The Leonberger is a large German guard dog breed. It was originally bred from the Pyrenean Mountain Dog, Saint Bernard and the Newfoundland. Its purpose was to pull loads as well as protect livestock and herds. Like many other German breeds, the Leonberger barely escaped extinction following both World Wars. Only eight dogs survived World War II, and all of today’s Leonbergers can be traced back to those eight dogs.
The Leonberger, like its predecessors, is quite large; it stands 28.5 to 31.5 inches tall and weighs 90 to 165 pounds. The coat of the breed is medium length and water resistant; it can be either soft or coarse. It is generally anywhere from sandy to red to brown with a black mask on its face.
The breed is strong and elegant, yet loving and playful. The Leonberger is an excellent family dog which needs daily stimulation, both physical and mental. It is a large dog, but does not necessarily need an excess amount of room. The breed is incredibly adaptable but like any other dog, it needs to be properly trained. The number of Leonbergers has grown substantially since World War II.
The Leonberger has an average lifespan of around 7 years, and the most common causes of death in the breed are cancer and cardiac issues.