Leonberger Breed Origins and Caracteristics

Heinrich Essig, municipal adviser and great friend of animals lived from 1808 to 1889, in the district of Leonberger, not far from Stuttgart (Germany). Each year he raised and sold 300 dogs. In 1846, he worked on the selection of a new breed of dogs as a result of cross-breeding the landseer, the long-haired Saint Bernard and the Pyrenean mastiff. At first the dogs born from this selection lacked of homogeneity. The Internationale Leonberger Club founded in 1895 in Stuttgart, and other clubs created in the following years for the development of the leonberger, uniformed the type of shape so that its standard could be established in 1901. This breed responds to Heinrich Essig's efforts to create a dog that reminded a lion and the coat of arms of this native village. The leonberger character is calm, it can be dominated easily and loves children. It is agile for its size.

If you travel around Turkey, you will find big dogs that are similar to the leonberger for its silhouette and color but their hair is shorter and their bodies are longer. They are the specimens of a very weird breed of sheepdogs, the karabash. The ancestor of this breed is the mastiff, which lived in the Middle East 3000 years ago. It is a helpful and intrepid guard dog. It appeared in Europe a little time ago; the first specimens were introduced in England in 1965.

Leonberger. Size: male 72-80 cm; female 65-75 cm. Size: 60-80 kg. Colors: light yellow (1), golden yellow or reddish yellow with a dark mask. It is allowed that the tip of the hair may be dark or black and sometimes the absence of a dark mask is accepted too. The neck, the beginning of the tail, the rear haunches as well as the bangs of the rear limbs can be a bit lighter, but they should not alter the harmony of the general color. The hair is fairly long, falls on the body; the neck and the chest have a well-developed mane.

Karabash (2). Size: male 60-76 cm; the male is a bit smaller. Weight: 56 kg. Color: cream turning to yellowish brown with mask and drop ears. The hair is short and dense. In Turkey, the ears are cut, while in Europe they are left in their natural way: V-shaped drop ears.

Dog Breeds Descriptions by Breed Neapolitan Mastiff Tibetan Mastiff Mastiff German Shepherd Groendaell or Belgian Shepherd Collie Shetland Shepherd, Shetland or Sheltie Bobtail Pembroke Welsh Corgi Briard or Brie shepherd Pumi Affenpinscher or Monkey Pinscher Doberman Miniature Pinscher Schnauzer Boxer Bulldog Bullmastiff German Mastiff or Great Dane Bordeaux Mastiff Mastiff or English Mastiff Neapolitan Mastiff Rottweiler Hovawart Leonberger Pyrenean Mastiff Newfoundland Saint Bernard Great Swiss Mountain Dog Airedale Terrier Bedlington Border Terrier Fox Terrier Irish Terrier Jagdterrier or German Terrier Lakeland Terrier Manchester Terrier Welsh Terrier Dandie Dinmont Terrier Norwich Terrier Scottish Terrier Sealyham Terrier Skye Terrier West Highland White Terrier Boston Terrier Bull Terrier Yorkshire Terrier Kerry Blue Terrier Teckel Siberian Husky Alaskan Malamute Spitz Chow-Chow Basenji St. Hubert Hound or Bloodhound Foxhound Beagle Basset Hound Bavarian Red Dog German Short-Haired Pointer Stichelhaar, Pudelpointer and Spinone Weimar Pointer Hungarian Pointer or Viszla Large Munsterlander Brittany Spaniel Pointer English Setter Gordon Setter Labrador Retriever Golden Retriever Wachtelhund American Cocker Rhodesian Ridgeback Cocker Clumber Spaniel Springer Spaniel Irish Water Spaniel Maltese Caniche or Poodle Belgian Griffon Hairless Dogs Lhassa Apso Shih Tsu Chihuahua Dalmatian King Charles Knight King Charles Spaniel Chin or Japanese Spaniel The Pekinese Spaniel French Bulldog Pug Barzoï Whippet