In the 19th century, Heinrich Essig, an animal collector and mayor of the German city of Leonberger, is credited with the creation of the large, gentle-tempered Leonberger. A gentle giant, the Leonberger combines size, beauty, intelligence, with a mild-tempered nature with the ability to perform hard work on land and in water.The Leonberger’s standout qualities are its loyalty, love of children, and its willingness to learn. He is an excellent family dog because he is playful and good-natured. Rather than become aggressive in adverse situations, the Leonberger is much more likely to walk away. However, they make excellent watchdogs, because they are very discriminating.
Though they will rarely bark unnecessarily, they will not hesitate to be vocal if a threatening situation (such as the presence of an intruder or trespasser) presents itself. The Leonberger is eager to please and responds well to training. Its temperament is suitable for children of all ages, and unlike many larger dogs, it will not normally dominate people or other animals. The Leonberger will do well in an apartment if it has plenty of opportunities to exercise or play in a large yard.
They can live both inside and outside, and love to be a part of family outings, swim, hike, and pull carts and sleds.Leonberger dogs will grow to a height of 29-31 inches, while bitches will measure 27-29 inches. Males can weigh anywhere between 130-170 pounds while bitches will weigh 100-130 pounds. The overall appearance of the Leonberger is strong, muscular, and graceful with great balance and a durable body.
Its coat color should be golden-yellow to red-brown, with a black or dark mask on the face. The coat will require weekly brushing and Leonbergers should only be bathed when necessary. He is a seasonally heavy shedder, and while shedding, it should only be brushed and combed once daily. Its coat should be medium-soft to rough in texture and long, sleek, and not too wavy. Although waviness is allowed, the coat should never be curly. The Leo has a beautiful mane, which will develop between the ages of two and three.
The mane and feathering on the fore- and hind legs and the underside of the tail may be lighter but should blend well with the main color. The color of the tail should be the same color as the body coat and “badger-colored” tails are allowed.The Leonberger is a big dog with few drawbacks for those who enjoy big, fun-loving, active dogs.