Country of OriginGermany
Nicknames and Other NamesLeo
Gentle Giant
Gentle Lion
Scientific NameCanis lupus fimiliaris
Breed TypePurebred
GroupWorking Group
Bred ForWorking in farms, pastures, waterfronts
Life Span7 years
Ideal WeightMale: 110-170 pounds
Female: 90-140 pounds
Ideal HeightMale: 28-31.5 inches
Female: 25.5-29.5 inches
Fur TypeMedium to the short length, water-resistant,
double coat
Common ColorsSandy, Red, Yellow, Reddish Brown
MarkingsBlack mask
AvailabilityWidely available
AchievementsImported by Canada government
as a water life-saving dog
Suitable for ApartmentsNo
Used in World WarUsed in World War II to
pull ammunition cart
Most Similar ToEstrela Mountain Dog

The Leonberger is a big-sized, lion-like dog which has a masculine feature with a head that is deep than broad, rectangular in shape. The muzzle length and the length of the back skull is approximately equal. Their chest is broad and deep. the forelegs are muscular, straight, well-boned and parallel to each other. They have a long feathery tail.

The Leonberger has a long, double, weather-resistance, moderately soft coat. They shed heavily twice a year and fairly the rest of the year. Groom them at least twice a week, to remove dead hair and to keep their coat soft and shed free.

Origin and History

The Leonberger is originated in Leonberg, Germany in the mid-nineteenth century. They were originally developed as a working dog and soon they become companions for people and was owned by famous celebrities and rich family.

Leonberger nearly become extinct during World War I with only 25 being left and only 5 were of breeding quality. Thanks to Stadelmann and Josenhans who started a club to protect Leonberger from extinction.

Is Leonberger Child-Friendly?

Leonberger is affectionate and adore children but due to their massive size, they should not be left alone with children as they might fall on them and injure them very badly. Otherwise, with proper supervision, Leonberger makes great playmates and a fluffy pillow or even beds for toddlers.

Leonberger is child friendly
Baby Girl playing with Leonberger dog.
Image Source: the spurce pets

Temperament, Behavior, and Personality

Temperament: The temperament of Leonberger is gentle and sensitive. They are loving and loyal towards their family who dislikes family arguments as they are sensitive and will try to intervene. They do not prefer kennel, they love to be with their family inside the house.

Behavior: Leonberger is known as a gentle dog but before he hits his maturity, he is a stubborn and sometimes a destructive adolescent. As a child, he is a chewer who starts chewing anything on his reach. His this kind of behavior can be trained as he steps on maturity.

Personality: Leonberger has a big and gentle personality. They are quite friendly with other pets and can get along with them pretty well. But they should be socialized at an early age so they do not show their reserved behavior around other dogs and strangers.


Training Leonberger can be a difficult task to do as they are big and stubborn. Start training at their young age so they do not get out of hand at their adulthood. He is likely to respond to a firm., gentle and consistent training. Reward with treats and vocal praises as to encourage and motivate them.


  • The founder of Leonberger is Heinrich Essig. It is said that he wanted a dog who has a lion-like appearance.
  • The male Leonberger is more masculine than female and the female has a devotion looks on her face.
  • The average life span of Leonberger is 7 years which is low compared to many other breeds.

Health Issues

General HealthHealthy
Common Health IssuesElbow Dysplasia, Cancer, Cataracts,
Entropion, Bloat, Inherited Polyneuropathy,
Addison’s Disease
Vaccination RequiredRabies, Kennel Cough, Leptospirosis,
Canine Parainfluenza, Canine Distemper,
Canine Parvovirus, Canine Coronavirus
SheddingHeavy Shedder
DroolingAverage Drooler
GroomingAverage Grooming Required
Weight Gain PotentialAverage to High
Separation AnxietyHigh Chance
Diets and SupplementsProtein: 30%
Fat: 15%
Fiber: 4%
Fish Oil

Leonberger is generally a healthy dog breed if provided with a good amount of exercise and a proper diet. However, they can face a few health conditions. They are likely to suffer from the following canine diseases:

  • Bloat: Bloat is also called gastric which cause expansion and ballooning of the belly. It is mainly due to improper diet. It can be fatal, so they should be taken to the vet as soon as the sign is seen.
  • Hip Dysplasia: Hip dysplasia is caused due to the dislocation of the hip joints which is because of undeveloped bones. The symptoms you may see is, your dog will have difficult to move from one place to another as it causes a lot of pain on the back.
  • Elbow Dysplasia
  • Cancer


The Leonberger comes in the following colors and marking:

  • Red
  • Reddish Brown
  • Sandy
  • Yellow
  • Black marking


Cost: The average cost of the Leonberger puppy is between $2200- $3500 USD. However, if you consider adoption, it will cost very low only with the expenses of taking care of the puppy before adoption.

Height and Size: The average height of the Leonberger male is between 28-31.5 inches and the female is 25.5- 29 inches. The average weight of the male is 110-170 pounds and the weight of the female is 90-140 pounds.

Similar Dog Breeds to Leonberger

Saint Bernard similar dog to leonberger

Saint Bernard

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