Fédération Cynologique Internationale

The Kennel Club

United Kennel Club

Leonberger

Leonberger

Leonberger


ORIGIN

:
FCI
Germany.

PUBLISHED

:
FCI
04.01.1996.
KC
February 2009

UTILISATION

:
FCI
Watch, Companion and Family Dog.

CLASSIFICATION

:
FCI
Group 2Pinscher and Schnauzer - Molossoid
Section 2.2Molossoid breeds, Mountain type
Without working trial

KC
Working
UKC
Guardian Dog

TRANSLATION

:
FCI
Mrs. C. Seidler, revised by Mrs E.Peper.

BRIEF HISTORICAL SUMMARY

:
FCI
At the end of the thirties, beginning of the forties of the 19th century, Heinrich Essig, town Councillor in Leonberg near Stuttgart, crossed a black and white Newfoundland bitch with a so-called “Barry” male from the monastery hospice Grand St.Bernhard. Later a Pyrenean Mountain Dog was added. This resulted in very large dogs with predominantly long, white coats. Essig’s aim was for a lion-like dog. The lion is the heraldic animal of the city of Leonberg.
The first dogs really called “Leonbergers” were born in 1846. They combined the excellent qualities of the breeds from which they stemmed.
Only a short time later, many of these dogs were sold as status symbols from Leonberg all over the world. At the end of the 19th century, the Leonberger was kept in Baden-Württemberg as the preferred farm dog. His watch and draft abilities were much praised.
In both World Wars and the needy post war times, the numbers of breeding stock reduced dramatically. Today the Leonberger is an excellent family dog which fulfills all the demands of modern life.
UKC
The Leonberger has been in existence since 1846. Named after the small town of Leonberg, Germany, the Leonberger's origin is credited to the mayor of the town, Herr Heinrich Essig, who lived from 1808 to 1889. Herr Hessig was an avid animal lover who had a particular fondness for very large dogs. It was his goal to breed a dog that resembled the lion that graced the town's crest. After many years of planned breedings, which included the crossings of Landseer Newfoundlands, St. Bernards, and Pyrenean Mountain Dogs, the first true Leonberger was born in 1846. The Leonberger was recognized by the United Kennel Club in March 1991.

GENERAL APPEARANCE

:
FCI
According to his original purpose, the Leonberger is a large, strong, muscular yet elegant dog. He is distinguished by his balanced build and confident calmness, yet with quite lively temperament. Males, in particular, are powerful and strong.
KC
Large, strong, muscular yet elegant. Confident, calm and lively. Males in particular should be powerful and strong.
UKC
The Leonberger is a large, imposing, strong, muscular, elegant dog of good proportions and balance with a weatherproof coat. He is self-confident, with a lively temperament.

IMPORTANT PROPORTIONS

:
FCI
Height at the withers to length of body 9 to 10. The depth of chest is nearly 50% of the height at withers.
KC
Amenable, intelligent and fearless companion; distinguished by his friendliness.

BEHAVIOUR / TEMPERAMENT

:
FCI
As a family dog, the Leonberger is an agreeable partner for present day dwelling and living conditions, who can be taken anywhere without difficulty and is distinguished by his marked friendliness towards children. He is neither shy nor aggressive. As a companion, he is agreeable, obedient and fearless in all situations of life. The following are particular requirements of steady temperament Self assurance and superior composure. Medium temperament (including playfulness). Willing to be submissive. Good capacity for learning and remembering. Insensitive to noise.
KC
Self-assured and playful. Neither timid nor aggressive.
UKC
The breed is loyal, clever, easily taught and very fond of children. It is an excellent family dog and also makes an excellent working farm dog. The Leonberger is particularly fond of water.

HEAD

:
FCI
On the whole deeper than broad and elongated rather than stocky. Proportion of length of muzzle to length of skull about 1 to 1. Skin close fitting all over, no wrinkles.
KC
Head in balance with body and limbs. Strong but not heavy, elongated rather than stocky. Proportion of muzzle to skull equal. No wrinkles. Skull in profile and seen from the front slightly arched. The back part of the skull not substantially broader than at the eyes. Medium stop. Nose black. Cheeks only moderately developed, muzzle moderately tapered but never snipey. Nasal bridge of even breadth and slightly arched (roman nose).
UKC
The head is strong, but not heavy, appearing deeper than it is broad, elongated rather than stocky. The length of the muzzle and the length of the skull are approximately equal. The stop is clearly visible but not abruptly defined.

CRANIAL REGION

:

Skull

:
FCI
In profile and seen from the front, slightly arched. In balance with body and limbs, it is strong but not heavy. The skull at its back part is not substantially broader than near the eyes.
UKC
The skull is slightly arched when viewed either from the front or the side. It is slightly wider between the ears than at the eyes.

Stop

:
FCI
Clearly recognisable but moderately defined.

FACIAL REGION

:

Nose

:
FCI
Black.
UKC
Must be black.

Muzzle

:
FCI
Rather long, never running to a point; nasal bridge of even breadth, never dipped, rather slightly arched (roman nose).
KC
Strong jaws with perfect, regular and complete scissor bite, level bite tolerated. Teeth evenly placed and vertical in the jaw, with complete dentition. No constriction of the canines in the lower jaw. Lips close fitting, black, corner of lips closed.
UKC
The muzzle is rather long and never pointed, but slightly deeper at the stop than at the tip. The nasal bridge is broad from stop to tip. The foreface is never concave; instead it is slightly arched (Roman nose). The lips are close fitting with no gap at the corner and are black in color.

Lips

:
FCI
Close fitting, black, corners of lips closed.

Jaws/Teeth

:
FCI
Strong jaws with a perfect, regular and complete scissor bite, the upper teeth closely overlapping the lower teeth without any gap, and teeth set square to the jaw with 42 sound teeth according to the dentition formula (missing M3 tolerated). Pincer bite is accepted; no constriction at the canines in the lower jaw.
UKC
Strong jaws are furnished with forty-two strong, white teeth meeting in a scissors bite.

Cheeks

:
FCI
Only slightly developed.

Eyes

:
FCI
Light brown to as dark brown as possible, medium size, oval, neither deep set, nor protruding, neither too close together nor too wide apart. Eyelids close fitting, not showing any conjunctiva. The white of the eye (the visible part of the sclera) not reddened.
KC
Neither deep set nor protruding, of medium size. Oval in shape with kind expression. Medium to dark brown in colour. Eyelids close fitting, showing no haw.
UKC
The eyes are medium size, oval in shape and light to dark brown in color, with dark brown preferred. They have an intelligent, friendly appearance. The eyelids are close fitting and no haw should show.

Ears

:
FCI
Set on high and not far back, pendant, of medium size, hanging close to the head, fleshy.
KC
Set on high and not too far back, pendant, medium sized, hanging close to the side of the head, fleshy with rounded tips, well feathered.
UKC
Well-rounded, medium sized drop ears are set high and close to the head. The leather is thick and fleshy.

NECK

:
FCI
Running in a slight curve without break to the withers. Somewhat long rather than stocky, without throatiness or dewlap.
KC
Strong, flowing into the withers in a slight arch, without throatiness. Moderately long, no dewlap.
UKC
The neck is rather long and not thick. It is arched at the crest and free of throatiness or dewlap, and fits smoothly into the shoulders.

BODY

:
KC
Height at the withers to length of body in ratio of 9 to 10 (measured from point of shoulder to point of buttock). Depth of chest approximately 50% of height at withers, which should be pronounced, especially in males. Moderate forechest. Chest broad, deep, reaching at least to the elbows. Oval, not barrel chested. Back firm and straight with broad loins, strong and well muscled. Moderately sloping croup with relatively long, broad rump, gently rounded. Rump never higher than withers. Slight tuck up.
UKC
In proportion the Leonberger is slightly longer than tall when measured from the prosternum to the buttocks and the withers to the ground. The depth of the chest is nearly fifty percent of the height at the withers. The chest reaches to the elbows and is broad but not barrel in shape, rather oval in cross section. The withers are pronounced, especially in males. The back is firm, straight and broad. The loin is broad, strong and well muscled, leading into a broad, relatively long, gently rounded croup. The underline is only slightly tucked up.

Withers

:
FCI
Pronounced, specially in males.

Back

:
FCI
Firm, straight, broad.

Loin

:
FCI
Broad, strong, well muscled.

Croup

:
FCI
Broad, relatively long, gently rounded, flowing to merge with tail set on; never overbuilt.

Chest

:
FCI
Broad, deep, reaching at least to the level of the elbows. Not too barrel shaped, more oval.

Underline and belly

:
FCI
Only slightly tucked up.

TAIL

:
FCI
Very well furnished; while standing, it hangs down straight; also in movement it is only slightly curved and if at all possible should not be carried above the prolongation of the topline.
KC
Well furnished, straight, reaching at least to hock. On the move, tail slightly curved, not carried above level of back. Never forming a ring.
UKC
The tail is set at the base of a gently sloping croup. It reaches to the hock joint and is very well furnished. When in repose, the tail hangs down straight. When the dog is moving, the tail is only slightly curved and ideally should not be carried above the back. An upward curve at the end of the tail is allowed. An excited tail carriage that is higher than ideal should not be confused with an incorrect tail set.

LIMBS

:
FCI
Very strong, specially in males.

FOREQUARTERS

:
FCI
Forelegs straight, parallel and not too close.
KC
Shoulders well laid, elbows close fitting. Forelegs straight, well boned and not too close. Shoulder and upper arm long, sloping and well muscled. Pasterns strong, firm and straight when seen from front, almost vertical seen from side.
UKC
The shoulder blades and upper arms are long and sloping, forming near right angle.

Shoulder

:
FCI
Shoulders - Upper arm: Long, sloping, forming a not too blunt angle, well muscled.

Elbow

:
FCI
Close to the body.

FORELEGS

:
UKC
The legs are very strong, especially in males. They are straight, parallel and not too close together. The elbows lie close to the ribcage. The pasterns are firm and nearly vertical.

Pastern

:
FCI
Strong, firm; seen from the front, straight; almost vertical, seen from the side.

FEET

:
KC
Tight and rounded with well arched toes. Front feet pointing directly forwards. Pads black.
UKC
The feet are rounded and tight with well arched toes and black pads.

Forefeet

:
FCI
Straight (turning neither in nor out), rounded, tight, toes well arched; black pads.

Hind feet

:
FCI
Standing straight, only slightly longish. Toes arched, pads black.

HINDQUARTERS

:
FCI
Seen from the rear, position of the hind legs not too close, parallel. Hocks and feet turned neither in nor out.
Pelvis: Slanting.
KC
Legs set not too close together and parallel when seen from rear. Well muscled, long, slanting upper thigh. Moderate bend of stifle. Hocks strong, angle between lower thigh and rear pastern well defined, turned neither in nor out.
UKC
The hindquarters are broad and strongly muscled. The pelvis is sloping.

Thigh

:
FCI
Rather long, slanting, strongly muscled. Upper and lower thigh form a distinct angle.

HIND LEGS

:
UKC
The upper thigh is rather long and slanting and forms a distinct angle at the stifle with the lower thigh. The hock joint is strong and well angulated. The rear pasterns are fairly short and parallel to one another with hocks and feet turned neither in nor out.

Hock

:
FCI
Strong, distinct angle between lower thigh and rear pastern.

GAIT / MOVEMENT

:
FCI
Ground covering even movement in all gaits. Extending well in front with good drive from the hindquarters. Seen from front and behind the limbs move in a straight line when walking or trotting.
KC
Ground covering, even movement in all gaits maintaining a level topline. Extending well in front with good drive from hindquarters. Seen from front and behind, legs move in a straight line when walking or trotting.
UKC
Ground covering and even, with good extension in front and drive behind. From the front or rear, the legs move in a straight line. Young dogs may have some characteristic looseness to their gait but adults should have strong, well balanced movement.

COAT

:

HAIR

:
FCI
Medium soft to coarse, profusely long, close fitting, never parted, with the shape of the whole body be visible despite the thick undercoat. Straight, slight wave still permitted; forming a mane on neck and chest, specially in males; distinct feathering on front legs and ample breeches on hind legs.
KC
Double coated, medium soft to harsh, fairly long, close fitting. Never with a parting and not obscuring the outline despite the thick undercoat. Straight or slight wave permitted. Mane on neck and chest, especially in the males. Distinct feathering on front legs and ample breeches on hindlegs.
UKC
Medium-soft to coarse in texture. Rather long, lying close to the body, straight or slightly wavy. Despite a good undercoat the shape of the body under the hair should always be visible. There is distinct feathering on the front and rear legs and a mane on the neck and chest which is more pronounced in males.

COLOUR

:
FCI

Lion yellow, red, reddish brown, also sandy (pale yellow, cream coloured) and all combinations in between, always with a black mask. Black hair tips are permitted; however, black must not determine the dog’s basic colour.
Lightening up of the basic colour on the underside of the tail, the mane, the feathering on the front legs and the breeches on the hind legs must not be so pronounced as to interfere with the harmony of the main colour. A small white patch or stripe on the chest and white hairs on the toes are tolerated.
KC
Lion gold, red, reddish brown, sandy (fawn or cream) and all combinations in between, always with a black mask. Black hair tips are permitted. Black must not dominate basic colour. Lighter colour on underside of tail, mane, feathering on front legs and breeches on hindlegs normal, but must not be pronounced. A small white patch or stripe on the chest and white hair on the toes tolerated.
UKC
Lion yellow, red, reddish brown or sandy, all with a black mask. Black hair tips are permitted but they must not over ride the base color of the dog. Lighter shading on the underside of the tail, the mane, the feathering on the front legs and the breeches on the hind legs must not interfere with the harmony of the main color. A small white patch or stripe on the chest, and white hairs on the toes, are permitted.

SIZE

:
KC
Height at withers: Dogs 72-80cms (28¼-31½ ins); Bitches 65-75cms (25½ -29½ ins).

Height at withers

:
FCI

Dogs 72 to 80 cm (recommended average 76 cm).
Bitches 65 to 75 cm (recommended average 70 cm).
UKC
Recommended average height at the withers is 30 inches for males and 27½ inches for females, with an allowable variance of one and one-half inches in either direction.

FAULTS

:
FCI
Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog.
KC
Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog and on the dog’s ability to perform its traditional work.
UKC

Eyes: Round eyes.
Ears: Overly large ears.
Neck: Too short in neck.
Body: Weak backs. Short, steep croups. High hindquarters.
Hind Legs: Lack of angulation at stifle or hock. Cow hocks.
Tail: Too high or low set tail. Tail too short. Tail carried too high and curved. Crook in end of tail.
Coat: Open or very wavy coat.
Height: Mature dogs that are considerably under the minimum height recommendations.

DISQUALIFYING FAULTS

:
FCI

Shy or aggressive dogs.
Severe anatomical faults (i.e. pronounced cow hocks, pronounced roach back, bad swayback; front feet turning out extremely. Totally insufficient angulation of shoulder, elbow, stifle or hock joints.
Brown nose leather.
Very strong lack of pigment in lips.
Absence of teeth (with the exception of M3). Over- or undershot or other faults in mouth.
Eyes without any brown.
Entropion, ectropion.
Distinct ring tail or too highly curled up tail.
Brown pads.
Cords or strong curls.
Faulty colours (brown with brown nose and brown pads; black and tan; black; silver; wild-coat colour).
Complete lack of mask.
Too much white (reaching from toes onto pasterns), white on chest larger than palm of hand, white in other places).
Any dog clearly showing physical or behavioural abnormalities shall be disqualified.
UKC

Bilateral or unilateral cryptorchid. Viciousness or extreme shyness. Albinism. Lips flesh colored or not fully pigmented. Overshot or undershot bite. Missing teeth except M3. Brown nose. Yellow (without any trace of brown pigment) or wall eyes. Entropion or ectropion. Brown pads. Heavily curled or corded coat. Off colors such as brown (liver) with brown nose and foot pads; black and tan; silver. Complete lack of a mask. White other than specified. Tail consistently curled over the back like a wheel.
Muzzle: Lips flesh colored or not fully pigmented.
Teeth: Overshot or undershot bite. Missing teeth except M3.
Nose: Brown nose, which occurs in liver-colored dogs.
Eyes: Yellow (without any trace of brown pigment) or wall eyes. Entropion or ectropion.
Feet: Brown pads, which occur in liver colored dogs.
Tail: Tail consistently curled over the back like a wheel.
Coat: Heavily curled or corded coat.
Color: Off colors, such as brown (liver) with brown nose and foot pads; black and tan; silver. Complete lack of a mask. White other than specified.


Anatomical Features of the dog

N.B.:

Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.