Leonberger Appearance

Leonberger Characteristics

  • Apartment Living
  • Active Lifestyle
  • Watchdog Ability
  • Child Friendly
  • Dog Friendly
  • Cat Friendly
  • Shedding Level
  • Exercise Needs
  • Social Needs
  • Grooming needs
  • Stranger Friendly
  • Health Issues
  • Trainability
  • Adaptability
  • Leonberger is a large breed of dog. He is an excellent watchdog and guard. This huge dog is a favorite of families, good companion and loyal friend. This strong, good-natured, calm and obedient dog can works as lifeguard, for example: Leonbergers are used to rescue drowning in Italy and Germany.

    In 2009, the Leonberger broke the record of birth of puppies in one litter. The female of Leonberger Ariel gave birth to 18 puppies, when female of this breed usually gives birth to 6 children.


    Origin: Germany. 

    Utilization: Watch, Companion and Family Dog.

    FCI Classification: Group 2 Pinscher and Schnauzer, Molossoid breeds, Swiss Mountain and Cattle Dogs. Section 2.2 Molossoid breeds, Mountain type. Without working trial.

    General Appearance Leonberger: a large, strong, muscular but elegant dog with balanced build and lively temperament. Males are more powerful and stronger than females.

    Important proportions: height at the withers to the length of body 9:10. The depth of chest is nearly 50% of the height at withers.

    Body: massive.

    Head: large, elongated. The occipital part is wider than the temporal part. The top of the head is slightly convex. The ratio of skull to muzzle is 1: 1. Skin is tight, without folds.

    Stop: moderately defined.

    Muzzle: moderately long, not a sharpened with a black mask. Bridge of nose is straight, wide, slightly arched, long, slightly convex, never dipped.

    Nose: black.

    Lips: close fitting, black, corners of lips closed.

    Teeth: white, smooth. The upper row of teeth closely overlapping the lower row. According to the standard, the dog must have a full set of 42 teeth.

    Jaws: strong. Bite is scissor. Pincer bite is accepted.

    Cheeks: slightly developed.

    Eyes: light brown to as dark brown as possible, medium-sized, oval, planted not deep. Eyelids close fitting, the conjunctiva is not visible.

    Ears: medium-sized, hanging close to the head, thick, set on high.

    Neck: long, with a slight bend smoothly into the withers. The skin of the throat is tight without dewlap or throatiness.

    Withers: clearly expressed in males.

    Chest: deep, wide and oval.

    Back: straight, broad.

    The belly:  slightly tucked up. Back: strong and straight.

    Loins: broad and well-muscled.

    Croup: broad, slightly elongated, rounded, smoothly into the base of the tail, not snub.

    The tail: long and tightly covered with a thick long hair.

    Forequarters: strong, straight, parallel and set well apart.

    Shoulders / Upper arm: long, sloping and well-muscled.

    Elbows are close to the chest.

    Pasterns: strong, solid; seen from the front are straight; if looking from the side are almost vertical.

    Feet: rounded, straight (without clubfoot); Toes are arched and tightly compressed. Leonberger has webbed feet which make it an excellent swimmer. Paw pads are black. Claws are black.

    Hindquarters: muscular. Hocks and feet are parallel directed. Dewclaws should be removed.

    Thighs: long, sloping with strong muscles. The hip and shin form a distinct angle.

    Hocks: strong with a distinct angle between lower thigh and rear pastern. Toes are arched. Paw pads are black.

    Claws: black.

    Coat: long, smooth, water-resistant with a dense undercoat. It forms a mane on neck and chest, especially in males. There are distinct feathering on front legs and "trousers" on hind legs.

    Size Leonberger: Male 72 to 80 cm (recommended average 76 cm); Female 65 to 75 cm (recommended average 70 cm).

    Faults: any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog.

    Leonberger Appearance

    Disqualifying Faults:

    • Aggressive or overly shy.
    • Any dog clearly showing physical of behavioural abnormalities should be disqualified.
    • Severe anatomical faults (i.e. pronounced cow hocks, pronounced roach back, bad swayback; front feet turning out extremely. Totally insufficient angulation of shoulder, elbow, stifle or hock joints).
    • Brown nose leather.
    • Very strong lack of pigment in lips.
    •  Absence of teeth (with the exception of M3). Over- or undershot or other faults in mouth.
    • Eyes without any brown.
    • Entropion, ectropion.
    • Distinct ring tail or too highly curled up tail.
    • Brown pads.
    • Cords or strong curls.
    • Faulty colours (brown with brown nose and brown pads; black and tan; black; silver; wild-coat colour).
    • Complete lack of mask.
    • Too much white (reaching from toes onto pasterns), white on chest larger than palm of hand, white in other places).

    N.B.: Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.

    Only functionally and clinically healthy dogs, with breed typical conformation should be used for breeding

    Color of Leonberger

    • Lion yellow
    • Red
    • Dark – red
    • Sandy (pale yellow or cream)
    • Reddish brown

    A black mask must be on the muzzle. Ears are black. Black hair tips are permitted, but the black color cannot dominate the main color. A small white patch or stripe on the chest and white hairs on the toes are allowed.