The Leonberger is a dog of German origin, impressive in size and elegant in appearance, with a long coat of a brilliant lion-reddish color and a typical black mask covering his face. The Leonberger is well known in many countries while in some others the Leonberger is still considered a rare breed.
The first official documentation of the breed dates back to the first half of the nineteenth century when the municipal councilor, Mr. Heinrich Essig of the Swabian town of Leonberg, near Stuttgart, gave this name to a breed of dogs that he had begun to select in his own kennel.
Since then, there have been many events that have accompanied the development of the breed which has seen periods of great popularity but also at the same time controversies.
The fact is that the Leonberger was appreciated by many from the very beginning for his physical and morphological qualities. A breed with ancient roots, which after the end of the Second World War found more and more admirers.
Leonbergers should be a dog with a decent substance, yet be elegant in movement and have a gentle nature. The Leonberger is tall and strong, with a distinct sexual dimorphism. Females are typically 65-75 cm (25 1/2 - 29 1/2 inches) at withers and weigh about 48 kg (105 lbs). Males are typically 72-80 cm (28 - 31 1/2 inches) at withers with an average weight of over 60 kg (132 lbs). They are double coated and come in many shades of yellow-brown (from a sand color to dark reddish brown) and often have black tips on their guard hairs. The most distinguishing feature is a black facial mask.
The Leonberger is classified by the FCI (Federation Cynologique Internationale) in Group 2 (Pinscher and Schnauzer - Molossoid and Swiss Mountain and Cattledogs), Section 2.2, Molossians, Mountain Type Dogs.
The Leonberger is not a typical working dog, bred to serve one specific purpose. But over time, due to his impressive size he has been used as keeper and guardian of the farms and for towing light loads.
Today's Leonberger is best described as a family companion, a loving dog dedicated to the family, perfect for life with children, able to have fun and sport with his human companions and other dogs. Leonbergers enjoy hiking, swimming and gatherings of family and friends. Leonbergers have captured working titles in obedience, water rescue, agility, carting and herding and seem to have a natural ability as therapy dogs. Leonbergers can be trained to do almost anything as long as you have patience and a sense of humor! They are happiest as a member of a family that includes the Leonberger in daily activities.