The Leonberger: A Complete Guide

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This jumbo-sized dog breed is a mix of the Newfoundland Dog, the Saint Bernard, and the Great Pyrenees.

He needs a good amount of exercise, affection, attention, and space. But with the right owner, he can be the best friend in the world.

With his lion-like looks and deep bark, he makes an intimidating watchdog.

The Leonberger’s high energy levels and intelligence make him a super competitor in agility and obedience trials.

He also excels in water rescue work and as a therapy dog.

The Leonberger likes living with his own kind. But he gets along well with other animals as well, including cats and horses.

Because of his great size, he should never be left alone with young children.

This is a sensitive dog who dislikes family arguments. Keep your disagreements private or he may try to intervene.

The Leonberger loves being with his people and won’t be happy to spend all his time alone in the backyard.

Expect to give him about an hour of exercise daily.

A light brown Leonberger lying down
Leonberger is devoted to his people.

Take the Leonberger’s size into consideration before bringing one home. He needs a family with a yard and an SUV, not a studio apartment and a Miata.

His coat sheds heavily twice a year and moderately the rest of the time. On the plus side, his deep bark and huge size are more than enough to put off any intruder.

This giant breed requires a commitment to training and a high tolerance for mischief and mess.

His physical appearance looks incredible in the show ring. But his natural state is more damp and dirty than graceful elegance.

That, along with long fur and copious shedding, makes this a poor choice for neatniks.

Early and extensive socialization and training with plenty of positive reinforcement and consistent expectations will turn him into a family friend.

Without them, he’s mischievous and destructive.

Leonberger Puppies – Before You Buy…

What Price are Leonberger Puppies?

The price of Leonberger puppies is approximately $1,500 to $2,000.

How to Find Reputable Leonberger Breeders?

Looking for the right Leonberger puppy starts and ends with looking for the right breeder.

You need to find a breeder you trust and feel comfortable with. You should agree on critical questions, and you need to be able to rely on the breeder for the rest of your puppy’s life.

Thorough research will not guarantee but increase the chances of a happy outcome.

In general, a reputable breeder should not expect to make a profit from breeding and selling their puppies.

Breeding dogs for them should be a hobby. When a hobby breeder becomes a commercial breeder, they step over a dangerous line.

Too many litters bred in a kennel diminishes the quality time spent raising the puppies.

Never buy a puppy from a pet store, an online pet store, a pet broker, or from a random person who claims to be friends with a good breeder.

Many reputable breeders will want to be kept informed about the health and well-being of the dog throughout its life.

They have an emotional attachment, as well as an ethical responsibility to your dog even after it has left their care.

They also stay in touch to stay informed about the health of their breeding lines. Any responsible breeder will view this information as vital to the ongoing success of its own breeding program.

Most reputable breeders will provide a “puppy pack” with your new arrival.

These vary from breeder to breeder but may include the registration document, puppy purchase contract, full accurate pedigree, diet and health sheets, photos of the sire and dam, insurance cover, and microchip registration details.

3 Little-Known Facts About Leonberger Puppies

  1. The Leonberger breed was created by Heinrich Essig in the mid-1800s. He was a businessman, politician, and dog breeder in Leonberg, Germany.
  2. He wanted to breed a dog that looked just like the lion on his hometown’s crest.
  3. He crossed a Landseer Newfoundland female with a male Saint Bernard, and eventually added the Great Pyrenees into the mix.

Physical Traits of the Leonberger

An adult Leonberger sticking its tongue out
Leonberger needs at least an hour of exercise daily.

Adult Leonbergers have a regal appearance. They usually have long, yellow-brown hair. But some have a reddish-brown or a cream coat.

Some coats have a combination of colors. The coat is water-resistant.

The Leonberger has a black mask over his face. He often has black hair on his ears and sometimes black tips to his body hairs.

Leonbergers shed their coat and require regular brushing. Twice a year, they go through a heavier molt as the seasons change.

Grooming is not only a physical requirement but also a great way for dog owners to bond with their dogs.

How Big is a Full-Grown Leonberger?

Male Leonbergers weigh about 110 to 170 pounds, while females weigh about 90 to 140 pounds.

Males stand 28 to 31.5 inches tall. Females stand at 25.5 to 29.5 inches.

What is the Life Expectancy of the Leonberger?

The life expectancy of the Leonberger is approximately 9 to 10 years.

Intelligence, Temperament and Personality Traits of the Leonberger

The Leonberger is known as a gentle giant, but he doesn’t become this way just like that.

Before he reaches maturity, he goes through a long teen period marked by typical stubborn and sometimes destructive adolescent behavior.

Like any dog, Leonberger puppies are inveterate chewers. Because of their size, they can potentially do more damage than puppies of other breeds.

Don’t give them the run of the house until they’ve reached trustworthy maturity. Keep your

Leonberger puppy busy with training, play, and socialization experiences.

The Leonberger’s Diet

A brown Leonberger dog
Leonbergers are family pets.

Although Leonbergers are giant dogs, and they don’t require as much food as one might expect.

Despite the disagreements about factors, such as cooked versus raw food, and dry food versus canned, it’s widely agreed that puppies shouldn’t follow a diet that makes them grow too rapidly.

Feed your Leonberger with food that is highly nutritious, balanced with protein, and low in fat. Feed him dry food. You can also add in canned food.

Elevate his food dish and water bowl to avoid bloat and torsion. Feed him dry food for 10 to 15 minutes only and then remove the food. Never leave the food out.

Feed Leonberger puppies under 6 months about 7 to 8 times a day. Puppies under 6 months to 1 year old can be 6 to 7 times a day, and puppies over a year old about 5 times a day.

How Much Exercise Does a Leonberger Need?

Despite their size, Leonbergers don’t require a lot of exercise, but they should have a daily walk.

Taking a Leonberger for a walk is a good way to meet people since many people are curious about the breed and ask a lot about it.

They generally love to swim and get muddy. Some enjoy retrieving objects like balls or sticks because most Leonbergers are not natural retrievers.

They often require a lot of effort to train to return a thrown object. They just don’t see the point of fetching things!

Leonbergers can be trained to pull carts, but they must be at least eighteen months old and in good physical condition before they can do that.

They also make good trackers and can be taught to herd. Some Leonbergers compete in obedience trials and agility events.

Although they are powerful animals, they are not as fast as many other breeds.

Leonberger Health and Conditions

Leonbergers are susceptible to a number of health problems, including hip dysplasia, bloat, and cancer.

Additional problems experienced by some dogs are bone disease, eyelid defects, and genetically-determined neurological disease.

My Final Thoughts on the LeonbergerA side view of the Leonberger

The Leonberger is highly active, not just in puppyhood but also in adulthood.

Expect to give him at least an hour of exercise daily. If you love the outdoors, he’ll make a good hiking companion.

Walk him on a leash so that he doesn’t go running off after a cat, dragging you behind him.

Other ways to help him burn off that energy includes water rescue, rally, obedience, drafting, and agility exercises.

While you might think of him as an outdoor dog, nothing could be farther from the truth.

The Leonberger is devoted to his people and wants to be with them all the time. It’s not a good idea to leave him home alone for long periods.

Today, Leonbergers are family pets, as well as therapy dogs, working dogs, and show dogs.

They often participate in competitive events such as obedience, carting, herding, water rescue, and agility.

All these activities can be fun for both Leos and their owners and may be helpful for other people, too.

However, a Leonberger who is simply a pet can give his or her owner a great deal of enjoyment.

As long as a prospective owner is prepared to train and care for such a big dog, a Leonberger can be a great friend.

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