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Leonberger Dog Breed

This mastiff breed originated from Leonberg, in southwest Germany in 1846, meant to closely resemble the appearance of a lion. A favourite amongst royal families including Napoleon II of France, the Prince of Wales and the Italian King Umberto, the Leonberger breed is a result of crossing the Newfoundland, St. Bernard and the Great Pyrenees. However like many breeds that went through World War II, it almost suffered extinction and was re-established by some Germans in 1945. This is a very large and muscular dog, weighing 100 to 170 pounds and standing at a height of 27 to 31 inches. It has a slightly domed skull, a black mask and a rather long muzzle. It has a deep and broad chest, a thick and muscular neck and a strong and level backline. The nose is large and always black, as are the lips. The ears are medium sized, fleshy and triangular. The tail is long, feathered and reaches down to the hocks. The double coat is water resistant and comes in colours of red, red-brown, sand and lion-yellow.

This versatile breed has been used for a variety of tasks including search and rescue, obedience, tracking, guarding livestock, and as a family companion. True to form, they are a brave, intelligent and well-balanced temperament. Often called a gentle giant, the Leonberger has a friendly personality and immense patience, even with intolerable children. It responds well to training and is eager to please its owner and the family. They can get along with other dogs and are extremely trustworthy. The Leonberger can live for about 8 to 9 years.

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