The Leonberger is a large, majestic-looking dog breed known for its friendly and gentle personality. It is a hard-working and loyal dog that has been used as a rescue and service dog all over the world.

General details

The Leonberger is a large and powerful breed of dog, which can weigh between 45 and 77 kilograms and measure between 65 and 80 centimeters in height at the withers. They have an average life expectancy of 8 to 9 years. According to the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI), this breed belongs to Group 2, which includes Pinscher and Schnauzer type dogs, Molossers and Swiss Mountain and Cattle Dogs.

Breed history in brief

The Leonberger is a breed of dog of German origin, created by Heinrich Essig, a dog breeder from the town of Leonberg in the 19th century. It was created by crossing St. Bernard, Newfoundland and Great Pyrenees dogs. In its early years, the Leonberger became a popular dog among the European nobility and aristocracy and was known for its intelligence, loyalty and abilities in water and hunting. Today, Leonbergers are popular as companion dogs and are also used as working dogs in areas such as therapy, rescue and protection.

Breed characteristics

The Leonberger is a strong breed with a broad, deep chest and straight, muscular legs. Its eyes are brown, oval and medium-sized, and the ears are medium-sized, pendant and close fitting. The tail is carried hanging in a straight line, but during movement it can be slightly bent without exceeding the dorsal line. Its coat is dense and soft to the touch, with a water-resistant outer coat that can be yellow-sand, red, reddish-brown or yellowish-brown. It is a breed of dog characterized by its friendly and affectionate temperament, which makes it an excellent companion pet and a versatile working dog. It adapts easily to different conditions, is very friendly with children and is obedient and fearless.

Common health problems

The Leonberger is a breed prone to some genetic diseases, including hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, gastric torsion and heart disease. They can also have eye problems such as cataracts, corneal dystrophy and progressive retinal atrophy. In addition to the aforementioned conditions, the OFA (Orthopedic Foundation for Animals) Canine Health Information Center (CHIC) recommends a cardiac and ocular evaluation examination, as well as a series of tests to assess the following diseases: Leonberger's polyneuropathy 1, 2 and 3, autoimmune thyroiditis and leukoencephalomyelopathy.

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