GENERAL APPEARANCE : In keeping with its original purpose the Leonberger is a large, strong, muscular and elegant dog. He stands out for his balanced build and his confident calm, yet lively temperament. Males in particular are powerful and strong.

Personality:  serene and  balanced.

Energy Level : Moderately active.

Good with children:  Yes.


Good with other dogs:  With supervision.


Grooming:  Seasonal.


Life expectancy : 8  - 9  years old.

Bark level:  Bark when necessary.


In the late 1930s, early 1940s, Heinrich Essig, councilor from Leonberg, near Stuttgart, mated a black and white female Terranova with a male named “Barry” from Hospício Grande São Bernardo. Later, the mountain dog of the Perineus was incorporated. This resulted in a very large dog, with a predominantly long, white coat. Essig's goal was to obtain a lion-like dog. The lion is the symbol of the city of Leonberg. The first dogs actually called “Leonberger” were born in 1846. They combined the excellent qualities of the breeds from which they were descended. Shortly thereafter, many of these dogs were being sold around the world as Leonberg's status symbol. In the late 19th century, the Leonberger was considered in Baden-Württemberg as the preferred farm dog. His skills as a guard and draft dog were highly appreciated. In both World Wars and post-war hard times, the number of creators declined dramatically. Today the Leonberger is an excellent family dog that meets all the requirements of modern life.

Country of Origin: Germany.

BEHAVIOR AND TEMPERAMENT:  As a family dog, the Leonberger is a pleasant companion that adapts to today's living and housing conditions; it can be taken anywhere without difficulty and particularly stands out for its distinct friendliness towards children. It is neither shy nor aggressive. As a companion dog, he is pleasant, obedient and fearless in all life situations.

HEAD:  In its entirety, it is deeper than it is wide and more elongated than stocky. The proportion of the length of the muzzle to the length of the skull: approximately 1 to 1. Skin tight over the whole head, without wrinkles.




Skull: Seen in profile and from the front, slightly arched. In balance with the body and limbs, it is strong but not heavy. The skull on its back is not much wider than near the eyes.


Stop: Clearly marked but moderately defined.




Truffle: Black.


Muzzle: Rather long, never pointed; nasal bridge of uniform width, never sealed, slightly arched (Roman nose).


Lips: Tightly closed, black, labial commissure closed.


Jaws and  Teeth: Strong jaws with a perfect scissor bite, with 42 healthy teeth according to the dental formula (lack of M3 is tolerated). Pincer bite is acceptable; jaw without any compression on the canines.

Cheeks: Slightly developed.


Eyes: Light brown to darkest possible, medium size, oval, neither deep set nor prominent; Neither too close nor too far apart. Eyelids well adherent, not showing the conjunctiva. The whites of the eyes (the visible part of the sclera) are not reddened.


Ears: Set high, not too far back, hanging, of medium size, falling close to the head, fleshy.


NECK: Forms a slight curve without interruption to the withers. It is longer than thick; no loose skin on the throat or dewlap.




Withers: Pronounced, especially in males


Back: Firm, straight, broad.


Loin: Broad, strong, well muscled.


Croup: Broad, relatively long, pleasantly rounded, merging at the root of the tail; never heavy construction.


Chest: Broad, deep, reaching at least to the level of the elbows. Not so barrel-shaped, more oval.


Bottom line: Slightly tucked up.


TAIL: Well furred. When in stay, the tail hangs straight; in movement, it is slightly curved, and if possible, should not be carried above the extension of the topline.


  • LIMBS: Very strong, especially in males.


FOREQUARTERS: Straight, parallel and not too close.


shoulders and  Arms: Long, sloping, forming a not too tight angle, well muscled.


Elbows: Close to the body.


Pasterns: Strong, firm; viewed from the front, straight and nearly vertical when viewed from the side.


Feet: Straight, (turning neither in nor out), round, closed, toes well arched; black pillows.


HINDQUARTERS: Viewed from behind, the position of the legs is not too closed; parallels; hocks and feet turning neither in nor out.


Croup: Sloping.


Thigh: Fairly long, sloping, heavily muscled. The thighs and legs form a distinct angle.


Hocks: Strong, forming a distinct angle between the thigh and the metatarsal.


Feet: In “stay”, they are straight and slightly elongated. Arched toes, black pads.


  • GAIT/MOVEMENT: Covering the ground evenly on all strides. Reaching well ahead with good propulsion from the hindquarters. Viewed from the front and from behind, the limbs move in a straight line in both walking and trotting.


  • COAT


Hair: Medium soft to coarse, abundantly long, well laid, never parted so that the entire body is visible despite the thick undercoat. Straight, although slight waves are allowed; a mane on the nape of the neck and on the chest, are formed especially in males; there are distinct fringes on the forelegs and ample breeches on the hindquarters.


COLOR: Lion yellow, red, reddish brown, also sand (pale yellow, cream color) and all combinations between these colors, always with a black mask. Black hair tips are allowed, but black should not determine the dog's base color. The lightening of the base color on the underside of the tail, the mane, the fringes of the forelegs and the breeches of the hind legs should not be so pronounced as to interfere with the harmony of the main color. A small white spot or white stripe on the chest or white hairs on the fingers are tolerated.


SIZE Height at the withers: Males: 72 to 80 cm (recommended average 76 cm). Females: 65 to 75 cm (recommended average of 70 cm).


  • FAULTS  

Any deviation from this standard should be considered a fault and penalized in exact proportion to its severity and its effects on the health and well being of the dog.  



• Aggressiveness or excessive shyness.

• Any dog that shows any sign of physical or behavioral anomaly must be disqualified.

• Atypical dogs.