Also known in the past as the Leonberg Dog, the breed is named after the south-western German town of Leonberg, where it was employed as a guard dog. In Holland and Belgium it was also used as a drought and livestock guard dog. Noble and powerful, the Leonberger is calm, steady and more athletic than most giant breeds. He enjoys productive outlets for his high energy, such as swimming, tracking, cart and weight pulling.

As a family dog, the Leonberger is an agreeable partner distinguished by his marked friendliness towards children. As a companion, he is obedient and fearless in all situations of life.

Photo courtesy of Kennel di Sforzando

Protective instincts develop at maturity (three to four years) when he becomes more discriminating with strangers, but he is never aggressive. Obedience training should start at three months; heeling training is a must as this powerful member of the Molossoid group of breeds can literally pull you off your feet. His determination to jump into your face can be disconcerting. In the first two years of his life, your Leo will try to be the leader of the pack and present a considerable challenge to his trainer. You are strongly advised to establish leadership and provide consistent training.


  1. FCI-Standard # FCI-Standard # 266/09.08.1999/GB

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