The sociable, steady Leonberger has a life expectancy of 8 to 9 years.
The Leonberger was developed in Leonberg, Germany, by a businessman named Heinrich Essig in the early half of the 19th century. Essig was a specialist in animal trading and had numerous rare animals. He created the Leonberger to physically represent Leonberg’s town crest – the lion. Essig claimed to have bred the Leonberger using the Landseer Newfoundland, Saint Bernard and Pyrenean Mountain Dog. However, today’s experts believe there are more, unknown dogs in the Leonberger’s ancestry.
The Leonberger weighs 100 to 130 pounds and measures 25.5 to 31.5 inches.
The Leonberger has a long coat and sheds moderately most of the year. Twice a year, in the spring and fall, the Leonberger sheds profusely. The Leonberger should be brushed daily and bathed when necessary. Like all dogs, the Leonberger also needs basic grooming. Brush their teeth, clean their ears and trim their nails on a regular basis.
The Leonberger is a sweet, laidback family dog that accepts pretty much everyone.
The Leonberger has a strong desire for their family’s time and attention. The Leonberger wants to be with their family as much as possible and will grow unhappy if left alone or ignored. In general, Leonbergers are very pack driven and like to be around people and activity. They are especially fond of children and get along well with other dogs, pets and guests. Leonbergers have a remarkable gift for staying calm in the middle of chaos.
Gentle and friendly, the Leonberger is also used as a therapy dog. They willingly give and receive affection and maintain a stable temperament. Leonbergers are also very attuned to people’s moods and skilled at assessing different situations.
As puppies, Leonbergers tend to be stubborn. They are intelligent and eager to please, but need firm guidance. With patience, consistency and positive reinforcement, Leonbergers can be successfully trained. Some Leonbergers go on to participate in agility and obedience.
The Leonberger is very high energy and needs one hour of activity every day. The Leonberger should have a long, daily walk or two, short walks as well as time outside in a secure area to run around and play. They especially like playing with other dogs and will love time at the dog park.