Leonberger: description of the breed, photo, nature, conditions of detention
Leonberger is a large and strong dog. This is a faithful, communicative and fearless animal, which is often called "family". Leonberger is universal: he can become a great companion, a vigilant watchman, a reliable guard and a self-sacrificing rescuer.
Probably, many will be surprised: how many virtues get along in one dog? The answer to this question is simple - all these qualities are harmoniously combined due to the incredible stamina of this giant and high intelligence. Leonberger is a dog that you will not find in every yard. You can not see it in every city. This is a very rare animal - Leonberger. The description of the breed until recently was found only in the special literature for professionals.
What is remarkable about this dog? Why is it not common in Russia? We will answer these questions in this article.
From the history of the breed
Today, more and more animal lovers in Russia are interested in the Leonberger dog. Description of the breed, which appears in special publications, speaks about the existence of two versions concerning the origin of these animals. The first one is official. She claims that the founder of this amazing breed was the German explorer and breeder Heinrich Essig.
In the forties of the XIX century, he decided to bring out a dog that has the appearance of a lion. To this day, archival documents and testimonies of contemporaries have survived, which confirm that Esgig first crossed St. Bernard Barry, who by that time lived in the monastery of St. Bernard, to achieve his goal. This glorious dog is famous for his salvation in the mountains. He was crossed with a black and white lendshir.
The second version says that there was no Saint Bernard at the base of the breed. The founders were Alpine mountain dogs. They were bred since the 16th century in special family nurseries. They were watchmen and hunting animals. It is these, according to this version, Essig used to create a new breed of dogs.
In 1820, in the monastery nursery, all the dogs died as a result of the plague epidemic. Only one male dog survived. He used it in his breeding work. He was crossed with bitches of mountain dogs. Genetic studies confirm this version.
Leonberger: description of the breed
These are very large dogs. The height of the male at the withers is from 72 to 78 cm, the bitches are slightly lower - from 65 to 75 cm. With such impressive growth as a leonberger, the weight of the animal ranges from 45 to 77 kg. Life expectancy is about 10 years.
The skull is powerful, domed, with a wide occipital part. Muzzle elongated, but not sharpened. The nose is black. The lips are closed tightly with dark pigmentation. Jaws are well developed, strong, bite is preferable to scissor, although the standard allows and pincer. Cheekbones are not very developed. Eyes oval, small. The eyelids fit tightly. Ears of medium size, high set, hang down, snuggling to the head. The neck is slightly elongated.
Well expressed withers. The back is straight and wide. The loins are muscular, sturdy. Croup is round, wide, of medium length. The transition to the base of the tail is smooth. The chest is wide and deep. The abdomen is tightened. The tail is covered with thick fluffy hair.
The limbs are powerful and muscular. The front legs are straight, and the shoulders are set obliquely. The elbows fit tightly to the body. Fingers are vaulted, have black pads. Hind legs slightly elongated.
Wool is long with a thick undercoat. A slight waviness is allowed. The structure can be different: medium soft or hard. On the chest and neck a distinct collar. Color is also different: sand, tan, yellow, as well as a combination of the named colors.
Leonberger, whose photo has increasingly appeared on the pages of cynological publications, is characterized by a soft, restrained and at the same time cheerful character. Despite the impressive size, this dog is completely devoid of malice and aggression, does not claim to dominate at all. Leonberger, whose photo you see below, is friendly to children and all members of the host family.
If there are other pets in the house, how does the leonberger feel about this? Description of the breed, reviews of owners allow us to assert that these giants are very peaceful creatures and get along well with other animals. Even an adult and such a formidable looking Leonberger will react quite calmly to the appearance in your house of a kitten or another dog. In the beginning he will be too lazy to chase a kitten or a puppy, and after a few days you will be able to see a funny picture - a new pet snuggled up and fell asleep on the warm and soft belly of the giant.
But this does not mean that the leonberger is a big lout. Yes, he is never the first to show aggression, but if the situation requires, he can show the uninvited guest or offender the strength and anger of a real lion and grief to a desperate attacker who decides to enter your home. Therefore, the owners, who live Leonberger (its price is quite high), believe that the best friend, guard, companion can not be found.
These large and powerful dogs quickly get used to the host family, nevertheless, the leader selects one person to whom they obey unquestioningly, and for this it is not even always necessary to give the command. Leonberger perfectly understands the gestures, and many owners claim that they have views. Despite their size, these dogs are very fond of being with the family and alone are very bored.
We are sure that many already like this big guy - a strong and brave, kind and gentle, intelligent and cheerful companion and a reliable guard - Leonberger. Puppies of this breed - this is a real miracle, seeing them, it is impossible to forget.
Up to 6 puppies are born in the leonberger litter. Pregnancy lasts from 57 to 72 days. In Russia it is not easy to buy such a puppy. Specialized nurseries are not even in all major cities. But dog lovers are people whose difficulties do not stop. So if you decide to get such a friend, be prepared for a trip to another city.
Cynologists recommend taking the baby Leonberger at the age of forty days. Usually, by this time the puppy is already licking himself from the bowl. It is necessary to pay attention to the appearance of the baby. He must have a strong bones, shiny hair, even paws. If you find growths on the ribs or twisted limbs, then it is likely that this puppy has rickets.
The eyelids of a small Leonberger should be dark. Pink or light pink color usually indicates anemia. Puppies are born with a weight of 500 grams. Forty days, their weight increases tenfold. Pay attention to parents crumbs: their exterior must meet the standard.
How much does the puppy cost?
So, you have found a nursery where you can buy a dog of the Leonberger breed. The price of the puppy you are interested in? We are sure that yes. The cost of a baby of this breed can be very high and many inaccessible. In the kennel the puppy costs from a thousand dollars, because today it is a very rare breed.
Care of the Leonberger
Probably, it is not necessary to say that a dog of this size should not be started in a small apartment. It will be a pain for both you and the animal. Twice a year, the Leonberers abundantly molt. In the conditions of warm and dry air of the apartment molting can continue throughout the year. This dog, like any other, needs a place for rest and sleep. This zone should be removed from air conditioners and heaters.
Wool leonberger should be combed two or three times a week with a metal comb. During molting this procedure is also carried out. Bathe the dog no more often than once in two months. If soiled, washing can be done more often. To care for the hair, the following shampoos are suitable:
- "Doctor ZOO".
- Herba Vitae and others.
Once a week, the eyes should be cleaned with a soft cloth moistened in boiled water or weak tea brewing. With the same frequency, the ears are also cleaned with a moistened cotton pad.
Twice a week, teeth are cleaned of plaque. To do this, such tools as: Show Tech Tootpaste Beef, Hartz, Beaphar Dog-a-dent gel, "Dent Shild."
For the feeding of this dog, both natural products and dry food for large dogs are suitable. However, you must choose only one type of feeding.
Dry food for large dogs contains a full range of minerals and vitamins, which are necessary for animals.
Moreover, such formulations help to save time for owners to prepare food for the dog. For leonberger, only premium foods are suitable: Bosch, Club 4 Paws, Royal Canin.
If you choose to feed natural food, then do not forget that the diet should be balanced and supplemented with vitamins and minerals. Compose it and prescribe the necessary vitamins will help you veterinarian, in accordance with the physiological characteristics of the animal.