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Group: Utility (Group 6)
Club: Utility Dog Club Of Victoria Inc (Group 6)
Contact: Arthur Fry
Phone: 9740 8788

Brief History

The Leonberger is a giant dog breed, whose name derives from the town of Leonberg Germany from where it originated. According to legend, the Leonberger was apparently bred as a "symbolic dog" that would mimic the lion in the town coat of arms. In the mid-19th Century, the breed was created by crossing the Newfoundland, St Bernard and the Pyrenean Mountain Dog. The first Leonberger imported into Australia arrived in 1989.

Average Life Span

When considering a dog, please realise that you are taking it on for its lifetime.

The average life span is 8 to10 years.


Leonbergers have a rare talent of combining natural exuberance and love of life with a calm, gentle disposition. They are known for their wonderful temperament even though being knocked over is a possibility because of their size. The Leonberger character is loyal, fearless, intelligent and confident.

General Breed Description

The Leonberger, a family and companion dog is also very gentle with other animals provided they are sensibly introduced. The Leonberger enjoys life with you, whatever you do and wherever you go. Although his size and bearing are off-putting, his friendly nature precludes him from being a guard dog of note. Plenty of shade and water is essential in hot weather. He does well in a wide variety of activities including therapy work, water rescue and carting, although he truly excels in the couch Olympics! The Leonberger colour is lion gold, red or reddish brown, but may also come in a sandy colour and combinations in between, always with a black mask. Black tipping of the coat is allowed. 

Coat and Care requirements

The Leonberger is a double coated breed, requiring moderate grooming. A weekly brush and comb should suffice to maintain coat and remove any knots. This is more important when the coat is shedding.   


Height: Males: 72 to 80cms (28.5 to 31.5ins), Females 65 to 75cms (25.5 to 29.5ins).


All breeds have individual health issues. When speaking to breeders it is recommended you enquire about the breed’s health and what health testing the breeder does. The Leonberger is generally a healthy breed, however health conditions do occur occasionally. These may include can suffer from cancers, neuro-muscular disorders, eye conditions, heart problems and other issues.


Leonbergers are for people who consider their dog to be a part of the family and involve them in every aspect of their home life. Their size and presence have an impact on house and garden and they are not necessarily for the house proud.  A sense of humour is advised. All dogs need socialising and training. Leonbergers can become bored with repetition, so training should be kept fun!  The ongoing expense of a quality diet and vet fees should be considered when purchasing any giant breed of dog.

In Conclusion

Now you know a little more about this breed. If you have decided this is the dog for you and wish to investigate further, please contact the Breed Club or Dogs Victoria. They will be able to give you information about available puppies and also suggest dog events where you can see the breed and speak to breeders. In this way you will gain a better perspective of the breed and its needs. With any breed of dog, it is important to research and determine suitability for your lifestyle before committing to a puppy which will be a part of your family for many years to come.

Whilst many breeds are recommended for families, it is imperative that when children are with dogs they are supervised at all times. Basic obedience training is a vital part of dog ownership.

Dogs Victoria is about the responsible ownership of all dogs and in particular the preservation of pure breeds.

Link to ANKC Breed Standard:

Registered Breeders