Leonberger is a large, powerful dog that can be used as a guard. They have guarded the cattle and property of the owner from time immemorial. All this thanks to its impressive size, excellent qualities, and also thanks to its frightening appearance, which is a bit like the lion's. If it was necessary to describe this breed in only a few words, then it would be perfect: powerful, noble and meek.
Outwardly, the leonberger resembles a huge, fluffy, warm and reliable lump of wool. One of the most important qualities of this dog is steadiness. Even if there is chaos and disorder around the Leonberger, he will always remain calm and unruffled. But this does not apply to situations where he or his family members are at risk. Such moments leonberger is able to instantly feel and act. It is quite difficult to call for aggression, if only he himself does not deem it necessary. But in most cases, these dogs do not have time to react aggressively, since people and other animals are afraid of only appearance and frightening dimensions.
History of the origin of the Leonberger
It should be noted that, compared with other breeds, the Leonberers have a very interesting, but at the same time, instructive history: from the first appearance and further development. It is safe to say that there is not one such breed in the world that has managed to survive all triumphant ups and downs. In the whole history of his development and existence, the Leonberger managed to visit the darling of kings and the dream of aristocrats, and also an outcast, at the slightest mention of which dog handlers and dog breeders began to laugh and actively criticize the breed. Leonberger is a dog that has managed to get so much recognition that her livestock around the world counted in the millions, but also the breed had occasion to be on the verge of extinction.
In Germany, at the foot of the hills in Swabia, there is a small town called Leonberg. In translation from German, the leonberg is translated as "the city of a lion". Hence the name of the breed, which can be translated as "mountain lion", which fully corresponds to its appearance. In the mid-30s of the 19th century, a well-known breeder-cynologist, Heinrich Essig, who was a member of the city council, decided to create a living symbol of the city that would represent all his might and nobility, and would be a proud title "Leonberg" ". That is, the obligatory and the first condition was the similarity of a dog with a lion.
There is an official version, which the German "founding fathers" carefully store, as an important document. The first thing Essig decided to cross a black and white landseer with a huge long-haired St. Bernard. After this, Essig continued to cross the resulting dogs with other breeds. At the last stage, he decided to tie the descendants obtained from all the crossings with the St. Bernard, and then with the pyrenean mountain dog. As a result, a large dog appeared, with a silvery-gray color, a black head and ears. In 1848, this breed was given the proud name of "Leonberger". The dog began to quickly conquer the hearts of dog handlers and breeders.
A few years later, Essig successfully demonstrated to the cynologic circles of the Leonberger with a yellow-brown color, which already undoubtedly resembled a lion. Representatives of silvery-gray color persisted for a very long time, and only in 1973 it was decided to exclude them from the basic standard. For a long time this story was considered official and unique. But right after Esgig left this world, the German cynologist and artist Strebel said that he doubted the veracity of this story. In his opinion, Essig used for crossing not the St. Bernards, but huge, beautiful, mountain dogs, which were also called Alpine. Thanks to this statement or statement, a second version of the origin of the Leonbergerians appeared.
The second version is now followed by more and more dog handlers and dog breeders, including the world-famous Lucket, Lichbor, Leonard, etc. Legend has it that even in the 16th century, at the horse fairs that were held in Leonberg every month, they sold beautiful dogs of large size. They accompanied horses and sellers, as well as in demand from farmers and shepherds. In the diary of a noble princess, it was mentioned that the Leonberger was bred in noble nurseries in the 17th century. Also, there is information that in the 18th century the French Queen Marie Antoannette bought a huge leonberger.
A little later, at the beginning of the 19th century, this creature was struck by a plague. Almost all livestock died. Several representatives were sent to the nursery of the monastery, which was in the vicinity of Leonberg. There is a version that Essig did not create a new breed, but only recreated the former, which already existed long before his life. He took advantage of the commercial side of the situation and made an excellent advertisement, thanks to which he managed to sell one puppy for fabulous money.
Leonberger included such great people as Napoleon III, Richard Wagner, Friedrich of Baden, Prince of Wales, etc. And in Vienna and to this day preserved a monument to the great Austro-Hungarian Empress Elizabeth of Baden, next to which are depicted several of her Leonberger. The Russian Emperor Nicholas II also had a representative of this beautiful breed in the palace.
After the death of Essig, there were no documents confirming the standard for the breed, therefore, people who did not look clean on their hands sold under the guise of leonbergers a variety of dogs that were large in size. The breed came to a complete decline, interest in it faded and even laughed at it. But at the end of the 19th century a name club and standard was created, thanks to which the breeding of real leonbergers began. But the sad events of the First and Second World Wars again put the existence of the breed in jeopardy. All over the world there are only 3 pureblood dogs. But even this number managed to resurrect a whole generation of dogs. In Russia, Leonberger is still considered the rarest dog, but their number increases every year.
Character and behavior
In addition to appearance and performance, the Leonberger has an amazing character, thanks to which this dog is the most ideal pet for the family. They are intelligent, insanely loyal and faithful, judicious and tranquilly calm. It would seem that their mild character can not possibly correspond to such a formidable appearance. But in fact, leonberchers are very docile and "flexible" pets. They are always ready and willing to serve their master.
Most large dogs are predisposed to the manifestation of unreasonable excessive aggression. Often, that's why, many people are afraid to get representatives of this breed in their home, and especially where there are small children. But this statement does not apply to the Leonberger. They are not subject to aggression and the desire to dominate. This is considered an unacceptable breed defect. Despite the fact that this is a watchdog, in the family it is characterized as a cheerful, calm, kind dog with a living temper.
A separate word should be given to the relationship of the Leonberger with young children. This huge lump of wool with large teeth will allow the children to do with it whatever they want. Kids can climb a pet, drag it by the tail, pull it by the ears, but it will always be brave to endure such games and, in spite of everything, will protect its small hosts. It should be noted that such a great love for a human cub appears only in the adult state, and when the leonberger is still a baby, it is better not to leave him alone with his child.
It should also be noted that the soft character does not affect the guarding qualities of the dog. The territory and property of its owners, he will always be reliable and brave guard. Another important point is the urgent need for communication. If the Leonberger does not feel proper attention and does not receive communication, then he can become boring and lethargic. He will always feel the mood in your family, the joy of responding with playfulness, of quietness, and if there is a scandal in the house, then he will be very much excited.
Given all of the above qualities, you can argue that by purchasing a Leonberger, you acquire a loyal, loyal, self-sacrificing friend, an excellent companion and a reliable guard who is always ready to give his life for you and your family.
Appearance and breed standard
Leonberger is a very large dog. It was on this that Esig made a bet when he used a huge St. Bernard to knit. She is muscular and very strong, but, despite this, she is extraordinarily graceful. Other dogs of large sizes are distinguished by awkward and rough movements, but the Leonberger is characterized by smoothness and nobility. Its body is perfectly coordinated, the wool is long and dense. Males are much stronger and have more bitches, and they have a smart mane on their chest and neck. Coloring can be a mixture of yellow, reddish-red, reddish-brown and sandy hues. The standard allowed a small white speck on the chest.
The growth of males at the withers can reach 80 cm, the female - 75 cm. The desired weight of males is 60-78 kg, the female - 45-60 kg.
The modern standard of the Leonberger breed was adopted only in 1948. In the standard it is prescribed that the dog should keep the head high enough. Its skull is moderately convex, but not too tall and wide. The transition from the forehead to the muzzle should be smooth. Lips are dry, close to the jaws. Muzzle not too long, but moderately elongated and not pointed. The eyes of the leonberger are medium in size, light or dark brown in color. The eyelids fit tightly.
Ears hanging, ends of rounded shape, overgrown with hair, planted high and slightly turned forward. The neck is not too long and not too short. The chest is wide and deep. The tail should be thick and long, planted very low. Leonberger always wears it down. Essential disqualification if the tail is high above the back or bent into the ring.
His coat is long, thick and stiff. Well attached to the body, a straight, developed undercoat. The chest and neck are decorated with a thick and beautiful collar, resembling the mane of a lion. The standard allows for light yellow, golden yellow or reddish brown with dark ends on the coat. Preferably, if the muzzle is a dark mask. A white speck on the chest and white color of the fingers are acceptable.
The back of the dog is slightly raised. Her back is very powerful and straight. The limbs are straight and strong, elbows are pronounced. The essential defects are:
- Undershot or undershot mouth;
- Short and pointed muzzle;
- Strongly twisted elbows;
- Back with bend;
- Light color of eyes;
- Loose, drooping eyelids;
- Spotted color and wavy coat.
Modern leonberger inherited from its ancestors not only the beauty and attractiveness of the exterior, but also outstanding qualities.
Education and training of Leonberger
Leonberger is a breed of dogs that is distinguished by natural calmness, intellect and infinite talent. They perfectly succumb to both upbringing and training. All this is due to the fact that they do not want to dominate. Therefore, they themselves love to fulfill all the commands and requests of their master. There is an opinion that this is the only breed in the world that you do not need to communicate with by ordering strict tone and commands, it's easier and easier to communicate with them in the "human" language, giving the dog to understand that you are on the same level with it.
If you have become a happy owner of the Leonberger, then try to begin to communicate with him respectfully, calmly, patiently with nobility. Your tone should be smooth and confident, but, nevertheless, do not forget who the pet is, and who is the master. Although rare, when the Leonberger needs such reminders. The reward for your respect and patience is bound to be his boundless love and devotion, as well as immeasurable respect.
It should be noted that the Leonberger is a fair dog, which knows a lot in many respects. Her intelligence allows her to always understand whether her punishment is just. Therefore, punish proportionally to its provinces. If, however, the leon stumbles upon the "wall" of unrequited feelings and injustice, then resentment and misunderstanding will remain in his heart for a long time.
Leonberger sees his goal all his life as serving the master and his family. That is why it can be called an ideal and capable student. Training is very easy and fast. Once the puppy has come to your house, you just need to let him feel the limits of what is permissible. Will be enough only once. The only thing that takes a lot of time and patience is the socialization of the dog. She should be calm with respect to all: both to animals, and to strangers. If you want a guard dog, then also start training from puppyhood.
Features of content, feeding and care
The content of the leberberger differs little from the content of other large dogs. Despite the fact that he does not need a lot of physical exertion, but he still needs daily long walks. Be sure to pay attention to the process of formation of the core and paws. Also the main point in care is wool. Since it is long and dense, it must be regularly combed with a special brush or a mitten.
Closely monitor the cleanliness and condition of the ears, eyes and nose. It is necessary to bathe in the measure of pollution, periodically cut the claws.
Special attention should be paid to the nutrition of the Leonberger. Since this is a large breed, in the period of growth the dogs need a balanced diet in order to properly form the skeleton and muscles. On food the pet does not need to be saved, as well as on one's own. So, a few tips on the nutrition of the Leonberger. Despite its large size, it can not be overfed. The dog should be moderately well-fed, but with a developed musculature.
Leonberger should not eat greedily, otherwise it can talk about health problems. Compulsory products in the diet of the leon are raw fish, meat, vegetables. Experts recommend giving the dog a bone or cartilage every day until the age of five. Do not give the pet a bone from a bird. If you give him vegetables, it is advisable to add a little vegetable oil or sour cream to them.
For products that can not be categorically given not only to the Leonberger, but also to other dogs, include sweets, salty foods, fried, flour, spices and spices, fat pork and lamb, beans.
When the Leonberger puppy is 2 months old, he should be fed 5-6 times a day after he turns 4 months old, the amount of meals should be reduced to 4 times. From 7 months to maturity, feed should be no more than 3 times a day, and an adult dog should be fed 2 times a day. There must also be access to clean and fresh water.
How to choose the right place and where to buy a Leonberger puppy
If you decide to become a happy owner of the Leonberger, then first you need to weigh all the minuses and pluses. Despite the fact that this breed has the best qualities, nevertheless there are pitfalls, which it is better to familiarize with in advance. First, evaluate your opportunities and, first of all, your living conditions. After all, you should understand that the leonberger is a large-sized dog and in a small apartment you are doomed to inconvenience, both yourself and your pet.
If you are an amateur in the institution of a dog of this breed, then before choosing a nursery or a breeder, it is recommended to visit a specialized exhibition. There you will be able to see in all its glory all the merits of the appearance and behavior of the Leonberger, get acquainted with worthy breeders, get useful acquaintances and get advice from cynologists.
The cattery should be tested with a good reputation. Conditions for keeping dogs should be at the highest level. It is advisable to get acquainted personally with the parents of the Leon-Carapuses, to observe their behavior. Check for references to all vaccinations and veterinary examinations. After that you can get acquainted with the kids. First, visually check them for physical health: shiny fur and eyes, clean ears, cold shiny nose, elastic but soft tummy and clean skin. Try to catch the mood and character of the puppy. He must be very active and interested in communication. Try to go with the karapuz to contact, play with him, he must reciprocate you, not show aggression and cowardice.
The right choice, proper upbringing and maintenance is a guarantee that you will be able to grow up a reliable and loving friend for many years to come.
Puppies of this breed are not cheap. As a rule, the starting price starts from 30 000 rubles . If you want to buy a Leonberger puppy, which in the future is waiting for a great exhibition perspective, the cost of such a pet will start from 50,000 rubles .