What Leonbergers Need
Time and money! Seriously.
Leonbergers are independent, steadfast, confident, and friendly. However, those wonderful traits will be quickly forgotten and replaced with an unhappy, attention seeking, destructive, and potentially dangerous 130 lb (or more) dog. Please read and take to heart the following information. We want to set our Leonbergers up for success!
You must be committed to spending time with your dog. He must be considered a family member. Daily routine is imperative, daily....7 days a week, rain, snow, sleet, hail.
You must set consistent rules from the start. A cute 25 lb puppy on your bed might be fun. Four muddy paws attached to 130 lbs of wetness leap onto your clean sheets? Maybe not.
You must provide routine grooming. A daily go over, and weekly thorough brushing with attention to potential problem areas, between toes, behind ears, etc. There WILL be mud, lots of mud. There WILL be fur, lots of fur.
You must be committed to formal obedience training. Leonbergers thrive on positive feedback. It is your responsibility to learn his lingo, his way of thinking. He must be exposed to many different environments, people, and other animals.
You must have a secure, large yard. This dog needs to be able to run, and run long straight stretches. Do you have access to a place to swim? Not necessarily, but great exercise and easy on the joints.
You must be fair and positive. You want to function as a team. You will not bully a Leonbergers. Leonbergers do not like chaotic environments.
You must provide proper security, food, and medication. The bigger the dog, the more it costs. Extra-large crates? More expensive. Medications based on weight? More expensive. Surgery, more expensive. Boarding? More expensive. Grooming, toys, bedding ... you get the idea.
You must have a trusted veterinarian. One who is familiar with and interested in the unique needs of a Giant breed.
You must understand that sometimes things can go wrong. Leonbergers' life expectancy averages 8-9 years. Although all LCA (Leonberger Club of America) breeders make their best decisions when breeding, there is a myriad of genetic combinations and we just cannot determine all outcomes. All LCA breeders follow best breeding practices and each dog must obtain his/her CHIC number (Canine Health Information Center) per the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals) prior to mating.