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Last updated: Aug 31 2023

The Leonberger is a giant dog breed that came to life by crossbreeding the Newfoundland, the Great Pyrenees, and St. Bernard. If these dogs receive enough physical exercise and mental stimulation, they will be your best possible giant pets. They seem graceful and beautiful in conformation shows, but their true nature is playful. They love getting muddy and dirty. These dogs absolutely love swimming, and that fact isn’t really surprising as they are a descendant of Newfoundland.

The Leonbergers are dogs that have a surprisingly high level of energy. Giant dog breeds are usually calm and a bit lazy, but these dogs are a lot more active. This does not mean they are active as some smaller Terriers but are untypically active in terms of giant breeds.

They have a deep and scary bark which makes them incredible watchdogs that will drive off any potential intruder. They shed year-round, but twice a year, during shedding season, the shedding is extreme. They have a thick, double coat resulting from the genetic inheritance of the breeds these dogs came from.



25,5-31,5 in (65-80 cm)



120-170 lb (54-77 kg)





Life Expectancy:

8-10 years

Dog Breed Characteristics

Energy Level
Grooming Needs
Exercise Needs
Kid Friendly
Dog Friendly
General Health


Leonberger has a long double coat that is weather resistant. They should be brushed at least a few times a week to keep the amount of hair under control because these dogs shed a lot. During shedding season (twice a year) Leonbergers will shed massively and during that period daily brushing is required.

Leonberger coat colors:

  • Lion yellow
  • Golden to red
  • Red-brown
  • Sand-colored


They will also need other basic care; brush their teeth at least three times a week. Check their ears for signs of infection and redness, bathe them when needed, and trim their nails if they don’t wear them down naturally.


Leonberger dogs are medium active, and they will need a proper amount of daily activities to be happy. Playing with his owner in the house, chasing the ball, or just long walks can all do the trick and keep this dog satisfied. If you provide him with enough daily activities you don’t have to worry that your dog will miss behaving.

All puppies have high energy, and you must be careful not to over-exercise your small puppy because their joints and bones are still developing, and you could easily hurt them by exercising them.


Like any other dog breed, the Leonberger requires early socialization. It is essential to ensure that your dog doesn’t become shy or aggressive. Expose your dog to many different people, dogs, sights, and situations to secure a well-rounded dog. They can adapt to any environment as long as you secure them with plenty of physical and mental activity.


Expose your dog to different things like strangers, sights, sounds, other dogs, and environments.  Socialization is the best way to ensure your dog grows up to be stable, confident, and well-balanced.

Leonberger and kids

Leonberger are excellent family dogs that will get along with every family member, including children. Note that kids need to be taught how to properly play and interact with a dog so Leonberger can enjoy their company. If they are raised together from an early age, they will be playing a part, and they will enjoy spending time together.

They are best suited for older children, but only because they could easily knock over a small child during play because of their massive size.

Leonberger puppy

Children should never be left alone with any dog, no matter what breed. You should make sure that your children understand how to approach dogs of this breed and understand how to interact and play with them properly.

Leonberger and other animals

These dogs can get along well with other dogs and can enjoy their company if they are raised together from puppy age. Introducing dogs to a grown-up Leonberger can be a bit of a problem, but with the right socialization, most of the dogs will get along.

Health problems

The Leonberger is generally considered a healthy breed, but they are prone to some health issues and concerns like any other dog breed. These dogs have an average lifespan of 8-10 years. 

When getting any breed, the breeder must show you the health tests that they have done for their breeding dogs. Dogs must be adequately tested because taking a chance and hoping that the puppy’s parents are healthy is a risk no one should ever take. Only healthy dogs should be bred because that is the only way to ensure that bloodlines will remain healthy and without any problems. Health problems associated with this breed are;

  • Hip dysplasia - Genetic problem affecting hips resulting from an improperly formed hip joint.
  • Gastric Torsion - Also known as bloat. A dangerous condition that causes the stomach to twist (torsion).


Leonberger breeders

Before you start looking for Leonberger breeders, make sure you have thoroughly researched this breed and you are sure you can provide them with the lifestyle they need to have in order to remain happy and healthy. These dogs prefer being close to their family and need enough space to play and explore. If you decide to go for this breed, make sure you buy a dog from a registered and reputable breeder that takes care not only of the physical beauty and characteristics of their dogs but also takes proper care of their mental health and character.

This dog breed is not for everyone, and we advise you that you do your research before you go after Leonberger.   

Leonberger puppy

Buying a dog from a responsible breeder will cost you more money, but you can be sure that you will get a healthy puppy. When you bring your new puppy home, start with the training and socialization immediately. By doing so, you will end up with a well-behaved dog whom you can trust.

If you are unsure whether this is the breed for you, check out this FREE GUIDE that will help you decide which dog breed is right for you.


World Dog Finder team


Updated at31.08.2023.

Breed History

These dogs most likely came to life in the middle of the 19th century in Germany and that makes them a relatively “new” breed. They are originally from Germany and most of these dogs can still be found in their native country. The father of the breed is a former mayor of the German city of Leonberg. His aim was to create a dog breed that had lion-like features and some say that he wanted to do that because a lion is the official animal of the city.