So what is living with a Leonberger like? Like other breeds, they have
specific needs in order to live a happy, healthy life.
- They are very family oriented and are not good totally outside dogs.
Leos should never be tied nor put on a cable. That causes frustration and may lead
to behavior problems including aggressiveness towards people and animals who tease them. A Leo
wants to be with its family, not isolated. Fencing that children or adults can't reach through is best.
will weigh around 20 or so lbs. A few months later that cute fuzzy pup will be a teenager hitting
- They grow very quickly in body and slowly in mind. When you get your puppy at 8 weeks it
100 lbs. You need to adjust the dog's food intake sometimes weekly as it grows and needs to eat more.
You'll need rubber backed throw rugs in areas that are tiled or have wood floors to prevent injuries for
the first year or so. Your pup can easily slide and do major damage to soft tissue, ligaments, or cartilage
on surfaces with little traction.
adopting an older Leo. A fenced half acre is a minimum size I'll place a puppy on to prevent destruction
- They need outdoor room to run and play. If you live in an apartment or have a small yard consider
of your yard due to big feet and boredom - yes they dig - and having to replace the siding on your house
they have destroyed.
neighbors and other dogs and prevents barking but 2 X 4 welded wire will serve as well. On less than
- They do not boundary train any more than a Great Pyrenees does. A Leo can easily get over a 4' fence;
5'-6’ is more appropriate. Board on board fencing is a good choice as it is a visual barrier from the
half an acre, an older, trained Leo may do OK.
- Leos are an active breed. An under-exercised or bored Leonberger will become destructive and can do
an unbelievable amount of damage to your property and home. Dog parks are not a good idea as they
are usually un-moderated and also “Petri dishes of disease”, as our vet describes them. When the
puppies are growing, their soft cartilage and loose joints can be easily hurt running with larger and
older dogs. They can also be bullied or become bullies due to other dog's behaviors.
repetition. Forget old, harsh techniques! Find a clicker training class and stick with it for a couple of
- They train easily IF you start when you get your puppy, but are sensitive and also get bored with
years. In the end you get the dog you deserve from teaching it what is acceptable behavior. Young
puppies are not stubborn - they just don't know what you want. You are the teacher, they the student.
Your job is to communicate well and to understand what he is trying to tell you.
- They are quite tolerant of children IF you introduce them to well behaved, properly taught children. Be
aware they may not be the best choice for kids under school age. Due to the puppy’s sheer exuberance
and strength combined with it's lack of common sense in conjunction with its size there can easily be
accidents. No matter how sweet, no dog should ever be left unsupervised with children. An older,
more settled dog may be a better bet for little ones and also for senior citizens.
- Puppies need as much constant attention as a baby does for the first few months they are
with you. Although they get tall quickly, Leos are physically and mentally a slow maturing breed
(about 2 1/2 -3 years) and need responsible guidance, limits and boundaries.
- Leos are not a good "learner-dogs" for a first time dog owner. A Golden Retriever is a better choice.
- They are natural watchdogs if they have been properly socialized off of your property and are well
exercised. Never TRY to train a Leo to be a watchdog, it is inherent. Some Leos have prey drive than
others and will be better hunters. Remember ALL dogs act like dogs.
adult dogs or same sex dogs coming into their home turf. Adult dogs are like adult humans. They play
- They usually prefer to stick with their own pack and mature Leos may not get along with strange
with their friends and don't usually play with strangers.