The Leonberger dog is a very large, long-haired breed that originated in Germany. It comes in a variety of colors and has a characteristic black mask that extends above the eyes. Leonbergers are strong, powerful dogs, and when full-grown, they can weigh more than 100 pounds.
Classified as mountain dogs, Leonbergers are adept at agility training, water rescue and herding. Because of their calm temperaments, they are useful as therapy dogs.
Leonberger dogs have a thick, water-resistant double coat, with finer hair on the muzzle and limbs. Coat colors include lion-yellow, red, red-brown and sand, sometimes featuring black tips. The chest and toes may exhibit a small, white patch. Owners should brush their coats at least once a week, except when the undercoat sheds. Owners should not shave this breed, as it may affect the dog’s natural ability to regulate body temperature.
Leonbergers are family dogs bred to be both a companion and a watch dog. They are generally good with children and are loyal and intelligent. Early socialization, training and bonding is critical in order to raise dogs that are obedient and well-mannered.
The Leonberger is generally a healthy breed and much less prone to hip dysplasia that is common in other large breeds. This is due to the fact that many breeders actively screen using X-Rays evaluated by the Orthopedic Foundation of Animals.