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AKC Meet the Breeds: Leonberger

American Kennel Club, Inc. (c) 2011

Calm, gentle and sweet, the Leonberger excels as a multi-purpose working dog, but its most important task is being a reliable family companion. They are friendly dogs that are willing to please, making them excellent therapy dogs. They also make great water rescue dogs and can even be trained to jump out of helicopters. Despite the breed's lion-like looks and large size, the Leonberger is actually quite light on its feet and graceful in motion. They can be red, reddish brown, sandy, or yellow brown and may have a black mask.

A Look Back
The Leonberger originated in the 1800s in Leonberg, Germany. Their original purpose was to be a family, farm and draft dog. The breed caught the attention of popular German artists who used them as models, and they've even been featured on the stamps of various European countries as well. Leonbergers almost became extinct after World War I, but two men were determined to keep the breed alive and recreated them from a very small number of dogs.

Right Breed for You?
Leonbergers love children and make excellent family pets with regular training. The Leonberger's profuse coat tends to shed a lot, requiring daily brushing. The breed needs moderate daily exercise.

  • Working Group; AKC recognized in 2010
  • Ranging in size from 25 1/2 to 31 1/2 inches tall at the shoulder
  • Multi-purpose working dog; family companion

AKC Meet the Breeds is a registered trademark of the American Kennel Club.