Leonberger At a Glance
Country of Origin:
AKC (Working); ANKC (Utility); CKC (Working); FCI (Molossoid); KC (Working); UKC (Guardian)
Giant. Weight: 80–150 lbs est. Height: Males 28–31.5 inches; Females 25.5–29.5 inches
Long and plush.
Lion Yellow, Golden to Red-Brown, Sand, and all combinations in between; Black mask
8 to 10 years
Cold Weather Tolerance
Hot Weather Tolerance
Did You Know?
This breed almost went extinct during WWI.
The Leonberger’s creation can be traced to one person, Heinrich Essig of the town of Leonberg, Germany. He was a breeder that wanted to create a large, noble dog to help promote his breeding and town. Several large breeds of dog were bred together including Scenthounds, Swiss Mountain Dogs, St. Bernards and Newfoundlands. A large, strong dog, the Leonberger has gained the name “Gentle Lion”.
The dog breed does look similar to a lion, with his long, fluffy golden coat. They are very calm and mellow dogs, despite their strong and imposing appearance. Most of them sport the “lion yellow” color, with black points along the muzzle and face. The dog breed is known for both his sweet demeanor and loyalty to family.
Affectionate, calm, noble and intelligent are all words that describe this dog breed. He is a mellow and patient dog, making him great around children, other dogs and animals. Proper socialization, however is always a good idea around young children or unpredictable animals. This breed loves to be part of the family, and may suffer from separation anxiety if left alone.
They live on average 8 to 10 years, typical for large and giant breed dogs. They have a number of health concerns due to their mixed lineage including Addison’s Disease, Ectropion and Entropion, Oesteochondritis dissecans, Osteosarcoma, Hip Dysplasia and Panosteitis. His large size may also make him prone to bloat, or Gastric Dilation and Volvulus.
The long, plush coat of this dog breed will shed seasonally and lead to large clumps of fur throughout his environment. He also requires brushing several times a week to keep his long fur from clumping and matting together, to help keep it looking its best.
He may not be the fastest for activities like agility, but they are intelligent and aims to please. He is a quick study of basic obedience and easily adapts to household routine. Socialization is needed to keep him social with other animals, small children and pets.
As a puppy, this breed should have limited activity while his joints grow. He doesn’t need a lot of exercise as an adult, but does enjoy activities such as long walks, playtime or a swim in a lake or pool. The breed is happy as long as he is doing something with his people.