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Looking at buying a Leonberger Puppy?

In response to the phone calls and emails we recieve from people all over the UK, I thought I would put some information together on one page to help people go about finding a Leo or in fact deciding if a Leo is right for them. We are always delighted when people contact us so if you feel this page doesn't answer your questions, please feel free to pick up the phone.

My advice always centers around one thing...research! there is no replacement for reasearch in any form. I would suggest you look in to the following areas

  1. Breed history in general - Understand what the leonberger is about, where it comes from, how it has developed over the years, how a Leo can be different depending on the country or breeder it comes from and so on

  2. UK Leonberger's, - Who are the breeders, who are good ones and who are not!, Who is breeding the kind of Leo that you want, if you don't know, do the research to find out

  3. Health issues suffered by Leos - Know what they are and who has them, what breeder to avoid and which ones to talk to. This is very sensitive stuff as no breeder wants to been seen to produce unhealthy Leos. Tip. Use for a list of breeders and health tests

  4. Cost of owning a Leonberger

    1. Cost of purchase (£800 -£1100), don't pay more

    2. Cost of owning including food and insurance £20 per week

    3. Cost of showing (optional of course)

    4. Cost of lifestyle alterations (new decorations, car change, garden modifications etc. A bit of an unknown quantity but should be expected)

  5. Consider the difference of males over females and which would suit you best. There can be a great deal of difference in size, strength etc

  6. Hunt down as many Leonberger web sites as you can to see what information they can offer you. Not just UK but world wide. My links page will give you more than enough

  7. Visit dogs shows, Championship shows are best as you will see more dogs. Bear in mind that shows are quite a false environment, dogs can be stressed, the owners more than likely will be    stressed but you will be able to talk to people to find out where litters are planned

  8. Visit dogs in the home, most dogs are different at home (This is a must)

  9. Use the web as its the best research tool

  10. Read the books

  11. Join discussion forums on Yahoo Groups, European Leos and UKLeos

Once you consider a Leonberger is for you....

  1. Decide on what you want from your Leo, pet, show quality, working etc

  2. Find breeders who produce what you want

  3. Get you name on to puppy lists. Most litters are sold by the time the litter is born, so the earlier you know about a litter the more chance you stand of getting what you want. I never have less than 2nd choice

  4. Before putting your name down or even think of parting with money, research the lines of both the mum and dad of the pup to be. Look for the following

    1. Look back at least 5 generations but more where possible

    2. build a pedigree yourself, know the dogs on the pedigree and identify any strengths or weaknesses.

    3. Use and for your research

    4. Phone or email breeders to ask questions about health, longevity and any illness suffered by their dogs

    5. Make it a point to see the mum and the dad

    6. Check the hips score, single figure totals are excellent i.e. 4:4, double figure total very good, but over 20 is unnecessary, with so many litters produced from low scoring parents, why buy from high scoring parents?

    7. Check Elbow scores, up to 1:1 is acceptable, 0:0 is the aim

    8. Check eyes are hereditary cataract free. Current certificates should be available and renewed every year. If you find cataracts in a line, provided there not on a young dog, this is OK, cataracts from old age in my book is acceptable

  5. look at the mum and dads brother and sisters, see if there are any health issues there

  6. Look at previous litters of either parent, again, looking for health issues.

  7. Look at longevity, if a breeders doesn't produce longevity in their breeding, your newly aquired bundle of joy could leave you younger than expected.

  8. Avoid puppy farms like the plague - Its just not worth it, please do not encourage these people

  9. look at how many litters have been produced by a breeder over a given period by which dogs.

Some don'ts...

  1. Don't pay to view litters

  2. Don't pay over £1100 for puppy, World Champion stock doesn't cost more than that...your being ripped off!

  3. Don't get caught up in the emotion of puppies and part with money until you are absolutly sure

  4. Don't become a puppy list hopper, do your research, know the litters coming along and get the right position

Some do's

  1. Do your research and do it right

  2. Do talk to as many Leo owners as possible

  3. Do visit leos in the home

  4. Do understand life with a Leo will never be the same again

  5. Do understand that one is never enough

  6. Do know the cost of a Leo each week each month each year

  7. Do enjoy the most wonder dog this world has to offer

  8. Do buy books on the subject and read them cover to cover at least twice

Overall, enjoy the experience. In the end, you will have a healthy happy pup that will share your life for many years to come. Along the way you will become knowledgeble, you will have made a leo friend or two and will be able to look after your new addition as you would hope. Leonbergers are not for everyone, but for those who they are for, I couldn't think of a better way to spend the years...good luck...don't forget to send me a photo!





  3. The Leonberger by Angela White

  4. Leonberger by Madeline Lusby

  5. Club sites

  6. My links page