The Leonberger is a large-sized dog that is considered to be a mix of the Newfoundland, Saint Bernard, and Great Pyrenees. With so many large dog breeds wrapped up into one, you’ve got quite a giant dog on your hands to take care of. They need a great deal of exercise, attention and a lot of space. However, with the right owner, they are the most loyal of dog breeds. They also have quite deep barks, so they make very intimidating watch dogs.
They must be integrated with the family. They are demanding of your time and most of them like to have the companionship of other animals. A Leo alone in a yard is not a happy dog and dogs that are consistently unhappy often become ill. Lonely Leos are bored Leos and bored dogs can become destructive. Provide for the body and mind of your Leo.
Leos enjoy being part of a “herd” of Leos! They are attracted to each other, but will accept other breeds. They accept cats, horses, farm animals and kids!
The breed was originally created in Germany, and requires a lot of training to keep disciplined. Their large size can make it somewhat of a challenge, as they can knock you over quite easily.
Most Leos instinctively like children but not all children instinctively like dogs. Never leave your Leo puppy or adult alone with strange children. With patience, you may train the kids to accept your dog. Remember, an adult Leo is at eye level with a 5 or 6 year old child.
They have high energy levels and an intelligence that is rarely rivaled by any other dog. However, it is this intelligence that makes them great in agility and obedience competitions, as they love having a job to do and making their owners happy. They have also been known to work well as therapy and water rescue dogs. The Leonberger should be getting about an hour of exercise a day, with long walks and playtime in a fenced-in yard. Providing physical and mental stimulation will do well to keep him happy.
Because Leos love water you should at least have a giant bathtub at their disposal. A child's wadding pool is okay but lakes, rivers and oceans make Leos very happy. Make another source of drinking water available ,since your Leo's little pool will quickly become mostly dirt!
The Leonberger is known for doing quite well in with other pets, especially cats and horses. Be wary of his size, as he can knock over children quite easily, but he is known to be quite gentle with them otherwise.
When it comes to the Leonberger, you won’t find a more loving dog amongst the giant breeds. He is gentle and kind, and does extremely well with children even with his size. His long hair gives him a loping grace that is not seen amongst many other large dogs, and his loving disposition will surely win you over to his side. Be wary of his size, however; he won’t be afraid to use it when he wants his way, so exercising a firm upper hand will keep him in line and teach him who’s boss.