The majestic Leonberger was developed in Leonberg in Germany in 1846 by Heinrich Essing by crossing the St Bernard with the Newfoundland and the Great Pyrenees. Essing was deliberately trying to create a breed that resembled a lion and this breed become so revered that it was the favourite among royal families throughout Europe including Empress Elizabeth of Austria, Napoleon II of France, the Prince of Wales and Italian King Umberto. A large number of Leonbergers were imported to Russia in the 19th century before finally being imported to the USA in 1971. This is a very versatile breed and in addition to serving as a family pet, over the years the Leonberger has been used for tracking, water rescue, guarding livestock and search and rescue.

Body Type

This massive, muscular dog has a rectangular head that is slightly deeper than broad, while the skull is domed slightly. The distinctive black mask should only reach as far as the top of the eyes rather than extending over the entire head, while the muzzle is rather long. The breed’s large nose is always black and features clearly outlined nostrils, while the black lips and usually tight and dry. The ears are medium in size and triangular, hanging close to the head with the tips of the ears being level with the mouth. The double coat is medium to long and water resistant and comes in a range of different colours including yellow, sand, golden, red and pale yellow, while the...

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