The origin of the Leonberger dogs name is thought to come from either the French or the German. They are thought to be a close cousin of the German Shepherd dog with a small amount of French behaviour.
They were originally used by the shepherdics to herd sheep. They are thought to have come to Switzerland on the train of a cantonman, with the local shepherd. They were given to the local shepherds in Switzerland to help keep the sheep away from the farmer's family.
They are unlikely to have been introduced to America until the 40's. They are shorthaired and continuous growing hair. They need a very thick coat in cold climates, and more coat in warmer climates so they can keep warm. They are requiring an initial visit to the vet for vaccinations and a microchip. They will normally grow to about 27 inch. before they mature which is about 1 foot tall. It is one of the longest living breeds.
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They are wonderful family dogs, loving and gentle, they are very intelligent and good with children and other pets. They are affectionate and do not make good guard dogs as they are naturally friendly. They require regular brushing as they are one of the heavier shedding breeds.
The average lifespan of these dogs is 10 to 13 years, and the only two major health issues found in the breed are thyroid problems and seizures.