A well trained Leonberger is a gentle giant that loves human company and is great with children.
They are a huge, muscular dog with a dense, thick, waterproof double coat. This comes in shades of creamy yellow through to reddish brown in a variety of combinations. The face should have a black "mask" within clearly specified limits. They have a thick mane and often have webbed feet which often makes them powerful swimmers.
They were bred in the 19th century by Heinrich Essing, the Mayor of Leonberg in Germany. His aim was to breed something that resembled a lion. Although a good guard dog, they have a very steady temperament and will normally walk away from aggravation rather than respond to it. They are fearless, affectionate, obedient, loyal and very intelligent. They naturally tend to be tolerant and get on well with strangers, children and other animals. They are generally quite sedentary indoors so a good daily walk is essential although they don't need a lot of exercise. They love to swim and adult Leonbergers can be taught to pull carts and sledges.
The thick coat needs regular grooming and they will shed heavily at certain times of the year. They are prone to hip dysplasia and other bone disorders and have been known to have eyelid problems too.