The Leonberger: A Large and Friendly Pet Dog Breed

Updated on October 25, 2017
AliciaC profile image

Linda Crampton is a biology teacher, writer, and long-time pet owner. She currently has dogs, cats, and birds in her family.

Dylan the Leonberger as a puppy
Dylan the Leonberger as a puppy | Source

What Is a Leonberger?

Leonbergers have a reputation for being gentle giants. They are intelligent, friendly, and playful dogs. They are affectionate and loyal family members and patient with children and other animals in the home. They are also good watchdogs. A well-trained and socialized Leonberger makes a wonderful pet.

Leonbergers are often called Leos by their families. Based on what I've experienced during my years with a Leo as a pet, the breed is unfamiliar but attractive for many people. People often stop to stroke our dog when we take him for a walk and ask us questions about him. Leos are generally great ambassadors for their breed.

My Leonbergers

My family has contained three Leonbergers, all of whom were and are much loved. Our first member of the breed was a female named Scala. Our second was a male called Ryan. Today we have a young male named Dylan.

Dylan at eighteen months old after playing with his brother
Dylan at eighteen months old after playing with his brother | Source

History of the Breed

The Leonberger breed was created in the mid 1800s by Heinrich Essig, a politician, businessman, and dog breeder in the town of Leonberg, Germany. He reportedly wanted to breed a dog that looked like the lion on the town’s crest. He began by crossing a Landseer Newfoundland female with a male Saint Bernard. As he continued to develop his new breed he added a Great Pyrenees into the mix. Eventually the Leonberger was created.

Scala (on the left) and another Leonberger that she met in a park
Scala (on the left) and another Leonberger that she met in a park | Source

Pets, Therapy Dogs, Show Dogs, and More

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 of 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 Leo can be a great friend.

Moose the Therapy Dog With Children

Differences Between Males and Females

Adult Leonbergers have a regal appearance. They usually have long, yellow-brown hair, but some dogs have a reddish-brown or a cream coat. Some coats have a combination of colours. The dogs have a black mask over their face. They often have black hairs on their ears and sometimes black tips to their body hairs. Their coat is water resistant.

By the time they are about four years old, male Leos have longer hair on the neck and chest, which is known as a mane. Females may have a mane too, although it's less noticeable. An adult female weighs around 100 to 130 pounds. An adult male weighs about 130 to 175 pounds. Females may reach 29 inches high (measured at the highest point of their back), while males reach around 31 inches in height.

Ryan, a male Leonberger
Ryan, a male Leonberger | Source

Training

Since adult Leonbergers are so big, it’s very important to train the dogs while they are young. A boisterous, untrained adult won’t fit into a family very well and will be hard to handle. Aggressive Leos are rare, but as in any other breed of dog the chance of aggression increases if a dog is inadequately socialized or is easily frightened.

Consistent and gentle but firm training is important from an early age. Leos don’t respond well to harsh corrections. Attending obedience classes would be very helpful for educating a young dog. In addition, puppies should be exposed to a wide variety of people, animals, places, and situations.

Dog Training

Training can be done entirely at home or by a combination of dog training classes and home sessions. The important thing is that a Leonberger is trained, however this is done.

Adult Leonbergers Playing

Exercising a Leo

Despite their size, Leos don't require a lot of exercise. They should have a daily walk, however. Taking a Leonberger for a walk is a good way to meet people, since many people are curious about the breed and ask for information.

Leos generally love to swim and to get muddy. They make great water rescue dogs. Some dogs enjoy retrieving objects likes balls or sticks, but most Leos are not natural retrievers. It often requires a lot of effort to train them to return a thrown object. They just don’t see the point of fetching things! Having said that, while Scala and Ryan had very little interest in retrieving, Dylan enjoys it.

Leonbergers can be trained to pull carts, but they must be at least eighteen months old and in good physical condition before they start pulling weights. They also make good trackers and can be taught to herd. Some Leos compete in obedience trials and some compete in agility events, but although they are powerful animals they are not as fast as many other breeds. Some Leo owners find agility events to be hard on their dog’s joints.

Ryan enjoyed his cooling bed, especially in summer.
Ryan enjoyed his cooling bed, especially in summer. | Source

A Leonberger in the Family

Living Space

Leos don’t require a huge amount of living space, despite their size. An apartment might be too small for them, but a house with a good-sized, fenced yard would be just fine. Leos do need to leave the house for daily exercise, though.

A Family Member

Leos enjoy being part of the family’s activities and receiving attention and affection. A Leonberger should not be left alone for long periods. He or she will become bored. Boredom can lead to behaviour problems.

Grooming

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 is also a great way for a person to bond with their dog. A grooming session can be a pleasant and relaxing time for both the person and the dog.

Lean-on-Bergers

Some Leos like to lean against their owner’s legs, giving them the nickname of “lean-on-bergers”.

Puppy Pictures

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Scala the Leonberger with Sam the golden retriever in the backgroundDylan's younger half sister (same mother, different father)Dylan
Scala the Leonberger with Sam the golden retriever in the background
Scala the Leonberger with Sam the golden retriever in the background | Source
Dylan's younger half sister (same mother, different father)
Dylan's younger half sister (same mother, different father) | Source
Dylan
Dylan | Source

Feeding

Although Leonbergers are giant dogs, they don't require as much food as might be expected. Different people have different ideas about the ideal diet for a pet dog. A puppy's breeder and the puppy's veterinarian should be consulted about the best diet to follow.

Despite the disagreements about factors such as cooked versus raw food in a dog's diet and dry food versus canned, it's widely agreed that puppies shouldn't follow a diet that makes them grow too rapidly. Research has shown that rapid puppy growth—especially in a large breed of dog—can increase the risk of skeletal, joint, and other health problems.

We are lucky that Dylan's breeder is very knowledgeable and that she has kept one of the other male puppies in Dylan's litter for herself. In addition, she has kept in touch with all of the purchasers of the puppies in the litter. At one point she felt that the puppies were growing too fast. She contacted the people that supply Dylan and his brother with food to order a slightly different type of food for the pair (after discussing the situation with us).

A Leonberger Puppy Playing With Water

Water

Like all dogs, Leonbergers must always have access to water in their home. They also need a source of water if they are away from home for a long time, especially when the weather is hot. They generally don’t drool, but they may be messy drinkers. Water often drips out of their mouth as they leave a water bowl.

If you’re planning an extended walk, be sure to bring water for your dog—especially if it’s warm outside.

— ASPCA (American Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals)
Ryan as a young puppy; he seems to be concentrating very hard!
Ryan as a young puppy; he seems to be concentrating very hard! | Source

Health Problems

Leos 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.

Hip dysplasia is a condition in which the hip joints develop an abnormal structure, which can cause discomfort and movement problems. The condition ranges from mild to severe. Some dogs don't experience any symptoms from their hip dysplasia, while others require medical or surgical treatment.

Bloat involves two different processes. In the first stage, the stomach fills with gas and fluid and distends. This may be followed by a second stage in which the stomach twists. The distended and twisted stomach may interfere with the function of other organs and with vital processes such as the flow of blood in blood vessels. Bloat is a life-threatening condition and a medical emergency.

Ryan as an older puppy
Ryan as an older puppy | Source

Preventing Disease

While not all diseases in dogs can be prevented, the risk of a dog developing some of them can be significantly reduced if the dog eats a healthy diet and follows a healthy lifestyle. Regular vet checkups are important, too. Lots of useful health information can be obtained from knowledgeable breeders and dog organizations, although there is no substitute for good veterinary advice.

Unfortunately, the cause of bloat isn't known for certain. The following steps for avoiding bloat are often recommended by veterinary organizations, including ASPCA.

  • Don't feed a dog a huge meal. Eating a large amount of food very rapidly has been associated with bloat.
  • Several smaller meals in a day are better than one giant one.
  • Don't allow the dog to drink a large amount of water either before or after eating.
  • Don't allow a dog to exercise vigorously shortly before or after a meal.
  • Avoid raised food bowls.

Ryan waiting for me in the car with his black Labrador Retriever brother
Ryan waiting for me in the car with his black Labrador Retriever brother | Source

Leonberger Lifespan

Unfortunately, like other large dogs Leos generally have a shorter lifespan than smaller dogs, although this is not always true. It’s hard to predict how long an individual Leo will live. Some Leonbergers have lived for as long as fourteen years, while some have lived for as little as seven years. The average lifespan seems to be somewhere around nine to ten years.

In my experience, certain breeders tend to produce longer-lived Leos. This may be due to the genetics of the family line and/or the diet or lifestyle recommended by the breeder. Lifespan is worth investigating when a potential Leonberger owner is looking for a breeder, as is the health record of a puppy's relatives.

Sam and Ryan
Sam and Ryan | Source

Should You Get a Leonberger?

Leonberger puppies are very cute and look like fuzzy teddy bears. However, a cute puppy will grow into a handsome but very large adult. Before you buy a Leo ask yourself the following questions.

  • Do you have the money for the purchase price of the dog and for training classes?
  • If you don't want to take your dog to training classes, do you have experience in training a large dog?
  • Do you have the time and energy for regular training and for giving frequent attention to your dog?
  • Can you afford the ongoing expenses of dog food and vet bills?
  • Do you have a fenced yard of a reasonable size?
  • Will your Leo have company during the day if you work?

If your answer is no to any of these questions, don’t get a Leo. If your answers are yes, research Leonberger breeders, choose an accredited one, and check out references from the breeder’s previous clients. Then choose a puppy, bring your new Leo home, and welcome him or her into the family!

References and Resources

Leo information from the Leonberger Club of America

Facts about Leonbergers from the Leonberger Club of Canada

Leonberger dogs at Vetstreet

Neurological disease in Leonbergers from the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine

© 2010 Linda Crampton

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • AliciaC profile image
      Author

      Linda Crampton 2 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thank you very much for the visit and the comment, Peg. It is a strange coincidence that you just bought a Leonberger photo, especially at an antique store. I think the breed is becoming more well known, but that seems to be quite a recent development.

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 2 months ago from Dallas, Texas

      Oh, my. These guys are incredible. I loved the video of Moose the Therapy dog. He really seemed to eat up all that attention. And that Ryan's puppy face! So cute. His black Labrador brother looks much like my Tony who's just a small fry at 105 pounds. Great article and I learned a lot. It's a weird coincidence but last weekend at an antique store I bought a framed picture of a Leonberger with a small girl resting on his flank. Love the doggies.

    • AliciaC profile image
      Author

      Linda Crampton 3 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Hi, Andy. In my opinion, it doesn't matter which gender is bought. The biggest difference between the two is size. Their personality and behaviour seem to depend on their genetic background and the way in which they're treated, not their gender. We've only had one female Leonberger in our family and our male Leos have been neutered, however, which may be significant. People who breed the dog could probably give you a more accurate answer.

    • profile image

      Andy 3 months ago

      Hi. Would you recommend a dog or Bitch. We have experience of golden retrievers, and plenty of space. We would prefer the larger male dog, but not sure if it would be more difficult to train and control. Thank you

    • AliciaC profile image
      Author

      Linda Crampton 10 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Yes, the breed is a lot of fun. In my experience, Leonbergers make great pets. Thanks for the visit.

    • carolynkaye profile image

      carolynkaye 10 months ago from USA

      Great Hub! I didn't know too much about this breed before, but they seem like lots of fun. The puppy playing with his water bowl video was too cute. Thanks for sharing :)

    • AliciaC profile image
      Author

      Linda Crampton 12 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Hi, John. Riley sounds like a great dog! If you search the Internet for "Leonberger breeders in British Columbia" you'll find a few breeders in the province, including the one where we got Dylan. If you investigate the breeders carefully you may find one that is helpful for your needs.

    • AliciaC profile image
      Author

      Linda Crampton 13 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thanks, Nadine. The Leonberger is new to many people, but it seems to me that it's gradually becoming better known. It's a lovely breed.

    • profile image

      Nadine May 13 months ago

      Great post and I always learn new things from your articles. This dog breed was new to me.

    • AliciaC profile image
      Author

      Linda Crampton 13 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Hi, papaw. Leonbergers are generally great people and companion dogs, but they aren't known as guard dogs. They like to be part of a family. Staying outside all the time, especially in a hot environment, wouldn't be good for a Leo. I don't think the breed is the best one for your requirements.

    • profile image

      papaw 13 months ago

      Hi AliciaC, i live in west Texas and it gets awful hot and dirty here. i am wanting a dog to be a guard dog and a herd dog and be a good companion for me and my grandkids. i don'r really like a big dog in the house, so can a Leo be left outside all the time as long as he has a place to get in out of the weather. he will be with me all day long doing our chores. i think i will like the Leo dog. what is your opinion

    • AliciaC profile image
      Author

      Linda Crampton 16 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thanks for the comment, vespawoolf. I had to laugh at the sentence about your husband! I appreciate your visit.

    • vespawoolf profile image

      vespawoolf 16 months ago from Peru, South America

      After reading the personality profile, I´d have to say that if my husband was a dog, he´d be a Leonberger! It sounds like a delightful breed and a great choice for families. Thank you for sharing your experience.

    • AliciaC profile image
      Author

      Linda Crampton 17 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thank you very much for the comment, Leosrme. Despite having had three Leonbergers in my family up to now, I was unaware of Leonberger polyneuropathy. I appreciate the fact that you've shared the information and your opinion about Moose.

    • profile image

      Leosrme 17 months ago

      I am the owner of two Leonbergers. This is basically a good article. However you fail to mention the MOST important health problem in a Leonberger and that is Leonberger Polyneuropathy. LPN. This is a problem in the breed even though breeders are doing genetic testing and trying to breed out the gene. The university of Minnesota has for many many years been conducting research into this problem and has collected DNA from Leonbergers around the world. Our last Leonberger gave his DNA for the programme. LPN is a serious and debilitating illness and can kill Leos. A friend of mine's dog died from it at only 8. Laryngeal paralysis goes with it and is no uncommon. It can be life threatening and can require surgery to correct it. A good breeder will have tested the parents of puppies for the LPN 1 and LPN2 gene. However, they are finding other markers all the time.

      Also quite frankly, the video of Moose being converged upon by so many children at once was very worrying indeed. Lots of Leos are therapy dogs. However, to prevail upon a dog's good nature in this way is unfair to the dog. He was clearly very stresssed by the whole experience - his body language bears that out. As a dog trainer, I would never advise anyone to allow their dog to be stressed in this way. It is clear that the dog's owner has no clue as to his body language and how to read him. While I understand that children would want to mob him and do what they are doing, the person who owns the dog should make sure that only two or three children at a time do so to avoid him being so stressed. If this poor dog has to go through this once a week or once a month, I feel very sorry for him indeed.

      This is giving the impression that Leonbergers will allow anything to happen to them and be good natured about it. This is not the case always. While my girls are very good natured and love people, I would never want to put them in the position where they felt they had to get themselves out of a situation as this dog clearly wants to do.

    • AliciaC profile image
      Author

      Linda Crampton 22 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thank you very much for the comment, Stella. I've never had a beagle in my family, but I think they're lovely dogs. I love my present dogs, but I wouldn't mind having a beagle as well!

    • ladyguitarpicker profile image

      stella vadakin 22 months ago from 3460NW 50 St Bell, Fl32619

      AliciaC, I love theses dogs. I have always had large dogs until now, I have two 13 inch beagles. It is different than having large dogs. Large dogs will always be in my heart. Thanks for this beautiful hub. Stella

    • AliciaC profile image
      Author

      Linda Crampton 2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      I am so sorry for your loss, Nikki and Gary. I know how devastating it is to lose a beloved dog, especially when they are still young. I'm very glad that you rescued Bert, even though his loss is so hard for you. You gave him a great life which he may not have had otherwise.

    • profile image

      Nikki and Gary hall 2 years ago

      Having just lost or 5 year old Leo we are heartbroken

      Bert came into our life as a mistreated 18 month old dog who we rescued three years ago

      We nursed him back to health only for a dreaded doggy type of MS degenertabe desease to start to make his back legs stop working properly which started 6 months ago but up until then he was a bundle of furry fun

      It was the hardest thing we have ever had to do but it was the right thing to do as he still had his dignaty and his mind was as bright as a button

      He loved us (his family) unconditionally and loved to be with us

      He was a star who shone so bright for the little time he was on this earth and didn't have a bad bone in body he loved everyone

      I am a man who doesn't show emotions usually but all I can do is cry just thinking about him

      Be warned if you take a Leo they leave a massive hole in your heart when they move over to the other side the house is so quite without him

    • AliciaC profile image
      Author

      Linda Crampton 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Hi, ginger. The answer to your question is probably yes. Leonbergers are generally very friendly with people and other pets. Mine have got on fine with my cats and with the smaller (though not small) dogs in my family. However, like all dogs, Leos vary in personality. They must be well trained when they are brought into a family, too.

    • profile image

      ginger 3 years ago

      would a leonberger get along with small dogs? cause i really want one but i have a rat terrier so i dont know if they will get along.

    • AliciaC profile image
      Author

      Linda Crampton 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Hi, DAN. It's interesting to read about Buck's progress. He sounds like a lovely member of the family!

    • profile image

      DAN 3 years ago

      Our "Buck" is now 3 1/2 years old, 32 1/2" at his shoulder and weighs 170lbs. He's truly a Very Healthy and physically sound Giant. He loves to sleep but also loves to play. He's also a perfect example of the so called Lean-On Beger. he does this every chance he gets.

      He should be fully mature in the next 6-10 months according to his breeder. If there are any complaints it is he wants to be with his family Every hour of Every day no matter what. On occasion when we do leave him home he goes in his crate and pouts.

    • AliciaC profile image
      Author

      Linda Crampton 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Hi, Chantal1976. Yes, it's an excellent idea to delay stair climbing, especially for a big puppy. Climbing stairs can be hard on puppy joints. I'm glad you are enjoying life with your Leonberger. I know what you mean about not being able to imagine a house without a dog!

    • profile image

      Chantal1976 3 years ago

      We have a Leo, 15 weeks old and 22kgs (approx 48lbs) I was concerned he was growing too fast but not really much I can do to slow it, he's on the best recommended food, we've been advised not to walk him very much for the first year, just a couple of brief short walks a week. He is a beautiful boy full of life, I won't let him sleep upstairs until he can safely do our stairs, can't imagine my house without him now

    • AliciaC profile image
      Author

      Linda Crampton 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Hi, Bodenberger. Your boy sounds like he's going to be a giant! I'm glad that he doesn't seem to be overweight, since being heavy can cause joint problems. Perhaps you could discuss his growth rate with your vet next time you see him or her. You could also contact his breeder (if you haven't already done so) to check how fast his parents grew and how big they are.

    • profile image

      Bodenberger 3 years ago

      We have now had three Leo's the first a bitch followed by 2 males. We now have a 6 month old boy 26" at the shoulder and weighs 41.5 kg (90lb), he is on normal growth rate apparently but this is at odds with the 10lb a month suggested in earlier posts. Our puppy doesn't feel at all overweight but we are concerned at his size, unfortunately we don't have records from the previous dogs. Great site

    • AliciaC profile image
      Author

      Linda Crampton 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Hi, ologsinquito. Yes, Leonbergers are interesting, and they can be great pets. People do need to realize that the cute puppy will grow into a large dog, though. As you say, Leonbergers can be perfect for the right owner.

    • ologsinquito profile image

      ologsinquito 3 years ago from USA

      They look like interesting dogs, a little too large for my family, but perfect for the right owner.

    • AliciaC profile image
      Author

      Linda Crampton 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thanks for sharing all the advice, DAN.

    • profile image

      DAN 4 years ago

      Bringing a new puppy into your home should be a careful, well thought out decision weighing both the good and sometimes bad aspects.

      A high quality Leonberger purchased from a highly reputable breeder is expensive, $ 1500.00 - $ 2,000.00 is about average.

      This is even more so when considering a "GIANT" breed dog like a Leonberger.

      The breed can definitely be all they are described as, loving, loyal, wonderful with children and other animals, protective of their family, especially children and females. To reach this level they need constant, soft training from the day they enter their new home and meet their new family.

      Remember this cute little ball of fur will in a short time grow into a "HUGE" unbelievably strong dog who will be part of your family for hopefully many healthy years.

      What do you do if they are not healthy, a major health problem can turn into thousands of dollars in Vet. bills, then what !

      Remember a giant breeds health care is "Always" considerably more expensive than a normal size dog. From flea medication to vaccinations thru serious medical procedures.

      To help with this I suggest to every new dog owner to research and obtain "GOOD" pet health insurance, the earlier the better.

      Always purchase your dog from a highly reputable breeder, a list of breeders is always available from the LCA ( Leonberger Club of America)

      Each will have photos and descriptions for the puppies breeding parents along with their health history. Then phone the breeder / breeders of choice many have long waiting lists for each liter.

      I waited well over a year for our current boy. Males are more popular than females and females make up a much higher percentage of each liter.

      Don't ever buy a puppy from a newspaper ad, Craig's list or a local Pennysaver !!!!

    • AliciaC profile image
      Author

      Linda Crampton 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thank you very much for the visit and comment, Helen! I appreciate the vote and the share, too.

    • Seeker7 profile image

      Helen Murphy Howell 4 years ago from Fife, Scotland

      Oh what a beautiful animal this dog is!! I had heard of the breed but I didn't know much about them, many thanks for the information and I can see why these dogs are such a popular breed!

      Great hub, with excellent information, especially for folks thinking about buying a dog of this breed. Voted up + shared!

    • profile image

      DAN 4 years ago

      I've read most of the comments posted, one more thing that is Very important. When purchasing any type of dog it is important to "do your homework" before hand, this is especially true with giant breeds.

      These dogs when purchased from a reputable breeder can be very expensive and the waiting list for getting your new puppy can be long. ( we waited well over a year to get ours)

      You might get anxious and be tempted to "just" get your new puppy from a pet store or an ad in the paper, don't !

      Giant breeds have very special needs while growing both physical and mental. They grow in size very quickly but don't fully mature for several years. They need a lot of extra training and care during their growing time. Their bones stay soft until around 2 years old so rough housing or physical straining ( weight pulling, daily running on hard pavement etc.) can cause permanent damage to their joints if started too early.

      Read all you can about the breed you are thinking about buying before you make your purchase.

      Harsh training is also a no-no. Most of these giants are very sensitive mentally and do not respond well to being yelled at. If done they can become very skittish and fearful.

      They must learn early on who is the Alpha of their family but this should only be done thru proper training earning their respect without fear.

      If you do this you will have a loving, obidient family companion throughout the dogs life and a joy to own.

    • AliciaC profile image
      Author

      Linda Crampton 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thanks for the comment, DAN.

    • profile image

      DAN 4 years ago

      Leonbergers are adorable puppies that very quickly grow into a "GIANT" dog physically but not mentally and a new owner or would-be owner must know this.

      Leonbergers do not fully mature until between 3-4 years old. Even at 2 they act like a huge adolescent and can be a handful without "Proper, EARLY training.

      Also due to their size and strength Everything costs considerably more, vet bills, food, health insurance ( a must ) even toys. Our 2 year old male has not met a toy he cannot tear to shreds in minutes if that is what he feels like doing.

      They usually do not drool but they do shed a lot. We comb ours at least once a day and it still amazes me how much hair comes out each time.

      They are wonderful, loyal, versatile, trustworthy family members and a lot of fun but owning one does present a few draw backs and you must be prepared for this.

    • AliciaC profile image
      Author

      Linda Crampton 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thank you for the comment, W1totalk.

    • W1totalk profile image

      W1totalk 4 years ago

      Wonderful dog. Great article. Thank you.

    • AliciaC profile image
      Author

      Linda Crampton 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      The Leonberger is an interesting dog breed. It can make a lovely pet! Thanks for the comment.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 4 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      The Leonberger - A Large and Friendly Pet Dog, I had no idea about this kind of dog, so interesting, informative and useful to any reader.

    • AliciaC profile image
      Author

      Linda Crampton 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Hi, Scribenet. Leonbergers are adorable when they're puppies - and when they're adults, too! Thanks for the comment.

    • Scribenet profile image

      Scribenet 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      The puppy video had me laughing out loud...just imagine that in a kitchen! Oh I love the big dogs...well I love the little dogs...guess I love them all. I did not know of this breed...goes to show how much there is to learn...I am sure I would love to meet one!

    • AliciaC profile image
      Author

      Linda Crampton 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Hi, dennis. I hope your Leonberger becomes a great companion, if you get one!

    • profile image

      dennis 4 years ago

      hoping to get one soon love what I read and see

    • Justice285 profile image

      Justice285 4 years ago

      thanks so much they have been looking for one for mouths! check mine out some time please

    • AliciaC profile image
      Author

      Linda Crampton 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      I'm glad that my answer helped, Justice285.

    • Justice285 profile image

      Justice285 4 years ago

      thanks for the anwer my friend was looking for one thx

    • AliciaC profile image
      Author

      Linda Crampton 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Hi, Sue. Yes, Leonbergers are definitely big dogs! They have a lovely personality, but they are too large for some people.

    • Sue Bailey profile image

      Susan Bailey 4 years ago from South Yorkshire, UK

      I have never before heard of this breed of dog. Rather larger than I would want in my little house but the puppies look so sweet. Shame they have to grow so big.

    • AliciaC profile image
      Author

      Linda Crampton 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Hi, Justice285. Yes, Ryan is a member of my family. You could do an Internet search for Leonberger breeders that are located close to your home to find a puppy.

    • Justice285 profile image

      Justice285 4 years ago

      Do u have this type of dog ? where do u buy one ?

    • AliciaC profile image
      Author

      Linda Crampton 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Hi, Ingenira. Yes, Leonbergers are great dogs!

    • Ingenira profile image

      Ingenira 4 years ago

      Amazing dog, I'd love to have one at home.

    • AliciaC profile image
      Author

      Linda Crampton 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thanks for the comment, vespawoolf. I hope that you're eventually able to get a Leonberger. They are great companions!

    • vespawoolf profile image

      vespawoolf 4 years ago from Peru, South America

      The Leonberger sounds like just the type of dog my husband loves. I read the Hub to him and he was intrigued. We wonder if this breed can be found in Peru? It's amazing the purebred dogs that can be found in Lima. We're living in an apartment now and are short on space, but this dog may be an option for the future. Very interesting and well laid-out. Thank you!

    • AliciaC profile image
      Author

      Linda Crampton 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Hi, Sue826. Leonbergers have been a rare breed until recently, but their popularity is growing and they're becoming more common. In the last couple of years when we've been taking Ryan for a walk, we've actually met people who have recognized that he's a Leonberger. That never used to happen!

    • Sue826 profile image

      Sue826 4 years ago from Albuquerque

      Leonburger - first time hearing about this breed

    • AliciaC profile image
      Author

      Linda Crampton 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thank you for the comment, romper20!

    • romper20 profile image

      romper20 4 years ago from California

      gorgeous dog!!

    • AliciaC profile image
      Author

      Linda Crampton 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thank you very much, toknowinfo! I appreciate your comment, as well as the votes and the share. I'm happy to discover another Leonberger fan.

    • toknowinfo profile image

      toknowinfo 4 years ago

      Excellent hub. The information is so well put together. I love Leos. The first time I met a Leo puppy was years and years ago. The woman was shopping in a pet store with her new puppy she had just picked up from the airport. I fell in love with the breed then, but can't bring myself to get one because of their likely shorter life span. It is good to read that some do have longevity. Thank you putting this wonderful hub together and sharing your knowledge. Voted up and more and sharing.

    • AliciaC profile image
      Author

      Linda Crampton 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thank you, ignugent17. I appreciate your visit and comment!

    • profile image

      ignugent17 4 years ago

      Thanks for the information. They look so loving. It is also nice to know more about dogs.

      This is very useful! :-)

    • AliciaC profile image
      Author

      Linda Crampton 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thank you, DDE. Leonbergers are certainly loving dogs. They can make excellent pets.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 4 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Soo lovely I love dogs they are loving and are great rescuers too. You have told me everything I need to know about the breed as well. Thanks for sharing this information.

    • AliciaC profile image
      Author

      Linda Crampton 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Hi again, shiningirisheyes. Ryan is technically my sister's dog, but we live in the same house so we are part of the same family. My dog is Misha, who is a black lab like yours!

      I'm very happy to meet you, and I'm looking forward to reading your hubs too.

    • shiningirisheyes profile image

      Shining Irish Eyes 4 years ago from Upstate, New York

      Thanks for the timely response as I too, have read this statistic. The added weight stress makes sense.

      Your Ryan is a beautiful member of the family. My baby's name is Bella and she is a black lab. Quite a handful as yours is, except not quite as large.

      Great hub and I look forward to reading more

    • AliciaC profile image
      Author

      Linda Crampton 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thanks for the comment, shiningirisheyes! I don't know how true it is, but I've often read on pet websites that large dogs tend to have a shorter lifespan because having big bodies stresses their heart, joints and skeleton. I'd like to see a scientist's report to find out if this is actually the reason for their shorter lives, though - I suspect the reason is actually more complex!

    • shiningirisheyes profile image

      Shining Irish Eyes 4 years ago from Upstate, New York

      This sounds like an excellent breed. Very beautiful as well. I was curious why larger dogs have a shorter life span. Not sure whether or not you can answer that but it has always peaked my curiosity.

      Well-researched and interesting article.

    • AliciaC profile image
      Author

      Linda Crampton 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      What an interesting story, collegedad! Max sounds like a clever dog with a mind of his own. 15 miles is a long distance for a dog to travel. I'm glad that Max wasn't injured in his wandering.

    • collegedad profile image

      collegedad 4 years ago from The Upper Peninsula

      We had a Great Pyrenees several years ago that developed wander lust. He would wander up to our 5' fence, wait til you weren't looking, flop over it and leave. Sometimes he would come back the next day, sometimes the next month. We finally figured out that he'd been living a double life. A family 15 miles away had taken him in. He'd stay with them until he got bored then he'd come back to us for a while. It's nice to hear that there is a breed out there that is a little more loyal than old Max.

    • AliciaC profile image
      Author

      Linda Crampton 5 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thank you very much for the visit and the comment, Minnetonka Twin. It is fun having Leonbergers in the family! They are lovely pets.

    • Minnetonka Twin profile image

      Linda Rogers 5 years ago from Minnesota

      Hi Alicia-What a beautiful breed of dog. Gentle giants indeed. I bet you just love having two of these beauties. Great job educating us on this breed. It was very interesting and I love those pictures.

    • AliciaC profile image
      Author

      Linda Crampton 5 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Hi, aviannovice. Socializing therapy dogs must have been a very interesting activity. I've never gotten to known a St. Bernard, but I'd like to. They are interesting dogs!

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      I never heard of these dogs before. I did therapy dog socialization for a couple of years in eastern PA. I find it interesting that they have St. Bernard in them. The dog that I worked with was also part St. Bernard.

    • AliciaC profile image
      Author

      Linda Crampton 5 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thanks for the visit and the comment, everythingdazzles. Leonbergers are definitely gentle giants, and they can make great pets. I enjoy having a Leonberger in the family.

    • everythingdazzles profile image

      Janelle 5 years ago from Houston

      Great hub, I love all the funny pictures you can find on pinterest. They are definitely gentle giants. So sweet.

    • AliciaC profile image
      Author

      Linda Crampton 5 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      I think that sums up the situation perfectly, PDX - when Leonbergers are seen for the first time they may seem to be "very sweet but somewhat intimidating"! The intimidation factor soon disappears, though - they are fun and friendly dogs and are great companions (provided they're trained properly, as is true for all dogs). Thanks for the comment.

    • PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

      Justin W Price 5 years ago from Juneau, Alaska

      I dind't know about Leonbergers until recently. My wife lived in bellingham and before she met me, her dog (now our dog) went to obedicence school with a few leonberger's. Very sweet but somewhat intimating on first view. Nice article. Thank you!

    • AliciaC profile image
      Author

      Linda Crampton 5 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Hi, unknown spy. Leonbergers are certainly big dogs, but they're known as "gentle giants". They are generally very friendly! Thanks for the visit.

    • unknown spy profile image

      IAmForbidden 5 years ago from Neverland - where children never grow up.

      wow they're really big! dont know if i can come near them..im scared.

    • AliciaC profile image
      Author

      Linda Crampton 5 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Hi, The Dirt Farmer. Yes, that definitely could be one disadvantage of Leonbergers - they are very big dogs! Thanks for the visit.

    • AliciaC profile image
      Author

      Linda Crampton 5 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Hi, Peggy. Yes, the two Leonbergers that have been in my family have both been lovely dogs with gentle natures. Thank you for the comment and the vote, and thank you very much for the share as well!

    • The Dirt Farmer profile image

      Jill Spencer 5 years ago from United States

      Oh my, the puppies are really cute, but I don't think I could handle a n adult. They weigh more than I do!

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 5 years ago from Houston, Texas

      I Alicia,

      I did not realize the breeding that went into developing the Leonberger breed of dog. They seem like real honeys with gentle natures. Cute how they got their nickname regarding leaning against people's legs. Up votes and sharing!

    • AliciaC profile image
      Author

      Linda Crampton 5 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Hi, theraggededge. Being a guide dog puppy walker is a very important and useful job! I hope you're approved. I would find it very hard to give up a dog once it has lived with me and I've become attached to him or her, but being a puppy walker is such a worthwhile job. Thanks for the comment.

    • theraggededge profile image

      Bev 5 years ago from Wales

      Never heard of this breed, Alicia C. It's very easy to see the Newfoundland influence on them. They look absolutely gorgeous! We may be acquiring a puppy soon - we've volunteered to become guide dog puppy-walkers. Having an approval interval in two days time.

    • AliciaC profile image
      Author

      Linda Crampton 5 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Hi, Acuvet. Thank you for the visit. Yes, Leonbergers are certainly giants and they do need good training. As you say, though, they also have a lovely nature!

    • profile image

      Acuvet 5 years ago

      Just yesterday I had a Leonberger coming to see me for his annual booster vaccination :)

      They are giants, very strong and you really need to be on the edge with their training as otherwise they easily could make an adult person "stumble"....

      They are lovely natured, though!

    • AliciaC profile image
      Author

      Linda Crampton 5 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thanks for the comment and for the vote, moonlake. Newfoundlands and Saint Bernards are both lovely dogs, so I'm sure a blend of the two would be a wonderful pet!

    • moonlake profile image

      moonlake 5 years ago from America

      Beautiful dog. We use to have a 1/2 Newfoundland and 1/2 Saint Bernard. She was a beautiful dog and large. Also very friendly. Enjoyed reading about this dog. Voted Up.

    • AliciaC profile image
      Author

      Linda Crampton 5 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Leonbergers are great dogs. It's easy to fall in love with them!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Just fell in love.

    • AliciaC profile image
      Author

      Linda Crampton 5 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Hi again, Laura. Yes, my dogs have always slept in the bedroom! Carrying your Leonberger puppy up and down stairs for as long as you can and then travelling in front of him or her on the stairs, forcing the dog to go slowly, should be a good strategy. You could also ask some Leonberger breeders what they recommend. Good luck with your new puppy, whatever you decide to do.

    • profile image

      Laura 5 years ago

      Alicia and Druffo - Thanks so much. It sounds like it would be better for our dog to learn to sleep in the living room, rather than in our bedroom. But I know our Golden would have been so sad at that prospect! Maybe as long as we carry the puppy for as long as possible? But Leons can't be carried up a stairs after six months old, I'm sure. I like the idea of always going in front of them and training them to go very slowly.

    • AliciaC profile image
      Author

      Linda Crampton 5 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts and ideas, Druffo.

    • profile image

      DRUFFO 5 years ago

      Leonberger's are "Giants" due to this fact they physically mature very slowly. Their weight gain for the first year happens very fast but the muscle and bones do not. Because of this you have a very large dog without very much muscle control and soft bones.

      Constant stair climbing for a young, immature Leo can cause problems. It puts a lot of stress on their joints, both going up and coming down.

      Our boy is now 14 months old and I still, never let him go downstairs without me being infront of him, just in case plus I;ve made sure he understands the words

      "GO SLOW"

    • AliciaC profile image
      Author

      Linda Crampton 5 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Laura, my last dog was a golden retriever. I loved him dearly, but I lost him to cancer too. I'm sorry that you had to go through the same experience. In answer to your question, I live in a house where the front door leads into the basement and the rooms in which we live are upstairs. Neither of our Leonbergers seem (or seemed) to have any problem with going up and down the stairs. However, our vet warned us to carry the dogs up and down the stairs when they were puppies, which we did for as long as we could handle their weight!

    • profile image

      Laura 5 years ago

      Such beautiful dogs! I met a Leonberger once, and have never forgotten him. They are amazing dogs. We lost our beloved Golden Retriever to cancer two years ago, and are finally ready to welcome a puppy into our family. I'm considering a Leon, but have a question about stairs. We live in a tall old house, so our dog - presuming she would sleep in our bedrooom - would end up going up and down two flights of stairs every day. The stairs are steep. Our golden managed them fine, but she did come down in a bit of a rush since they're steep and she was of course on all fours. A friend with a similar house who had a Bernese Mountain Dog had the misfortune of her dog falling and breaking her leg on the stairs. So I am a bit worried about how a large dog like a Leonberger manages on stairs. Can you help me with this question? Thank you so much!

    • profile image

      DRUFFO 5 years ago

      Just the other day someone asked me what were Leonbergers actually bred for. After thinking awhile I was able to give him a multitude of reasons.

      1, Family guardians ( especially females and children) and property protector.

      2, Water rescue ( when properly trained ) Leonberger's are used today as life saving aids in many Coastal countries

      3, Avalanche rescue dogs

      4.)Therapy dogs

      5) Velvet mouth, I've only read this a couple of times but Leonberger's have a Velvet mouth. This means that when trained properly they can be use as a bird,hunting dog.

      6) Just a "WONDERFUL" all around family dog !

    Show All Categories