admin March - 5 - 2013 Editorial4 COMMENTS

dersu 2006

How to portray the important characters of one of the most charming large breed? Why this dog is so attractive? What are the characters that every Judge should constantly consider when approaching such a remarkable but still uncommon breed in the ring?



First of all the Leonberger is a large, massive and very well boned dog, yet elegant, with a visible difference between the two sexes, what is a clear dimorphic image.
Both females and males are massive though, and tall, giving all times an image of power and strength.  The size is not given by tallness only but the width of the body and bones are important as well. Elegance is a must, though.
The dimorphic status is given by the size that is smaller in the females and by a number of secondary traits: more gentle and smoother heads, lighter and longer bodies, normally lighter colors and less mane in the females. Overall bigger size and stronger bodies, more massive and marked heads, presence of a mane at the neck for males. This difference is well visible in the movement where the males show up a heavier but exceptionally powerful walk whilst females prove an elastic grace.
One of the greater elements of type is given by the head that is always good natured, with a sweet, lovely expression mostly given by a good shape and proportion muzzle/skull, that are wide and almost of the same length, both well rectangle in their geometrical basis, never pointed (triangular) when seen from all sides. Head is never stocky or too heavy, never too cheeky. Muzzle shows a well developed chin. A hallmark is a visible dark/black mask, running up to the eyes, eventually reaching the occipital crest and shading towards the neck. The good expression is enhanced by semi frontal and brown/dark brown almond shaped eyes. The lack of the mask is a disqualifying point. The carriage and set of the ears are really important! The set is high (over the eyes, just under the upper line of the skull) the carriage never backwards or in a rosette. The eras hang down close to the face, covering checks.
Neck is long as the head and should be elegant, especially in females. The withers are solid, wide and slightly prominent. The back is muscular, straight; loins are solid and wide; croup has to be long and wide, gently rounded. The tail set is not high.
Very important is the tallness/body length correlation: the Leonberger is slightly long in body (+/- 10%), never giving the idea to be square, even if the compactness, especially given by solid loins, is always appreciated. The body/legs relationship is important as well and should never be in favor of the legs; leggy dogs show a poor image of the breed. The ideal proportion is about half and half but the hair under the body can give the idea of a dog just somewhat closer to the ground.
Ribs are somewhat rounded and the breast should never be pinched or narrow. A good distance between shoulders is always required. The underline is not tucked up.
Fore and hindquarters should be well laid back; one of the common faults is the lack in rear angulations, often accompany by an overbuilt croup: both have to be penalized.
A well developed muscular outline is required. Tail should all times hang down . In motion or when alert can be carried up to the level of the back or slightly higher and curved; nevertheless tail should never be carried over the back because of the short and level croup nor be enrolled over the back!
The movement and gait have to be adequate to the massive body: sufficiently elastic and fluent with a normal to long step (the rear should reach front during motion) giving the impression of power and solid drive. The coat is double with a good presence of undercoat. The length is medium long straight, never parted or curly; the undercoat is more wooly and light in color. A well furnished tail, feathering, pants and mane are very appreciated. The outline of the body will never be hidden by coat, though.
The ideal colors are the dark gold, red-brown, lion till sand with black tips (especially in males). Disqualifying colors are the solid orange or brown, the silver-grey, the black, the black and tan, the white and the presence of a large white spot on the chest (bigger than an open hand, disturbing the whole) or white socks at the legs. Also the impression of a totally black dog, especially with black markings on the legs has to be penalized.
The Leonberger has to be shown alert and possibly proud. No alterations of the coat, no scissoring or trimming are admitted other than trim the feet that have to be in cat’s shape.
Mouth has a complete set of teeth. Missing M3 is admitted. The bite has to be level or, better, in scissors. No toleration for under or overshot, even if moderate.

Guido Perosino


4 Responses to “A Leonberger Presentation”

  1. 26 March 2013 at 16:29

    Dear Guido,
    Let me express my deep gratitude to you for this brilliant idea of making this blog. Youк book LEONBERGER is the main reference book for leonberger breeders and owners. Since now we have got the possibility to read valuable articles, important materials written by you or with your comments on-line, look through many old and new pictures and films. Thank you very much for sharing your extensive experience in breeding, raising and judging leonbergers!
    Looking forward to blog updating

    • admin
      28 March 2013 at 07:47

      Thank you! The blog will be weekly updated.

  2. 12 April 2013 at 11:03

    i am very much looking forward to following this Blog. Thank you for allowing us to join you in your experiences and knowledge. .
    Regards – Anita

    • admin
      15 April 2013 at 16:36

      Thank you Anita!
      I hope I will a good job but I’ll need the support of all of you.
      Best wishes

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