Leonberger Information & Dog Breed Facts
Collection of all the general dog breed info about Leonberger so you can get to know the breed more.
Compare the Leonberger With Other Dogs |
Select at least one dog breed to make the comparsion.
Other Names |
What other names does the Leonberger have?
|Gentle GiantGentle LionLeonbergiLeo|
Breed Type |
What type of dog breed is it?
Photo Gallery of the Leonberger Breed
How much does the Leonberger puppy cost? What is the price range of this puppy? What is the average price of this dog in the United States? How much money is a Leonberger?
If you choose to purchase the Leonberger, you should know that the mentioned amount of money is an average of the collected data from breeders’ sites and puppy finder places. If you have a Leonberger for sale, please advertise it on a reliable website to make sure the Leonberger gets to a happy place.
How easy is it to get a Leonberger? How many Leonberger are there in the world?
Frequent: The Leonberger is easier than average to get. Maybe there is some risk of overbreeding, as it is a popular breed.
Due to its popularity, inbreeding may occur. A new study shows that inbreeding contributes to the incidence of disease and health problems.So be careful and seek the help of an experienced person or a professional, in making your decision.
Is a Leonberger small, medium or large dog?
How big do Leonberger get?
How much does the Leonberger weigh? How much should the Leonberger breed weight? What is the normal weight of a Leonberger?
|Male: 130-170 pounds (59-77 kg), Female: 100-130 pounds (45-59 kg)|
Average Weight |
What is the average weight of a Leonberger?
|Male: 150 pounds (68 kg), Female: 115 pounds (52 kg)|
How tall is the Leonberger? Leonberger height:
|Male: 29-31 inches (74-80 cm), Female: 27-29 inches (61-74 cm)|
Average Height |
What is the average height of a Leonberger?
|Male: 30 inches (77 cm), Female: 28 inches (67.5 cm)|
Coat / Hair Types |
What type of coat does the Leonberger have? What does this canine coat/fur look like?
What color is the breed's coat? What color is a proper Leonberger's coat?
How to groom the Leonberger and how often?
Average: The Leonberger requires average grooming effort. Cutting the dog's hair by a professional groomer isn't essential.
Brushing the dog's coat is useful to reduce shedding. Ears and eyes should be cleaned regularly to avoid infections.
Don't skip the seasonal flea treatment too. Dog nail trimming and dog bath can be helpful sometimes.
Check the local pet store for dog grooming supplies and find the best dog shampoo to keep its coat healthy and give your dog a pleasant experience of a dog bath.
If you don't have the time, skill, or money to take care of your Leonberger, search for a dog groomer or clipping service in your area and book an appointment.
Maybe you're lucky to have a dog boarding service that includes grooming or walk-in dog bath places nearby.
Shedding Level |
How much do Leonberger dogs shed? How to control, reduce and prevent the shedding of the Gentle Giant?
Leonbergers are heavy shedders. It's a natural process of the hair growth cycle. Be prepared for the daily vacuum cleaning. The amount and frequency of hair loss mostly depend on their health status and breed type.
Bath Time / Bathing Frequency |
How often does the Leonberger need a bath? How often should bathe this dog? Can I bathe my Leonberger every day?
| 3-4 weeks |
More often than average. These dog coats tend to be longer, softer, and oilier than short-haired breeds. While a good bath every now and then is a great way to keep your buddy from becoming overly smelly, be mindful about overbathing.
Bathing will wash away your dog’s natural oils, while a simple brushing every few days should keep them clean.
What kind of personality does the Leonberger have? What characteristics or traits does the breed have?
Intelligent Rank |
How smart is the Leonberger? Is the Leonberger breed dumb or smart?
Average: It takes patience to teach this breed any tricks or commands, but the effort is worth it. They understand and remember new commands after an average of 25-40 repetitions.
The Leonberger ranks average in the intelligence ranking of dogs.
Are Leonberger dogs easy to train? Do they go well on dog training?
Leonbergers are quite easy to train. Sometimes they can be challenging, but if you're consistent in teaching new commands they will obey for sure.
How playful is this breed?
The Leonberger is a playful breed. Excited barking and sometimes nipping will alert you to play.
Sensitivity Level |
How sensitive are they? Leonberger sensitivity:
They are a little bit more sensitive than other dog breeds. Soft punishment affects them emotionally. Leonbergers don't tolerate irregular daily routine, noisy household, and frequent guest visits really well.
They are receptive to their owner's emotions and make wonderful family companions.
Affection Level |
How affectionate are they? Is a Leonberger a good family dog?
High: Leonbergers are genuinely loyal, soft and gentle, loving and affectionate dogs toward their handlers. They enjoy quality time with their owners despite the activity and are considered great therapy dog for those in need. This breed responds strongly to their handler's emotions because they bond closely. Their happiness is your happiness.
Social Needs |
How much social interaction does the Gentle Giant need? Leonberger social needs:
Leonbergers need a lot of social interaction. They desire to always be with someone or around people. This breed hates being left alone.
Do Leonberger dogs bark a lot? Are they barkers/noisy? Why does my Gentle Giant bark?
Low: The Leonberger barks none to minimal. Perfect choice if you prefer a quiet breed.
Top reasons for barking: protection, alarm, fear, boredom, attention-seeking, greeting, separation anxiety, compulsive barking.
Watchdog Ability |
Is Leonberger good as a watchdog? Are they alert at night?
Leonbergers are one of the best watchdogs. Their main job is to observe and they're very consistent in their effort. The best vocal cords and sense of hearing belong to them. Usually, they're very territorial and protective about their property, so the Leonberger dogs will alert you if they sense something different.
Guarding Behavior / Territorial |
Do Leonberger dogs have aggressive behavior to protect their home/house/territory? Do they have guarding instincts?
Leonbergers are extremely protective guard dogs. This breed doesn't hesitate to protect its territory so the Leonberger can be a good choice if you want an excellent guard dog. Keep calm and the Leonberger will take care of unwanted people or animals.
Biting Potential |
Do Leonberger bite humans? How likely are you to get bitten from the Gentle Giant? What are the odds of getting bitten by a Leonberger? Why do dog bites happen?
The Leonberger has a low chance of biting somebody. Top reasons for dog bite: protection, pain, excitement, herding instinct, being provoked. (Data based on the available online bite statistics.)
Bite Force |
Does the Leonberger has a hard bite? What is the bite force of a Leonberger? How much bite force does a Leonberger have?
Above 400 PSI 🔼
Leonberger bite force: The Strongest. Dogs that have a strong bite force are usually quite powerful and large.
They are very protective of themselves and their families, therefore a dog bite from them could be exceptionally dangerous with their PSI being above 400.
It is important that they’re trained to be around others safely.
How much mouthing/nipping/play biting does the Leonberger do?
Leonbergers have a higher than average tendency to nip, chew, play-bite, or herd people. It's a common habit during puppyhood, not aggressive behavior. These "bites" don't hurt, but Leonbergers need to be taught for a good attitude.
Impulse to Wander or Roam |
How likely is the Leonberger to run away? Does this breed explore or wander a lot? Does Leonberger roam?
Leonbergers tend to escape less than other breeds. They have low to average wanderlust potential. Exploring the world is not the best activity they can imagine.
Prey Drive |
Do this canine have a strong prey drive? Does Leonberger have high prey drive?
Leonbergers have a higher impulse to chase and catch something than other dog breeds. Cats or any other small animals might be in danger. It's a natural instinct, doesn't necessarily mean that Leonbergers are aggressive. Better to keep this breed on a leash.
Apartment Friendly |
Is Leonberger good as an apartment dog? Can they live in a flat?
Not an apartment-friendly dog the Leonberger breed. If you don't have a garden, think carefully about your decision, keeping Leonberger indoors can cause a lot of problems.
Are they adaptable and easy-going?
Average: Leonbergers adapt to lifestyle changes and different living environments quite okay usually.
Tolerates Being Left Alone |
How long can a Leonberger be left alone?
Leonbergers tend to have separation anxiety when their owners left them alone at home because they bond very closely with them.
Stranger Friendly |
Are they aggressive or friendly towards/with strangers? Leonberger temperament with other people:
Leonbergers are average friendly towards strangers.
Pet Friendly |
Are they pet-friendly dogs? How well do Leonberger dogs get along with other pets? Are Leonberger dogs good with pets? What is this canine temperament with other pets?
Leonbergers are generally with other pets.
Child Friendly |
Are Leonberger dogs kid-friendly? Are they good with young children? Leonberger temperament with children:
Leonbergers are very kid-friendly dogs. This breed enjoys being surrounded by children.
Cat Friendly |
How well do Leonberger dogs get along with cats? Are they good with kittens? What is this fido's temperament with cats? Can they be good with cats? Can the Leonberger breed live with a cat?
Leonbergers are average friendly towards cats.
Dog Friendly |
Is Leonberger good with other dogs? Are they dog-friendly dogs? How well do Leonberger dogs get along with other dogs?
Leonbergers are dog-friendly dogs. If you want more dogs in your family or you'd like to join dog meetups, the Leonberger can be a great choice.
Good For First Time Owners |
Is Leonberger breed good for first-time owners? Do they make a good dog for novice owners? Is Leonberger breed suitable for first-time owners?
Leonbergers are good for novice owners, due to their easy-going personality.
Office Friendly |
Are Leonbergers good office dogs? Do Leonbergers make good office friendly dogs? Can Leonbergers be office dogs?
Leonberger is not the best dog breed for office environment.
Senior Citizens Friendly |
Are they senior citizens friendly dogs? How well do Leonberger dogs get along with the elderly people? What is the Gentle Giant temperament with senior people? Are Leonberger dogs good for elderly owners?
Leonbergers are one of the best breeds for elderly people.
Health Issues |
Is it a healthy or unhealthy breed? Do Leonberger dogs have health problems or genetic diseases?
Leonbergers tend to have more frequent health issues than other breeds. Regular vet check-ups are needed.
Health Problems |
What genetic/health problems does the Leonberger breed have? What are the health issues and concerns of the Leonberger breed? Most common health risks of Leonberger:
|Addison's DiseaseBloatCancerEctropionElbow DysplasiaEntropionEosinophilic PanosteitisHip DysplasiaInherited Polyneuropathy|
Veterinarian Visits |
How often does the Leonberger breed need to go to the vet? How often should you take your dog to the vet? How often should the Leonberger see the vet?
The Leonberger should have a complete physical check-up at least once (but preferably twice) per year. If your dog shows any symptoms, call your veterinarian.
Life Expectancy |
How long do Leonberger dogs live? How old can a Leonberger be? What is the age limit of the Leonberger? How many years can the oldest Leonberger live?
What is the average life expectancy / lifespan of a Leonberger?
The average lifespan of Leonberger: 9 years
Is the Leonberger breed hypoallergenic?
| No |
Leonbergers don't do well with allergy sufferers by causing allergic reaction. Some of the dog breeds are even considered to higher the possibility of an allergic response. Coat type isn't necessarily relevant, because most people are allergic to dander (flakes on the dog's skin) or saliva, not actually to dog hair.
Energy Level |
How much energy does the Leonberger have? What is the activity level of the Leonberger?
Leonbergers have a higher energy level than other dog breeds. If you want a dog for snuggling on the couch, this breed isn't the perfect choice for you.
Activity Requirement / Exercise Need |
How much exercise does a Leonberger need? How much exercise do Leonberger dogs require per day?
Leonbergers need quite a lot of exercise. Daily walks should be on schedule. If you live an active life, this breed can be a good choice for you.
Sleeping Need |
How much sleep does the Leonberger breed need?
Leonbergers are quite energetic dogs and they don't spend too much time with sleeping. If you live an active life, this breed can be a good choice for you.
Average daily food consumption |
How much food does a Leonberger need? What dog products should I buy? How much food does a Leonberger breed eat per day? What is good dog food for Leonberger? How much food should I feed my Leonberger?
|8 to 10 cups of high-quality dry food a day, divided into two meals|
Weight Gain Potential / Prone to Obesity |
How easy to gain weight for this dog? Leonberger risk for obesity:
Average to High: If you don't pay attention to the Leonberger's weight, he can easily gain weight. More than one daily walk should be on schedule. To make your dog happy and fit, feed him with quality dry dog food and live an active life together. Try to find the happy medium between exercise and feeding.
If you notice any weight gain, consult your veterinarian and make a diet plan. Reduce unhealthy food and snacks, and measure the Leonberger's weight regularly.
Weather and Climate |
Which weather condition is preferred by this dog? Can they tolerate hot or cold weather and climate?
| Prefers cold weather |
The Leonberger can adapt well to harsh weather conditions, and also can be a good mountain dog. Dogs can suffer from frostbite and hypothermia in extremely cold weather, so it is important to take precautions to keep your dog safe and comfortable during the winter months.
How stinky is this dog? Why does it smell bad and how to get rid of the smell?
The Leonberger has an average chance of bad smell. Top reasons for dog stinkiness: infection of bad tooth/ear/skin folds, gas attacks.
Drooling Tendency |
Does the Leonberger drool?
The Leonberger is an average drooler. Drooling is the unintentional saliva flowing outside of the mouth. It can be completely normal or a sign of a health problem.
If you notice any change in your dog's drooling habit, you should contact a vet as soon as possible.
Service Dog |
Are they good as service dogs? Can Leonberger be a guide dog? Are they used as seeing-eye dogs?
This breed generally not used as a service dog. A service dog is a term used in the USA to refer to any type of assistance dog specifically trained to help people who have disabilities, such as visual impairment, hearing impairments, mental disorders, seizures, mobility impairment, and diabetes. Service dogs are protected under the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act).
Leonberger is not the best breed for service purposes.
Therapy Dog |
Are they good as therapy dogs? Can Leonberger be a therapy dog? Are they good anxiety dogs? Can a Leonberger be an emotional support animal?
This breed is generally not used as a therapy dog. A therapy dog is a dog that might be trained to provide affection, comfort, and love to people in hospitals, retirement homes, nursing homes, schools, hospices, disaster areas, and people with anxiety disorders or autism.
Leonberger is not the best breed for therapeutic purposes.
Detection Dog or Sniffer Dog |
Are they good as detection dogs? Can Leonberger be a sniffer dog?
They are not typically employed for this type of work, but there may be exceptional cases. A detection dog or sniffer dog is a dog that is trained to use its senses (mostly its smell) to detect substances such as explosives, illegal drugs, wildlife scat, currency, blood, and contraband electronics such as illicit mobile phones.
Leonberger is not the best breed for detection purposes.
Search and Rescue Dog (SAR) |
Are they good as SAR dogs? Can Leonberger be a search and rescue dog?
This dog breed is not typically used as a search and rescue dog. The use of dogs in search and rescue (SAR) is a valuable component in wilderness tracking, natural disasters, mass casualty events, and locating missing people.
The Leonberger is not the best breed for SAR purposes.
Boat and Sailor Dog |
Are they good as boat dogs? Can Leonberger be a boat dog?
Leonberger breed usually doesn't like being on a boat.
Boat dogs were typically bred for their strength, stamina, and water resistance, as they were often required to perform tasks such as pulling in fishing nets, and jumping into the water to retrieve ropes or lines, or helping to move cargo.
Sailor dog is a type of dog that was bred to accompany sailors on their voyages. They were typically used for three purposes: as a working dog, a watchdog, and as a companion. A boat dog is a term used to describe a type of dog that was traditionally bred and used as a working dog on boats.
Cart Pulling or Drafting Dog |
Are they good as cart pulling dogs? Can Leonberger be a drafting dog?
A drafting dog or draft dog is a dog bred and used for cart pulling. Dogs bred for this work have strong builds and qualities that are needed, strength and determination.
Leonberger breed is a good choice for drafting purposes.
Fighting Dog / Military Dog |
Where Leonberger dogs used as fighting / military dogs in history?
In history, this breed was not really used for combat dog.
Gestation Length |
How long is a Leonberger pregnant?How long does it take to have puppies? How to tell if the Leonberger breed is pregnant?
Reproductive cycle of the female Leonberger: The first period called Proestrus lasts for about 9 days.
During this time the females start to attract males. You can notice by swelling vulva and bloody discharge.
The second part is the Estrus when the female is receptive for the male. It lasts for about 3 to 11 days.
The sign of the proestrus part is the soft and enlarged vulva. The discharge decreases and lightens in color.
The third part is the Diestrus. Normally, it occurs around day 14. In this period the female’s discharge changes for vivid red and coming to its end. The vulva returns to average, and she will no longer permit mating.
The fourth part called the Anestrus. The time frame between heat periods normally lasts about six months.
Once a year.
More frequent breeding is not healthy. It is very important not to buy a dog from a puppy mill, where the needs of the pups and their mothers are ignored. It's an inhumane high-volume dog breeding facility, where puppies born several times a year.
Litter Size |
How many puppies can the Leonberger have in a litter? How many puppies can the Leonberger breed have for the first time? How many puppies does a Leonberger have? How many puppies can a Leonberger give birth to?
AKC Group |
Is Leonberger recognized by the American Kennel Club?
|Recognized by the American Kennel Club in 2010 as a Working breed.|
FCI Group |
Is Leonberger recognized by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI)?
|Recognized by FCI in the Pinscher and Schnauzer - Molossoid and Swiss Mountain and Cattledogs group, in the Molossian type section.|
Breed Recognition |
What kennel clubs and organizations recognize or register the Leonberger breed?
|American Canine RegistryAmerican Kennel ClubAmerica's Pet RegistryCanadian Kennel ClubDog Registry of America Inc.Federation Cynologique InternationaleKennel Club of Great BritainNorth American Purebred Registry, Inc.American Canine Association, Inc.Continental Kennel ClubNational Kennel ClubNew Zealand Kennel Club|
Leonberger Pros and Cons
- Watchdog Ability: Leonbergers are one of the best watchdogs.
- Impulse to Wander or Roam: Leonbergers tend to escape less than other breeds.
- Child Friendly: Leonbergers are very kid-friendly dogs.
- Dog Friendly: Leonbergers are dog-friendly dogs.
- Senior Citizens Friendly: Leonbergers are one of the best breeds for elderly people.
- Good For First Time Owners: Leonbergers are good for novice owners, due to their easy-going personality.
- Cart Pulling or Drafting Dog: A drafting dog or draft dog is a dog bred and used for cart pulling.
- Health Issues: Leonbergers tend to have more frequent health issues than other breeds.
- Hypoallergenic: Leonbergers don't do well with allergy sufferers by causing allergic reaction.
- Apartment Friendly: Not an apartment-friendly dog the Leonberger breed.
- Shedding Level: Leonbergers are heavy shedders.
- Weight Gain Potential / Prone to Obesity: Average to High: If you don't pay attention to the Leonberger's weight, he can easily gain weight.
- Mouthiness: Leonbergers have a higher than average tendency to nip, chew, play-bite, or herd people.
- Tolerates Being Left Alone: Leonbergers tend to have separation anxiety when their owners left them alone at home because they bond very closely with them.
- Office Friendly: Leonberger is not the best dog breed for office environment.
As we can assume from its name already, the Leonberger originally comes from Germany. However, their background is very mysterious and many stories have been told. According to the legend its appearance was meant to mimic a lion. This type of breed actually came about in the early 19th century when a German citizen, the salesman called Heinrich Essig, who had a passion for collection different kind of animals, bred a St. Bernard and a Landseer Newfoundland and kept doing it for 4 years but there are no written records about it. The very first registered Leonberger was born in 1846 but the breed was only officially recognized by FCI in 1955.
Although once the breed became popular, it was said that its popularity spread in the royal households in Germany, France, Austria-Hungary, etc. According to the American Kennel Club Essig donated the breed to royals like Napoleon II and they were believed to have owned Leonbergers as guard dogs. “At one time, Garibaldi, the Prince of Wales, King Umberto of Italy, and the Czar of Russia all owned Leonbergers.”
After the death of Essig in 1889, the first Leonberger Clubs were founded in Germany but unfortunately weren’t very successful and it was not until the year 1895 when Alber Kull founded the “Internationaler Klub für Leonbergerhunde”.
However then World War I and II came and they were used for pulling carts in both world wars which was one of the reasons that their breed became extinct after the wars. Only a very small amount of people were able to keep their dogs alive. Another important fact could add more to the picture that according to researchers they were imported to Canada in the early 1900s and were being used as water rescue dogs. After the two world wars, Hans Weigelschmidt became committed to rebuilding the breed and their first task was to recreate the German standard. But it was not just him, but also others such as Karl Stadelmann and Otto Josenhans who actually saved the breed as it is known today by all of us. After four years of dedication and hard work, they have successfully bred 350 Leonbergers and created the official Breed Registry.
Today researchers are sure that there must be many more dogs involved in Leonberger’s bloodline than the ones Essig claims. Modern genetics suggests that it would be impossible to create this breed from only three breeds.
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Leonberger Comments, Reviews and Questions
- Clarissa Edwards
May 27, 2021, 6:49:54 PM:
leonbergers are not cat friendly and have same sex dog aggression. this should be noted but instead it says theyre dog and cat friendly