Leonberger

Leonberger

Breed Fact

Country of Origin: Germany
Hypoallergenic: No
Height: Female: 65–75 cm, Male: 72–80 cm
Weight: Female: 41–59 kg, Male: 48–75 kg
Color: Mahogany, Red, Sandy, Yellow
Life Expectancy: 7 – 9 years
Temperament: Obedient, Fearless, Companionable, Adaptable, Loving, Loyal
Litter Size: 3 - 8 puppies
Health Problems: As with all giant breeds, they are prone to hip dysplasia and other skeletal diseases/disorders. Also eyelid defects and bone disease. Possible behavioral problems.

Brief info: This breed was established in 1846 in Leonberg, Germany, in the region of Wurttemberg by the German breeder Heinrich Essing from a crossing of the Newfoundland, St. Bernard, and the Great Pyrenees. Heinrich Essing's goal was to create a breed that would closely resemble the look of a lion.

Leonbergers have been owned by many royal families including Napoleon II of France, Empress Elizabeth of Austria, the Prince of Wales, Emperor Napoleon II, Bismarck and Italian King Umberto. In the nineteenth century many Leonbergers were imported to Russia. Like many breeds, the world wars almost brought it to extinction.

By the end of World War II, only a few dogs remained. In 1945, several Germans gathered some of the few remaining Leonbergers and re-established the breed. This is a very large, muscular working dog. The head is rectangular shaped and deeper than it is broad. Males heads are generally larger than females heads. The skull is somewhat domed. It has a black mask and a rather long muzzle.

The black mask should not extend above the eyebrows; the mask can be up to the eyes or above the eyes, but never over the entire head. The large nose is always black with clearly outlined nostrils. The lips should be black, and are usually tight and dry. In males with a very majestic head, slightly loose flews and sometimes slightly open hooks of eyes are often found. Loose flews collect saliva, so some males might drool slightly.

The teeth should meet in a scissors or level bite. The medium-sized ears are triangular in shape, fleshy, hanging flat and close to the head. The tips of the ears are level with corners of the mouth. The neck is muscular and strong with no dewlap. The medium to long, water-resistant, double coat comes in lion-yellow, golden to red, red-brown, sand, cream, pale yellow and any combination of those colors, always with a black mask. All colors may have shorter, medium or long black tips on the outer coat.