Leonberger Breed Information

Leonbergers are a member of the ‘Working’ breed group. Working breed dogs were bred to become guard and search and rescue dogs. Breeds in this group are specialists in their work.

Leonbergers are gentle giants – calm, good-natured dogs that get on well with everyone, making them excellent family pets. As with all breeds, early socialisation is important to ensure they grow up into confident, sociable dogs. They will need grooming a couple of times a week to remove any dead hair and keep their coat in good condition.

Breed-related health problems:

Owners are, understandably, upset when their dog develops a health problem linked to its breed. Often they wish they’d known what problems the breed was prone to have. The potential health problems that Leonbergers are prone to include:

  • Hip dysplasia – hip joint laxity as a result of poor development, which will eventually lead to arthritis.
  • Gastric Dilatation Volvulus (GDV) – often known as ‘bloat’, this is a condition where the stomach twists, trapping the contents and gases. This is an emergency and requires urgent veterinary attention. It’s often seen in large, deep-chested breeds.

For some conditions, there are screening programmes available through the British Veterinary Association (BVA) and the Kennel Club. The Canine Health Schemes allow breeders to screen for a range of inherited diseases, so it’s a good idea to check the parents of any puppy you’re looking to rehome have been screened under these schemes. We’d also recommend discussing the medical history of your potential puppy’s parents and grandparents, and think very carefully before taking on a dog with any of the health conditions listed above evident in the family line.

You can find out more about the Canine Health Schemes on the BVA's website.

Exercise requirements:

As adult dogs, Leonbergers need over 2 hours of exercise daily, but shouldn’t be over-exercised as puppies when their bones and joints are still developing. Training will require patience, but can be achieved using reward-based techniques. For more information on training your dog, take a look at our dog behaviour page where you can pick up plenty of tips to help you and your canine companion better understand each other.

Estimated lifetime cost:

The likely lifetime costs for a Leonberger are based on estimates calculated using current market prices and include:

The list above does not include veterinary costs if your pet becomes sick or injured, so these average lifetime costs could be even higher.

Insure your Leonberger with PDSA:

1 in 3 pets need vet treatment each year and vet bills can come to hundreds of pounds. PDSA Pet Insurance can give you peace of mind when your pet is poorly, especially for breeds like Leonbergers that are prone to certain conditions. PDSA Pet Insurance offers:

  • 5 Star Pet Insurance* - from the vet experts
  • 4 levels of cover to suit you
  • Monthly payment at no extra cost

*Defaqto 5 Star rating applies to our Plus and Premier policies only. Defaqto’s Star Ratings provide an independent assessment of the quality of financial products.

By insuring your Leonberger with PDSA you’ll also be helping to provide vet care to some of the UK’s neediest pets.

Energy levels
 
Overall grooming needs
 
Compatibility with other pets
 
Easy to train
 
How much exercise
 
Suitability for children/families
 
Tendency to bark
 
Average lifespan 10-12 years
Size Large
Coat length Medium
Possible health problems Hip dysplasia, Gastric torsion
Average price Around £800
Estimated cost over lifetime £27,100-£30,800
Average weight Male: 35kg-50kg. Female: 30kg-50kg
Breed group Working
Minimum garden size Large

Not sure if the Leonberger is the right pet for you?