The Leonberger originates from...

Developed in the Wurttemberg region of Germany in 1846 by the breeder Heinrich Essig of Leonberg, the Leonberger came into existence during the Victorian era when dogs were highly sought. Heinrich wanted to create a dog that closely resembled a lion, the animal appearing on Leonberg's coat of arms. To achieve this, he claimed to have selectively crossed the Lanseer Newfoundland with the St. Bernard, with contributing blood from the Pyrenean Mountain Dog. A large-sized breed capable of many working fulfillments, the Leonberger became a popular breed choice of the European royals, appearing in the courts of Napolean II, Empress Elizabeth of Austria and the Italian King Umberto. During both World Wars, the Leonberger was widely enlisted as an ammunitions cart puller, being highly prized for its strength and willingness.

The Leonberger is characterised by...

Distinctive for its black mask, the Leonburger of today developed from the 5 remaining dogs of breeding capability following WWI. Boasting a muscular and powerful build, the Leonberger is both elegant and imposing, possessing a proportioned body, a deep chest for enhanced lung capacity, a well-defined head and muzzle, small, triangular ears and a profuse double coat. The coat is typically wavy and common in colours of amber, yellow, red, brown and sand, with black and minimal white markings. It is easy to determine the gender of a Leonberger just by looking at it. The modern Leonberger is observed in livestock guarding, obedience, water retrieving and rescue, tracking and as a companion dog.

The average Leonberger...

Leonberger owners have often described the breed as obedient, intelligent, adaptable and vigilant, traits that make it well suited to domestic family life. Protective of children, playful and confident, the Leonberger makes a great addition to any home setting, providing its needs for regular exercise, mental enrichment and human companionship are met. Due to the size and strength of the breed, early socialisation, consistent training and firm but fair leadership is essential. On average, a healthy adult Leonberger will weigh 45-75 kg depending on its gender, with a relatively short life expectancy of 6-8 years.


Besides the common health afflictions prevalent across breeds, including optical disorders, skin allergies, orthopedic problems and epilepsy, the Leonberger is susceptible to various health complaints ranging from mild to more serious. Neurological disease, bone cancer and gastric tortion have been identified, with the latter occurring quickly and proving fatal if not immediately treated.

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Our Leonberger owners' thoughts

Added on 24/10/2016
Joined 20/03/2012
From norfolk, United Kingdom

I've had my six year old rescue Leonberger for six months and she is a joy to live with, calm steady personality, very loving. Minimal barking just a pleasure to own. Things to bear in mind when owning this breed are grooming requirements, health concerns such as ear conditions caused by their lovely floppy ears and they benefit from a good quality diet, but would recommend to anyone who likes a large breed.

Added on 09/03/2018

Just put deposit down for a puppy I own a boarder collie at 14 years old is comming to the time I will loose him I know he will get on well with the puppy I have had him from a pup and trained him myself.

Added on 10/06/2018
Joined 07/05/2011
From Midlothian, United Kingdom

Had 2 of them sadly lost one in a car accident . We currently own a male. Excellent watch dog and very loyal. Negatives would be water everywhere, sheds hair heavily and not the best dog for recalling. Head height same as dining table. Likes going for walks and must follow a certain route. Its like living with an oil tanker. This one qualified for Crufts.

Added on 21/11/2018
Joined 12/12/2014
From Hampshire, United Kingdom

I have 2 leonburger's Monti and his mum Isla I also have a burnese both breeds are amazing the most loving dogs iv ever had the leo's are full of fun and love to please you , having a litter of 10 was hard work but I enjoyed every minute

Added on 05/07/2020
Joined 05/07/2020
From West Midlands, United Kingdom

Nala is now 6 years old and began working with me as a trainee therapy/support dog in a primary school from 6 months old. A Leonbergers soft, empathetic nature makes them perfect for such a role.

The constant grooming, moulting, water everywhere when they drink is something to consider when looking at this breed and they often are not aware of their size and will want to climb on your lap for cuddles!

There are health issues to consider also, Nala is so far In general a very healthy girl but has suffered ear infections due to the very fluffy, floppy ears. Vets fees and pet insurance can be expensive.

But, if you are familiar with giant breeds and want to share your life with a big, fluffy & soft natured goof ball. I would highly recommend a Leo!!