An Affectionate Watchdog: The Leonberger

by PetCloud / Breed Search / 26 Jul 2020

Happy Leonberger with tongue out

If you are looking for a strong and affectionate dog that will also protect the house, a Leonberger might just be the perfect dog for you. Here is a look at everything you need to know about this dynamic working breed!

Breed Snapshot

  • Size Large dog (40-77kg)
  • Coat Moderate shedding coat, needs to be brushed at least once a week to remove dead hair and dirt
  • Energy Moderate energy dog that should be walked daily for at least an hour.
  • Lifespan 9 years
  • Country of origin Germany
  • Breed type Large working dog that was bred for companionship. This dog has a sweet temperament and is profoundly loyal to his or her human family
  • Other names “Lion dog”
  • Great breed for: Home with yard, Families with kids, Watchdog

An Introduction to the Leonberger

A gentle giant that was first bred during the 1800s in Germany, the Leonberger is a sweet and docile dog that is profoundly protective of its human family. The Leonberger is a playful dog that enjoys kids and will go on an adventure into the bush with an active family.

Leonbergers know how to protect their family and will let out deep and intimidating barks when strangers come near. This dog was bred to resemble a lion, and true to the lion’s nature, this dog can be territorial. Leonbergers are elegant dogs that stand tall and have a gate that exudes self-confidence. The Leonberger is a show dog and they know it!

What Does the Leonberger Look Like?

First and foremost, this dog is big! A full grown Leonberger can weigh the same as a small adult, so this dog can be intimidating for those who are not used to being around big dogs. The Leonberger was bred to resemble a lion, complete with bushy head fur that resembles a lion’s mane.

The Leonberger has a thick coat of fur that comes in a variety of colours including yellow, red, mahogany, and chocolate brown. The coat is short and requires frequent brushing to remove dead hair that it sheds and debris.

The Leonberger is a large breed working class dog that measure in at 63 – 78cm and weigh between 40 – 77kg. Males are quite a bit larger than females, but they all are hard workers and loving pets. This dog has a muscular build and powerful legs that allow it to work when it needs to and run fast. The Leonberger is a great dog to bring along if you want to go for a run or a hike.

This dog has a big head with a protruding snout, short floppy ears, and a furry tail that hangs down when he or she is relaxed. If you want a big dog with an even bigger heart, consider welcoming home this beautiful breed.

What Kind of Diet Should I Feed My Leonberger?

Your Leonberger needs to eat a diet that is highly nutritious so it receives all of the vitamins and minerals needed to maintain his or her large body. Feed your dog high-quality pet food or human food. Before feeding your dog human food, consult with your vet to determine which foods are good and bad for your specific dog. Treats can be given to your dog in moderation.

How Do I Groom My Leonberger?

Leonbergers are shedders, which means you will need to comb out their thick inner and outer coat at least once a week to keep your dog looking clean and healthy. This breed does not require trips to a professional groomer unless you want to take him or her there for special treatment. You can bathe your Leonberger whenever he or she gets dirty or starts to smell “doggy.”

Trim your Leonberger’s nails at least once every couple of weeks so they do not get too long and snag on furnishings, carpet, or objects outside. If you leave your dog’s nails to grow long, their paws can become infected, causing them pain. You can clean your Leonberger’s ears with a dog ear cleaning solution that flushes all the debris out. Refrain from swabbing your dog’s ears as you can cause him or her injury if you go too deep into the ear canal.

How Do I Train My Leonberger?

It is extremely important to train your Leonberger when he or she is a puppy as they are big dogs that can pull owners around when leashed and knock you over if he or she jumps on you. Unless you have a lot of experience training dogs, you should sign your dog up for obedience lessons with a professional trainer. Whilst at obedience class, your Leonberger puppy will learn how to socialise with other people and other dogs. Be sure to pick out a reputable trainer that only uses positive reinforcement training techniques so that your puppy grows up to trust people.

Leonberger FAQs

What is the lifespan of a Leonberger?

The Leonberger is a large breed dog that has a lifespan of about 9 years with the proper diet and a good amount of exercise. Large dog breeds have a slightly shorter lifespan that smaller dogs.

Is a Leonberger hypoallergenic?

No! This dog breed sheds quite a bit throughout the year, which will send your pet allergies into a tailspin. You should not consider bringing home a Leonberger if you suffer from moderate to severe pet allergies.

Can my leonberger be left home alone?

Leonbergers can be left home alone whilst you are at work if you provide him or her with plenty of things to do to occupy its mind whilst you are gone. When you get home, be sure to take this dog on a long walk as they need to burn off energy.

Can a Leonberger live in an apartment?

Leonbergers are not apartment dogs as they need a lot of space to roam around. It is best to only get this breed if you have a spacious home with a yard he or she can roam around in.


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