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208 Breeds, 422 Health Conditions  |  Find a Vet

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Leonberger Facts

  • Group
  • Other Breed Classes
  • Affiliations
  • CKC, UKC
  • Height
  • 25.5" - 31.5"
  • Weight
  • 100-135 lbs.
  • Lifespan
  • 10 years | Add yours

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  • Exercise Requirement
  • High - This breed requires vigorous daily activity
  • Training Requirement
  • Average Training Time
  • Grooming Requirement
  • Moderate
  • Colors
    • Cream
    • Red
    • Yellow
  • Breed Characteristics
    • Good with children
    • Ok outdoors
    • Rescue heritage

True Cost Of Ownership

Alternate Names

none known


This breed developed in Leonberg in south-west Germany.

Date Of Origin

The breed was created in 1846 however the official standard was not set until 1949.


Breeder, Heinrich Essing created the Leonberger by crossing the Newfoundland, St. Bernard, and the Great Pyrenees. The popular legend is that it was bred to resemble the coat-of-arms animal of Leonberg, the lion. The Leonberger was always a companion rather than a working dog. It almost became extinct following WWI but the breed was revitalized by fanciers.


The Leonberger is a strong, powerful dog that is well proportioned with a powerful head that is deeper than it is wide. The end of its deep muzzle is black and it has medium size drop ears and brown eyes. The tail is long and bushy. The double coat has a dense undercoat and long, weather-resistant outer coat. It may be coarse or soft and is wavy, longest at the neck and chest and the tail. Color ranges from gold to reddish brown with a dark or black mask. The hair may have black tips and there may be small, white markings on the chest and toe tips.


Bred as a companion, the Leonberger makes an excellent family dog: affectionate, playful, and very good with children. It is protective of family and home.


This is an outstanding water rescue dog. Only a short period of training is needed to augment its natural instincts. Not only does it have a water proof coat, but nature has furnished it with webs between its toes which facilitate swimming. It is also a notable companion dog.

Health Concerns

Addison?s disease, bloat, cancer, ectropion, entropion, hip and elbow dysplasia, hypothyroidism, OCD

Additional Information

It does best with an active family in a rural or suburban home.

This dog sheds frequently. Consistent, professional grooming will all but eliminate this issue.

Show Sources & Contributors +


The Howell Book Of Dogs

Publisher: Wiley Publishing Inc, 2007

Website: http://www.wiley.com/WileyCDA/

Author: Liz Palika

Dog Bible

Publisher: BowTie Press, 2005

Website: http://www.bowtiepress.com/bowtie/

Authors: Kristin Meuh-Roe, Jarelle S. Stein

Simon & Schusters Guide to Dogs

Publisher: Simon & Schuster inc, 1980

Website: http://www.simonandschuster.com

Author: Elizabeth Meriwether Schuler

The New Encyclopedia of the Dog

Publisher: Dorling Kindersley Publishing, 2000

Website: http://www.dk.com

Author: Bruce Fogle


Publisher: WikiMedia Foundation, On Going

Website: http://en.wikipedia.org/

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