Leonbergers originated in the town of Leonberg, Germany, in the 1830s. Legend has it that town Mayor and dog breeder, Heinrich Essig, wanted to create his own giant breed dog that resembled the lion on the town’s crest.


The Leonberger is a large, powerful, yet elegant dog. Leonbergers have a long coat, with males in particular sporting a mane. They are any shade from cream through to rich red with black mask and tipping.

Grooming and Physical Needs

  • Grooming Needs: Daily Grooming recomended to keep the coat in good condition.
  • Coat Type: Long, soft, water resistant double coat.
  • Moulting: Heavy Several times a year with some sheding thoughout the year.
  • Exercise Needs: For a large breed, Leonbergers can be very active and they need a daily walk. They also like to keep their minds active so are suited to obedience, carting, dock diving, water rescue and agility once they are mature.
  • Average Life Span: 10 to 12 years.


  • Family: Leonbergers thrive on company so are best suited to households where they are included as part of the family.
  • Temperament: Ideal family friendly dog which should be confident, active and calm. When young they can be playful and big so basic training is needed.
  • Trainability: Leonbergers are very trainable and respond well to positive methods. They are a sensitive breed and won’t respond well to harsh treatments or yelling.
  • Sociability (Other Pets): Leonbergers are generally good with other dogs and pets in the household.
  • Barking: Low Tendency. They can be good watchdogs, but apart from that do not tend to bark unnecessarily unless bored or left alone/outside for long stretches.


Most Leonbergers love water and swimming! They are also most often found sleeping upside down on the lounge.


When purchasing a Leonberger, make sure you check that the parents have been tested for Leonberger Polyneuropathy (LPN 1 and LPN 2).