Leonbergers love everybody, and everybody loves them. Gentle, calm and friendly, these gentle giants are extremely loyal and dependable around the house. Leonbergers have a keen intelligence, a remarkable patience and incredible agility for their size.
- 130 - 170 pounds | male
100 - 130 pounds | female
- 29 - 31 inches | male
27 - 29 inches | female
Ideal Human Companions
- Experienced dog handlers
- Families with older children
- Active singles
- Cold-climate dwellers
Leonbergers on Dogster
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- Gentle giant
What They Are Like to Live With
Leonbergers are social creatures: Make sure they get plenty of attention or they will become listless and bored. They like to be involved in family occasions, and they can be very sensitive to moods. The Leonberger may even become agitated during family quarrels. If you can make space in your home for a Leonberger, you’ll have a friend for life.
Things You Should Know
Leonbergers can live as long as 10 years. Common health issues include hip dysplasia, joint diseases and entropion (inverted eyelids). Like some other large breeds, they are prone to bloat. Feeding them smaller meals throughout the day will help.
Too big for apartment living, the Leonberger needs elbowroom and cool climates. However, they don’t need tons of exercise: A nice, daily walk will keep them mentally and physically fit. This is an indoor dog, so make some room on the couch!
By crossing several large breeds (like the Saint Bernard and the Newfoundland), a 19th-century German breeder named Heinrich Essig wanted to create a unique dog to promote his hometown of Leonberg. These big, beautiful canines became known as Leonbergers, and they became instantly popular with European and Russian royals.
The Look of a Leonberger
Leonbergers have large, big-boned frames covered in rough, medium-long coats that usually come in orange-brown or reddish-brown. Their big, slightly rounded heads have friendly brown eyes, strong muzzles with black “masks,” and lion-like manes. Overall, Leonbergers have a powerful but regal look.
Talk About Leonbergers
Great with kids of all ages
I Love my Leonberger, Copper! I have had a Border Collie, an Aussie and a Caucasian Ovcharka and the most lovable is my Leonberger! They are so friendly. My Leonberger is great with children of all ages, from babies to big kids! They are smart but not too smart like a herding dog!
Copper loves to swim and his webbed paws make him a great water dog! He needs lots of grooming and sometimes his lips stink but he is so cuddly and such a people pleaser that it can be looked aside. In my experience with dogs my Leo was the easiest to train the basics to.
~Alexis, owner of a Leonberger
Your next best friend
I love everything about this breed! My dog, Chance, is the best. He has a great temperament, is great with people and is just your best friend. He loves to be in your lap and loves to give kisses. You will be amazed at the loyalty of this breed. To live with them is definitely sharing space but they love to sleep with you so be sure to have a big bed. They love to talk and will let you know when it is time to eat or drink and to go out.
They have earned the name Gentle Giant because that is what they are. I searched for this dog for over a year before we got one. He is now 5 and if you are debating it because of size, as long as you have room for them to roam a bit and don't mind muddy feet you will not find a better dog.
This truly has been a great addition to our family and if I could I would have many of them. Unfortunately we already have two other dogs. I do caution you to make sure of the background of these dogs as I was just informed of a rare disease that can be in their genes (as well as other breeds) called Megaesphogus. My Chance was just diagnosed with this and there is no cure but thankfully there is a support group with lots of information and ideas on how to prolong the inevitable. I would not change the fact that I have had 5 great years with him and am hoping with his new diet that we have more time. He is an absolute beauty and my cuddle bug.
If you have the opportunity to own one of these dogs you are very fortunate. Don't second guess owning one of these dogs you will truly love every minute you have with them. They are also great therapy dogs given their great dispositions. Training is a big help due to their size and you will be amazed at how quickly they learn.
~Jamie D., owner of a Leonberger
You have to be the alpha male from day one
Buck is our second Leonberger; our first one, Lazarus, lived almost 11 years. They are truly wonderful dogs but they definitely aren't for everyone.
True, they are lovable and gentle, but young males can be very stubborn and are VERY strong. They do need an owner who can handle being the alpha male.
They also need much training and guidence from day one. Always remember you are going to have a dog that can grow to be 150-plus pounds, and without the proper training and guidance you could have a very big problem on your hands.
When they are young, Leonberger males constantly test you to see who's the boss, you or him. Also when young, they have daily bouts of excessive energy -- and at 80-plus pounds, this can be a lot of dog for many people.
~DanR, owner of a Leonberger