Did you know?
Leonbergers are playful and love water. They have even been known to spit water and blow bubbles in their water dishes!
‘Tis sweet to hear the watch dog’s honest bark bay deep-mouthed welcome as we draw near home;
‘Tis sweet to know there is an eye will mark our coming and look brighter when we come. – Lord Byron
Considered to be the oldest German pure breed, the Leonberger or Leo originated in Leonberg, Germany in the mid-1800s.
Leonberg’s Mayor, Heinrich Essig tried to create a large dog that looked like the lion on the town’s crest.
He crossed a St. Bernard with a Newfoundland and then introduced other giant breeds to produce the lion-like appearance. By 1846, the Leonberger was born. The Leo was used as a draught animal and to guard livestock.
Photos displayed courtesy of France Jacob, Beralléo, Quebec
This dog is a true giant. Males can stand up to 30 inches at the shoulder and weigh up to 150 lbs. As his name suggests, the Leo is lion-coloured and has a luxurious, weather-proof, double coat. The coat can be any shade of yellow with black points or tips on the body fur. The Leo’s face has a black mask. As might be expected of a descendant of Newfoundland dogs, the Leo has webbed feet and is a strong swimmer.
A large and impressive looking dog possessing a friendly, gentle, and open expression, the Leonberger looks to be what he is, a wonderful family companion with a fondness for children. Nicknamed the “gentle lion”, the Leo is extremely family-oriented. He loves activity and happily participates in hiking, running, swimming, and socializing. Although he is lively and enthusiastic in temperament, he is also content to sit at his master’s feet as part of the family unit.
Leos are adept at activities that require strength and gentleness together such as water rescue, carting, agility, tracking, and therapy. The Leo is loyal, dependable, intelligent, and is easily trained. He makes a good watchdog.