|The Leonberger is a dog of impressive size and elegant appearance.
Although the population of many breeds was
decimated during World War I, today the breed has
recovered nicely. The breed is well known in
several European countries, but in many countries of the
world is still considered a rare breed.
The Leonberger is a giant breed, with a distinct
sexual dimorphism. Females are65-75 cm (25 1/2 - 29 1/2 inches) tall and
weigh about 48 kg (105 pounds). Males are 72-80 cm (28 - 31 1/2 inches)
tall with an average weight of over 60 kg (132 lbs). They are double
coated and come in many shades of brown (from a sand color to dark reddish
brown) and often have black tips on their guard hairs.
Their most distinguishing feature is a black facial mask. Leonbergers
should be a dog with good substance, yet have elegant movement and gentle
||The Leonberger is classified by
the FCI in the molossians, type mountain dog (Group 2, Section 2.2), the
Leonberger is not a typical working breed that was bred to serve one
purpose. Today's Leonberger is best described as a family
companion who takes the "work" of making certain his human family is not
lonely. While not the best choice for a running or bicycling
companion, Leonbergers do enjoy hiking, swimming and gatherings of
family and friends. Leonbergers can be trained to do almost
anything as long as you have patience and a sense of humor!
Leonbergers have captured working titles in obedience, water rescue,
agility, carting and herding and seem to have a natural ability as
therapy dogs. They are happiest as a member of a family that
includes the Leonberger in daily activities.
|Guido Perosino, the founder of
the Italian Leonberger club, notes in his 1998 book, The Leonberger:
". . . the most interesting
characteristic of the Leonberger is his lack of specialization. Although
his is the body, the strength and the muscle of a typical working dog,
the fact that he has been selectively bred for the balanced temperament
of a house dog. . rather than for any precise working task, has gifted
him with a versatility almost unique on the present canine scene. The
Leonberger adapts himself well and often spontaneously to various uses;
he seems to know instinctively what is expected of him."
While not the perfect dog for everyone, they
are a true mix of canine strength and elegance at its best.