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Leonberger Information & Dog Breed Facts

Collection of all the general dog breed info about Leonberger so you can get to know the breed more.

Group Working Dogs
Popularity Rank100
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Other Names
What other names does the Leonberger have? The dog breed also known as...
Leo, Gentle Lion, Gentle Giant, Leonbergi
Breed Type
What type of dog breed is it?
AKC Group
Is Leonberger recognized by the American Kennel Club?
Recognized by the American Kennel Club in 2010 as a Working breed.
FCI Group
Is Leonberger recognized by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI)?
Recognized by FCI in the Pinscher and Schnauzer - Molossoid and Swiss Mountain and Cattledogs group, in the Molossian type section.
Breed Recognition
What kennel clubs and organizations recognize or register the Leonberger breed?
American Canine RegistryAmerican Kennel ClubAmerica's Pet RegistryCanadian Kennel ClubDog Registry of America Inc.Federation Cynologique InternationaleKennel Club of Great BritainNorth American Purebred Registry, Inc.American Canine Association, Inc.Continental Kennel ClubNational Kennel ClubNew Zealand Kennel Club
How much does the Leonberger puppy cost? What is the price range of this puppy? What is the average price of this dog in the United States? Is this puppy expensive? How much should I pay for it? Leonberger price:
If you choose to purchase the Leonberger, you should know that the mentioned amount of money is an average of the collected data from breeders’ sites and puppy finder places. If you have a Leonberger for sale, please advertise it on a reliable website to make sure the Leonberger gets to a happy place.

Leonberger History

As we can assume from its name already, the Leonberger originally comes from Germany. However, their background is very mysterious and many stories have been told. According to the legend its appearance was meant to mimic a lion. This type of breed actually came about in the early 19th century when a German citizen, the salesman called Heinrich Essig, who had a passion for collection different kind of animals, bred a St. Bernard and a Landseer Newfoundland and kept doing it for 4 years but there are no written records about it. The very first registered Leonberger was born in 1846 but the breed was only officially recognized by FCI in 1955.

Although once the breed became popular, it was said that its popularity spread in the royal households in Germany, France, Austria-Hungary, etc. According to the American Kennel Club Essig donated the breed to royals like Napoleon II and they were believed to have owned Leonbergers as guard dogs. “At one time, Garibaldi, the Prince of Wales, King Umberto of Italy, and the Czar of Russia all owned Leonbergers.”

After the death of Essig in 1889, the first Leonberger Clubs were founded in Germany but unfortunately weren’t very successful and it was not until the year 1895 when Alber Kull founded the “Internationaler Klub für Leonbergerhunde”.

However then World War I and II came and they were used for pulling carts in both world wars which was one of the reasons that their breed became extinct after the wars. Only a very small amount of people were able to keep their dogs alive. Another important fact could add more to the picture that according to researchers they were imported to Canada in the early 1900s and were being used as water rescue dogs. After the two world wars, Hans Weigelschmidt became committed to rebuilding the breed and their first task was to recreate the German standard. But it was not just him, but also others such as Karl Stadelmann and Otto Josenhans who actually saved the breed as it is known today by all of us. After four years of dedication and hard work, they have successfully bred 350 Leonbergers and created the official Breed Registry.

Today researchers are sure that there must be many more dogs involved in Leonberger’s bloodline than the ones Essig claims. Modern genetics suggests that it would be impossible to create this breed from only three breeds.

Photo Gallery of the Leonberger Breed

Leonberger General Appearance & Basic Info

What size is this breed? How big is this dog? Leonberger size:
How much does the Leonberger weigh? Leonberger weight:
Male: 130-170 pounds (59-77 kg), Female: 100-130 pounds (45-59 kg)
Avg. Weight
What is the average weight of the Leonberger? Leonberger average weight:
Male: 150 pounds (68 kg), Female: 115 pounds (52 kg)
How tall is the Leonberger? Leonberger height:
Male: 29-31 inches (74-80 cm), Female: 27-29 inches (61-74 cm)
Avg. Height
What is the average height of this fido? Leonberger average height:
Male: 30 inches (77 cm), Female: 28 inches (67.5 cm)

Leonberger Hair & Care

Coat / Hair Types
What type of coat does the Leonberger have? What does this canine coat/fur look like?
What color is the breed's coat? What color is a proper Leonberger's coat?
How to groom the Leonberger and how often?
Average: The Leonberger requires average grooming effort. Cutting the dog's hair by a professional groomer isn't essential. Brushing the dog's coat is useful to reduce shedding. Ears and eyes should be cleaned regularly to avoid infections. Don't skip the seasonal flea treatment too. Dog nail trimming and dog bath can be helpful sometimes. Check the local pet store for dog grooming supplies and find the best dog shampoo to keep its coat healthy and to give your dog a pleasant experience of a dog bath. If you don't have the time, skill or money to take care of your Leonberger, search for a dog groomer or clipping service in your area and book an appointment. Maybe you're lucky to have a dog boarding service that includes grooming or walk in dog bath places nearby.
Shedding Level
How much do Leonberger dogs shed? How to control, reduce and prevent the shedding of the Leo? Leonberger shedding level:
Leonbergers are heavy shedders. It's a natural process of the hair growth cycle. Be prepared for the daily vacuum cleaning. The amount and frequency of hair loss mostly depend on their health status and breed type.
Bath Time / Bathing Frequency
How often does the Leonberger need a bath? How often should bathe this dog? Can I bathe my Leonberger every day?
3-4 weeks
More often than average. These dog coats tend to be longer, softer, oilier than short-haired breeds. While a good bath every now and then is a great way to keep your buddy from becoming overly smelly, be mindful about overbathing. Bathing will wash away your dog’s natural oils, while a simple brushing every few days should keep them clean.

Leonberger Characteristics

What kind of personality does the Leonberger have? What characteristics or traits does the breed have?
Intelligent Rank
How smart is the Leonberger? Are they intelligent?
Átlagos: Átlagos intelligenciájú Leonberger. Türelemre van szükség ahhoz, hogy ezt a fajtát bármilyen trükkre és parancsra megtanítsd, ám az erőfeszítés megéri. Megértik és megjegyzik az új parancsokat átlagosan 25–40 ismétlés után.
Are Leonberger dogs easy to train? Do they go well on dog training?
Leonbergers are quite easy to train. Sometimes they can be challenging, but if you're consistent in teaching new commands they will obey for sure.
How playful is this breed?
The Leonberger is a playful breed. Excited barking and sometimes nipping will alert you to play.
Sensitivity Level
How sensitive are they? Leonberger sensitivity:
They are a little bit more sensitive than other dog breeds. Soft punishment affects them emotionally. Leonbergers don't tolerate irregular daily routine, noisy household and frequent guest visits really well. They are receptive to their owner's emotions and make wonderful family companions.
Affection Level
How affectionate are they? Are they affectionate?
Leonbergers are genuinely loyal, soft and gentle, loving and affectionate dogs toward their handlers. They enjoy quality time with their owners despite the activity and considered as a great therapy dog for those in need. This breed responds strongly to their handler's emotions because they bond closely. Their happiness is your happiness.
Social Needs
How much social interaction does the Leo need? Leonberger social needs:
Leonbergers need a lot of social interaction. They desire to always be with someone or around people. This breed hates being left alone.
Do Leonberger dogs bark a lot? Are they barkers/noisy? Why does my Gentle Lion bark?
Low: The Leonberger barks none to minimal. Perfect choice if you prefer a quiet breed. Top reasons for barking: protection, alarm, fear, boredom, attention seeking, greeting, separation anxiety, compulsive barking.
Watchdog Ability
Is Leonberger good as a watchdog? Are they alert at night?
Leonbergers are one of the best watchdogs. Their main job is to observe and they're very consistent in their effort. The best vocal cords and sense of hearing belong to them. Usually, they're very territorial and protective about their property, so the Leonberger dogs will alert you if they sense something different.
Guarding Behavior / Territorial
Do Leonberger dogs have an aggressive behavior to protect their home/house/territory? Do they have guarding instincts?
Leonbergers are extremely protective guard dogs. This breed doesn't hesitate to protect their territory so the Leonberger can be a good choice if you want an excellent guard dog. Keep calm and the Leonberger will take care of unwanted people or animals.
Biting Potential
Do Leonberger bite humans? How likely are you to get bitten from the Leo? What are the odds of getting bitten by a Leonberger? Why do dog bites happen?
The Leonberger has a low chance of biting somebody. Top reasons for dog bite: protection, pain, excitement, herding instinct, being provoked. (Data based on the available online bite statistics.)
Bite Force
Does the Leonberger has a hard bite?
Above 400 PSI
The strongest: Dogs that have a strong bite force are usually quite powerful and large. They are very protective of themselves and their families, therefore a dog bite from them could be exceptionally dangerous with their PSI being above 400. It is important that they’re trained to be around others safely.
How much mouthing/nipping/play biting does the Leonberger do?
Leonbergers have a higher than average tendency to nip, chew, play-bite, or herd people. It's a common habit during puppyhood, not aggressive behavior. These "bites" don't hurt, but Leonbergers need to be taught for a good attitude.
Impulse to Wander or Roam
How likely is the Leonberger to run away? Does this breed explore or wander a lot? Does Leonberger roam?
Leonbergers tend to escape less than other breeds. They have low to average wanderlust potential. Exploring the world is not the best activity they can imagine.
Prey Drive
Do this canine have a strong prey drive? Does Leonberger have high prey drive?
Leonbergers have a higher impulse to chase and catch something than other dog breeds. Cats or any other small animals might be in danger. It's a natural instinct, doesn't necessarily mean that Leonbergers are aggressive. Better to keep this breed on a leash.
Apartment Friendly
Is Leonberger good as an apartment dog? Can they live in a flat?
Nem lakásbarát kutya Leonberger. Ha nincs kerted, akkor jól gondold át a döntésedet, sok gondot okozhat Leonberger tartása lakásban.
Are they adaptable and easy-going?
Leonbergers adapt to lifestyle changes and different living environments quite okay usually.
Tolerates Being Left Alone
Can you leave this breed home alone?
Leonbergers tend to have separation anxiety when their owners left them alone at home because they bond very closely with them.
Fighting Dog
Where Leonberger dogs used as a fighting dog in the history?
Not really
In history, this breed was not really used for combat dog.

Leonberger Good With

Stranger Friendly
Are they aggressive or friendly towards/with strangers? Leonberger temperament with other people:
Leonbergers are average friendly towards strangers.
Child Friendly
Are Leonberger dogs kid-friendly? Are they good with young children? Leonberger temperament with children:
Leonbergers are very kid-friendly dogs. This breed enjoys being surrounded by children.
Cat Friendly
How well do Leonberger dogs get along with cats? Are they good with kittens? What is this fido's temperament with cats? Can they be good with cats?
Leonbergers are average friendly towards cats.
Dog Friendly
Is Leonberger good with other dogs? Are they dog-friendly dogs? How well do Leonberger dogs get along with other dogs? What is this canine temperament with other dogs?
Leonbergers are dog-friendly dogs. If you want more dogs in your family or you'd like to join dog meetups, the Leonberger can be a great choice.
Good For First Time Owners
Is Leonberger breed good for first-time owners? Do they make a good dog for novice owners?
Leonbergers are not good for novice owners, due to their stubborn personality.
Service Dog
Are they good as service dogs? Can Leonberger be a guide dog? Are they used as seeing-eye dogs?
Not really
This breed generally not used as a service dog. A service dog is a term used in the USA to refer to any type of assistance dog specifically trained to help people who have disabilities, such as visual impairment, hearing impairments, mental disorders, seizures, mobility impairment, and diabetes. Service dogs are protected under the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act). Leonberger is not the best breed for service purposes.
Therapy Dog
Are they good as therapy dogs? Can Leonberger be a therapy dog? Are they good anxiety dogs? Can a Leonberger be an emotional support animal?
Not really
This breed generally not used as a therapy dog. A therapy dog is a dog that might be trained to provide affection, comfort, and love to people in hospitals, retirement homes, nursing homes, schools, hospices, disaster areas, and to people with anxiety disorders or autism. Leonberger is not the best breed for therapeutic purposes.
Detection Dog or Sniffer Dog
Are they good as detection dogs? Can Leonberger be a sniffer dog?
Not really
A detection dog or sniffer dog is a dog that is trained to use its senses (mostly its smell) to detect substances such as explosives, illegal drugs, wildlife scat, currency, blood, and contraband electronics such as illicit mobile phones. Leonberger is not the best breed for detection purposes.
Office Friendly
Are Leonbergers good office dogs? Do Leonbergers make good office friendly dogs? Can Leonbergers be office dogs?
Leonberger is not the best dog breed for office environment.
Search and Rescue Dog (SAR)
Are they good as SAR dogs? Can Leonberger be a search and rescue dog?
Not really
The use of dogs in search and rescue (SAR) is a valuable component in wilderness tracking, natural disasters, mass casualty events, and in locating missing people. The Leonberger is not the best breed for SAR purposes.
Senior Citizens Friendly
Are they senior citizens friendly dogs? How well do Leonberger dogs get along with the elderly people? What is the Leo temperament with senior people? Are Leonberger dogs good for elderly owners?
Leonbergers are one of the best breeds for elderly people.
Boat Dog
Are they good as boat dogs? Can Leonberger be a boat dog?
Not really
Leonberger breed usually doesn't like being on a boat.
Pet Friendly
Are they pet-friendly dogs? How well do Leonberger dogs get along with other pets? Are Leonberger dogs good with pets? What is this canine temperament with other pets?
Leonbergers are generally with other pets.
Cart Pulling or Drafting Dog
Are they good as cart pulling dogs? Can Leonberger be a drafting dog?
A drafting dog or draft dog is a dog bred and used for cart pulling. Dogs bred for this work have strong builds and qualities that are needed, strength and determination. Leonberger breed is a good choice for drafting purposes.

Leonberger Health Factors

Health Issues
Is it a healthy or unhealthy breed? Do Leonberger dogs have health problems or genetic diseases?
Leonbergers tend to have more and frequent health issues than other breeds. Regular vet check-ups are needed.
Health Problems
What genetic/health problems does the Leonberger breed have? What are the health issues and concerns of the Leonberger breed? Most common health risks of Leonberger:
Addison's DiseaseBloatCancerEctropionElbow DysplasiaEntropionEosinophilic PanosteitisHip DysplasiaInherited Polyneuropathy
Veterinarian Visits
How often does the Leonberger breed need to go to the vet? How often should you take your dog to the vet? How often should the Leonberger see the vet?
The Leonberger should have a complete physical check-up at least once (but preferably twice) per year. If your dog shows any symptoms, call your veterinarian.
Life Expectancy
How long do Leonberger dogs live? What is the average lifespan of this breed? How old can a Leonberger be? What is the age limit of the Leonberger? How many years can the oldest Leonberger live?
8-10 years
Is the Leonberger breed hypoallergenic?
Leonbergers don't do well with allergy sufferers by causing allergic reaction. Some of the dog breeds are even considered to higher the possibility of an allergic response. Coat type isn't necessarily relevant, because most people are allergic to dander (flakes on the dog's skin) or saliva, not actually to dog hair.
Energy Level
How much energy does the Leonberger have? What is the activity level of the Leonberger?
Leonbergers have a higher energy level than other dog breeds. If you want a dog for snuggling on the couch, this breed isn't the perfect choice for you.
Activity Requirement / Exercise Need
How much activity does this dog need? How much exercise do Leonberger dogs require per day?
Leonbergers need quite a lot of exercise. Daily walks should be on schedule. If you live an active life, this breed can be a good choice for you.
Sleeping Need
How much sleep does this fido need?
Leonbergers are quite energetic dogs and they don't spend to much time with sleeping. If you live an active life, this breed can be a good choice for you.
Avg. daily food consumption
How much food does the Leonberger need? How often should I feed my canine? What dog products should I buy?
8 to 10 cups of high-quality dry food a day, divided into two meals
Weight Gain Potential / Prone to Obesity
How easy to gain weight for this dog? Leonberger risk for obesity:
Average to High. If you don't pay attention to the Leonberger's weight, he can easily gain weight. More than one daily walk should be on schedule. To make your dog happy and fit, feed him with quality dry dog food and live an active life together. Try to find the happy medium between exercise and feeding. If you notice any weight gain, consult your veterinarian and make a diet plan. Reduce unhealthy food and snacks, and measure the Leonberger's weight regularly.
Weather & Climate
Which weather condition is preferred by this dog? Can they tolerate hot and cold weather & climate?
Prefers cold weather
The Leonberger can adapt well to harsh weather conditions, and also can be a good mountain dog.
How stinky is this dog? Why does it smell bad and how to get rid of the smell?
The Leonberger has an average chance of bad smell. Top reasons for dog stinkiness: infection of bad tooth/ear/skin folds, gas attacks.
Drooling tendency
Does the Leonberger drool?
The Leonberger is an average drooler. Drooling is the unintentional saliva flowing outside of the mouth. It can be completely normal or a sign of a health problem. If you notice any change in your dog's drooling habit, you should contact a vet as soon as possible.

Leonberger Reproducibility

Gestation Length
How long does this dog's pregnancy last? How long does this dog pregnant? How long does it take to have puppies?
60-64 days
Reproductive cycle of the female Leonberger: The first period called Proestrus lasts for about 9 days. During this time the females start to attract males. You can notice by swelling vulva and bloody discharge. The second part is the Estrus when the female is receptive for the male. It lasts for about 3 to 11 days. The sign of the proestrus part is the soft and enlarged vulva. The discharge decreases and lightens in color. The third part is the Diestrus. Normally, it occurs around day 14. In this period the female’s discharge changes for vivid red and coming to its end. The vulva returns to average, and she will no longer permit mating. The fourth part called the Anestrus. The time frame between heat periods normally lasts about six months.
Litter Frequency Once a year.
More frequent breeding is not healthy. It is very important not to buy a dog from a puppy mill, where the needs of the pups and their mothers are ignored. It's an inhumane high-volume dog breeding facility, where puppies born several times a year.
Litter Size
How many puppies can the Leonberger have? What is the average litter size of this fido?
6-8 puppies

Leonberger Pros & Cons

  • Watchdog Ability: Leonbergers are one of the best watchdogs.
  • Impulse to Wander or Roam: Leonbergers tend to escape less than other breeds.
  • Child Friendly: Leonbergers are very kid-friendly dogs.
  • Dog Friendly: Leonbergers are dog-friendly dogs.
  • Senior Citizens Friendly: Leonbergers are one of the best breeds for elderly people.
  • Cart Pulling or Drafting Dog: A drafting dog or draft dog is a dog bred and used for cart pulling.
  • Health Issues: Leonbergers tend to have more and frequent health issues than other breeds.
  • Hypoallergenic: Leonbergers don't do well with allergy sufferers by causing allergic reaction.
  • Apartment Friendly: Nem lakásbarát kutya Leonberger.
  • Shedding Level: Leonbergers are heavy shedders.
  • Weight Gain Potential / Prone to Obesity: Average to High.
  • Mouthiness: Leonbergers have a higher than average tendency to nip, chew, play-bite, or herd people.
  • Tolerates Being Left Alone: Leonbergers tend to have separation anxiety when their owners left them alone at home because they bond very closely with them.
  • Office Friendly: Leonberger is not the best dog breed for office environment.
  • Good For First Time Owners: Leonbergers are not good for novice owners, due to their stubborn personality.

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Leonberger Comments, Reviews & Questions

  • Clarissa Edwards

    May 27, 2021, 6:49:54 PM:

    leonbergers are not cat friendly and have same sex dog aggression. this should be noted but instead it says theyre dog and cat friendly