Leonbergers are wonderful dogs but they surely are not for everyone! They are very large, very furry and very exuberant and they love to dig very big holes! Leonbergers need a lot of socialization and training! If you are looking for a puppy that will train itself – that isn’t a Leonberger! While Leos are typically very friendly they still need to be shown what is right from wrong and when a 130 lb dog jumps on your shoulders you know you have a big dog!
Leos can have a lot of energy too – they love to run and play. They do well in a wide variety of activities including therapy work, obedience, agility, water rescue work and other out door activities. While Leos love to be outside with their families they are not suitable as an outdoor dog. Leos need to be with their families doing activities to keep them in healthy both physically and mentally. Leos love to go in the car to run errands and drive the kids around. You will need to get an extra big vehicle!
Leos can be quite demanding of their owners and want their fair share of the family’s time! Leos also typically love to be with another Leo buddy and as many of us know – they are like M&Ms – it is hard to have just one! Leos also like other breeds of dogs, cats, horses and many other creatures big and small. However, some Leos do have strong prey drive and will chase cats, squirrels and deer.
While Leos are typically good with children of all ages remember that no dog should be left alone with a child. Just due to their large size a Leonberger can quickly knock a child over just by turning around! Leos can be sensitive and they often know if something is wrong. At those times a Leo might be a little quieter with less exuberance in the family. Leos can also have their feeling hurt and need positive, supportive, consistent training.
Leos especially when they are puppies can be quite destructive and need adult supervision! They need to be carefully watched to ensure they don’t eat your expensive kitchen chairs but they also need to be watched so they don’t eat something that causes a blockage, a very common and serious (and expensive) problem in growing puppies. Make sure that all your Leo toys are in good shape and that the growing puppy or adult dog cannot eat parts off the toy.