The Leonberger – The Giant Dog

The Leonberger is a giant dog breed. They get their name from the city of Leonberg in Germany. They are large, brave and make great defender dogs. They are very lively and affectionate. They have unparalleled love for their family.


This breed was established in Leonberg, Germany in 1830s by the German breeder Heinrich Essing. They are a crossbreeding of Great Bernard, Newfoundland and The Great Pyrenees. They were bred to resemble the lion. They have been owned by many European royals including Napolean II, Prince of Whales and Empress Elizabeth of Austria amongst others. This breed was almost brought to extinction by the World Wars. Several Germans gathered the few remaining dogs and reestablished the breed. They were used as farm dogs for guarding and rescue.

The Leonberger

Physical Traits

The Leonberger is a huge, muscular dog. They weigh 65-75 kgs and their height ranges from 26 to 31 inches. They are large and well-built but at the same time very noble too. They have beautiful, brown, almond-shaped eyes. The Leonbergers have a water resistant double coat on their body and shorter one on the limbs. Their coat is straight and soft. They are lion yellow to reddish brown in color.


The Leonberger has very high energy levels and is extremely intelligent too. They make excellent guard and therapy dogs. They are very devoted to their family and would do anything to please their master. They are very friendly and trustworthy. They have a very sweet expression and tend to love everyone. They love being with their family and do not like to be left alone.


Their fur needs maintenance and should be brushed regularly. They are seasonal heavy shedders and during the spring and fall seasons, they need to be brushed daily. Hot spots are a common problem with this breed and can be avoided by removing their dead undercoat to let air get down to their skin.

Living Conditions

They are huge dogs and need to be raised in a house with a yard as opposed to an apartment. They also need an SUV and would not fit in a small car. They do not need much activity and would suffice with a daily walk. They have an average life expectancy of 11 years.

Why is the Leonberger the right dog for you?

  • They are bold, giant and rugged
  • They are stable and dependable
  • They are protective with an imposing bark
  • They love outdoor activities like hiking and swimming
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