The golden-red giant likes to swim, but he does not care about multi-kilometer runs, which is why its owner does not have to be a physically active person. Leonberger is a balanced dog with a phlegmatic character, confident and quite dominant, but friendly towards the household.
Leonberger has a moderate temperament and is brave – in difficult situations he keeps cool. However, there are fearful or aggressive animals, which is a serious defect in character. Leonberger is devoted and loyal to people, he easily makes contact. A huge attachment to the owner means that he would be always happy to accompany him.
He gets along well with children. He is caring and forgiving, but because of his size, do not leave him alone with several years old, because he may accidentally knock them over. He is a very strong animal, so children should not walk him alone.
Alert and perceptive, the dog of this breed is a good, not noisy guardian. However, it does not curl around the fence like shepherds – it rather observes the surroundings carefully and intervenes when necessary. He greets his friends exuberantly, he may remain distant from strangers at first, but he will accept them if they are welcome by the household.
Leonberger is tolerant of other dogs, but his behavior depends largely on previous experiences with his brethren. Males sometimes dominate same-sex strangers. In their own herd of Leonbergers generally live in harmony, although conflicts between animals of equally strong character are not excluded.
Despite its considerable size, Leonberger is an active dog. After Newfoundland, he inherited his passion for swimming, so it must be given to him. Regular walks are also important. The dog of this breed, however, is not a performer and is not suitable for accompanying many kilometers on the bike. Hiking will be better.
The golden-haired giant needs a lot of space, so he should live in a house with a garden. However, he is not suitable for keeping in the pen – he is very sensitive and isolation from the household is a severe punishment for him.
Originally Leonbergers were used to guard, pull carts with goods, and even to watch and grazing herds. With time, they also became valued companion dogs at the princely courts.
Today, Leonberger is primarily a family dog that has kept all the qualities of a good guardian. It has a great sense of smell, which is why it is good at tracking courses. In some countries, leonbergers take part in water and avalanche rescue training.
Leonberger. Training and education
Leonberger is intelligent, has a good memory, and properly motivated, willingly works with a guide. However, you should not expect rapid progress, because although he learns faster than other giants, he can be stubborn and willing to do what he wants.
Because of his size, he should learn the principles of basic obedience. It will not be without consistency, patience and regularity. Awards and praise will encourage your pet to learn, and harsh treatment will make him lose confidence in us and it will be difficult to get him to cooperate with.
A puppy of this breed requires a gentle upbringing, but he must not allow anything. Early socialization is important – they should be taken to different places, should learn about new situations, people and other dogs. In the period of fastest growth, it is better to limit intense games with adult kinsmen, and when replacing teeth do not stretch with toys to avoid deformation of the bite.
Who is this race for?
Leonberger is not difficult to raise and even a person without much experience can be its owner. Suitable for a moderately active family who enjoys spending time in nature. However, it is not recommended for people who only want to have a yard guard.
Leonberger. Advantages and disadvantages
it’s not cheap to maintain
brings home a lot of sand and mud
loyal and devoted to the family
gentle to people
intelligent and endowed with good memory
will work as a guardian
gets along well with children
tolerates other dogs and pets
Leonberger is a dog resistant to weather conditions. It tolerates low temperatures well, but you need to provide it with plenty of shade and water in the bowl in hot weather. In summer, long walks are best done in the early morning or late evening. He should not be exposed to prolonged exposure to humidity and cold (e.g. during spring thaws), as this may worsen his health.
A representative of this breed has a tendency to expand and twist the stomach, and dysplasia of the hip and elbow joints. In Poland, there is no obligation to x-ray ponds in order to obtain breeding rights, but many breeders and owners perform such tests, so choose puppies after healthy parents.
Sometimes there is dilated cardiomyopathy, which leads to enlargement of the left or both chambers of the heart, which leads to a weakening of its contractility and insufficient supply of the body with blood needed for its proper functioning.
Leonberger may suffer from osteosarcoma (osteosarcoma) – a malignant tumor of bone tissue and polyneuropathy – peripheral nerve damage syndrome. There are also OCD (stratifying osteochondral necrosis) and juvenile osteitis (enostosis) in growing puppies.
There are cases of hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism and eye diseases – progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), cataract and defects in eyelid alignment (ectropium and entropy).
Leonbergers are not cheap to maintain. They generally have a good appetite, which is why they should not be overfed because they tend to be overweight. Serving snacks between meals is also not advisable, unless it is about learning rewards.
You can use ready-made foods for giant breeds with the addition of glucosamine and chondroitin, or you can prepare meals yourself, but you must then supplement with calcium, mineral and vitamin preparations. The BARF diet (raw natural food) also works well.
Puppies of this breed require high-quality food. You must also pay attention that they do not grow too quickly. The daily portion for an adult dog must be divided into at least two smaller ones and give him two hours of calm after eating to avoid the risk of stomach twist. During the molting period, supplements can be used to accelerate the rebuilding of the coat and improve its quality.
Leonberger’s care is not difficult, but you have to take into account the large amount of hair at home. Such a dog usually abundantly molts twice a year – in spring and autumn. Hair is soft, it doesn’t get stuck in carpets or upholstery and can be easily cleaned, even with a damp sponge.
It is enough to comb the dog once a week (when replacing the coat we do it more often) with a box brush with longer wires or a dense metal comb with medium length teeth. Every few days we check the fur on the tail, trousers, behind the ears and in the groin, because it is easy to create a smug. Gently separate them with your fingers (you can also use special preparations), and then comb with a short-tooth comb.
During molting, you can use a furminator, thanks to which we can get rid of the undercoat and dead hair faster. After walking outside the city, remove Velcro, sticks and seeds from the hair. Regularly check your ears, remove tartar and trim your claws if your dog does not rub them by itself. We bathe Leonberger as needed in strengthening shampoos that do not deprive the hair of natural protection or do not soften it too much. Cosmetics for dogs with a red coat or coat volume will also be useful – if your pet is molting. After bathing, you can use a conditioner (the type depends on the condition of the coat).
We dry Leonberger with a hairdryer (it dries for a long time and the hair creases) under the hair, combing it at the same time – only we dry the trousers and feathers in the direction of hair growth. It is also important to remember about drying your pet thoroughly after swimming, otherwise, the moisture remaining in the coat for a long time can cause purulent dermatitis.
A few days before the exhibition, we lightly adjust with scissors thinning fur on the ears (so that it does not protrude beyond the earlobe) and on the feet, giving them a rounded shape. With ordinary scissors, we cut the hair growing between the pads. We use the same shampoos and conditioners as in the case of regular care – depending on the condition of the coat.
We put Leonberger on a ring adapted to the coat color. You can present it in two ways – free-hand (if the dog is taught) or by setting it accordingly.
We take Leonberger for walks in a strong collar (leather or tape) or in a chain and on a solid leash. Representatives of this breed sometimes like to track the tracks of wild animals, which should be remembered when choosing them out of town. If it is not certain that the dog can be recalled, it is better not to let him loose.
For Leonberger, large and strong toys will be appropriate: balls, plush mascots, cords, natural teethers (smoked ears, tendons).
Leonberger belongs to the mountain type dogs, and its name comes from the German city of Leonberg (Lion Mountain). One theory is that dogs of this breed are descendants of Tibetan dogs, which were present in the Eastern and Middle Alps in the Middle Ages. The latter had a magnificent posture, a head with a pronounced stop, drooping ears and short or long hair. Their owners were mainly peasants who used them for guarding, hauling goods carts or herding.
Apparently, in the first half of the 17th century Leonberger type dogs were owned by the ducal Metternich family. According to another theory, Heinrich Essig, a Leonberg councilor and avid breeder, wanted to make the hometown famous and decided to breed a lion-like dog from the Leonberg coat of arms. To this end, in the 1830s he associated the black and white Newfoundland with the long-haired Bernardine named Barry, who came from the monastery shelter on the Great Pass of St. Bernard.
Black and white puppies, which were born, Essig later again crossed with St. Bernard. For several years he ran a kennel based only on these two breeds. In the 1840s, he introduced into the population the blood of a large Pyrenean dog, Kuvasza, and perhaps a large Swiss Mountain Dog. As a result, powerful, long-haired quadrupeds with various colors: white with black or yellow patches, red, silver, and even white with a black mask were created.
The first Leonberger was registered in the introductory book in 1846. For the first time, a representative of this breed appeared at the Munich exhibition in 1865. Soon Leonbergers became very popular, and for a good representative of the breed, even a thousand brands were demanded, which at that time was a huge sum.
After the death of Heinrich Essig in 1889, the breeding collapsed. The breed began to grow again six years later with the creation of the Leonberger Club in Stuttgart.
In 1901, the pattern was amended and animals of a different color than the golden red with a black mask were eliminated from breeding, which significantly reduced the gene pool. Both world wars destroyed the majority of the population. After 1945, the breed was rebuilt and in the 1960s more than 4,000 lived in Germany. Leonbergers.
Leonberger – group II FCI, section 2.2, reference number 145
Size: height at the withers: dogs 72-80 cm, bitches 65-75 cm;
Coat: medium soft to hard hair, quite long, close-fitting, straight, gentle waves permissible; on the neck and chest, the mane (especially abundant in males), feathers on the forelegs and thighs
Ointment: yellow lion, red, red-brown, permissible sandy (pale yellow, cream); black mask required, black hair tips allowed; lightening of the basic color on the underside of the tail, mane, on the fore and hind limbs; a small white spot on the chest (no larger than a hand) and white hair on the fingers are tolerated
Maturity: 2-3 years
Lifespan: 9-12 years
Weather resistance: high
Owning a Leonberger they could boast of Austrian Empress Elizabeth (Sissi), King of England Edward VII, Chancellor Otto von Bismarck, composer Ryszard Wagner, Italian revolutionary Giuseppe Garibaldi and King of Italy Umberto I.