Leonbergers originated in Germany, and are members of the working group. Even though they share a few characteristics with other dog breeds, they have several distinguishing ones as well. This post will help you figure out whether or not a dog is a Leonberger.
Checking the Body Structure
1. See what size the dog is. Leonbergers are large dogs, with males usually being anywhere from 28–31.5 inches (71–80 cm) in height, and typically weighing somewhere between 110–170 pounds (50–77 kg). Females are typically a little smaller, being anywhere from 25.5–29.5 inches (65–75 cm) in height, and usually weighing somewhere between 90–140 pounds (41–64 kg).
2 Take a look at the dog's head. Leonbergers should have a head that appears more deep than broad, and is rectangular-shaped without wrinkles. You should also notice a black mask on the face that extends from the nose, up to and over the dog's eyes. A male dog's head should appear strong and masculine, while a female dog's head should appear to express femininity.
3 Note the dog's ears. Leonbergers should have medium-sized, triangular-shaped ears that are fleshy, and hang flat and close to the dog's head. The ear tips should be level with the corner of the dog's mouth. When the dog is alert, the ears should be set slightly forward and level with the top of their skull.
4 Examine the dog's eyes. Leonbergers should have medium-sized, oval to almond-shaped eyes that are not deep set or protruding. Ideally, the eyes should be dark brown.
5 View the dog's tail. Leonbergers should have a tail that is well-furnished with hair. When relaxed and standing, Leonbergers typically have a tail that hangs straight down, and its last vertebrae should reach to or below the dog's hock. When the dog is moving, their tail should be carried no higher than their back, and it may have a curve upwards at the end.
6 Check the dog's overall appearance. Leonbergers should have an elegant yet muscular appearance overall. The dog should also be of a balanced build, and appear to have substantial bone. Their gait should appear balanced, ground-covering and even, with a stride that appears free, fluid and powerful.
Looking at the Coat
1 Find out what color the dog's coat is. Leonbergers may be golden to red, red-brown, sand-colored, lion-yellow, or any combinations of these colors. However, they will always have the black mask on their face mentioned earlier.
2 Look for a double coat. Leonbergers are known to have a water-resistant double coat, with a medium-soft to coarse outer coat that should lie flat, and a soft, dense undercoat that may be less soft and dense in warmer climates or during summer months.
3 Notice a need for regular brushing. Leonbergers need to be brushed at least once per week.
4 View the coat's overall appearance. Overall, Leonbergers have a coat that is medium to long in length, and their hair should appear fine and short on the front of their limbs and the muzzle. You should also notice some feathering on their ears, and a lot of feathering on their back and front legs. On males, you should notice a mane that goes over the dog's neck and chest area.
Taking Note of Temperament
1 Figure out if the dog is friendly. Leonbergers are friendly dogs who generally love people.
2 Be aware of sensitivity. Leonbergers are known to be sensitive dogs, and they generally don't like if they see fights or arguments.
3 Notice a need for regular exercise. Leonbergers will generally need relatively vigorous daily exercise (especially as a puppy), through things like going for a run or a hike.
4 Expect the dog to be messy. Especially because of their long coats, are a messy breed overall, and may often track mud or other debris into their house (which is why their coat needs regular brushing).
5 Realize that this dog is energetic. Leonbergers are energetic dogs, which is another reason why they need regular exercise.
6 Look for intelligence. Leonbergers are intelligent dogs overall. Because of this along with their high energy levels, Leonbergers generally do well in obedience and agility trials.
If you'd like to know what breed your dog is, consider dog DNA testing. This will help confirm whether or not your dog is a Leonberger.