meet theLeonberger

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The Leonberger is AKC's 167th breed.

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at aGlance

theBreed Standard

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  • General Appearance

    The Leonberger is a calm, non-aggressive, large, muscular, working dog with a proud head carriage. He is distinguished by his balanced build, black mask, and double coat. Adult males, in particular, are powerful and strong and carry a lion-like mane on the neck and chest. A dog or bitch is easily discernable as such. For its size, the Leonberger is light on its feet and graceful in motion. Because natural appearance is essential to breed type, the Leonberger is to be shown with no trimming, sculpting or other alterations of the coat.
    True to his original purpose as a family, farm and draft dog, today's Leonberger excels as a multi-purpose working dog; the most important task being a reliable family companion. The Leonberger is vigilant, obedient and quietly confident in all situations. He exudes good-natured watchfulness, depicting intelligence and vigor.

  • Head

    The head, in its entirety, is deeper than it is broad, rectangular shaped. The length of muzzle to length of back skull is approximately equal, with no wrinkles, and cheeks are only slightly developed. Males have a strong masculine head while female heads express femininity.

  • Body

    Chest is broad, roomy, and deep, reaching at least to the level of the elbows, pronounced prosternum. Fore and rear quarters well muscled. Ribs are well-sprung, oval. Underline is only slightly tucked up. Loin is broad, compact, strong, well muscled. Croup is broad, relatively long, gently sloped, flowing smoothly into root of tail.

  • Forequarters

    Shoulder Angulation - Well laid-back and well muscled; the shoulder meets the upper arm at approximately a right angle allowing for excellent reach. Shoulder and upper arm rather long and about equal in length. Elbows - Close to body, neither in nor out when standing or gaiting. Forelegs - Well-boned, muscular, straight and parallel to each other. Pasterns - Strong, firm and straight when viewed from front, slightly sloping when viewed from side. Dewclaws - Usually present. Feet - Turn neither in nor out, rounded, tight, toes well arched (cat foot), pads always black.

  • Coat

    Leonbergers have a medium to long, water resistant, double coat on the body and short fine hair on the muzzle and front of limbs. Outer coat is medium-soft to coarse and lies flat. It is straight, with some generalized wave permitted. Mature males carry a mane, which extends over neck and chest. The undercoat is soft and dense, although it may be less so in summer months or warmer climates. In spite of the double coat, the outline of the body is always recognizable. Leonbergers have distinct feathering on backside of forelegs and ample feathering on breeches and some ear feathering. Tail is very well furnished. Females are less likely to carry a coat as long as males and this disparity must not be a consideration when judged against the male. Natural appearance of the coat is essential to breed type.

  • Hindquarters

    Angulation - In balance with forequarters. The rear assembly is powerful, muscular and well-boned. Legs - Viewed from the rear, the legs are straight and parallel, with stifles and paws turned neither in nor out, placed widely enough apart to match a properly built body. Thighs - Upper and lower of equal length, slanting and strongly muscled. Stifles - Angle clearly defined. Hocks - Strong of bone, distinctly angled between lower thigh and rear pastern; well let down. Dewclaws - Rear dewclaws may be present. Feet - Turned neither in nor out, but may be slightly elongated compared to forefeet. Toes arched; pads always black.

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