Calm and relaxed, impressive just because of their size – this is how the Leonberger dog breed presents itself. The dog, which is one of the giants of its species, is a real family fan, extremely fond of children, and protective. He doesn’t need constant action, but always attention. He feels most comfortable in his backup pack, always in touch with his loved ones.
City dog from the Leonberg
The origin of the Leonberger, how could it be otherwise, lies in the small Swabian town of Leonberg. In the 1840s, the city councilor Heinrich Essig wanted to create a dog breed that resembled the city’s heraldic animal: the lion. For this reason, he crossed a Newfoundland bitch with a St. Bernard male from the famous monastery Hospiz Sankt Bernhard.
Later, these very large dogs were crossed with a Pyrenean mountain dog.
The first “real” Leonbergers were born in 1846: Huge dogs with good-natured nature were born, which were characterized by alertness and reliability.
Nature of the Leonberger
In essence, Leonberger has nothing at all of a lion: he is fearless but has a friendly and balanced character. The Leonberger is a child-loving family dog that has to be with you at all times and everywhere. Needs a lot of stroking and often throws all his weight at his pack.
His poised composure and gentle nature have a calming effect on most people. In his company, you feel safe. Rightly so, because the Leonberger is still an excellent guard dog and has significant deterrent potential simply because of its strength and size. When it comes down to it, he will defend his pack and his territory with great zeal.
Education and keeping of the Leonberger
The Leonberger is an obedient dog: it is easy to lead with consistent training. The best way to counter his occasional stubbornness is with patience. Since this dog is extremely strong, it needs to be trained well, since the leash is actually only of symbolic value: even a strong adult will have trouble holding a Leonberger if they don’t want to.
Before you get a Leonberger, you should determine whether you can keep and care for a dog of this size. He doesn’t need a lot of exercises but feels most comfortable in a garden. Frequently climbing stairs can lead to joint problems in a dog weighing up to 75 kilograms.
The Leonberger doesn’t like the heat: in midsummer, he usually lies in a cool place and dozes until the cooler afternoon hours. By the way, he loves the water like his ancestors, the Newfoundland dogs, and likes to jump in to cool water to cool down.
All in all, he is an easy-going family dog who likes to go for walks but is not an extreme athlete.
Care of the Leonberger
Grooming the fur is quite time-consuming: It is best to brush your long-haired companion once a day to clean the fur of dirt and protect it from matting. Get your Leonberger used to this ritual from a puppy; then he knows it and lets it endure calmly.
Peculiarities of the Leonberger
Like many large dog breeds, Leonbergers often suffer from hip or elbow dysplasia, despite the best efforts of many breeders. When buying a puppy, be sure to contact a reputable and responsible breeder.