Leonberger: Wikis

  
  

Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.

Encyclopedia

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Leonberger
Leonberg-Male-Adulte-Ursus.jpg
Leonberger
Nicknames Leo
Country of origin Germany
Traits

The Leonberger is a very large breed of dog. The breed's name derives from the city of Leonberg in south-west Germany. According to legend, the Leonberger was ostensibly bred as a 'symbolic dog' that would mimic the lion in the town crest.

Contents

Description

Appearance

The Leonberger is a very large, strong dog, substantial yet elegant. In appearance, he is rather squarely built and comes in shades of golden, reddish tan and brown. His distinguishing feature is his black mask, and dark, kind eyes. He should have close fitting flews and should not drool. Mature male Leonbergers are markedly masculine and carry a lionesque mane and long fully feathered tail. Females may appear less extreme in coat and are notably feminine when compared to a dog. In temperament, the Leonberger is distinguished by unflappability -- a coolness under pressure -- and friendliness. However, the Leonberger is also a mild guard dog who will alert to a threat and stand watch, using his size and substance to protect rather than his teeth. Unflappable though they are, Leonbergers are also quite sensitive, and become attached to their pack -- human or animal -- very quickly and very deeply. Leonbergers have Newfoundland, Great Pyrenees and Saint Bernard as foundation stock and it is not surprising that they excel in cart work and water work. For a big dog, the Leonberger is very agile and capable of tremendous feats of athleticism for his size. He is called a gentle giant but in truth this is the characteristic of a mature dog of three years or more, younger specimens can be willful and rambunctious.

Size

Height at withers:

  • Dogs: 28.5 to 32 inches-average 29-30 inches. (resp. 72 to 81 cm., avg. 74-76 cm.)
  • Bitches: 25 to 30 inches-average 27 inches. (resp. 64 to 76 cm., avg. 70 cm.)
Leonberger-Moyra-of-Usquebaugh.jpg

Weight:

  • Males: 120-170 lb average 140-150 lb. (resp. 45–76 kg., avg. 63–68 kg.)
  • Females: 110-140 lb-average 130 lb. (resp. 36-58+ kg., avg. 58 kg.)

Coat

The Leonberger has a medium length soft to coarse double coat that is very water resistant. Males often have particularly thick fur on the neck and chest creating the appearance of a mane. There is distinct feathering on the backs of the front legs and thighs. Coat colour can range from lion yellow, red, reddish brown, and sandy. Black hair tips are permitted, but black must not determine the dog's basic colour. All Leonbergers have a black mask. The Leonberger sheds fur very heavily. A good brushing every week is sufficient to keep it in fine shape, except when the undercoat is being shed; then daily combing or brushing is in order for the duration of the moult. Regular use of a drag comb (it looks like a small rake), especially in the undercoat, is highly effective. See Dog grooming.

Temperament

Leonberger.jpg

A Leonberger is a family dog, the desire to be with his pack is far more important than a large yard, he can adapt to modest living quarters if he is given time with his people, a daily walk and regular training time. Leonbergers are good with children and other dogs. Socialization and thorough obedience training are extremely important with any giant breed, including Leonbergers. Although the Leonberger is generally welcoming of friends and family, he is watchful ("much praised," says the FCI standard, "for his watch and draft abilities") and may use his size to intimidate but never his teeth to protect his loved ones. Since the Leonberger is a very kind animal, it's not well suited to be a guard dog, despite his size. The defining characteristics of a Leonberger are kindness, steadiness, self assurance and an easy going joie de vivre.

Health

Leonbergers are strong, generally healthy dogs, and providing they have the right diet they may be more resistant to hip dysplasia. Breeders are now screening their dogs to reduce the risk of bone/joint problems.

Longevity and Causes of Death

Leonbergers in UK and USA/Canada surveys had a median lifespan of about 7 years.[1], which is about 4 years less than the average purebred dog, but like similarly sized breeds.[2]

Unfortunately, there are many serious diseases that can affect the Leonberger. Certain types of cancers are very common among the breed as well as Addison's disease. Bloat is another serious condition that affects many of the giant breed dogs that causes the stomach to twist and can be fatal quite quickly. [3].

In a 2004 UK Kennel Club survey, the most common causes of death were cancer (45%), cardiac (11%), and "unknown" (8.5%) [4]. In a 2000 USA/Canada Leonberger Club of America survey, the most common causes of death were cancer (37%), old age (12%), cardiac (9%), and "sudden death" (8%) [5].

Studies have indicated problems with inherited polyneuropathy in certain populations of Leonbergers [6] and cataracts in dogs in the United Kingdom.[7]

History

Heinrich Essig, a dog breeder and seller from Leonberg, Germany in southwestern Germany, originally bred the Leonberger from the Newfoundland (the Landseer type, with black/white marks), Saint Bernard, and Pyrenean Mountain Dog in the early 1800s, although it has been an established race in Germany only from 1846. The popular legend is that it was bred to resemble the coat-of-arms animal of Leonberg, the lion, but in fact the earliest Leonbergers were predominantly white and the coloring of today's Leonbergers, reddish brown with a black mask, was developed during the 19th century, probably by introducing other breeds.[8]

The Leonberger was initially used to protect livestock and pull loads in West Germany and other European countries.

Leonbergers were seriously affected by the privations of the two world wars. During World War I most Leonbergers were left to fend for themselves as breeders fled or were killed. Only five Leonbergers survived World War I and were bred until World War II when, again, almost all Leonbergers were lost. All Leonbergers today trace their ancestry back to eight dogs that survived World War II.[9]

Three Leonberger 'actors' (one was a female, and two males) played the starring dog "Buck" in The Call of the Wild: Dog of the Yukon (1997),[10] a Canadian rendition of Jack London's Call of the Wild starring Rutger Hauer as John Thornton (narrated by Richard Dreyfuss. [11] It should be noted that the breed chosen in this movie was not the one identified as Buck in the novel.

Further reading

  • Lusby, Madeline (Author) and Trafford, Michael (Photographer) Leonberger (Comprehensive Owners Guide) (Hardcover) (City: Kennel Club Books, 2005.) ISBN 1593783140; EAN 9781593783143.
  • Schmitt, Hannelie and Zerl, Gerhard, Der Leonberger (in German).
  • Stramer, Metha. The Dog of Leonberg, The History of a Dog Breed The first part of a trilogy on the history of the Leonberger dog (1846-1948) (Independent Leo Gazette).[12]
  • White, Angela, The Leonberger (The World of Dogs) (Hardcover) (Kingdom Books, Havant 12 Feb 1998) ISBN 1852790644; ISBN 978-1852790646. 208 pages.
  • Perosino, Guido, The Leonberger

References

External links

  • Miscellaneous

Leonberger
Nicknames "Leo" or "Gentle Lion"
Country of origin Germany
Traits
Dog (Canis lupus familiaris)

The Leonberger is a very large breed of dog. The breed's name derives from the city of Leonberg in south-west Germany. According to legend, the Leonberger was ostensibly bred as a 'symbolic dog' that would mimic the lion in the town crest.

Contents

Description

Appearance

With a generous double coat, the Leonberger is a large, muscular, and elegant dog with balanced body type, medium temperament, and dramatic presence. The head is held proudly, adorned with a striking black mask, and projects the breed’s distinct expression of intelligence, pride, and kindliness. Remaining true to their early roots as a capable family and Working dog (See section Search and rescue dogs, particularly water), the surprisingly agile Leonberger is sound and coordinated, with both strength in bearing and elegance in movement. A dimorphic breed, the Leonberger possesses either a strongly masculine or elegantly feminine form, making gender immediately discernible. [1] When properly trained and socialized, the Leonberger is vigilant, loyal, and confident in all situations. Robust, adaptable, obedient, intelligent, playful, and kindly, the Leonberger is an appropriate family companion for modern living conditions. [1]

Size, Proportion, and Substance

Height at withers:

  • Dogs: 28 to 31.5 inches-average 29.5 inches[2] (resp. 72 to 88 cm, avg. 76 cm)[2]
  • Bitches: 25.5 to 29.5 inches-average 27.5 inches[3] (resp. 65 to 75 cm, avg. 70 cm)[[2]

Weight:

  • Males: 120-170lb average 140-150 lb (resp. 45–76 kg, avg. 63–68 kg)
  • Females: 100-135lb average 115 lb (resp. 36-58+ kg, avg. 58 kg)

For a mature Leonberger, the height at the withers is ideally the median of the breed’s range—28 to 31.5 inches for dogs and 25.5 to 29.5 inches for bitches. The weight of his trim, well-muscled body is in direct proportion to his size. Elegantly assuming a rectangular build, the Leonberger is a well balanced dog in form and function; the proportion of his height to his length is at about nine to ten. Necessary for efficient movement and providing for a harmonious silhouette, his front and rear angulation are moderate and balanced. Capable of demanding work, the Leonberger is a dog of ample substance. His frame is effortlessly supported with well-muscled, medium to heavy bone in direct proportion to his size. A roomy chest is sufficiently broad and deep for the purpose of work. Seen in profile, the chest curves inward from the pro-sternum, tangently joins the elbow to his underline at fifty percent of the withers’ height, and then continues slightly upward toward the stifle. [4]

Head

Correct head and expression, in harmony with overall size and coat, are hallmarks of the Leonberger and are always appropriately masculine or feminine. The head is well balanced in proportion to the size of the dog and is deeper than broad with the length of muzzle and the length of skull approximately equal. The head is painted with a striking black mask that extends above the eyes; the Leonberger’s good-natured expression is elegant, intelligent and confident. Likewise, the nose and lips are black and effortlessly blend with his mask. With close fitting eyelids, the eyes are elegantly set into the skull upon a slight oblique; the eyes are medium sized, almond shaped, and colored a rich dark brown. Integral to the head’s silhouette, the ears are fleshy, moderately sized, and pendant shaped, with sufficient substance to hang close to the skull and drop the tip of the ears level with the inside corners of the mouth. Vigilantly set slightly forward, when alerted, the Leonberger’s ears rise from halfway between the eye and the top of his skull to level with the top of his skull. True to his refined nature, the upper lip fits tightly and seamlessly around the lips of a strong lower jaw, effortlessly preventing drooling (unlike many other Mastiff]-like dogs) under most circumstances. Though level bites and slight anomalies not affecting the robustness of the lower jaw are common, the ideal Leonberger capably possesses a strong scissor bite with full dentition. [5]

Topline

Well muscled in support of a proudly held head, the Leonberger’s neck flows elegantly from the backskull into well laid back shoulders, blending smoothly into withers on the topline and flowing cleanly through the underline. The backline remains strong and level through the rump. Coupled with a pronounced pro-sternum and conducive to strenuous work, a well sprung, oval-shaped rib cage supports a moderately broad and roomy chest, achieving a depth sufficient to meet properly placed elbows. Back and loin are broad and strongly coupled with a slight tuck-up. The croup smoothly slopes into his tail which is set just below the level of the back. The tail is rather long and reaches the hock of a properly angulated rear assembly; the tail is also well furnished and blends harmoniously with rear feathering. Denoting their confidence when in repose, the Leonberger’s tail hangs straight down. Though showy males may adopt a sickle tail in the ring and leonbergers’ tails commonly manifest excitement or rise toward the level of the back in movement, the ideal tail carriage is always relaxed.[6]

Coat

Both a necessity for work and a defining attribute of the breed, the Leonberger has a generous, water resistant, double coat on his body that is complimented by the shorter, fine hair on his muzzle and limbs. The long, profuse, outer coat is durable, relatively straight, lies flat, and fits close, strengthening his silhouette. Mature, masculine Leonbergers exhibit a pronounced mane which proudly parades the entirety of his neck and chest, helping to define a lion-like outline. The Leonberger is harmoniously festooned with distinct, ample feathering on the back of his forelegs and breeches. Similarly, his tail is very well furnished from the tip to the base where it blends harmoniously with the breech’s furnishings. Climate permitting, his undercoat is soft and dense. Apart from a neatening of the feet, the Leonberger is presented untrimmed. Accompanying his striking black mask, a variety of coat colors are acceptable, including all combinations of lion-yellow, red, red-brown, and sand. His coat may be highlighted with black tippings which add depth without ever dominating the overall color. [7]

Temperament

First and foremost a family dog, the Leonberger’s temperament is one of his most important and distinguishing characteristics. Well socialized and trained, the Leonberger is self assured, insensitive to noise, submissive to family members, friendly toward children, well composed with passersby, and self-disciplined when obliging his family or property with protection. Robust, loyal, intelligent, playful, and kindly, he can thus be taken anywhere without difficulty and adjust easily to a variety of circumstances. [1]

Movement

With an efficient, balanced, ground-covering gait, the Leonberger is effortless, powerful, free, and elastic in movement. [3] Balanced, and controlled at the trot, he always maintains a level topline. Viewed from the front or from behind, forelegs and hind legs travel straight. Increasing reach and drive, his legs tend to converge toward the centerline of the body as his speed increases. [8]

Care and maintenance

The Leonberger sheds fur very heavily. A good brushing every week is sufficient to keep it in fine shape, except when the undercoat is being shed; then daily combing or brushing is in order for the duration of the moult. Regular use of a drag comb (it looks like a small rake), especially in the undercoat, is highly effective. See Dog grooming. A Leonberger is a family dog, the desire to be with his pack is far more important than a large yard, he can adapt to modest living quarters if he is given time with his people, a daily walk and regular training time. Leonbergers are good with children and other dogs. Socialization and thorough obedience training are extremely important with any giant breed, including Leonbergers.

Health

Leonbergers are strong, generally healthy dogs[4]. Hip dysplasia, which devastates many large breeds, is largely controlled because of the effort of many breeders who actively screen their Leonbergers using x-rays evaluated by the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals and leave dysplastic specimens out of the gene pool, thereby reducing the risk of bone/joint problems.[5] For over twenty years, breeders belonging to the Leonberger Club of America, which issued pedigrees for the Leonberger breed in America, adhered to many aspects of the German breeding program whereby member kennels may only choose to breed dogs that were certified as three generation free of hip dysplasia. As a likely result, the incidence of Hip Dysplasia in the breed was reduced to almost 10% and the occurrence of OFA rated "Excellent" hips increased by over 60% in just twenty years. [5]Current incidence rates of hip dysplasia in Leonbergers are likely around 13%[6]

Though not common, Leonbergers do inherit and/or develop a number of diseases that range in their impact from mild to devastating. In addition to hip dysplasia, Leonbergers can inherit and/or develop heart problems, Inherited Leonberger Paralysis/Polyneuropathy (ILPN), osteosarcoma, hemangiosarcoma, Osteochondrosis Dissecans, allergies, digestive disorders, cataracts, entropian/ectropian eyelids, progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), perianal fistulas, and thyroid disorders. [7] Though rumors persist of Leonbergers being more sensitive to anesthesia than other breeds of dog, they are largely untrue. [5] Leonbergers, like other large breed dogs, require less dosage per pound of sedative than smaller breeds to yield the same effect. [8] The Leonberger Health Foundation, a private nonprofit foundation whose sole mission is to support major researchers who are seeking to identify genetic markers for serious diseases which affect the breed, is currently focusing on osteosarcoma, hemangiosarcoma, and Leonberger Polyneuropathy. [9]

Longevity and causes of death

Leonbergers in UK and USA/Canada surveys had a median lifespan of about 7 years.[10], which is about 4 years less than the average purebred dog, but like similarly sized breeds.[11]

Unfortunately, there are many serious diseases that can affect the Leonberger. Certain types of cancers are very common among the breed as well as Addison's disease. Bloat is another serious condition that affects many of the giant breed dogs that causes the stomach to twist and can be fatal quite quickly. [12].

In a 2004 UK Kennel Club survey, the most common causes of death were cancer (45%), cardiac (11%), and "unknown" (8.5%) [13]. In a 2000 USA/Canada Leonberger Club of America survey, the most common causes of death were cancer (37%), old age (12%), cardiac (9%), and "sudden death" (8%) [14].

Studies have indicated problems with inherited polyneuropathy in certain populations of Leonbergers [15] and cataracts in dogs in the United Kingdom.[16]

History

In the 1830's, according to tradition, Heinrich Essig, a dog breeder and seller from Leonberg, Germany near Stuttgart in southwestern Germany, originally created the Leonberger by crossing a Landseer Newfoundland bitch with a "barry" male from the Great St. Bernard Hospice and Monastery(which would later create the Saint Bernard breed). It is said the breed was first established in 1846.[17] Later, according to Essig, a pyrenean mountain dog was added, resulting in very large dogs with the long white coats [18] that were the fashion for the time. The first dogs registered as leonbergers were born in 1846 and had many of the prized qualities of the breeds from which they were derived. [18] The popular legend is that it was bred to resemble the coat-of-arms animal of Leonberg, the lion.[19] By the end of the 19th century, Leonbergers were kept as farm dogs, much praised their abilities in watch and draft work.[18]

Leonbergers have been owned by royalty including Napoleon II, Empress Elizabeth of Austria-Hungary, the Prince of Wales, Otto Von Bismarck, Emperor Napoleon III and Umberto I of Italy.[17] Around the beginning of the 20th Century, Leonbergers were imported by the Government of Canada for use as water rescue dogs.[20]

The modern look of the Leonberger, with darker coats and a black masks, was developed during the 19th century by introducing other breeds.[19]Leonbergers were seriously affected by the two world wars. During World War I most Leonbergers were left to fend for themselves as breeders fled or were killed. Only five Leonbergers survived World War I and were bred until World War II when, again, almost all Leonbergers were lost. Leonbergers today can have their ancestry traced to eight dogs that survived World War II.[21]

Three Leonberger 'actors' (one was a female, and two males) played the starring dog "Buck" in The Call of the Wild: Dog of the Yukon (1997),[22] a Canadian rendition of Jack London's Call of the Wild starring Rutger Hauer as John Thornton (narrated by Richard Dreyfuss. [23] The breed chosen in this movie was not the one identified as Buck in the novel.

The Leonberger received American Kennel Club recognition in June 2010, alongside the Icelandic Sheepdog and the Cane Corso[24].

Further reading

  • Lusby, Madeline (Author) and Trafford, Michael (Photographer) Leonberger (Comprehensive Owners Guide) (Hardcover) (City: Kennel Club Books, 2005.) ISBN 1593783140; EAN 9781593783143.
  • Perosino, Guido. (1993) The Leonberger. Milano: Giovanni De Vecchi.[25]
  • Pfaumer, Sharon. (July 1996) "The Leonberger, the golden-hearted lion dog." in Dog World (USA), pp. 14-22.
  • Schmitt, Hannelie and Zerl, Gerhard, Der Leonberger (in German).
  • Stramer, Metha. The Dog of Leonberg, The History of a Dog Breed Multilingual (English, German, French, Dutch) trilogy on the history of the Leonberger dog (1846-1948) (Independent Leo Gazette) ISBN 9789081342612.[25][26]
  • White, Angela, The Leonberger (The World of Dogs) (Hardcover) (Kingdom Books, Havant 12 Feb 1998) ISBN 1852790644; ISBN 978-1852790646. 208 pages.[25]
  • Other resources at Leonberger Union."The Leonberger, the golden-hearted lion dog." By Sharon Pfaumer in Dog World (USA), July 1996, pp. 14-22.

References

  1. ^ a b Junehall, Petra Breed Standard: Leonberger, page 5. 08-tryck, 2005.
  2. ^ a b Junehall, Petra Breed Standard: Leonberger, page 18. 08-tryck, 2005.
  3. ^ Junehall, Petra Breed Standard: Leonberger, page 16. 08-tryck, 2005.
  4. ^ Zieher, Waltraut (2002). [Expression error: Unexpected < operator "Summary of the 2000 Health Survey Findings"]. Leo Watch (Slaton, TX) 2 (1): 3. 
  5. ^ a b c Townsend, Matthew di Sforzando (2006). [Expression error: Unexpected < operator "Hurray for OFA!"]. The LeoLetter (Seattle, WA: Allegra Print and Imaging) 22 (3): 85. 
  6. ^ Zieher, Waltraut (2002). [Expression error: Unexpected < operator "Summary of the 2000 Health Survey Findings"]. Leo Watch (Slaton, TX) 2 (1): 5. 
  7. ^ Zieher, Waltraut (2003). [Expression error: Unexpected < operator "Summary of the 2000 Health Survey Findings"]. Leo Watch (Slaton, TX) 3 (1): 2–11. 
  8. ^ Zieher, Waltraut (2003). [Expression error: Unexpected < operator "2000 Health Survey Findings"]. Leo Watch (Slaton, TX) 3 (1): 2. 
  9. ^ Isberg, Caroline (2009). [Expression error: Unexpected < operator "The Leonberger Health Foundation: Who Are These People? Why Should I Care?"]. The LeoLetter (Seattle, WA: Allegra Print and Imaging) 25 (4): 69. 
  10. ^ Cassidy, K.M., Dog Longevity Web Site, Breed Data page
  11. ^ Cassidy, K.M., Dog Longevity Web Site, Weight and Longevity page.
  12. ^ Leonberger Club of America, Health
  13. ^ Kennel Club/British Small Animal Veterinary Association Scientific Committee. 2004. Purebred Dog Health Survey.
  14. ^ Leonberger Club of America, Summary of the 2000 Health Mortality and Morbidity Survey Findings. LEO Watch Volume 2, Spring 2002.
  15. ^ Williams, John, Polyneuropathy in Leonberger Dogs
  16. ^ Barnett, Keith C. Featherstone, Heidi J. Heinrich, Christine L. Lakhani, Ken H. Cataract in the UK Leonberger population. Veterinary Ophthalmology 9(5), 350-356.Blackwell Publishing Inc.
  17. ^ a b Dog breed information, Leonberger.
  18. ^ a b c Junehall, Petra Breed Standard: Leonberger, page 4. 08-tryck, 2005.
  19. ^ a b A brief Leonberger Breed History.
  20. ^ Pfaumer, Sharon, "The Leonberger, the golden-hearted lion dog." Dog World (USA), July 1996, pp. 14-22.
  21. ^ "Breeds of Dogs, A Reference to the World of Dogs, "Leonberger".". http://www.thebreedsofdogs.com/LEONBERGER.htm. 
  22. ^ Call of the Wild - Dog of the Yukon at Internet Movie Data Base.
  23. ^ Leonberger Facts, American Kennel Club.
  24. ^ AKC Welcomes the Cane Corso, Icelandic Sheepdog and Leonberger
  25. ^ a b c Leonberger Resources
  26. ^ Dog of Leonberg.

External links








Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address
Message