Other names: Leonberg, Chien de Leonberg

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The Leonberger, also called Leonberger Dog or simply Leonberger, is a giant dog, with impressive stature and powerful musculature. Strongly built, the Leonberger is no less elegant, lively and with balanced proportions. The males are even larger than the females.



Photo: Leonberger dog on Woopets
Hair type Long
Origin Germany
Template Giant
Head shape Long
Weight and size
Sex Weight Cut
Female From 55 kg to 70 kg From 65 cm to 72 cm
Male From 60 kg to 80 kg From 72 cm to 80 cm
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History of the breed

The Leonberger owes its name to the German city of Leonberg , located near Stuttgart. Between the 1830s and 1840s , a city councilor, Heinrich Essig, had the idea of crossing a female Newfoundland and a male Saint Bernard. The female thus gave birth to very large subjects, endowed with white and long hairs. The goal of Heinrich Essig was to develop a breed whose appearance could recall that of the lion, an animal appearing on the coat of arms of the city of Leonberg.

The subsequent contribution of the Pyrenean Mountain dog helped to reach the standards of the breed as we know it today . Used as a watchdog and draft dog on farms during the 19th century , the Leonberger will see its population decline sharply at the end of the 2 World Wars. Today, he is mainly bred as a companion and guard dog within families. The breed was definitively recognized by the FCI on February 17, 1955. Its official standard in force was published in 1996.

Leonberger Pictures

Photo by Orli, LeonbergerPhoto by Vixen, LeonbergerPhoto by Leo, LeonbergerPhoto by Atlas, LeonbergerPhoto by Azur, LeonbergerPhoto by Peaches, Leonberger

See all Leonberger photos of Woopets members

Physical features

His hair: long, well laid, straight, of texture oscillating between softness and harshness, highlighting the shapes of the dog’s body despite its density. Presence of a rather thick undercoat and a mane on the neck and chest (especially in males).
Its color: different shades of fawn (light fawn, red fawn, dark fawn) or sand (cream or pale yellow), with a characteristic black mask.
His head: rather elongated, higher than the width and without wrinkles on the forehead. The skull is moderately domed and powerful when viewed from the front and in profile. The stop is clearly visible, while being moderately marked.
His ears: medium in size, thick, drooping against the cheeks and set high.
His eyes: oval in shape, medium in size, light brown to very dark brown, never protruding or sunken.
His body: massive and imposing. The withers are marked (especially in the male), the back is solid and broad, the loins powerful and well muscled, the croup broad and slightly rounded, the chest wide and well let down and the line of the underside slightly raised.
Its tail: generously covered with hair, falling straight at rest and slightly curved when the dog is active, but not carried above the level of the back.

Behavior and character

Barks / howls

Behavior with others

Cohabitation with children
Sociable with other animals
Love strangers

The Leonberger is a calm, placid dog with a balanced temperament . Never fearful , he is not aggressive either and only intervenes when he considers that his family is threatened. Thanks to his dissuasive aspect and his strong instinct for protection, he is an excellent watchdog . He is also a very pleasant companion at home, especially for children with whom he shows extraordinary gentleness .

The Leonberger is a very affectionate, obedient dog, endowed with a great confidence, an exceptional coolness, a very good memory and a great capacity for learning .

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Intelligent and docile , the Leonberger is not a particularly difficult dog to train . This does not mean, however, that we should neglect his education, nor his socialization , under penalty of being overtaken by this giant dog who would have no difficulty in gaining the upper hand.

Living conditions

Suitable for apartment living
Good for new masters
Love it hot
Love the cold

The Leonberger is admittedly gentle, calm and obedient , but that does not make him a house dog , due, of course, to his imposing dimensions. He would be much happier in a house with a large fenced garden. Family life suits him perfectly, especially if there are children .


Ease of gaining weight

The Leonberger is an overall robust dog, which withstands difficult climatic conditions well. In contrast, the breed is predisposed to certain diseases and conditions such as hip dysplasia, stomach twisting, laryngeal paralysis (respiratory disorders caused by paralysis of the muscles opening and closing the larynx). Difficult births are also to be watched for in the female.

Hypoallergenic breed


Litter size

Between 5 and 8

To protect yourself from these risks and insure your companion in the event of health problems, Woopets recommends Leonberger dog insurance .

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Life expectancy

Minimum: 8 years

Maximum: 12 years

The life expectancy of a Leonberger is, on average, between 8 years and 12 years.

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Maintenance and hygiene

Ease of maintenance
Cost of maintenance
Hair loss
Drool level
Ease of grooming

The Leonberger remains subject to 2 annual moults occurring in spring and autumn, with fairly significant hair loss . Outside of these periods, the dog does not lose much . Her maintenance must be regular to preserve the cleanliness and appearance of her generous dress.

It is recommended to carry out a weekly brushing at the Leonberger. Brushing should be more frequent during the moulting period , with passages against the grain followed by brushing in the direction of the hair to ensure that dead hairs are removed .

Price and budget

Purchase price

€ 1,200
1400 €

The purchase price of a Leonberger is between € 1,200 and € 1,400.

Annual maintenance cost

2300 €
€ 2350

The annual maintenance cost of a Leonberger is between 2300 € and 2350 €.

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Watch out for stomach twisting. He should not engage in physical activity before and after his daily ration. Like all large dogs, their diet must be monitored especially during their first 2 years of life to promote good growth . Then, he can be satisfied with industrial food made from high quality croquettes as with homemade food with meat, starches and fresh vegetables.

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Physical activity

Energy level
Potential to play

The Leonberger is not a huge sportsman . Good daily walks are enough to satisfy him, but it should not be deprived of it for all that. Be careful not to make him do intensive exercises so as not to tire his bones. It should also not be taken out or excited after meals to prevent the risk of stomach twisting .


Master character <span class="btnTooltip qTip2" title="- Calm: the master must be gentle and know how to show patience.
– Active: the owner must be energetic and dynamic to live in harmony with his dog.
– Hyperactive: the owner must be stimulating and very restless to suit the temperament of his dog.”>

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