An excellent family companion, Leonberger is a giant dog, warmth friend of children and cooperative family mate, this dog is very affectionate, caring, calm and tranquil minded. The dog does not know the aggression, although reserved with strangers, aloof of unknown dogs. Sociable but hard to domesticate due to slow responses, these dogs can be formed as perfect watchdogs though its size is itself a perfect deterrence to intruders. The breed sheds a lot and needs moderate but regular exercises.
The Leonberger is a versatile working dog with right possession of strong and large build. The breed is very loyal and reliable family companion, further it excels in rescue, obedience, therapy and tracking. The breed is healthy and heavy like a lion yet easy and light on feet; the gait is free and flawless with good reach and drive. The coat is dense, short to medium in length and fluffy which is available in red, brown, sandy, yellow and mild combinations. Muzzle is always black. Expression is bold and elegant with lion-like look.
The breed was originated in Leonberg, Germany during year 1846. A German breeder Heinrich Essing is credited for its development by crossing Saint Bernard breed with Newfoundland and possibly Great Pyrenees. The founder breeder was interested in developing a large dog which resembles closely to lions. The breed had been adapted by many royalties including Napoleon II France, Princes of Wales, Bismark, Empress Elizabeth of Austria and Italian King Umberto. In 19th century the dog was brought to Russia. The two World Wars caused many dog breeds near to extinction; however, extensive breeding programs after World War II survived and re-established many breeds. The Leonbreger was saved by German breeders in 1945 thereafter, the dog gained slow and steady popularity. By the end of 1949, the standards were set and in 1971 the breed was introduced to America. The breed is used as guardian of farms and livestock, search and rescue on land and in water, tracking and family companion. The American Kennel Club recognized this breed in 2010 as working dog.
The intelligent and brave Leonberger is a lively natured dog. Its sweet expression is enhanced by its affectionate and caring trait. Stable, calm and firm temperament is prized for its popularity; the large dog simply loves to everyone. The breed is favorite for family having children, being exceptionally well behaved and polite; the Leonberger wants to play with children, the great patience against rowdy and childish irritation makes them more suitable with children. The breed is curious and inquisitive to strangers, reserved to strange dogs and cats however, get along well calmly and peacefully with other pets at home that are grown together. They does not need aggression infect, its size is considered enough to deter the criminals.
The breed can be placed in lazy dog category to some extent being slow in response; training would again be a challenging task as the dog responses are very slow, further the dog completely ignores the commands when harsh training methods are employed. A great deal of consistency and patience by the trainer is required. Puppies could be shy or timid, that must be dealt early, and to form the Leonberger effective watchdog training on special lines is needed. Train the dog to follow human master rather occupying the alpha dog position. Socialize the dog to be submissive to human and respect them. Besides all training difficulties, the Leonberger is more active and cooperative than other giant dog breeds.
Owner Should Know
The Leonberger dogs are prone to hip dysplasia and other skeletal diseases which need attention, some of behavioral problems may be addressed during socialization training.
These giant dogs need wider area of yard to exercise their activities. Apartment living is not suitable for them, further, they shed a lot. These dogs can tolerate cold season but the summer could be tough for them, keep them under shads during hot summers.
A little less active or lazy, the breed do not need extensive exercises, however, long walks can be good for health. The dog is fan of swimming and can satisfy its physical stimulation if chance is provided.
The breed is heavy shedder, weekly brushing is mandatory to avoid matting and removing of dead hairs.
The breed is prone to some ear infections, keep the ears hygienically clean, trim the coat wherever necessary.
Seek for reputed and trustworthy breeders to get healthy puppy, ensure puppies are clinically checked and are disease free.