FCI-Standard N°145 / 20. 09.
2002 / GB
: Mrs. C. Seidler,
revised by Mrs E.Peper
DATE OF PUBLICATION OF THE
ORIGINAL VALID STANDARD
: Watch, Companion and Family Dog.
F.C.I. : Group
2 Pinscher and Schnauzer, Molossoid breeds, Swiss Mountain and Cattle
Molossoid breeds, Mountain type.
Without working trial.
SUMMARY : At the
end of the thirties, beginning of the forties of the 19th century,
Heinrich Essig, town Councillor in Leonberg near Stuttgart, crossed a black
and white Newfoundland bitch with a so-called “Barry” male from the monastery
hospice Grand St.Bernhard. Later a Pyrenean Mountain Dog was added. This
resulted in very large dogs with predominantly long, white coats. Essig’s aim
was for a lion-like dog. The lion is the heraldic animal of the city of
The first dogs really called
“Leonbergers” were born in 1846. They combined the excellent qualities of the
breeds from which they stemmed.
Only a short time later, many of
these dogs were sold as status symbols from Leonberg all over the world. At
the end of the 19th century, the Leonberger was kept in
Baden-Württemberg as the preferred farm dog. His watch and draft abilities
were much praised.
In both World Wars and the needy
post war times, the numbers of breeding stock reduced dramatically. Today the
Leonberger is an excellent family dog which fulfils all the demands of modern
: According to his original purpose, the Leonberger is a large, strong,
muscular yet elegant dog. He is distinguished by his balanced build and
confident calmness, yet with quite lively temperament. Males, in particular,
are powerful and strong.
: Height at the withers to length of body : 9 to 10. The depth of chest is
nearly 50% of the height at withers.
BEHAVIOUR / TEMPERAMENT
: As a family dog, the Leonberger is an agreeable partner for present day
dwelling and living conditions, who can be taken anywhere without difficulty
and is distinguished by his marked friendliness towards children. He is
neither shy nor aggressive. As a companion, he is agreeable, obedient and
fearless in all situations of life.
The following are particular
requirements of steady temperament :
Self assurance and superior
Medium temperament (including
Willing to be submissive.
Good capacity for learning and
Insensitive to noise.
: On the whole deeper than broad and elongated rather than stocky. Proportion
of length of muzzle to length of skull: about 1 to 1. Skin close fitting all
over, no wrinkles.
Skull : In profile and
seen from the front, slightly arched. In balance with body and limbs, it is
strong but not heavy. The skull at its back part is not substantially broader
than near the eyes.
Stop : Clearly
recognisable but moderately defined.
Nose : Black.
Muzzle : Rather long,
never running to a point; nasal bridge of even breadth, never dipped, rather
slightly arched (roman nose).
Lips : Close fitting,
black, corners of lips closed.
: Strong jaws with a perfect, regular and complete scissor bite, the upper
teeth closely overlapping the lower teeth without any gap, and teeth set
square to the jaw with 42 sound teeth according to the dentition formula
(missing M3 tolerated). Pincer bite is accepted; no constriction at the
canines in the lower jaw.
Cheeks : Only slightly
Eyes : Light brown to
as dark brown as possible, medium size, oval, neither deep set, nor
protruding, neither too close together nor too wide apart. Eyelids close
fitting, not showing any conjunctiva. The white of the eye (the visible part
of the sclera) not reddened.
Ears : Set on high and
not far back, pendant, of medium size, hanging close to the head, fleshy.
: Running in a slight curve without break to the withers. Somewhat long rather
than stocky, without throatiness or dewlap.
Withers : Pronounced,
specially in males.
Back : Firm, straight,
Loins : Broad, strong,
Croup : Broad,
relatively long, gently rounded, flowing to merge with tail set on; never
Chest : Broad, deep,
reaching at least to the level of the elbows. Not too barrel shaped, more
Underline and belly :
Only slightly tucked up.
: Very well furnished; while standing, it hangs down straight; also in
movement it is only slightly curved and if at all possible should not be
carried above the prolongation of the topline.
: Very strong, specially in males.
: Forelegs straight, parallel and not too close.
Shoulders / Upper arm
: Long, sloping, forming a not too blunt angle, well muscled.
Elbows : Close to the
Pastern : Strong,
firm; seen from the front, straight; almost vertical, seen from the side.
Forefeet : Straight
(turning neither in nor out), rounded, tight, toes well arched; black pads.
: Seen from the rear, position of the hind legs not too close, parallel.
Hocks and feet : turned neither in nor out.
Pelvis : Slanting.
Upper thigh : Rather
long, slanting, strongly muscled. Upper and lower thigh form a distinct
Hocks : Strong,
distinct angle between lower thigh and rear pastern.
Hind feet : Standing
straight, only slightly longish. Toes arched, pads black.
GAIT / MOVEMENT
: Ground covering
even movement in all gaits. Extending well in front with good drive from the
hindquarters. Seen from front and behind the limbs move in a straight line
when walking or trotting.
HAIR : Medium soft to
coarse, profusely long, close fitting, never parted, with the shape of the
whole body be visible despite the thick undercoat. Straight, slight wave
still permitted; forming a mane on neck and chest, specially in males;
distinct feathering on front legs and ample breeches on hind legs.
COLOUR : Lion yellow,
red, reddish brown, also sandy (pale yellow, cream coloured) and all
combinations in between, always with a black mask. Black hair tips are
permitted; however, black must not determine the dog’s basic colour.
Lightening up of the basic colour on the underside of the tail, the mane, the
feathering on the front legs and the breeches on the hind legs must not be so
pronounced as to interfere with the harmony of the main colour. A small white
patch or stripe on the chest and white hairs on the toes are tolerated.
Height at the withers
Dogs 72 to 80 cm (recommended average 76 cm).
Bitches 65 to 75 cm (recommended average 70
: Any departure from
the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with
which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree
and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog.
Shy or aggressive dogs.
Severe anatomical faults (i.e.
pronounced cow hocks, pronounced roach back, bad swayback; front feet
turning out extremely. Totally insufficient angulation of shoulder, elbow,
stifle or hock joints.
Brown nose leather.
Very strong lack of pigment in
Absence of teeth (with the
exception of M3). Over- or undershot or other faults in mouth.
Eyes without any brown.
Distinct ring tail or too
highly curled up tail.
Cords or strong curls.
Faulty colours (brown with
brown nose and brown pads; black and tan; black; silver; wild-coat colour).
Complete lack of mask.
Too much white (reaching from
toes onto pasterns), white on chest larger than palm of hand, white in other
dog clearly showing physical or behavioural abnormalities shall be
: Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended
into the scrotum.