog, he does his best to monitor his activities around him and is influenced by the small or bigger changes he’s seeing.
Being a sensitive and reactive animal to the general atmosphere, it is good to decide to purchase a Leonberger dog when you have the consent of all family members.
You do not decide unilaterally to adopt a puppy in the hope that his presence will convince reluctant members and gain their affection later. A Leonberger dog who does not feel comfortable becomes shy, slightly responsive and apathetic / introverted, reacting slowly and without enthusiasm to the training and various socializing exercises.
Leonberger is quite active and fascinated in the first two years of his life, especially in families with young children. Due to the massiveness and the certain left-handedness in the movements that result from it, they are sometimes able to “upset” annoying, without, however, proving, statistically, a breed of dogs susceptible to calamities.
Strongly but gently intervene whenever a Leonberger puppy violates certain rules, your attitude that just gestures and mimics the upset will often be enough to correct the behavior. This dog can be easily trained through various games such as catching and bringing the ball, overcoming obstacles and, especially, dragging small sleds or trolleys, transporting the various materials in the samar (special harness, compartmentalised, attached to the dog’s body) .
Be careful not to start with this type of training (traction, weight transport) earlier than 2 years of age to allow the bone system to develop completely and strengthen.
The cognizants of these breed dogs also highlight an interesting psychological aspect specific to Leonberger dogs. Despite the immense, virile appearance, these dogs tend to attach more to women than to men.
It can be an inheritance from the Saint Bernard dogs, which is believed to be similar, or simply Leonberger chooses to be more protective with family members who show less physical strength.
But, on the other hand, a dog’s attachment, in general terms, does not manifest itself in relation to a person’s sex, but rather to the presence index. As men, on average, lead a more dynamic life and more absent from their families, this dog instinctively focuses on the adult most present in family life: partner, wife, mother.
Leonberger needs adequate nutrition, carefully balanced and correlated with the age reached.
As a junior puppy, he does not need to be involved in large-scale exercises with high physical involvement (jump, obstruction, carriage or towing of weights, running too long), because he has a rapid pace of development of the musculo- skeletal and it takes time to adapt and strengthen it. Leonberger is a dog breed with abundance, so it will require intensive brushing, especially when changing seasons.
The eyes and ears of these dogs must be subject to periodic checks to identify possible problems in their incipient stages.
Leonberger is a sturdy dog with little known medical sensitivities. Of these, at an increased frequency, the following were reported:
– gastric torsion (dilation) is a sudden condition that endangers the life of the animal associated with filling the stomach with air and twisting it.
– Hip dysplasia is a malformation of the coxfemoral joint resulting in pain, labia and arthritis.
– panosteitis is an inflammation of the long bones manifested during the growth period. It induces pain and gallows until the dog matures.
– entropion is an eyelid affection that involves the twisting of the free edge of the eyelids. Genes at the free edge of the eyelids irritate the surface of the eyeball, leading to more serious problems.
Leonberger is also prone to osteocondrosis, osteosarcoma, arthritis and Addison’s disease.
The average life expectancy of Leonberger is 8-10 years.