Also Known As
Jumbo Dogs, Leos, Lion Dogs
Area of Origin
Germany
Breed Birthday
1800s
Breed Type
Working
Personality Traits
Gentle, Playful, Friendly, Good-Natured
Related Breeds
Tibetan Mastiff, Newfoundland, Great Pyrenees, St. Bernard, Kuvasz
Best Breeds For
Families with a yard and the time to exercise the dog. Leos are sensitive dogs, though, and don’t like being around family arguments.
Trainability
They’re a giant breed, so early training is a must. They love to please their owners and are responsive to patient, consistent, and positive training.
Apartment/House
They’re not small dogs, so take the Leo’s size into consideration before you bring them home. They’re better suited to homes with a yard.

Breed Popularity

157
Lagotto Romagnolo
158
Boerboel
159
Leonberger
160
Beauceron
161
Belgian Tervuren
Based on DogVacay data

Top Leonberger Name

1
Noah
2
Desmond
3
Bosko
4
Olive
5
Max
Based on DogVacay data
History of Leonberger

History

There’s no written record of the origins of the Leonberger, but it’s said that Leos were first bred in the German city of Leonberg, near Stuttgart, in the mid-1800’s. Local businessman and politician Heinrich Essig crossed a Newfoundland with a St. Bernard for four generations and then crossed that breed with a Pyrenean Mountain Dog (aka the Great Pyrenees). DNA samples for modern Leonbergers show that other breeds made their way into the mix at some point along the way, but the initial trifecta of a Newfoundland, a St. Bernard and Pyrenean Mountain Dog was the foundation for the loveable and graceful Leo we know today.
Facts about Leonberger

Good To Know

Leonbergers are dimorphic, which means that the male dogs look distinctly more masculine and are much larger than their female counterparts. Leonbergers have a deep bark and can be mouthy and energetic, so early socialization and training are important to raising a well-mannered pup. According to the Leonberger Club of America, the socialization window closes at 20 weeks, so it’s important to introduce the puppy to new places and people.
Leonberger health and care

Health & Care

Height: 25” to 31” at the shoulder
Weight: 120 to 170 pounds
Lifespan: 10 to 12 years
Leonbergers are generally healthy dogs, but they’re susceptible to hip dysplasia and eye disease. If it’s possible, find out about the health of your pup’s parents. Leos also have very healthy appetites and are prone to weight gain.
Their double coats require at least a weekly brushing, but daily brushing will keep their shedding even more under control. They shed a bit year-round and more intensely twice a year. When they blow their coats, it’s even heavier.
Leonberger personality

Personality

Leonbergers are so jumbo-sized and lionesque they sometimes look like they’re straight out of Narnia. Even though they’re big (and love to eat, which means they can get quite heavy), they’re agile, graceful and surprisingly light on their feet. Leos were never bred as specialized dogs, so they’re well-rounded in just about everything—intelligent, gentle and sensitive family dogs. They do need a good amount of space, exercise and grooming. They’re giant, lovable companions who have the most fun when they’re hanging with their families. As a bonus, their deep, low bark and big size make them intimidating watch dogs.

Top Leonberger DogVacay Hosts

Unnati P.
$43/night
4.4 miles from you
10 Reviews
Why Unnati is a great sitter:
Lynn N.
$50/night
3.2 miles from you
1 Reviews
Why Lynn is a great sitter:
Thomas K.
$25/night
4 miles from you
STAFF PICK
Why Thomas is a great sitter:
Remember, adopting is always an option, even if you’re looking for a particular breed (or a classic mutt). If you can rescue a pup and give him a loving home, why not? There are breed-specific rescues all around the country. Search for rescues near you here.
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