With its friendly nature, the Leonberger is very well suited as a family dog. He copes well with lively hustle and bustle, as he has strong nerves and a good-natured character. To protect his master, the strong and clever dog barks loudly at unwanted guests. The gentle strongman needs a lot of exercise.
The FCI, the largest international, canine umbrella organization, divides the Leonberger dog into group 2 Pinscher and Schnauzer, Molosser and Swiss Mountain Dogs one. It is also assigned to subgroup 2.2 as a Mountain Dogs subordinate. As a cross between St. Bernard, Newfoundland and Pyrenean, the Leonberger is one of the very large dog breeds. From his ancestors, the Leonberger has inherited the genetic material for a strong stature.
Adult females can reach a height of 75 cm and a weight of 60 kg. The males even reach 80 cm in height and up to 70 kg in weight. Leonbergers are very muscular dogs. They have a broad back and strong legs. This allows the animal to move smoothly and powerfully. The dog has a strong urge to move and also actively demands the movement.
The Leonberger has dense, soft and long fur. The coat color is often a mixture of sandy and reddish-brown tones. On the neck and chest area, the dog's coat resembles a lion's mane. The tail, which is usually carried on the back, is also densely coated. The face of the Leonberger is always dark, almost black. His eyes are brown and he has medium-sized, pendulous ears.
The Leonberger has a calm and quiet nature, yet he is well suited as a house and guard dog. His loud bark and confident demeanor scare off uninvited guests. Leonbergers were once used to protect herds of cattle from predators. Accordingly, the dogs know who to watch out for and courageously take on the defense.
If things get chaotic and lively in the family, this does not upset the Leonberger. The family dog and can handle noise and reacts calmly due to his good nerves. He can integrate well into different family situations.
Leonbergers love to romp and play and need plenty of exercise every day. Large walks in nature are mandatory. Dogs of this breed also love water and can swim well. Leonbergers can adapt well. However, these large and agile dogs should not be kept in a city apartment. In a rural environment with plenty of space and freedom of movement, the dogs feel comfortable.
With a calm and consistent education you will achieve the most with a Leonberger. These dogs have a lot of temperament, play instinct and strength. However, they are willingly submissive to humans. With loving training, you will be rewarded with a faithful companion who will follow the rule and accompany you everywhere.
The right food
The Leonberger has a muscular physique and other characteristics specific to the breed. For this reason, this breed belongs to the demanding dog breeds in terms of nutrition. The age of your dog also plays an important role. You should adapt the diet to the respective phase of life. This way you can be sure that your dog gets all the necessary nutrients.
Sometimes the animals also have an intolerance to certain contents in the dog food. Or they have to get special food because of an illness. You can test and clarify this with the vet in each individual case. In general, there are the following recommendations for the diet of Leonbergers:
Young Leonbergers must not be given food that is too rich in energy, otherwise they will grow too fast. This could later lead to health problems with the musculoskeletal system. Puppies also have a high mineral requirement. Therefore, the food should contain a lot of calcium, for example. An adult male dog, on the other hand, who is physically very active, needs food that is rich in protein and energy.
Large dogs are considered seniors from 6 years. In this phase of life, light and digestible food is ideal. Because at this age, the digestive processes and organ functions are limited. Dog seniors often have complaints of bones and joints. Excess weight increases the pain of the dog and should therefore be avoided, especially in old age.
The right amount of food is also very important. The dog should 1. generally not eat too much and 2. in no case too much at once. Two to three smaller meals a day are better than one big one.
If the Leonberger romps too wildly right after a large and rich meal, his stomach may twist. A twisted stomach clamps the blood supply and is very dangerous for the dog. He should eat calmly and be left alone after the meal.
Like any other dog, the Leonberger is happy about small rewards in the form of treats. They can be beneficial for the education of the animal. Give them to your dog from time to time but in moderation.
The acquisition as well as the attitude of the imposing animals require the necessary small change and a lot of time. Enough exercise is an absolute must. The Leonberger is very people-oriented and affectionate. It will make him happy if he lives with active people. He will also love to be an integral part of family activities.
A distinctive feature of the Leonberger is its long, dense coat. This beautiful feature of the breed is very costly to maintain. Before buying, you should know that this dog breed is very hairy. The long coat needs regular brushing to get rid of the loose hairs. During the coat change, the grooming is especially intense. You should brush your dog daily during this time. If the dog learns to sit still as a puppy, you will both have an easier time with this procedure.
You can simply brush out small pieces of dirt. Too frequent bathing damages the balance of the dog's skin and coat. Make sure, especially in summer, to thoroughly check the animal's coat for ticks and vermin after walks through woods and meadows.
If you follow these care tips and pay attention to good food, the coat of your Leonberger will shine beautifully and look well-groomed. Teach your dog the commands for grooming early. He will get used to it with time. This will keep the time required within limits.