The German breeder Heinrich Essing crossed the Newfoundland, Saint Bernard, and the Pyrenees thus founded the breed in 1846 in Leonberg, Germany in the region Württemberg.
The Leonberger is a very large, majestic dog with a characteristic black mask. This breed has been used for guarding livestock, obedience and tracking. This dog is versatile and has been successful in many endeavors.
The Leonberger is used in Germany for search and rescue and has a reputation as a great water-rescue dog. It has webbing between the toes to aid in swimming. The Leonberger is mild mannered, calm, friendly, and affectionate. Its warm, gentle personality makes it an excellent family companion dog.
It comes in tawny, reddish-brown, may have black tipped hair on the outer coat. A small white star on the chest and a little white on the tip of the paws are permitted.
The coat is waterproof, rough looking. Weekly brushing is needed. Bathe only when necessary. This breed is a seasonally heavy shedder, during this time the dog should be brushed and combed daily. Some de-matting is required to avoid hotspots; wetness and damp-wet weather conditions are responsible for the hot spots. Check behind ears, feathering on legs, and tail for mats.
It is prone to hip dysplasia, and other skeletal diseases/disorders. Also eyelid defects and bone disease, possible behavioral problems. To minimize the risk of your Leonberger developing any hereditary health issues, you should buy a dog from a reputable Leonberger breeder.