10 quick facts about the leonberger dog breed petrage

10 Interesting Facts About the Leonberger Dog Breed

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Should You Get a Leonberger?

The Leonberger dog breed is a relatively new breed, developed by Heinrich Essig in the mid 19th century. It was bred from the Landseer Newfoundland, Saint Bernard, and then a Pyrenean mountain dog.

Essig wanted to create a robust and large-sized breed of working dogs that could serve as rescue dogs in mountains and rivers. The resulting breed was named Leonberger after the lion (“leon”) found on the town of Leonbergs emblem, combined with the description of being from “Bären” (bear) country.

The Leonberger was used during World War II as a military dog and search and rescue dog. They faced extinction after the war, with records suggesting there were only 5-10 Leonbergs left alive!

The Leonberger dog breed is still considered a rare breed even though more and more people are looking to add this canine cutie into their homes!

Because of their gentle disposition, Leonbergers generally make excellent therapy dogs.


The Leonberger is Germany’s heaviest dog breed, with the average male weighting 110-170 and females weighing 90-140 pounds.

They shed a lot during spring and fall months but just enough during summer and winter. Brushing their coat every two weeks will help control excess shedding while bathing once a month works well for the rest of the year.

The Leonberger is generally healthy; however, they are prone to certain hereditary diseases that they share with many other breeds: hip and elbow dysplasia, gastric torsion and some eye diseases.

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The Leonberger is a very friendly breed, good with children and very loyal to its family. They are highly intelligent and excel at obedience training, as well as being talented show dogs. When in need of a job they will willingly work hard to please their owners, whether it is as a watchdog, pulling loads or even rescuing people.

The interesting history of the Leonberger breed started when a lion was spotted in Germany and there were rumors of a potential cross between the Newfoundland dog breed and the lion!

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