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Leonberger : Origin | Breeds | Characteristics| Fun Facts | How To Care

Leonberger

Dog

Leonberger : Origin | Breeds | Characteristics| Fun Facts | How To Care

Find how feed purebred dogs and the best large breed dog food.  – Among Princess Sissi’s dogs there were some Leonbergers. This dog impresses not only for its lion’s mane and its robust and harmonious build, but above all for its calm and proud nature as well as affectionate towards children.

Leonberger: Features

Affectionate with children, even in the face of the liveliness and the most exasperated screams of the little ones of the house, this dog proves to be extremely patient. He is not bothered by screams and noises, being a good-natured and patient dog. However, he also has a lively and playful temperament: he loves to have fun and let loose in the game. Puppies in particular are extremely playful and can also be a bit rash.

Precisely by virtue of his so balanced and extroverted character, the Leonberger is a perfect dog for families, a faithful and obedient companion who remains alongside his master in every situation. Due to its innate vigilance and its imposing appearance it can also be an excellent guard dog, very protective of its family. However, he is never aggressive or fearful, but always reacts very calmly to new situations and strangers; precisely for this reason, despite its size, it can be carried anywhere. Puppies aren’t always obedient, but who wouldn’t overlook a pinch of stubbornness in the face of such adorable and affectionate creatures?

L’dog education for this breed does not involve particular problems: if you show calm and patient, this dog responds well to commands. Although very intelligent and self-confident, the Leonberger proves to be well-disposed from the start to submit to his master. Therefore this breed is particularly suitable for those who do not have great experience in training dogs, although this does not mean that one should not dedicate oneself to this practice with consistency and constancy.

If you are interested in this breed you must obviously take the time to familiarize yourself with the care and the type of training that is most suitable for this dog.

If you know how to respond to these needs and dedicate time to this wonderful dog together with your family, you will surely find in the Leonberger an extremely affectionate and faithful life partner.

Leonberger: Appearance

The Leonberger, which in males can have a height of 80 cm at the withers and weigh up to 75 kg, is certainly an imposing animal. Females are smaller: their height at the withers can vary between 65 and 75 cm and they weigh about 60 kg. Its noble bearing and its powerful build give this breed a proud and elegant appearance that certainly does not go unnoticed. The coat is long, from medium soft to hard and, despite its thick undercoat, it is adherent and allows the shape of the body to be recognized. Especially in males, the hair around the neck and chest forms a mane that resembles that of a lion. The forelegs are well feathered and on the hind limbs the hair forms thick “culottes”. The coat of the Leonberger, with the exception of the black mask and the dark tips of the fur, can have different colors that can vary from lion yellow to deep tawny or can also be sand-colored (pale yellow and cream).

The black tips of the hair must possibly show some lightening on the lower part of the tail, on the ruff and on the fore and hind limbs: however, such lightening must not be so evident as to affect the harmony of the main color. The breed standard accepts a small white patch or stripe on the chest and white hair between the paws. The Leonberger’s ears are medium in size and drooping. It has a rather long snout and an evenly broad bridge of the nose. The eyes are brown, with an oval shape and an intelligent and attentive expression.

Leonberger: History

The Leonberger appearance is not accidental: the lion on the heraldic coat of arms of the German town of Leonberg, near Stuttgart, represented the model at the origins of the breeding of this breed. In the 1830s and 1940s, the city councilor Heinrich Essig wanted to breed a dog that resembled the symbol of his city, a lion. Essig crossed a female Newfoundland with a black and white coat (some sources believe it was a Landseer) with a St. Bernard dog, so-called “Barry-male”, from the hospice of the Great St. Bernard Pass. More specimens of Saint Bernard dog and Pyrenean mountain dog who perfected the appearance of the new dog breed.

The first examples of the breed, as we know it today, were born in 1846. These imposing dogs originating from the town of Leonberg, which brought together all the best qualities of the aforementioned breeds, soon became a status symbol and began to be sold in all the world. Until the two world wars, the Leonberger was appreciated by high society as a guard dog, but also as a defense dog on farms and as a tow dog.

With the advent of the two world wars and the consequent poverty of the two post-war years, few in Europe could afford to keep such large and demanding dogs, the breeding specimens decreased drastically. It is only thanks to some Leonberger lovers that this breed was saved from extinction: the few remaining owners joined forces and, with commitment, developed a new breeding of the breed. It is thanks to them that fortunately today there are numerous dog associations all over the world that are dedicated to the breeding of this imposing and fascinating animal.

Breeding

Today there are a few thousand Leonberger specimens in Europe again. In his homeland alone, Germany, around 600 cubs have been raised a year in recent years. It is therefore not difficult to find a breeder of this breed. However, before buying a purebred dog, it is important to consider some aspects. We recommend that you contact a professional breeder who is a member of one of the numerous dog associations dedicated to the Leonberger, who is in contact with the International Union of Leonbergers and who is recognized by the FCI, the largest cynological federation in the world. It is important that the breeder adheres to the strict rules governing the mating of dogs and follows high quality standards. The purpose of a serious and controlled purebred dog breeding is to maintain the Leonberger breed standard and select the specimens with the aim of improving the quality of the breed in terms of health, strength and beauty.

As a result, a puppy from a professional kennel will not be cheap. Raising a puppy and looking after the mother is a full time commitment for a breeder and, especially in the case of such large purebred dogs, it also represents a considerable economic expense. Purchase a purebred puppy from a specialized kennel, which is committed to preventing hereditary diseases (through vaccines and research on hereditary diseases), which feeds its animals high quality food and invests in registration fees for dog shows, membership fees for canine organizations, microchips, canine herd books, training and refresher courses for breeders, has a price. Growing impetuous puppies at home involves high costs: scratched doors, torn carpets, scratches on the parquet and ruined sofas are the order of the day when you have young dogs full of temperament and energy at home. We therefore advise you to pay attention to those who offer “business”! You will regret the money saved with expensive veterinary services and therapies that could double or triple what you initially spent on purchasing your puppy.

When you find a serious breeder to turn to for purchasing a Leonberger puppy, don’t hesitate to visit him several times. Only in this way will you be able to understand if the first impression is true or not. It is important that the breeder is open and ready to show you their kennel and its mares. Don’t be annoyed if the breeder asks you questions about the environment that the puppy will welcome. A responsible breeder cares about their animals and wants to understand who they will sell their puppies to. He will be able to advise you, explain the specific needs of the breed and will know if a Leonberger is really the right dog for you and if your lifestyle is suitable for this dog. A trusted breeder will accompany you with his valuable advice throughout your dog’s life journey.

Taking care of the Leonberger

Before any other consideration on the purchase of a Leonberger, it is necessary to keep in mind, in addition to the economic aspect, above all the question of the time to devote to it. This breed, by virtue of its size, needs a lot of movement to stay fit and healthy. The more time the dog spends with you and other family members, the happier he will be, as the Leonberger is very attached to his owner and feels more comfortable around his family. A house with a beautiful garden in which to be able to romp is a must for this giant who loves movement, preferably with a park or a forest nearby to take long walks in nature. The ideal would be to live near a lake where the dog can play and swim. Despite its balanced and calm nature, the Leonberger is very active and vital, so it needs an equally active owner. Dog and water sports and Treibball are particularly suitable for this breed, although walks in the midst of nature and the possibility of swimming are already suitable activities for him.

The grooming of this imposing dog’s coat also takes time. The coat is long and thick and needs brushing every day. To facilitate the daily care of the coat it is important that the Leonberger learns from an early age to remain sitting or lying down while brushing it. An adult dog who has never learned these commands as a child will not behave calmly on these occasions. Find out how to take care of a long haired dog.

The education of this breed, on the other hand, does not pose any problems: the Leonberger is extremely intelligent and has an extraordinary ability to learn and willingness to obey. To this sweet and balanced dog it is enough to teach the basic commands from an early age: the owner will have to give a decisive and consistent education. Shouting or being agressive always turns out to be a failure.

Ultimately the aim is not to impose a strict regime on the dog but to enjoy life with your Leonberger. If you are willing to devote time, money and energy to your Leonberger’s nutrition, coat care and physical and mental wellbeing, then this dog will be the faithful companion to share many happy years of your life with.

Undecided about which croquettes to buy for your Leonberger? Find out what the nutrients of dog food that cannot be missing in its diet.

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