Drs. Foster & Smith Educational Staff
|Initially bred to resemble the lion depiction on a town's
crest, Leonbergers are gentle, loyal, and affectionate
animals. These dogs are large and intelligent. Their
waterproof coats and webbed feet make them excellent
water dogs. Leonbergers have a proud posture, striking black
masked muzzle, muscular body, and - once adolescence is
reached - a beautiful breast mane. Unlike many similar-sized
dogs, Leonbergers are not as likely to drool, thanks to tight
jowls and an absence of flews (the pendulous lower lip corners
of certain dogs).
First bred by Leonberg, Germany mayor, Herr Heinrich Essig, in 1846, these
large and elegant dogs instantly became favorites of European royalty. Though
the exact breeds Essig used to cross-breed are unknown, they probably included
Saint Bernards, Newfoundlands, and Great Pyrenees. Almost decimated after
World War I, today's entire breed line was rescued from just 12 surviving dogs.
|Interesting Breed Facts:
|First recognized as a breed:
Kull wrote the first breed standard
in 1895; Recognized by the American
Kennel Club (AKC) 2010.
||Average height at shoulder - approximately 30"
for males, 27" for females. Weight ranges vary from
80-145 lbs. or larger, depending on gender.
||The Leonberger is a large dog, whose
muzzle is masked in a dark black color. Their
temperament is of extreme importance and must
be even. Well proportioned, with a muscular body
and a strong back, Leonbergers also have a well-feathered,
bushy tail and ample feathering on the
legs. Their ears hang down alongside their head.
Their eyes are light to dark brown with an intelligent,
friendly appearance. Their fairly long coats are
golden-yellow to red-brown and fairly rough in
need sound nutrition to ensure proper growth of their
bones in relation to their muscles. As with any large
breed dog, daily, low-impact exercise is also needed
to keep weight under control and joints healthy.
|#1 preventable health problem:
||Though fond of water, Leonbergers
enjoy any type of play and relish interaction. They
prefer to be with their owners and do not do well
||Playfulness, loyalty and intelligence
make these clever dogs a great guardian
|Biggest challenge to owners:
||The breed's size may
be the biggest challenge. Although keeping these
intelligent giants occupied, properly fed, and exercised
can also be difficult. Obedience training
is a must.