Showing posts with label Leonberger. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Leonberger. Show all posts

Friday, February 23, 2018

The LEONBERGER: Large Lion Dog

Deutsch: Leonberger Hündin
Leonberger (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The Leonberger is a breed which comes from the city of Leonberg near the foothills of the Black Forest of Germany. The Mayor of Leonberg, Heir Heinrich Essig, developed this dog for one reason only, he wanted to breed a dog that would resemble the lion depicted on the crest of his town. He accomplished this by breeding a Saint Bernard to a Newfoundland, then breeding the offspring to a Pyrenean Mountain dog, in 1907. He thus produced what the rest of the dog world considered a "crossbreed". 

However, the good looks and personality of the dog won over the hearts of many and it soon became popular not only in Germany but throughout Europe. The dog has the webfoot typical of the Newfoundland and the burly good humor of both the Newf and the Saint, while the Pyrenean Mountain dog contributed some herding and guarding instinct. The Leonberger very nearly became extinct during the World Wars. Great Britain and the United States imported dogs of the German strain and continued to breed this distinctly different dog. It has since become registered by all of the European Kennel clubs. Registry in the American Kennel Club has begun with the first step being recognition by the F.S.S. (Foundation Stud Service) of the A.K.C.

The Leonberger is a fairly healthy dog, the only consideration being that there may be a tendency to hip and elbow dysplasia. The United States Leonberger club recognizes that this is a breed that should be x-rayed before breeding and most of the breeders involved with this unique dog work hard at making sure that their puppies are sold on contracts to spay or neuter a pet dog.

The Leonberger indeed has the appearance of a lion to a certain extent. It is a large dog, weighing in at 80 to 150 pounds. The face has a distinguished looking black mask and the hairs of the body often have a black tip to the ends. The color is fawn to light golden to deep red. The coat is double in nature with a dense undercoat, however, it is a coat which does lie close to the body and should not be groomed to the appearance of a "stand-off" coat such as the Chow chow. The tail is long, extending to the top of the hock and is carried at "half mast" when moving. The breed sports a mane around the neck and the top of the back, although it is not as outstanding as the mane of an actual lion.

Truly the character of this dog is rather like that of a lion, being regal and somewhat aloof in nature, preferring his family "pack" to all others but accepting of strangers when properly introduced. He is gentle and congenial but makes a good watchdog, with a deep and resounding bark to warn of intruders. Strong enough to pull a cart and with the swimming characteristic of the Newfoundland, this is a versatile and enjoyable dog that brings faithfulness and a true working dog's sense of loyalty to his people.

Friday, January 19, 2018

The LEONBERGER DOG - A Detailed Description of the Breed

Photo by rebekamusprime
The Leonberger is first and foremost a family dog. As such, the Leonberger temperament is one of his most important and distinguishing characteristics. Well socialized and trained, the Leonberger is self-assured, insensitive to noise, submissive to family members, friendly toward children, well composed with passersby, and self-disciplined when obliging his family or property with protection. Robust, loyal, intelligent, playful, and kindly, he can thus be taken anywhere without difficulty and adjust easily to a variety of circumstances.

The Leonberger appears majestic in a generous double coat. He is a large, muscular, and elegant dog with balanced body type, medium temperament, and dramatic presence. The Leonberger's head is held proudly and adorned with a striking black mask which helps to protect the breed's distinct expression of intelligence, pride, and kindliness. Remaining true to his early roots as a capable family and working dog, the agile Leonberger is sound and coordinated, exhibiting strength in bearing and elegance in movement. The Leonberger possesses either a strongly masculine or elegantly feminine form, making gender immediately discernable. When properly trained and socialized, the Leonberger is vigilant, loyal, and confident in all situations. Robust, obedient, intelligent, playful, and kindly, the adaptable Leonberger is an appropriate family companion for modern living conditions.

The Leonberger is a very large dog. For a mature specimen, the height at the withers is ideally the median of the breed's range- 28 to 31.5 inches for dogs and 25.5 to 29.5 inches for bitches. The weight of his trim, well-muscled body is in direct proportion to his size. Elegantly assuming a rectangular build, the Leonberger is a well-balanced dog in form and function; the proportion of his height to his length is at about nine to ten. Necessary for efficient movement and providing for a harmonious silhouette, his front and rear angulation are moderate and balanced. Capable of demanding work, the Leonberger is a dog of ample substance. His frame is effortlessly supported with well-muscled, medium to the heavy bone in direct proportion to his size. A roomy chest is sufficiently broad and deep for the purpose of work. Seen in profile, the chest curves inward from the pro-sternum tangentially joins the elbow to his underline at fifty percent of the withers' height and then continues slightly upward toward the stifle.

Correct head and expression, in harmony with overall size and coat, are hallmarks of the Leonberger and are always appropriately masculine or feminine. The head is well balanced in proportion to the size of the dog and is deeper than broad with the length of muzzle and the length of skull approximately equal. The head is painted with a striking black mask that extends above the eyes; the Leonberger's good-natured expression is elegant, intelligent and confident. Likewise, the nose and lips are black and effortlessly blend with his mask. With close-fitting eyelids, the eyes are elegantly set into the skull upon a slight oblique; the eyes are medium sized, almond shaped, and colored a rich dark brown. Integral to the head's silhouette, the ears are fleshy, moderately sized, and pendant shaped, with sufficient substance to hang close to the skull and drop the tip of the ears level with the inside corners of the mouth. Vigilantly set slightly forward, when alerted, the Leonberger's ears rise from halfway between the eye and the top of his skull to level with the top of his skull. True to his refined nature, the upper lip fits tightly and seamlessly around the lips of a strong lower jaw, effortlessly preventing drooling under most circumstances. Though level bites and slight anomalies not affecting the robustness of the lower jaw are common, the ideal Leonberger capably possesses a strong scissor bite with full dentition.

Holding the head proudly aloft, the Leonberger's neck is well muscled and flows elegantly from the backskull into well laid back shoulders, blending smoothly into withers on the top line and flowing cleanly through the underline. The backline remains strong and levels through the rump. Coupled with a pronounced pro-sternum and conducive to strenuous work, a well sprung, oval-shaped rib cage supports a moderately broad and roomy chest, achieving a depth sufficient to meet properly placed elbows. Back and loin are broad and strongly coupled with a slight tuck-up. The croup smoothly slopes into his tail which is set just below the level of the back. The tail is comprised of tailbones sufficient to reach the hock of a properly angulated rear assembly; the tail is well furnished and blends harmoniously with rear feathering. Denoting their confidence when in repose, the Leonberger's tail hangs straight down. Though showy males may adopt a sickle tail in the ring and Leonbergers' tails commonly manifest excitement or rise toward the level of the back in movement, the ideal tail carriage is always relaxed.

The Leonberger has a generous, water resistant, double coat on his body that is complemented by the shorter, fine hair on his muzzle and limbs, making the coat both well suited for work and a defining attribute of the breed. The long, profuse, outer coat is durable, relatively straight, lies flat, and fits close, strengthening his silhouette. Mature, masculine Leonbergers exhibit a pronounced mane which proudly parades the entirety of his neck and chest, helping to define a lion-like outline. The Leonberger is harmoniously festooned with distinct, ample feathering on the back of his forelegs and breeches. Similarly, his tail is very well furnished from the tip to the base where it blends harmoniously with the breech's furnishings. Climate permitting, his undercoat is soft and dense. Apart from a neatening of the feet, the Leonberger is presented untrimmed. Accompanying his striking black mask, a variety of coat colors are acceptable, including all combinations of lion-yellow, red, red-brown, and sand. His coat may be highlighted with black tippings which add depth without ever dominating the overall color.

With an efficient, balanced, ground-covering gate, the Leonberger is effortless, powerful, free, and elastic in movement. A well-built Leonberger is always balanced and controlled at the trot, maintaining a level topline. Viewed from the front or from behind, forelegs and hind legs travel straight. Increasing reach and drive, his legs tend to converge toward the centerline of the body as his speed increases. Asleep on the couch, working on his legs, or trotting in the show ring, the Leonberger is an impressive, elegant, and dramatic dog!

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Purchasing a LEONBERGER Dog - What to Prepare For

Hopefully most of you out there are considering getting a leonberger dog right now. First of all I want to state how great of an addition this dog can add to your family. Their average lifespan has been known to be around 7 years, which is 4 less than other breeds of similar size. They are known for their kindness and strength. Provided you give them a proper diet they will be very healthy too. Like any other dog though, they have some issues that you will need to take care of or make sure they don't have before purchasing.

I am a Leonberger... I galumph
I am a Leonberger... I galumph (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

One of the first issues you need to make sure that you leonberger doesn't have is aggression issues. An aggressive leonberger is very rare, however still possible. There are many reasons for a leonberger to be aggressive such as: poor training, mean past owner, or a very traumatizing experience when it was a puppy. All dogs can be aggressive when faced with the above situations, however, a leonberger is quite a large dog so we wouldn't want an aggressive dog that can actually do some damage.

Another thing you need to ask about if you are purchasing an already full grown leonberger is if it has had early socialization and other training. Socialization is especially needed for if it will be around children. You don't want your dog getting angry at children for not leaving him alone one too many times. To prevent this from happening you should teach the children as well as the dog how to treat each other. Sometimes if you hire a professional you can still train an older dog to react better to people, it will take time and money though. So if you want to avoid this all together find one that is already around a lot of people.

The leonberger doesn't need much space, thankfully. However, they are an active dog so a walk every day is a necessity. Even if you don't have time to take them on a long walk, they appreciate getting out of the house and are much more well behaved because of getting out and getting some exercise. They also have a desire for some brain stimulation which can be provided with thinking dog toys. You can find these at any pet store and should be labeled for brain stimulation.

All in all these are great dogs that are very beautiful and amazingly loyal. They will make a great addition to any family. If treated well they will live long and healthy lives and get along very well with children.