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The Leonberger is one of the largest existing dogs. It is a friendly and happy dog, which first and foremost is a fantastic family dog. Because of its dense coat a leonberger is capable of living outdoor. However, it prefers to stay with its family and live indoor. The leonberger has been on the brink of extinction, but is a relatively common dog today.

Character and behaviour
The leonberger is a loving family dog, which loves to spend time with its family. It is loyal and has great patience with children. Instead of displaying aggressive behaviour it simply walks away. It is a stable and calm dog that loves everybody. If you want this dog to be a guard dog it requires some training.

The training of a leonberger has to be gentle and consistent, but also firm. In addition, it takes a good portion of patience to train this breed. It is often referred to as the gentle giant. It is important to socialise the dog from an early stage given that it grows fast and it then seems more intense when it jumps on people and other dogs. If you gain respect when it is a puppy, it is easier to make it behave nicely.

History of the breed
The leonberger comes from Germany where Heinrich Essing crossed New foundlands, Sct. Bernhards, and Pyrenees dogs. The purpose was to create a dog that resembled a lion look wise.

During the world wars the Leonberger was on the brink of extinction given that there was not enough food to feed the large dogs. It succeeded against all odds to retain the breed and today it is a relatively common dog.

Appearance, grooming and health
The leonberger is a very large and robust dog with a slight domed head. The eyes are medium-sized and the triangular ears are wide and hanging down. The tail is long and hanging. The legs are straight and strong. Despite its size it is actually an elegant dog.

The leonberger is 29-31 inches and weighs 130-170 pounds.

The coat is medium long to long and has two layers. The outer layer is water resistant and slightly wavy. The inner coat is dense and fluffy. The coat requires a thorough brushing regularly. The colour of the coat is either lion yellow, reddish brown, sand coloured or combinations hereof. It always has a black mask. It is generally speaking a healthy breed; but can be prone to suffer from hip dysplasia and eyelid problems. Life expectancy is 8-9 years.

What you should know about the breed:

  • A gentle and friendly family do.
  • Does not require a lot of exercise
  • .

  • Not suited for living in an apartment.
  • Intelligent and easily traine.

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