The Leonberger

History indicates the Leonberger was developed using the Saint Bernard, the Newfoundland, and the Pyrenean Mountain Dog. It has inherited both the temperament of these noble giant dogs, and the love of water from its Newfoundland ancestors.

True to it’s original purpose of an estate guardian, family and companion dog, the Leonberger (affectionately known as a Leo) has strong abilities as a suitable draft dog and water rescue dog also. It is intelligent, very large and sturdy dog with a gentle nature. A great companion for adults and children alike. They are also very gentle with other animals.

They make adorable puppies and grow extremely fast, sometimes increasing in weight per kilo per week for the first few months. It is suggested that during this period of rapid growth (up to 18 months approx.) the Leo requires minimal exercise. Normal play about the yard is sufficient. Once grown the level of exercise may increase but be aware these giant breed dogs are far less energetic than smaller breeds. They would much prefer to amble about within visual range of you, his owner, be it gardening or mowing the lawns or having a picnic in the park. A companion in every sense.

All dogs need socialising and training. You will find the Leonberger is eager to please, therefore easy to train. They do well in a wide variety of activities including obedience, therapy work, water rescue, agility, carting and tracking. 

This easy going dog has a double coat typical of mountain breeds and will require regular grooming to keep it free of knots. They generally moult or shed their undercoat twice a year  — so you will need to comb more frequently when shedding. Grooming time is also an opportunity to check for any bodily changes, lumps or bumps. A quick health check.

Leonbergers do not drool but they can be messy drinkers because they simply love to play in water, even when it’s in a bowl! Water seems to attract them, like bees to a honeypot, Leos will certainly head to water if they see it. Fortunately they are extremely good swimmers having inherited their webbed feet, but beware the ‘shake’ when they emerge.

Leonbergers are wonderful dogs and just a word of caution they become addictive! Yes, thats’ right. It’s very difficult to own just one!




The Breed Standard        A Brief History