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Leonberger Information & Dog Breed Facts

Collection of all the general dog breed info about Leonberger so you can get to know the breed more.

Group Working Dogs
Popularity Rank100
User Ratings
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Leonberger dog profile picture
OriginGermany flagGermany
Other Names
What other names does the Leonberger have?
Gentle GiantGentle LionLeonbergiLeo
Breed Type
What type of dog breed is it?

Photo Gallery of the Leonberger Breed

Leonberger Size and Weight

Is a Leonberger small, medium or large dog?

How big do Leonberger get?

What is the average size of a Leonberger?

How much does the Leonberger weigh? How much should a Leonberger weight? What is the normal weight of a Leonberger? How much does a full-grown Leonberger weight?
Male: 130-170 pounds (59-77 kg), Female: 100-130 pounds (45-59 kg)
Average Weight
What is the average weight of a Leonberger?
Male: 150 pounds (68 kg), Female: 115 pounds (52 kg)
How tall is the Leonberger? Leonberger height:
Male: 29-31 inches (74-80 cm), Female: 27-29 inches (61-74 cm)
Average Height
What is the average height of a Leonberger?
Male: 30 inches (77 cm), Female: 28 inches (67.5 cm)

Leonberger Price and Availability

How much does the Leonberger puppy cost? What is the price range of this puppy? What is the average price of a Leonberger in the United States? How much money is a Leonberger?

Where to buy a Leonberger with a good pedigree?

If you choose to purchase the Leonberger, you should know that the mentioned amount of money is an average of the collected data from breeders’ sites and puppy finder places. If you have a Leonberger for sale, please advertise it on a reliable website to make sure the Leonberger gets to a happy place.
How easy is it to get a Leonberger? How many Leonberger are there in the world?
Frequent: The Leonberger is easier than average to get. Maybe there is some risk of overbreeding, as it is a popular breed.

Due to its popularity, inbreeding may occur. A new study shows that inbreeding contributes to the incidence of disease and health problems.

So be careful and seek the help of an experienced person or a professional, in making your decision.

Leonberger Trainability and Intelligence

Intelligent Rank
How smart is the Leonberger? Is the Leonberger breed dumb or smart?
Average: It takes patience to teach this breed any tricks or commands, but the effort is worth it. They understand and remember new commands after an average of 25-40 repetitions.

The Leonberger ranks average in the intelligence ranking of dogs.

Are Leonberger dogs easy to train? Do they go well on dog training? How hard is it to train a Leonberger?
Leonberger dogs are quite easy to train. Sometimes they can be challenging, but if you're consistent in teaching new commands they will obey for sure.
Watchdog Ability
Is Leonberger good as a watchdog? Are they alert at night?
Leonberger dogs are one of the best watchdogs. Their main job is to observe and they're very consistent in their effort. The best vocal cords and sense of hearing belong to them. Usually, they're very territorial and protective about their property, so the Leonberger dogs will alert you if they sense something different.
Guarding Behavior / Territorial
Do Leonberger dogs have aggressive behavior to protect their home/house/territory? Do they have guarding instincts?
Leonberger dogs are extremely protective guard dogs. This breed doesn't hesitate to protect its territory so the Leonberger can be a good choice if you want an excellent guard dog. Keep calm and the Leonberger will take care of unwanted people or animals.

Leonberger Personality and Temperament

What kind of personality does the Leonberger have? What characteristics or traits does the breed have?
Sensitivity Level
How sensitive are they? Leonberger sensitivity:
They are a little bit more sensitive than other dog breeds. Soft punishment affects them emotionally. Leonberger dogs don't tolerate irregular daily routines, noisy households, and frequent guest visits really well.

They are receptive to their owner's emotions and make wonderful family companions.

Affection Level
How affectionate are they? Is a Leonberger a good family dog?
High: Leonberger dogs are genuinely loyal, soft and gentle, loving, and affectionate dogs toward their handlers. They enjoy quality time with their owners despite the activity and are considered great therapy dogs for those in need. This breed responds strongly to their handler's emotions because they bond closely. Their happiness is your happiness.
Social Needs
How much social interaction does the Gentle Giant need? Leonberger social needs:
Leonberger dogs need a lot of social interaction. They desire to always be with someone or around people. This breed hates being left alone.
Impulse to Wander or Roam
How likely is the Leonberger to run away? Does this breed explore or wander a lot? Does Leonberger roam?
Leonberger dogs tend to escape less than other breeds. They have low to average wanderlust potential. Exploring the world is not the best activity they can imagine.
Prey Drive
Do this canine have a strong prey drive? Does Leonberger have high prey drive?
Leonberger dogs have a higher impulse to chase and catch something than other dog breeds. Cats or any other small animals might be in danger. It's a natural instinct, doesn't necessarily mean that Leonberger dogs are aggressive. Better to keep this breed on a leash.

Leonberger Activity and Playfulness

How playful is this breed?
The Leonberger is a playful breed. Excited barking and sometimes nipping will alert you to play.
Do Leonberger dogs bark a lot? Are they barkers/noisy? Why does my Gentle Giant bark?
Low: The Leonberger barks none to minimal. Perfect choice if you prefer a quiet breed.

Top reasons for barking: protection, alarm, fear, boredom, attention-seeking, greeting, separation anxiety, compulsive barking.

Apartment Friendly
Is Leonberger good as an apartment dog? Can they live in a flat? Can you have a Leonberger in an apartment?
Not an apartment-friendly dog the Leonberger breed. If you don't have a garden, think carefully about your decision, keeping Leonberger indoors can cause a lot of problems.

Leonberger Adaptability and Independence

Are they adaptable and easy-going?
Average: Leonberger dogs adapt to lifestyle changes and different living environments quite okay usually.
Tolerates Being Left Alone
How long can a Leonberger be left alone? How long can you leave a Leonberger alone?
Leonberger dogs tend to have separation anxiety when their owners left them alone at home because they bond very closely with them.

Leonberger Bite Characteristics

Bite Force PSI
Does the Leonberger has a hard bite? What is the bite force of a Leonberger? How much bite force does a Leonberger have? How strong is a Leonberger bite?

Above 400 PSI 🔼

Leonberger bite force: The Strongest. The Leonberger bite force is among the strongest in the canine world. The bite force Leonberger measurements are typically quite high, which is a testament to their powerful and large stature. The bite force of Leonberger dogs is impressive, and their Leonberger bite PSI is reflective of their powerful nature.

The Leonberger PSI bite should be respected, and appropriate precautions should be taken when interacting with these dogs. The PSI of a Leonberger bite is high, making them one of the strongest breeds in terms of bite force.

They are very protective of themselves and their families, therefore a dog bite from them could be exceptionally dangerous with their PSI being above 400.

To ensure a well-behaved and controlled dog, it's important to learn how to train a Leonberger puppy not to bite from an early age. It is important that they’re trained to be around others safely.

Biting Potential
Do Leonberger bite humans? How likely are you to get bitten from the Gentle Giant? What are the odds of getting bitten by a Leonberger? Why do dog bites happen?

Low 🔽

The Leonberger has a low chance of biting somebody. Top reasons for dog bite: protection, pain, excitement, herding instinct, being provoked. (Data based on the available online bite statistics.)
How much mouthing/nipping/play biting does the Leonberger do?
Leonberger dogs have a higher than average tendency to nip, chew, playbite, or herd people. It's a common habit during puppyhood, not aggressive behavior. These "bites" don't hurt, but Leonberger dogs need to be taught a good attitude.

Leonberger Health and Lifespan

Health Issues
Is it a healthy or unhealthy breed? Do Leonberger dogs have health problems or genetic diseases?
Leonbergers tend to have more frequent health issues than other breeds. Regular vet check-ups are needed.
Health Problems
What genetic/health problems does the Leonberger breed have? What are the health issues and concerns of the Leonberger breed? Most common health risks of Leonberger:
Hip Dysplasia CancerBloatEntropionInherited PolyneuropathyEctropionElbow DysplasiaAddison's DiseaseEosinophilic Panosteitis
Veterinarian Visits
How often does the Leonberger breed need to go to the vet? How often should you take your dog to the vet? How often should the Leonberger see the vet?
The Leonberger should have a complete physical check-up at least once (but preferably twice) per year. If your dog shows any symptoms, call your veterinarian.
Life Expectancy
How long do Leonberger dogs live? How old can a Leonberger be? What is the age limit of the Leonberger? How many years can the oldest Leonberger live?

What is the average life expectancy / lifespan of a Leonberger?

How long is the lifespan of a Leonberger?

8-10 years
The average lifespan of Leonberger: 9 years
Weather and Climate
Which weather condition is preferred by this dog? Can they tolerate hot or cold weather and climate?
Prefers cold weather
The Leonberger can adapt well to harsh weather conditions, and also can be a good mountain dog. Dogs can suffer from frostbite and hypothermia in extremely cold weather, so it is important to take precautions to keep your dog safe and comfortable during the winter months.

Leonberger Energy and Activity

Energy Level
How much energy does the Leonberger have? What is the activity level of the Leonberger?
Leonberger dogs have a higher energy level than other dog breeds. If you want a dog for snuggling on the couch, this breed isn't the perfect choice for you.
Activity Requirement / Exercise Need
How much exercise does a Leonberger need? How much exercise do Leonberger dogs require per day?

Do Leonberger dogs need a lot of exercises?

Leonberger dogs need quite a lot of exercise. Daily walks should be on schedule. If you live an active life, this breed can be a good choice for you.
Sleeping Need
How much sleep does the Leonberger breed need?
Leonberger dogs are quite energetic dogs and they don't spend too much time with sleeping. If you live an active life, this breed can be a good choice for you.

Leonberger Diet and Weight Management

Average daily food consumption
How much food does a Leonberger need? What dog products should I buy? How much food does a Leonberger breed eat per day? What is good dog food for Leonberger? How much food should I feed my Leonberger?
8 to 10 cups of high-quality dry food a day, divided into two meals
Weight Gain Potential / Prone to Obesity
How easy to gain weight for this dog? Leonberger risk for obesity:
Average to High: If you don't pay attention to the Leonberger's weight, he can easily gain weight. More than one daily walk should be on schedule. To make your dog happy and fit, feed him with quality dry dog food and live an active life together. Try to find the happy medium between exercise and feeding.

If you notice any weight gain, consult your veterinarian and make a diet plan. Reduce unhealthy food and snacks, and measure the Leonberger weight regularly.

Leonberger Allergies and Grooming

Coat / Hair Types
What type of coat does the Leonberger have? What does this canine coat/fur look like?
What color is the breed's coat? What color are proper Leonberger coats?
Red BrownYellowSandyReddishMahogany
How to groom the Leonberger and how often? How often should I take my Leonberger to the groomer?
Average: The Leonberger requires average grooming effort. Cutting the dog's hair by a professional groomer isn't essential.

Brushing the dog's coat is useful to reduce shedding. Ears and eyes should be cleaned regularly to avoid infections.

Don't skip the seasonal flea treatment too. Dog nail trimming and dog bath can be helpful sometimes.

Check the local pet store for dog grooming supplies and find the best dog shampoo to keep its coat healthy and give your dog a pleasant experience of a dog bath.

If you don't have the time, skill, or money to take care of your Leonberger, search for a dog groomer or clipping service in your area and book an appointment.

Maybe you're lucky to have a dog boarding service that includes grooming or walk-in dog bath places nearby.

Shedding Level
How much do Leonberger dogs shed? How to control, reduce and prevent the shedding of the Gentle Giant? Do Leonberger dogs shed a lot?
Leonberger dogs are heavy shedders. It's a natural process of the hair growth cycle. Be prepared for the daily vacuum cleaning. The amount and frequency of hair loss mostly depend on their health status and breed type.
Bath Time / Bathing Frequency
How often does the Leonberger need a bath? How often should you give a Leonberger a bath? Can I bathe my Leonberger every day?
3-4 weeks
More often than average. These dog coats tend to be longer, softer, and oilier than short-haired breeds. While a good bath every now and then is a great way to keep your buddy from becoming overly smelly, be mindful about overbathing.

Bathing will wash away your dog’s natural oils, while a simple brushing every few days should keep them clean.

Is the Leonberger breed hypoallergenic?
Leonberger dogs don't do well with allergy sufferers by causing allergic reactions. Some dog breeds are even considered to higher possibility of an allergic response. Coat type isn't necessarily relevant, because most people are allergic to dander (flakes on the dog's skin) or saliva, not actually to dog hair.
How stinky is this dog? Why does it smell bad and how to get rid of the smell?


The Leonberger has an average chance of bad smell. Top reasons for dog stinkiness: infection of bad tooth/ear/skin folds, gas attacks.
Drooling Tendency
Does the Leonberger drool?
The Leonberger is an average drooler. Drooling is the unintentional saliva flowing outside of the mouth. It can be completely normal or a sign of a health problem.

If you notice any change in your dog's drooling habit, you should contact a vet as soon as possible.

Leonberger Good With

Pet Friendly
Are they pet-friendly dogs? How well do Leonberger dogs get along with other pets? Are Leonberger dogs good with pets? What is this canine temperament with other pets?
Leonberger dogs are generally with other pets.
Stranger Friendly
Are they aggressive or friendly towards/with strangers? Leonberger temperament with other people:
Leonberger dogs are average friendly towards strangers.
Child Friendly
Are Leonberger dogs kid-friendly? Are they good with young children? Leonberger temperament with children:
Leonberger dogs are very kid-friendly dogs. This breed enjoys being surrounded by children.
Cat Friendly
How well do Leonberger dogs get along with cats? Are they good with kittens? What is this fido's temperament with cats? Can they be good with cats? Can the Leonberger breed live with a cat?
Leonberger dogs are average friendly towards cats.
Dog Friendly
Is Leonberger good with other dogs? Are they dog-friendly dogs? How well do Leonberger dogs get along with other dogs?
Leonberger dogs are dog-friendly dogs. If you want more dogs in your family or you'd like to join dog meetups, the Leonberger can be a great choice.
Good For First Time Owners
Is Leonberger breed good for first-time owners? Do they make a good dog for novice owners? Is Leonberger breed suitable for first-time owners?
Leonberger dogs are good for novice owners, due to their easy-going personality.
Office Friendly
Are Leonberger dogs good office canines? Do Leonberger dogs make good office-friendly pets? Can they be office dogs?
Leonberger is not the best dog breed for office environment.
Senior Citizens Friendly
Are they senior citizens friendly dogs? How well do Leonberger dogs get along with the elderly people? What is the Gentle Giant temperament with senior people? Are Leonberger dogs good for elderly owners?
Leonbergers are one of the best breeds for elderly people.

Leonberger As a Working Dog

Service Dog
Are they good as service dogs? Can Leonberger be a guide dog? Are they used as seeing-eye dogs?

Not really

This breed generally not used as a service dog. A service dog is a term used in the USA to refer to any type of assistance dog specifically trained to help people who have disabilities, such as visual impairment, hearing impairments, mental disorders, seizures, mobility impairment, and diabetes. Service dogs are protected under the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act).

Leonberger is not the best breed for service purposes.

Therapy Dog
Are they good as therapy dogs? Can Leonberger be a therapy dog? Are they good anxiety dogs? Can a Leonberger be an emotional support animal?

Not really

This breed is generally not used as a therapy dog. A therapy dog is a dog that might be trained to provide affection, comfort, and love to people in hospitals, retirement homes, nursing homes, schools, hospices, disaster areas, and people with anxiety disorders or autism.

Leonberger is not the best breed for therapeutic purposes.

Detection Dog or Sniffer Dog
Are they good as detection dogs? Can Leonberger be a sniffer dog?

Not really

They are not typically employed for this type of work, but there may be exceptional cases. A detection dog or sniffer dog is a dog that is trained to use its senses (mostly its smell) to detect substances such as explosives, illegal drugs, wildlife scat, currency, blood, and contraband electronics such as illicit mobile phones.

Leonberger is not the best breed for detection purposes.

Search and Rescue Dog (SAR)
Are they good as SAR dogs? Can Leonberger be a search and rescue dog?

Not really

This dog breed is not typically used as a search and rescue dog. The use of dogs in search and rescue (SAR) is a valuable component in wilderness tracking, natural disasters, mass casualty events, and locating missing people.

The Leonberger is not the best breed for SAR purposes.

Boat and Sailor Dog
Are they good as boat dogs? Can Leonberger be a boat dog?

Not really

Leonberger breed usually doesn't like being on a boat.

Boat dogs were typically bred for their strength, stamina, and water resistance, as they were often required to perform tasks such as pulling in fishing nets, and jumping into the water to retrieve ropes or lines, or helping to move cargo.

Sailor dog is a type of dog that was bred to accompany sailors on their voyages. They were typically used for three purposes: as a working dog, a watchdog, and as a companion. A boat dog is a term used to describe a type of dog that was traditionally bred and used as a working dog on boats.

Cart Pulling or Drafting Dog
Are they good as cart pulling dogs? Can Leonberger be a drafting dog?


A drafting dog or draft dog is a dog bred and used for cart pulling. Dogs bred for this work have strong builds and qualities that are needed, strength and determination.

Leonberger breed is a good choice for drafting purposes.

Fighting Dog / Military Dog
Where Leonberger dogs used as fighting / military dogs in history?

Not really

In history, this breed was not really used for combat dog.

Leonberger Reproducibility

Gestation Length
How long is a Leonberger pregnant?How long does it take to have puppies? How to tell if the Leonberger breed is pregnant?

60-64 days

Reproductive cycle of the female Leonberger: The first period called Proestrus lasts for about 9 days.

During this time the females start to attract males. You can notice by swelling vulva and bloody discharge.

The second part is the Estrus when the female is receptive for the male. It lasts for about 3 to 11 days.

The sign of the proestrus part is the soft and enlarged vulva. The discharge decreases and lightens in color.

The third part is the Diestrus. Normally, it occurs around day 14. In this period the female’s discharge changes for vivid red and coming to its end. The vulva returns to average, and she will no longer permit mating.

The fourth part called the Anestrus. The time frame between heat periods normally lasts about six months.

Litter Frequency

Once a year.

More frequent breeding is not healthy. It is very important not to buy a dog from a puppy mill, where the needs of the pups and their mothers are ignored. It's an inhumane high-volume dog breeding facility, where puppies born several times a year.
Litter Size
How many puppies can the Leonberger have in a litter? How many puppies can the Leonberger breed have for the first time? How many puppies does a Leonberger have? How many puppies can a Leonberger give birth to?
6-8 puppies

Leonberger Recognition

AKC Group
Is Leonberger recognized by the American Kennel Club?
Recognized by the American Kennel Club in 2010 as a Working breed.
FCI Group
Is Leonberger recognized by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI)?
Recognized by FCI in the Pinscher and Schnauzer - Molossoid and Swiss Mountain and Cattledogs group, in the Molossian type section.
Breed Recognition
What kennel clubs and organizations recognize or register the Leonberger breed?
American Canine RegistryAmerican Kennel ClubAmerica's Pet RegistryCanadian Kennel ClubDog Registry of America Inc.Federation Cynologique InternationaleKennel Club of Great BritainNorth American Purebred Registry, Inc.American Canine Association, Inc.Continental Kennel ClubNational Kennel ClubNew Zealand Kennel Club

Leonberger Pros and Cons

  • Watchdog Ability: Leonberger dogs are one of the best watchdogs.
  • Impulse to Wander or Roam: Leonberger dogs tend to escape less than other breeds.
  • Child Friendly: Leonberger dogs are very kid-friendly dogs.
  • Dog Friendly: Leonberger dogs are dog-friendly dogs.
  • Senior Citizens Friendly: Leonbergers are one of the best breeds for elderly people.
  • Good For First Time Owners: Leonberger dogs are good for novice owners, due to their easy-going personality.
  • Cart Pulling or Drafting Dog: A drafting dog or draft dog is a dog bred and used for cart pulling.
  • Health Issues: Leonbergers tend to have more frequent health issues than other breeds.
  • Hypoallergenic: Leonberger dogs don't do well with allergy sufferers by causing allergic reactions.
  • Apartment Friendly: Not an apartment-friendly dog the Leonberger breed.
  • Shedding Level: Leonberger dogs are heavy shedders.
  • Weight Gain Potential / Prone to Obesity: Average to High: If you don't pay attention to the Leonberger's weight, he can easily gain weight.
  • Mouthiness: Leonberger dogs have a higher than average tendency to nip, chew, playbite, or herd people.
  • Tolerates Being Left Alone: Leonberger dogs tend to have separation anxiety when their owners left them alone at home because they bond very closely with them.
  • Office Friendly: Leonberger is not the best dog breed for office environment.

Leonberger History

As we can assume from its name already, the Leonberger originally comes from Germany. However, their background is very mysterious and many stories have been told. According to the legend its appearance was meant to mimic a lion. This type of breed actually came about in the early 19th century when a German citizen, the salesman called Heinrich Essig, who had a passion for collection different kind of animals, bred a St. Bernard and a Landseer Newfoundland and kept doing it for 4 years but there are no written records about it. The very first registered Leonberger was born in 1846 but the breed was only officially recognized by FCI in 1955.

Although once the breed became popular, it was said that its popularity spread in the royal households in Germany, France, Austria-Hungary, etc. According to the American Kennel Club Essig donated the breed to royals like Napoleon II and they were believed to have owned Leonbergers as guard dogs. “At one time, Garibaldi, the Prince of Wales, King Umberto of Italy, and the Czar of Russia all owned Leonbergers.”

After the death of Essig in 1889, the first Leonberger Clubs were founded in Germany but unfortunately weren’t very successful and it was not until the year 1895 when Alber Kull founded the “Internationaler Klub für Leonbergerhunde”.

However then World War I and II came and they were used for pulling carts in both world wars which was one of the reasons that their breed became extinct after the wars. Only a very small amount of people were able to keep their dogs alive. Another important fact could add more to the picture that according to researchers they were imported to Canada in the early 1900s and were being used as water rescue dogs. After the two world wars, Hans Weigelschmidt became committed to rebuilding the breed and their first task was to recreate the German standard. But it was not just him, but also others such as Karl Stadelmann and Otto Josenhans who actually saved the breed as it is known today by all of us. After four years of dedication and hard work, they have successfully bred 350 Leonbergers and created the official Breed Registry.

Today researchers are sure that there must be many more dogs involved in Leonberger’s bloodline than the ones Essig claims. Modern genetics suggests that it would be impossible to create this breed from only three breeds.

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Leonberger Comments, Reviews and Questions

  • Luka Videos

    Mar 9, 2023, 7:09:26 AM:

    They brag about lions lol

  • Clarissa Edwards

    May 27, 2021, 6:49:54 PM:

    leonbergers are not cat friendly and have same sex dog aggression. this should be noted but instead it says theyre dog and cat friendly